California's New Tobacco Ban Boosts RJ Reynolds Sales

California's New Tobacco Ban Boosts RJ Reynolds Sales
Renowned tobacco company introduces new California-compliant cigarette containing synthetic chemical called WS3 to replace banned menthol cigarettes.

According to a report from Politico, after California's ban on menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products in December last year, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco's "California Compliant" new cigarettes have been warmly welcomed by smokers.

A new type of cigarette containing a synthetic chemical compound called ethyl menthane carboxamide (also known as WS3) has been introduced. This chemical provides a cooling and soothing effect similar to traditional menthol cigarettes, but has a lighter odor compared to menthol. The sales of these "imitation menthol" cigarettes are currently rising in California.

New cigarettes are replacing nearly half of the menthol cigarettes.

According to an expert who tracks cigarette sales trends, by March, the sales volume of this new cigarette had already replaced nearly half of last year's sales volume of mint cigarettes.

According to Alex Liber, Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology at Georgetown University School of Medicine, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company has sold 2.8 million packs of Camel Crush cigarettes and 2 million packs of Newport menthol cigarettes in California.

This year, the company has sold 1.4 million packs of Camel cigarettes that comply with California regulations and around 800,000 packs of Newport cigarettes that also meet California's standards.

Mint-flavored cigarettes account for nearly 40% of the cigarette market in the United States.

Liber stated that this is definitely a market test; tobacco companies need new methods to offset the losses caused by the ban. Although Renault's new cigarettes have not completely replaced the collapsed menthol market in the state, sales are rapidly increasing.

According to Renault, these new products do not violate California law because they do not have any identifiable flavors or aromas other than tobacco.

Currently, menthol cigarettes account for almost 40% of cigarette sales in the United States and are particularly popular among ethnic minority groups. It is estimated that 90% of African American smokers use menthol products.

Related reading:

The ban on flavored tobacco in California, USA, became effective on December 21st.

Interview with American distributor: California Flavor Ban Has No Impact on E-cigarette Sales, Biggest Challenge Comes from Disposable Products.

A federal court in the United States has rejected a lawsuit by the tobacco industry against California's ban on flavored products.

The California tobacco "endgame" bill has been put on hold.


R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company has chosen California as a testing ground for selling menthol cigarettes before the upcoming nationwide ban takes effect.

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