Altria's Plan for Organic Growth is failing - so-called potentially safer cigarette Marlboro Ultra Smooth removed from U.S. market..

June 23, 2008 - Without the Philip Morris International that contributed about two-thirds of Altria's $13.2 billion in operating profit.
, the biggest U.S. tobacco seller is left with the challenge in finding a source of growth to offset the decline in U.S. cigarette sales. Philip Morris's sales volume fell 4.6 percent last year, worse than the 4 percent decline in the overall U.S. cigarette market. Brendan McCormick, an Altria spokesman, "From the test marketing of Marlboro Ultra Smooth, in Atlanta, Tampa and Salt Lake City for more than three years it was learned there was low consumer acceptance." Shipments of Marlboro Ultra Smooth cigarettes and the others with the activated carbon filter - Marlboro Ultra Lights (tested in Phoenix and North Dakota) and Basic Ultra Lights (tested in Washington state) were stopped as of April 1, 2008.

In January 2008, Philip Morris USA stopped testing a Swedish SNUS type product Taboka Tobaccopaks (introduced in Indianapolis, IN in July 2006)and even their Marlboro SNUS (introduced in Dallas,TX in August 2007) at best, has seen sluggish sales. With SNUS the sucking technique to prevent spitting seems too strange for U.S. tobacco users to adjust to. Swedish SNUS type products have failed in most countries outside of Sweden. Even more disappointing to Altria has to be their Marlboro Moist Smokeless Tobacco (MST) entry (Atlanta, GA October 2007) introduced as a part of the MSTs premium segment to compete with Skoal and Copenhagen the price has been reduced significantly to try to generate interest. References: Altria Drops New Filter Cigarettes, in Strategy Setback by Vanessa O'Connell, The Wall Street Journal, 6/23/2008 and Altria stubs out Marlboro Ultra Smooth: report, Yahoo News - Reuters, 6/23/2008. We feel in order for PM USA to be a significant player in the smokeless tobacco category they'll need to expand through acquisitions e.g., PM-UST, PM-Swedish Match). New Marlboro products since 1990. (