Altria Will Launch Verve – a Non-Dissolving Nicotine Disc

Published on June 18th, 2012 00:00

Altria Group is currently moving into a completely new territory, which is smoking products with reduced nicotine content. The cigarette giant is planned to introduce a non-dissolving nicotine disc called Verve, the industry’s recent attempt to produce smokeless products. Unlike the smokeless products produced by Altria and Reynolds American, Verve won’t possess tobacco. Instead, the mint flavored disc will give nicotine drawn from tobacco.

VERVE tobacco product

A Verve disc, which has some similarities with cough pill releases nicotine within about 15 minutes as a user chews it. Such a disc of cellulose fibers and a polymer do not dissolve, so user will have to throw it away. The new product will be sold in a packaging of 16 discs, each possessing approximately 1.5 milligrams of nicotine, which is less than majority smokeless products possess.

Altria plans to start selling Verve brand in more than 50 stores in Virginia by June, the report stated, but it has not decided whether to spread the product nationally. This novelty will be available for nearly $3 in stores in Virginia, and sold only to adult smokers. The tobacco giant is sure that such an approach will allow it to advertise the product with lower health warnings than those related to cigarettes. Smokeless products constitute less than 1/10 of tobacco industry sales, but they are a rather growing battlefield. The smokeless category is increasing at approximately 6% per year, while US cigarette volume has been contracting at about 3.5% annually.

Altria, the leading US cigarette company by sales and the manufacturer of Parliament and L&M cigarettes, has an approximately 50% of the smokeless-product market founded on its Copenhagen and Skoal brands; Reynolds, the producer of Camel, Winston and Grizzly moist snuff, occupies about a third of the world’s smokeless market. In latest years, giant tobacco companies have advertised alternative smokeless products such as snus and dissolvable tobacco strips or orbs. “I do not suppose that many people are found of this smoke-free product,” John R. Nelson, Altria’s chief technology manager said at the press conference.

Altria representative also added that it has shared additional information about its novelty with the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA manager confirmed that it received notification from Altria, but refused to comment on how it could control this product. Altria will include a health warning label in its new product, informing consumers that nicotine can raise “blood pressure and other diseases.” The given labels will also beforehand that nicotine “can affect your baby if you are pregnant”.

By Kevin Lawson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved.

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