Reduced-Risk Product Market Potentially Lucrative..

October 29, 2007 - Reduced-Risk Product Market Potentially Lucrative.. Philip Morris USA opened the doors today to its $350-million Center for Research and Technology in Richmond, Va. The 20-story facility will be home to about 500 scientists, engineers and support staff who will be laboring to bring the Altria unit into the next frontier of growth products—reduced-risk tobacco products. Already it has test-marketed Marlboro Ultra Smooth, a cigarette with a pellet-bearing charcoal filter. The product appeared in Tampa, Atlanta and Salt Lake City during spring 2005, but without any claims about reduced risk. Same for Marlboro Snus and Taboka, two spit-free products, which debuted before Marlboro Moist Smokeless Tobacco appeared in Atlanta this month. Both Marlboro smokeless products are likely to begin national distribution during the first half of 2008. The reduced-risk product market is potentially lucrative with cigarette consumption declining annually by 1-2% while smokeless sales grew 6% last year, per the Maxwell Report, Richmond, Va. Philip Morris holds a 50.6% share of the cigarette category. ("Ahead of the Curve? Philip Morris Trying New Avenues" by Mike Beirne, Brandweek, 10/29/2007)