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Market Release Date:19990728
Nation-wide roll out



Philip Morris USA Website
Philip Morris USA


Cigarette smoking system using an electronic cigarette lighter and cleaning unit. Cigarettes are inserted into a hand-held heater that heats the rod. Uses a device called a lighter that heats the tobacco (about the size of an electronic pager). The special Accord cigarette is inserted into the lighter. The lighter electronically heats the tobacco. Heating the tobacco and releasing a favored smoke. Ultra low regular and Ultra Low Menthol. Accord - TM has been upgraded to a new test product called Heat Bar.


The premium blend of tobaccos in Accord cigarettes guarantees a satisfying ultra low tar taste. Accord produces a lot less smoke because you smoke it in the Puff-Activated Lighter. And with less smoke around you and around others, there's virtually no lingering odor. And there's never any ash because the cigarette isn't burning up in the lighter.[1]
Less environmental tobacco smoke, fewer carcinogens. Virtually no lingering odor. No ashes. A new way to smoke.

Product Design Feature

Philip Morris developed Accord, a microelectric cigarette holder, to “address consumer concerns about health risks,” and as a direct competitive response to R.J. Reynolds’ “Premier” product. Unveiled in 1998, the battery-powered “smoking system,” which reduced visible smoke and ashes from the end of a cigarette, was a radically different kind of smoked tobacco product.

The device contained a microchip that sensed when an Accord cigarette was being puffed, and sent power to eight heating blades around the cigarette. The chip prevented ignition if conventional cigarettes were inserted into the lighter, and was also equipped with the equivalent of the television V-chip, a locking device for use by parents.

The device worked using a novel electronic sensor technology. Inhaling on a cigarette inserted in the device triggers the electrical heating element, which heats the cigarette to a temperature below that necessary to create combustion, but still delivers emissions which contain nicotine. The tobacco in the Accord cigarette is warmed only when puffed; smokers could take a puff from a cigarette in its holder, put the device down, and take another puff an hour later.



The Accord Cigarette - Philip Morris
New Device Puff Activated Lighter 1997 320x280 display from GoogleVideo


Industry Documents


Market Testing

  • Test-marketing began in Richmond, VA in 1998 and continued through 2006, when the product was removed due to a lack of commercial success


Philip Morris spent, through 2003, over $370 million in operating expenses and nearly $50 million in capital expenses developing the Accord cigarette. In 1998, Philip Morris began to sell it in Richmond, Virginia.

The customized Accord cigarettes were 62 millimeters long, shorter than the 85 millimeter conventional cigarette, and sold at a price comparable to premium cigarettes.

Philip Morris sought to test whether smokers, accustomed to the ritual of handling and lighting cigarettes, would be willing to use its “smoke-in-the-box” system. Indeed, smokers were forced to create a new routine, buying a new brand of cigarettes and remembering to recharge the heating element’s battery before prolonged use.

Philip Morris never informed potential consumers in the test market, through promotional or marketing materials, of its own conclusion that Accord is a reduced exposure product and a potentially reduced harm product. Indeed, in a presentation to the Altria Board of Directors in late 1996, Philip Morris stated, "By controlling the heat applied to the tobacco, [Accord] addresses in significant ways criticisms made of our current cigarettes," but that in marketing Accord to consumers, "we do not want to disparage our existing brands."

In 2001, Philip Morris commissioned its longtime advertising agency, Leo Burnett, to develop a set of Accord ads that included the messages that Accord "reduces certain smoke compounds," including fiftytwo compounds that "are harmful to smokers." The advertisements also included a chart that compared Accord to an unidentified light cigarette in its reduction of harmful compounds. Philip Morris has not used these ads. Instead, the Accord advertising campaign focused on sidestream smoke alone (i.e., that Accord is less annoying to others because less smoke is emitted), rather than health issues.

After eight years of test marketing, Accord was removed from stores in the Richmond, VA area in early 2006, having met with little commercial success.[1]

Advertising and Selling Messages

  • Although designed as a PREP, Accord was marketed as a lowsmoke method of tobacco consumption, and no health claims were publicly made (an advertising company was hired at one point to create harm reduction ads, but they were not used)


  • Starter kit, which included electronic smoking device, rechargeable battery, battery charger, Accord cigarettes and instructional video were sold for $50
  • Individual Accord cigarette packs were sold at prices comparable to regular cigarettes.

Use and the Consumer

  • Available in Richmond, VA and Tokyo, Japan from 1998 to 2006

Smoke Emissions and Human Use

  • FTC (standard) method: 0.20 mg nicotine (Philip Morris)
  • Massachusetts: not yet conducted or not available
  • Health Canada: not yet conducted or not available
  • Philip Morris' internal research: Accord substantially reduced the delivery of fifty-two harmful constituents believed likely to contribute to smoking-related diseases. PAH’s dropped below a measurable amount, CO delivery was extremely low, there was a 90% reduction in 1.3-butadiene production, and TSNA’s dropped 50% below conventional cigarettes
  • Human Exposure: Accord resulted in about 70% lower postsmoking CO levels compared with subjects’ own brands and 63% lower post-smoking CO levels compared to an ultra-light cigarette. Heart rate increases were also significantly lower with Accord than with subjects’ own brand and the ultralight cigarette [1]

Toxicity Analysis

  • Ames method in vitro: significantly lower cytotoxic activity and low mutagenetic activity
  • In vivo MSP: not yet conducted or not available
  • Animal exposure: not yet conducted or not available

Legal Compliance

  • Surgeon General warnings
  • No sales to minors
  • Subject to State and Federal cigarette taxes

Community Response

  • No known organized community campaigns



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