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R.J. Reynolds Rethinks National Launch of Dissolvable Tobacco

The tobacco firm will keep its trio of dissolvable tobacco products in five markets.
August 2, 2013

​WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – After nearly five years testing dissolvable tobacco products in five markets, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has no plans to launch the three products nationally, the Winston-Salem Journal reports.

Camel Orbs (a pellet), Camel Sticks (toothpick size stick) and Camel Strips (tongue strip) had been sold in Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Indianapolis; and Portland, Ore. The products are only available at select retail outlets in Denver and Charlotte.

“At this time there are no plans for any marketing beyond these channels,” said Richard Smith, spokesman for Reynolds. “We’ve found in our conversations with adult tobacco consumers that while there’s strong interest in the category, a different product form may present a better option over the long term. Though for now, Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs will remain available while we continue to gather learnings.”

Usually, new products move more quickly from testing to national rollout, such as Camel Snus, which took only 2½ years to appear on shelves throughout the United States. Part of the difficulty with the dissolvable products came because Reynolds sold the items in child-resistant packaging. “Reynolds made the products impossible to open without scissors,” said Bill Godshall, executive director of Smoke Free Pennsylvania.