R.J. Reynolds has agreed to stop selling candy, fruit and alcohol-flavored cigarettes in the United States, under an agreement with the attorneys general of 40 states. The states acted after the federal government did nothing.
"In marketing these products to our youth, RJR violated the agreement it made with the states back in 1998 to stop targeting kids," said California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. "Hopefully, this settlement will keep RJR from breaking its word again and ensure the company acts responsibly to help protect children from starting a deadly habit."
Under the settlement, RJR agreed to a ban in the United States of its flavored Camel, Kool and Salem cigarettes.
The agreement also imposes significant marketing restrictions that make it virtually impossible for RJR to market a flavored cigarette to youth in the future. The curbs apply to any cigarettes manufactured by RJR in the future that have a characterizing flavor other than tobacco or menthol. Among the restrictions:
• The name of the cigarette may not be that of a candy, a fruit or an alcoholic beverage, and may not include any of a number of specified terms that evoke imagery of candy, fruit or alcoholic beverages.
• RJR may not use print advertising, point of sale materials, exterior packaging or non-age-verified direct mail or internet advertising that contain: names of a candy, a fruit or an alcoholic beverage; any of a number of specified terms that evoke imagery of candy, fruit or alcoholic beverages; or imagery of candy, fruit or alcoholic beverages.
• RJR may not distribute scented promotional materials, such as Lift and Sniffs or Scratch and Sniffs.
The Attorneys General alleged RJR, through its advertising, marketing and promotion of flavored cigarettes, was violating provisions of the 1998 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement that prohibited targeting youth.
They also cited RJR's use of candy, fruit and alcohol flavors with high youth appeal, its use of advertising and packaging with youth-oriented graphics, typography, colors and themes, and its use of Scratch and Sniff and Lift and Sniff promotional cards with candy scents.
The brand styles of flavored cigarettes sold by RJR and specifically banned by the agreement are:
• Camel Exotic Blends: Mandarin Mint, Dark Mint, Crema, Izmir Stinger, Twist, Cinnzabar, Mandalay Lime, Aegean Spice, Bayou Blast, Beach Breezer, Margarita Mixer, Midnight Madness, Back Alley Blend, Kauai Kolada, Twista Lime, Winter MochaMint, Warm Winter Toffee, Blackjack Gin, Screwdriver Slots and SnakeEyes Scotch.
• Salem Silver: Dark Currents, Fire & Ice, Deep Freeze and Cool Myst.
• Kool Smooth Fusions: Mintrigue, Mocha Taboo, Midnight Berry and Caribbean Chill.