RJR Launches Camel Snus Campaign

First campaign aimed specifically at encouraging smokers to switch to snus

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has launched a national campaign marketing Camel Snus as a potential New Year's Resolution solution for smokers, reported The Winston-Salem Journal.

David Howard, a Reynolds spokesperson, told the newspaper that it is the company's first campaign aimed specifically at encouraging smokers to switch to Camel Snus. "A lot of adults make a decision to quit smoking this time of the year," he said. "For those making that attempt, but still wanting the pleasure of tobacco, we're saying 'Here's an option'."

The advertisements [image-nocss] have run in large-circulation magazines such as Entertainment Weekly, People, Sports Illustrated, Time and US Weekly, as well as free and alternative publications.

In the "2011 smoke-free resolution" ad, according to the report, Reynolds said it supports smokers who have decided to quit using tobacco. "But if you're looking for smoke-free, spit-free, drama-free tobacco pleasure, Camel Snus is your answer," the ad's text reads.

The ads do not make any claims of reduced health risks with a potential switch. They also contain a large warning that "smokeless tobacco is addictive."

Howard said that the "drama-free" reference is aimed at adults who want to use tobacco products in restaurants, bars and other social outlets where smoking is discouraged or banned.

Reynolds' print ads are part of a "take the pleasure switch challenge" campaign tied to an age-restricted Camel Snus website, the report added.

Snus comes in a small pouch that is placed between the lip and gum. The tobacco is pasteurized, not fermented, and it contains less moisture and salt than moist snuff. It also does not require the consumer to spit, Reynolds said.

Although Reynolds does not dictate the price of Camel Snus at retail, the price is comparable to a premium pack of cigarettes, which typically sells for $4 to $4.50, the paper said.

Reynolds has been the most aggressive U.S. tobacco manufacturer with snus, according to the report. It began its first trial in April 2006, with national distribution commencing in January 2009.

Bill Godshall, the executive director of SmokeFree Pennsylvania, said he believes that Reynolds is the first large U.S. tobacco company to encourage smokers to quit smoking by urging them to switch to a smokeless product.

He also told the paper that it will be interesting to see if the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) tries to claim "that Reynolds' new ads make Camel Snus an unapproved smoking-cessation drug device." He said that the FDA has made such a claim with electronic cigarettes.