The much anticipated NACS Show in Chicago, Ill is October 4-7, 2008 at the McCormack Place. What are your expectations of this show as you prepare for the show? What do you think of the scheduled workshops?  Will you attend the workshops? As the show passes tell us your thoughts of the show? Did it meet your expectations? What did you think of the host city, Chicago? Has some great restaurants. What did you think of the layout? What are your thoughts on the tobacco category after attending the show? Share your thoughts! Prior, during and after the show!


#1 Johnie Jay on 09.24.08 at 1:15 AM

Looking forward to the show in Chicago. One of the better locations as the McCormack center works well for this show. I am looking forward to find out what the show goers feel about the recent PM acquisition. I remember last year PM was all hooked up with Moist & Snus. Neither of which have met the expectations expressed in Atlanta at the show last year! You are right about their being great restaurants. I can’t wait but I noticed there are again no tobacco meetings. Looking to see all my industry friends. Keep selling more moist!

#2 Big Tuna on 10.01.08 at 1:18 AM

I’m looking forward to see how the folks at USST are handling the future knowing that they face uncertainity! And Has anyone seen the layout at this years show! Hope tobacco is close to each other!

#3 Tobocatman on 10.02.08 at 1:29 AM

I sent some emails to some industry folks and I’m really surprised to find that they are not going to the show this year. Too much on their plates. I wonder what attendance will be like. I love to just to the show and see what’s new. Disappointed that there is no tobacco session again. I do know that a wholesaler that was a Hunter Club member in the past declined to be a member this year. I’ve got some great parties to go to and a few special dinners with the bug guys!

#4 Sweetness on 10.03.08 at 3:01 PM

Not going this year as company cutting down on spending. Half of the group going this year!

#5 FUENTE on 10.04.08 at 3:29 PM

I just got in and I’ll report back on the show after I hit the floor on Sunday. I’m only staying for a day. Too many other pressing issues to take care of at home!

#6 Big Tuna on 10.05.08 at 10:18 PM

Spent today on the floor – was happy that so much of the tobacco offer was close and not like it was last year.
Show attendance seemed lighter than normal.
Not much new other than more than enough energy drink like products. Saw a very interesting electronic cigarette & cigar from a company called NJoy. Received samples of a Nicotine gum in a NACS bag at the hotel. Visited with the USST folks. Seemed like they where told to not discuss the topic of the buyout by Philip Morris! I had a good day!

#7 Big Kahuna on 10.06.08 at 2:24 PM

Did anyone see new products at Reynolds?

#8 Big Tuna on 10.06.08 at 7:45 PM

The show was a lot busier today which could be that folks I hear get tired of losing their weekends to all the industry conventions, etc! I never did stop to see the RJR booth today. What did they have that was new?

#9 TAZ on 10.08.08 at 10:00 AM

Reynolds Moves to Be on Top When Smoke Clears: Dissolvable Tobacco Offered As Smoking Bans Proliferate
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Winston-Salem Journal

Enlarge Photo October 8, 2008 – R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is introducing three dissolvable smokeless products in its latest bid to make its tobacco more accessible within a society that’s clamping down on smoking.
The dissolvable products — a pellet (Camel Orbs), a twisted stick the size of a toothpick (Camel Sticks) and a film strip for the tongue (Camel Strips) — had their debut at this week’s National Association of Convenience Stores convention.

The products are made of finely milled tobacco and come in the flavor styles of fresh and mellow, spokeswoman Maura Payne said. The products last from two to three minutes for the strips, 10 to 15 minutes for the orbs and 20 to 30 minutes for the sticks.

“We’re meeting the adult tobacco consumer where they are in society today,” Payne said. “Consumer research has found that adult tobacco consumers have wanted another option for using tobacco where it wasn’t comfortable or they weren’t permitted to smoke.”

Reynolds said that it is the first major U.S. tobacco manufacturer to offer the products. Star Scientific Inc., a smaller manufacturer based in Petersburg, Va., has been selling its dissolvable tobacco products — Ariva and Stonewall — in select regional and national chains such as Food Lion and 7-Eleven.

Reynolds plans to test the new products in Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Portland, Ore. The orbs and sticks products will have their debut in January and the strips in the second quarter.

Although Reynolds does not dictate retail prices, the company said that the dissolvable products should sell at a comparable price to a tin of Camel Snus, which is between $4 and $4.50.

The products drew criticism from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which has protested most Reynolds tobacco innovations in recent years.

“These products are flavored and packaged like candy, and very likely will appeal to children,” said Matthew Myers, the president of the advocacy group.

“These products appear to be part of a continuing effort by RJR and other tobacco companies to get around the growing number of smoke-free laws and give smokers new ways to sustain their addiction in places they cannot smoke,” Myers said.

Payne said that the products are sold in child-resistant packaging. Only adult consumers will be able to buy the products, and they will carry the same health warnings as other oral smokeless products.

