August 2, 2008 - R.J. Reynolds testing Camel Crush, a cigarette that allows users to customize their experience with menthol. A capsule in the filter can be crushed anytime - before lighting, while lit or near the end of smoking -- to add a menthol flavor to the cigarette, which is made of the Camel Light blend of tobacco, according to R,J. Reynolds spokesman David Howard. Howard claimed Crush appeals to menthol and non-menthol smokers. (Convenience Store News)
Daniel M. Delen, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco: Camel Crush is proving to have a great deal of appeal, it was introduced on a test market in the first quarter of 2008 and the plan is to expand nationally in September 2008. This technology has already been introduced in the Japanese market, where it has strong appeal. (RAI CEO: 'Solid Quarter Keeps Company on Track', PR Newswire, 7/30/2008.
In our studies of menthol and tobacco smoking - there are either regular cigarette smokers and menthol cigarettes smokers. The regular smokers rarely, if ever, have the urge to try a menthol cigarette. Another problem is that amount of menthol being delivered will never be consistent. In addition, the presence of the capsule interferes with the inhalation of the smoke.
From our menthol and smoking website: Concord Menthol (PM document #2501008196, also 2500002401) had an adjustable filter. Touted as the first cigarette ever that lets the smoker adjust the menthol flavor from rich to mild. By twisting the arrow on the filter the smoker can adjust the menthol flavor - rich when wanting a cool rich low tar and mild when wanting a light refreshing ultra low tar.
Also of interest, Reynolds Tobacco (RJR) introduces "Salem Pianissimo" in Japan (PM document #20638753111 (June 29, 1995). This mentholated cigarette was suppose to reduce side stream smoke coming off at the lit end of the cigarette and put down the remaining scent of smoke by changing the combustion rate of cigarette paper. According to a RJR survey, 80% of Japanese smokers were concerned that the sidestream smoke bothers people around them and that the scent of smoke remains in their hair, clothes and in their rooms.
These cigarettes called D-spec products, still popular in Japan, produce less odor (less smoke smell) and are therefore more acceptable to people who find tobacco smoke unpleasant. A D-spec cigarette called Mirage has been introduced in Canada.
Related news brief: Further initiatives by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR)..
Click on image to enlarge..(TobaccoWatch.org)