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    Vector, B&W Launch New Products

    Tobacco companies claim cigarettes are "safer" than traditional products.


    Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co. began test marketing a cigarette yesterday touted as significantly reducing toxins from cigarette smoke compared with leading lights brands on the market.

    Brown & Williamson, the nation's third-largest tobacco manufacturer, introduced its Advance Lights cigarettes in the Indianapolis market. The premium cigarette contains less toxins because of a special filter and a new tobacco-curing process, which represent a breakthrough in cigarette technology, said Sharon Boyse, B&W's director of research.

    "While there is no such thing as a safe cigarette, the fact that Advance Lights contains less toxins, while still providing a smooth, satisfying taste for smokers, is an important step in the right direction," Boyse said.

    Brown & Williamson, whose major brands include Kool, Lucky Strike, Carlton, Capri, Misty and Viceroy, said the filter for its new cigarette was developed to lower the levels of many toxins found in cigarette smoke. The filter is made up of three sections, each of which interacts with a different set of toxic compounds within cigarette smoke, it said.

    Advance Lights include flue-cured tobacco cured using a new process, using high temperature and high-speed airflow, the company said. The process is meant to inhibit formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines. Advance Lights also contain other tobaccos naturally low in nitrosamines.

    Every pack of Advance Lights contains a pamphlet showing how much the major toxins in cigarette smoke are reduced compared to leading lights brands.

    Vector Group Ltd., owner of number-five 5 U.S. tobacco maker Liggett Group Inc., also launched a cigarette it claims has up to 60 percent fewer cancer-causing agents, yet maintains the taste of a regular cigarette.

    The new Omni cigarette brand, has 15 percent to 60 percent fewer of the carcinogens associated with lung cancer, Vector said. The company uses a special process to treat the tobacco to reduce carcinogens, then a carbon filter to reduce the organic compounds in smoke.

    The cigarette, made under the company's Vector Tobacco division, has "significant reductions" in four classes of carcinogens associated with smoking: PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), nitrosamines, catechols and organics, Vector said.

    Vector said the brand has been introduced in retail stores around the United States in three formats: full-flavor, lights and ultra lights, in both kings and 100s. The cigarette is priced comparable to other premium cigarette brands.

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