Marlboro Sticks and Skoal Sticks: What are they?
According to Altria, both Marlboro and Skoal Sticks are "Finely-milled tobacco coated on a 2 ½ inch birch wood dowel". Oh doesn't that sound tasty! Practical too: when you can't smoke during a business meeting, you instead pull out a 2 ½ inch birch wood dowel with flavored tobacco plastered on and start chewing on it? Won't your boss be impressed! What about the danger of getting splinters in your lips or tongue? Are there any warning labels on Marlboro or Skoal Sticks highlighting this frightening possibility?
The SnusCIA is also looking into rumors that PETA is investigating the Altria tobacco sticks. Was animal testing involved? Are there now nicotine-addicted beavers damming multiple streams and creeks at the same time?
Have the mating habits of these same beavers been altered? Do the males now crave a Skoal Rich Tobacco Stick after sex? Suspiciously, Altria has released no information either way concerning possible beaver abuse. It's almost as though Altria has no idea the beaver abuse allegations exist. We'll have to see what develops.
Altria released two documents; Introduction of Marlboro and Skoal Smokeless Tobacco Sticks and a New Product Fact Sheet on both Marlboro and Skoal Sticks. Aside from the packaging and product placement at retail, there doesn't seem to be any real difference between the two products.
Both come in the identical flavors: Rich Tobacco Sticks, Original Tobacco Sticks, Mint Tobacco Sticks and Smooth Mint Tobacco Sticks. Ten twigs or sticks or dowels....whatever you want to call them, come in a package.
The only difference seems to be the Skoal Sticks are to placed with the smokeless tobacco products at retail while the Marlboro Sticks will be displayed with cigarettes. I guess Altria is trying to kill two birds with one stick, so to speak. I wonder if blind-folded tobacco consumers could even tell the difference between the Marlboro and Skoal Sticks? Doubtful but we may never know....too much danger of a blind-folded test subject poking out an eye or spearing a lip.
Does Altria even have a Tobacco Strategy?
You would think the King of Big American Tobacco would have a tobacco strategy of their own. So far, especially with smokefree products, I would sum up Altria's strategy as not really having a clue but sensing Reynolds may be onto something so Altria needs to be in the game. Reminds me of the Reagan years where the Soviet Union bankrupted itself trying to create their own version of SDI.
No danger of Altria going bankrupt. They can afford to keep their toe in the smokefree water for as long as they like. When it comes to innovation and new smokefree products which will aid the nicotine-addicted in quitting cigarettes for good, just don't look to the Marlboro or Skoal brands.
More on Altira's Marlboro Snus and Skoal Snus coming soon.......
FORMER Smoker; CURRENT Swedish Snus User
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org