New Product Gas / Health Strategy

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.

New Product Gas / Health Strategy

In the 1970s, the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Comany (B&W) developed a brand of "low gas" cigarettes called FACT. The ensuing ad campaign for the FACT brand cigarette actually drew smokers' attention to some of the dangerous gases present in cigarette smoke (aldehydes, acetaldehyde, priopionaldehyde, acrolein). FACT was aimed at the "health-conscious" smoker, much like Lorillard Tobacco Company's Kent cigarettes with the Micronite filter of the 1950s.

This 1978 B&W memo, however, indicates that B&W's management eventually saw tremendous danger in this type of marketing, saying"

"B&W should not pursue a new product positioned as a low gas-low 'tar' ...We do not support definition in advertising of the problem of gas in order to specifically communicate its consumer benefit and distinguish it from low 'tar.' To supply such a definition would require overt references to the alleged ciliatoxic and cardiovascular ill effects of smoking. The possible ramifications of this in the Legal, Regulatory and Policy area are appalling....A likely result of such activity on our part would be escalation of quitting rates among smokers..."

A sample of this ad campaign for "FACT" cigarettes can be seen at: Fact Screens Out The Gases That Cover Up Good Taste.

Author REID,GT
Date 19780322
Bates 667059296/9299
Pages 4