Trinkets and Trash “monitors tobacco industry marketing in magazines, direct mail, e-mail, websites, and other channels” so you know what Big Tobacco is up to. It’s more than just information about cigarettes and smokeless tobacco; it’s all forms of nicotine delivery products, including electronic cigarettes and liquid nicotine products produced by the leading tobacco companies. Here is the latest from their March surveillance.
Back in 2009 NJOY discontinued flavors saying “they wanted to dissuade underage people from using their product,” but they are doing an about-face since sales fell off. In 2014 they came up with 10 new flavors and a “Vape Mixology Recipe Book” on how you can mix your own custom, “designer” flavors. So much for dissuading underage users. The recipe book can be found in convenience stores starting in March. Not to be outdone, blu is offering you a chance to save green. No, not the planet, but some cash. You can get “12 blu menthol disposables for only 1200 reward points.” They also have their own promotion: “Spring is a time for growth and renewal,” and their flavors have grown by two adult beverage flavors.
While the electronic cigarette market is gaining momentum, California is fighting back by launching their own campaign about e-cigarette dangers called “Wake Up.” Click HERE if you want to see one of these great videos.
Grizzly smokeless tobacco is trying to make users feel good about using their product by donating “$250,000 to wildlife conservation on behalf of great outdoor-loving members like you.” But don’t get too caught up in that feel-good feeling – that amount is just a tiny spit in the bucket for them, so to speak. According to Wikipedia, in “December 2014, Grizzly was cited as the flagship brand of Reynolds Americans with a 31.1% market share in snuff brands. This company makes a lot of money off the health of its users.
There will soon be new Camel cigarettes on the market in 21 western states that are already strong Camel geographies. Camel White will offer a mellow and a menthol flavor with a “two-piece filter” system.
Marlboro invites people to check out their website and “track down the bar team.” Use your cell to check in on the Marlboro.com site while at the bar. They give you a screenshot to present to the team members and you receive a gift “(i.e., a $5 cash gift card and two buy one get one free coupons for Marlboro).” Can the cash gift card only be used to purchase their product? Marlboro also has a contest to win a trip to the Marlboro Ranch in Montana. Marlboro sends you a secret word which you have to text back to enter the sweepstakes. The ad (right) is part of their March 2015 email to users. It’s a great shot of the valley behind you, but if Marlboro makes the night, you are missing out on the great view behind you by smoking!
Finally, Black and Mild has their own sweepstakes for you to win “thousands of prizes” in their “Rich Days and Smooth Nights” contest. Of course, they encourage you to play once a day, and other than showing you a lighter, a small speaker, a helicopter, a concert and a cityscape, they don’t tell you the prizes.
One thing all the tobacco companies have in common is that in order to access their websites you must be 21, even though the legal smoking age is 18 in most areas in the U.S. Right now there is a debate brewing in the U.S. to raise the legal age for tobacco from 18 to 21. This change would mean fewer premature deaths from tobacco, essentially saving a “quarter-million” lives. If you have to be 21 to sign up and enter tobacco company contests, doesn’t it make sense to make it 21 to use the product as well?
Click HERE for the March edition of Trinkets and Trash.