The tobacco giant is now willing to help smokers quit.
The second largest tobacco company in the United States, Reynolds American Inc., is using a daring strategy to come to the market of nicotine replacement therapies, according to experts.
Launching the Zonnic brand of nicotine gum, produced by its Niconovum pharmaceutical division, the Camel-maker is asking its smoking customers, to allow the company that made smokers addicted to nicotine to manufacture the most effective smoking cessation product for them.
Until recently, Reynolds American conversion into a “total tobacco company” was criticized by anti-smoking advocates.
Yet, the introduction, of Zonnic in stores across Des Moines, Iowa, scheduled for Sept. 3 is yet another landmark innovation for Reynolds American, after launch of Camel Snus and Camel dissolvables.
In addition, the company is also getting ready to launch an electronic cigarette (named Vuse), nicotine lozenges and smokeless pouches (under Viceroy brand name). Viceroy and Vuse will be test-marketed at certain Tarheel Tobacco stores.
“We believe Zonnic takes the adult smoker’s prospects into smoking cessation,” declared Tommy Payne, Niconovum USA Inc president.
The gum is the first product of Niconovum available in the United States. Reynolds American acquired Swedish company Niconovum AB in 2009 paying $44 million, for the maker of nicotine sprays and pouches, popular in Sweden and Denmark.
Payne noted Zonnic has already received approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Zonnic is the latest newcomer in the market of nicotine replacement products, led by well-known brands that have delivered mixed performance in helping adult smokers get rid of the habit.
The long-time effect of popular nicotine replacement therapies was named controversial in a recent study carried out by the University of Massachusetts and Harvard School of Public Health scientists.
During the study that involved 787 adult smokers the researchers discovered that products, including the nicotine gum and patches weren’t more effective in helping smokers quit in the long run than quitting smoking on one’s own, according to Hillel Alpert, the leader of the research.
Gregory Connolly, head of the Harvard’s Global Tobacco Control Center, admitted the study demonstrated that whereas the NRT products may help to quit smoking and overcome withdrawal symptoms during up to six months, they were not eventually effective during relapsing.
Niconovum USA Inc president said that despite nearly 70 percent of adult smokers try to stop smoking each year, only 10 percent succeed. Out of those 10 percent, only 6 percent use NRT products.
Smoking cessation aid
According to Payne, the appeal of Zonnic brand will be focused on its genuine approach to product placement, distribution pattern, packaging and price segment.
Each pack of Zonnic will comprise 10 pieces, and will be labeled as smoking cessation aid. It will come in two variations based on different amounts of nicotine, in order to fit different needs of smokers trying to quit.
A pack of Zonnic will be selling at around $3. That is nearly half the price of an average cigarette pack in the Des Moines, and a third of the price of competitive nicotine gum brands, Reynolds said.