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DURHAM, N.C. -- Wellstone Filters will manufacture and market its own proprietary brand of cigarettes under the "Wellstone" trade name.
Utilizing its proprietary, patented cigarette filter, Wellstone will join the group of small manufacturers that have gained market share in recent years (8 percent of total U.S. market of 391 billion cigarettes sold in 2002) in this multi billion-dollar market. Sales of the Wellstone brand are expected to begin in calendar 2005.
Wellstone intends to develop a cigarette that is lower in tar yet does not compromise the pleasurable effects of smoking. The company's new CFO/COO, Samuel Veasey, said, "We believe people will try Wellstone for its lower price, and come back for its taste."
Until now, Wellstone has focused its efforts on developing its patented formulation with the intent to license it to existing manufacturers. Management has not abandoned its plan to license the formulation, and continues discussions with industry players.
Management has determined that manufacturing and distributing a Wellstone line of cigarettes will be in the best interests of its stockholders, particularly if Wellstone is able to successfully market its brand. The success of a Wellstone brand will, it is anticipated, lead the way for other manufacturers to utilize the filter in their own cigarettes under a Wellstone license.