Market Potential of a Health Cigarette

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Market Potential of a Health Cigarette

In this confidential, internal 1966 Philip Morris (PM) market research report, PM market researcher Myron E. Johnston, Jr. analyzes the feasibility of introducing a "health cigarette." The report shows that PM viewed medical reports linking cigarette smoking with disease as a driver for further expansion of the cigarette market. Johnston observed that the American Cancer Society's conclusion that cigarettes cause disease in women as well as men could result in the generation of a whole new market for a "health cigarette":

[Young women's] willingness to accept health filters may increase now that the American Cancer Society purports to have found a relationship between smoking and health for women as well as men. This group could provide a market for a health cigarette...


Women, and particularly young women, would constitute the greatest potential market for a health cigarette.

Johnston suggests the strategy of marketing a "health cigarette" (or one with the illusion of being healthier) be deployed only when pressed harder on health issues by circumstance or public health authorities:

My recommendation is that we not introduce a new health cigarette unless there is another health scare or additional restrictive legislation is passed. In the event of another health scare...our entry should be determined by the form of the scare...

Johnston also touches on the addictive properties of nicotine as he observes:

A cigarette that does not deliver nicotine cannot satisfy the habituated smoker and cannot lead to habituation, and would therefore almost certainly fail.

He discusses the dynamics of smoking initiation among young people, saying,

...Tobacco flavor is absent or far down the lists of reasons given for beginning to smoke, so it should be theoretically possible for a health cigarette to satisfy the most common reasons (to be like friends, to feel or look older, to combat nervousness, to be rebellious). This is apparently not the case. Young smokers are the ones...least likely to smoke health cigarettes...

This document was selected to be used as a trial exhibit in Florida, Minnesota and Texas.

Per. Author Myron E. Johnston, Jr. Approved by William L. Dunn, Jr.
Date 19660600
Bates 1000338644/8671
Pages 28