R.J. Reynolds Pulling Back on Dissolvable Tobacco Products

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R.J. Reynolds Pulling Back on Dissolvable Tobacco Products


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is cutting back on the marketing and sales of its dissolvable tobacco products after more than four and a half years in test markets.

According to a report by the Winston-Salem Journal, Camel Orbs, Camel Sticks and Camel Strips will remain in limited distribution at point-of-sale sites in Denver and Charlotte, N.C.

"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."

Dissolvable tobacco products have garnered criticism from organizations such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which believe that they will appeal to children due to their flavoring and packaging. Reynolds offered these products in child-resistant packaging, but some analysts have speculated that the difficulty in opening them may have had a detrimental effect, according to the report.

Others speculated that the market for dissolvables may already prefer other products. "My thought would be that the market for spitless, non-combustible tobacco is probably already taken up by snus," John Spangler, a professor of family and community medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, told the news outlet.

Reynolds took just two and a half years to move Camel Snus from test markets to national distribution after its April 2006 debut.

The company initially offered its dissolvables for sale in Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Ore.; and Indianapolis before moving them to Denver and Charlotte. The supplier did not dictate retail prices, but suggested that the products sell at a comparable price to a tin of Camel Snus, or between $4 and $4.50.