C-store update - changes c-stores, Camel Orbs, free Marlboro t-shirts, etc..

January 11, 2010

Lots of changes are starting to take place in convenience stores. It seems like tobacco companies are trying to demonstrate that they can clean up their act and there's no need for the FDA's Tobacco Center to get involved.

Here's an example - more information will be coming soon. Some Marlboro Lights now come with a message concerned with if you decide to quit.

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Camel Dissolvables: In the Columbus, Ohio area - a market test site for Camel Dissolvables. Some tobacco control people seems to think Camel is pulling some Orbs. But they are not clear if only at Speedway stores or all of the them. Here are the results of a check of some convenience stores in the area.

After calling several Speedways in the area, here are the answers I received:

Speedway 1 (Delaware, OH): They pulled them off the shelves yesterday. She thought this particular product had been discontinued and they'd be sending out new in the future.
Speedway 2 (Delaware, OH): They still sell Orbs and Sticks.
Speedway 3 (Columbus, OH): They were pulled from the shelf and had already been picked up. There was nothing wrong with them... They just wanted to change them a little bit to make them better.
Speedway 4 (Columbus, OH): They still sell them.
Speedway 5 (Columbus, OH): They still sell them, but they are out right now.
Speedway 6 (Dublin, OH): They still sell them.
Speedway 7 (Dublin, OH): They're still going to have them, but they were going to "switch some stuff out." He thought they may be changing the label.

We'll keep you informed as we learn more.

Regarding tobacco merchandise.. U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. in a recent decision concluded that "there is no way to limit the distribution of these items to adults only" and that, if there were, adults would become "walking advertisements" for the idea that "tobacco use is widely accepted, which is extremely important to children and adolescents."

Philip Morris USA is offering a free t-shirt to people on their mailing list. Mike Szymanczyk, Chairman of the Board, CEO of Altria, Inc. has stated that Philip Morris owes their success to the ability to connect with adult tobacco consumers through the in-store experience and the development of one-to-one relationships using their database of 25 million adult cigarette smokers (Remarks, Investor Presentation, 3/11/2008) We're sure some of these individuals have quit smoking.

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Also, Marlboro underpants sold in Nigeria..

More from Columbus, Ohio - I think I have told you before about non-tobacco-users trying the dissolvables. One of our non-smoking senators tried the sticks in front of us, a non-smoking cameraman from a TV station said he tried the Orbs for about 15 minutes, and in a tobacco prevention coalition meeting, one of the advocates tried an Orb for about 5 minutes. Why? I think it’s because they look so much like other benign products and because of their novelty. If non-smoking adults who really should know better do this, what about kids????

I saw a Camel Snus sign hanging from the ceiling of a convenience store the other day, and beside the price it said “Wallet-friendly.” I guess they are trying to position it as a cheap alternative.

Ohio Behaviorial Risk Factor Surveillance System for 2010 - will have separate questions asking whether people used Snus and whether people used Orbs, Strips, Sticks or Lozenges.

Camel new Break Free promotion:

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A couple related images:
Break Free - Make A You Turn
Camel dissolvables evolution

Update Marlboro SNUS expanding test market..

Previous c-store update..