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    R.J. Reynolds Expands Snus Tests

    The tobacco manufacturer will launch Camel Snus in 10 new markets. Meanwhile, its Pall Mall brand gets a new look, and it will unveil a new customizable cigarette.

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJRT) is expanding its test of its Camel Snus product to 10 new large metropolitan markets after seeing continuing positive feedback on the product, company officials told CSNews Online.

    The 10 new markets that will see the smokeless, spitless product include: Miami; New York; Atlanta, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, Minneapolis St. Paul; Seattle; San Francisco/Oakland and Los Angeles, according to company spokesman David Howard.

    Camel Snus is already in test markets in:

    -- Raleigh, N.C.

    -- Columbus, Ohio

    -- Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

    -- Indianapolis

    -- Kansas City, Mo.

    -- Orlando, Fla.

    -- Austin, Texas

    -- Portland, Ore.

    Promotional and point of sale (POS) materials will continue to be the similar as other test markets, including a free tin of Camel Snus with the purchase of a tobacco product and coupons for free tins on the promotional side, as well as countertop and back bar refrigeration units for the POS, Howard said.

    Howard added that the company has gained some valuable learnings from the test markets so far, one of which is that retailers' knowledge of the product's key features -- particularly, being smoke free -- has a large impact on customers. Another finding is that being considerate to others is a key driver for tobacco consumers.

    Two other initiatives are under way for the company -- new packaging for its Pall Mall line of cigarettes and a test of a new customizable cigarette. In April, the company will roll out new rounded edge packaging for its Pall Mall brand of cigarettes, in an effort to convey a more premium image of the product, he said.

    In addition, the company will test Camel Crush, a cigarette that allows users to customize their experience with menthol. A capsule in the filter can be crushed anytime -- before lighting, while lit or near the end of smoking -- to add a menthol flavor to the cigarette, which is made of the Camel Light blend of tobacco, according to Howard, who noted that the product appeals to menthol and non-menthol smokers alike. A date and location of the test market could not be disclosed.

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