Marlboro Ultrasmooth

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Date: March 2005
Discontinued February 2008

Contents

Manufacturer

Philip Morris USA
Philip Morris
Altria

Description

New carbon filter Marlboro cigarette. Being test marketed using three different filters. Atlanta, Tampa and Salt Lake City. North Dakota is marketed as an Ultra-light with the same filter as Atlanta Ultrasmooth.

Claims

Marlboro UltraSmooth, testing three different versions of this product in test markets in Atlanta, Tampa and Salt Lake City. Marlboro UltraSmooth products contain new technology which let the flavor through for a new, filtered smooth taste. In these test markets, we are evaluating consumer acceptance of taste with varying applications of filter technologies. Atlanta and Tampa both tested using carbon impregnated filters. Salt Lake City tested a filter with a carbon-bead chamber.

Product Design Features

  • Filter ventilation: 46%-58%, depending on prototype
  • Carbon filter: 45-180 mg of 95% activated carbon in bead or charcoal form. One prototype features a cavity in the filter in which carbon is located. Artificial flavorants are added.

Images

Media

Publications

Industry Documents

Links

Market Testing

  • April 2005, Salt Lake City, UT (180 mg of carbon in bead form)
  • April 2005, Tampa, FL (120 mg of granular carbon)
  • April 2005, Atlanta, GA; 2006 Phoenix, AZ (45 mg of granular carbon)
  • June 2005, North Dakota as Marlboro Ultra Lights (45 mg of granular carbon)
  • November 2005, Philadelphia, PA as Parliament Lights Blue (45 mg

of granular carbon)

Advertising and Selling Messages

  • Direct mailings and in-store advertisements
  • Slogans: “New Filter. New Smooth.” and “The New Smooth.”
  • Price promotions: buy-one-get-one-free campaigns

Promotion

Promotional strategies for the launch of MUS include direct mail, in store advertising and price promotion. A retail brochure from Salt Lake City suggests that all advertising materials are to be integrated into existing cigarette cases. Point of sale displays picture the pack next to a single cigarette with some signs incorporating the slogans: “New Filter. New Smooth” and “The New Smooth.” Other signs simply note that the product is “new.” There was no mention of posters or other items intended for display at other locations in retail outlets. The same retail brochure indicates a buy-one-get-one-free campaign available to interested retailers. Additionally, per pack and per carton discounts have been observed in some stores.[1]

Packaging

  • Silver hard pack with a sleek, smooth, modern appearance
  • Information onsert
  • Priced in premium brand category
  • No menthol version (carbon filtration tends to remove added menthol

Use and the Consumer

Despite the attempt to improve flavor with artificial additives, smokers of MUS reported low approval of flavor, aftertaste, and overall satisfaction of MUS compared with Marlboro Lights and Ultra Lights(Rees et al. 2006). A major focus of current market research activity by Philip Morris, has been to determine whether the flavor of the cigarette meets commercial standards for consumer acceptance. Informal retailer surveys conducted by HSPH suggest that MUS did not sell well in any test market. The product was pulled from the test market in February 2008.[1]

Smoke Emissions and Human Use

  • Nicotine yield (mg/cig), for various prototypes: 0.42-0.53 (FTC/ISO method); 0.94-1.09 (Massachusetts method); 1.3-1.6 (Health Canada method)
  • FTC (standard) method: large (>75%) reductions among gas phase

smoke constituents, but not among CO, HCN, or particulate phase constituents

  • Massachusetts: fewer reductions than FTC method
  • Health Canada: Least gas phase reductions: Carbon filter performs like conventional filter when smoked more intensively
  • Topography: Salt Lake City smoked more intensively (greater total smoke intake) than the low yield conventional product, while Tampa smoked less intensively. Test subjects reported low acceptance of new artificial flavorant. Cotinine and CO exposure unchanged compared with a conventional cigarette
  • Human exposure: no reduction in salivary cotinine levels[1]


Toxicity Analyses

  • Ames method in vitro: lowered mutagenic 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

Patents

Notes

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