Bill Godshall, the executive director of SmokeFree Pennsylvania, said that Reynolds is probably trying to introduce its new smokeless products before potential Food and Drug Administration regulation stamps out most innovation.

“I’m pleased that Reynolds is being aggressive in accelerating the switch to smokeless tobacco and getting more products that are likely to appeal to tobacco users,” Godshall said.

In the past nine years, Reynolds has expanded its flagship brand Camel through such introductions as Camel Exotic Blends, Camel No. 9 and Camel Signature. It has branched out with Camel Snus, a smokeless product that is being promoted as the industry’s best bet in a post-smoking environment.

Michelle Roehm, an associate marketing professor at Wake Forest University, said that she likes the packaging design.

“It appears to mimic the shapes and sizes of PDA devices that we’re all accustomed to carrying around these days,” Roehm said. “The design speaks to the occasions on which the products are likely to be used, such as on smoke-free flights, where it can conveniently be stored and accessed in the compartments of a carry-on bag.”

Roehm said that the shape of the packaging does lend itself to complaints “from certain sectors that the product may catch the eye of children because the package resembles those used for gum.”

John Sweeney, the director of the sports-communication program at UNC Chapel Hill, said that Reynolds will need to be subtle in how it markets the dissolvable products.

“If the ads surround Camel Sticks with bursts of color and youth-oriented language, there will be a social uprising,” Sweeney said. “On the other hand, if the advertising is adult in orientation and quietly informative, the product may be left to find its way.”

Richard Craver can be reached at 727-7376 or at


Products at a glance

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is preparing to test three new Camel smokeless tobacco products in 2009.

Product — Flavors — Flavor length — Pack amount — Nicotine amount

Orbs — Fresh, mellow — 10-15 minutes — 15 — 1 milligram per orb

Sticks — Mellow — 20-30 minutes — 10 — 3.1 milligram per stick

Strips — Fresh — 2-3 minutes — 20 — 0.6 milligram per strip

#10 MONTE CRISTO on 10.08.08 at 6:10 PM

I saw the new product. Very interesting. I thought that Star Tobacco had a patent on this type of product? Anyone know the deal with the Star vs. RJR lawsuit?

#11 The OTP Kid on 10.09.08 at 11:23 AM

I saw the new products at RJR and it seems to me that they out to spend a little more time focusing on selling cigarettes and less time with all of these gimmicks. Their brands are suffering terribly and they don’t seem to have a clue on how to fix them.

#12 BigMo on 10.09.08 at 1:09 PM

I must agree with the kid as you don’t see PM loosing focus on the Marlboro brand! They are just taking their time. Watching the RJR brands just shrink in volume.

#13 FUENTE on 10.10.08 at 12:13 AM

Well, I just got home and I figured I’d put my two cents in concerning the NACS show. First I must say I will have to go a diet after 5 nights of eating like I never ate before. Great food and the weather was cool. Really liked the night out at the NAVY pier. There was a tobacco session which was hidden in the agenda of meetings but it dealt with the Canadian issue of having the tobacco offer going behind closed doors and not being visible which I find interesting in that NACS has given support to FDA regulation but failed to cover an important issue like this! Saw the new RJR new age products but heard after the first day that they were not even giving folks samples because of negative comments about the taste. They had a really cool booth. The PM booth pretty boring! Commonwealth really had a full presentation. The eyecandy was spectacular as usual. And the tobacco offer was with in one side. Interestingly I saw the nJoy booth which is an electronic cigarette and cigar offer but really seemed like they had an attitude and very pushy. The Star Tobacco guys were not fazed by the Reynolds offer but from my perspective I find it interesting as RJR seems likely to loose the law suit from what I have been told. I wonder how long after the lawsuit they decide to buy Star. It really seemed to get busy on Monday but slow on Tuesday. Overall a very good show for me and the team!

#14 FUENTE on 10.10.08 at 12:15 AM

OTP kid, I second your opinion but they (RJR) seem to be banking on folks moving to the alternatives.

#15 Bill Godshall on 10.10.08 at 12:49 PM

Since the Philip Morris backed FDA legislation appears increasingly likely to be enacted in the next session of Congress (as there are now 60 cosponsors in the Senate, and will be more after Dems gain additional Senate seats), and since the legislation essentially prohibits new and different tobacco products from being introduced (without FDA approval), Reynolds and other companies are wise to introduce lots of different new smokeless tobacco products before the legislation becomes enacted into law.

While Reynolds’ new dissolvable, spitfree smokeless tobacco products are somewhat similar to Star’s Ariva and Stonewall, I doubt they infringe upon Star’s patents (which is distinctly different issue than the ongoing patent litigation between Star and Reynolds over a tobacco curing process to reduce nitrosamines).

I’ve been advocating the marketing of many different smokeless tobacco/nicotine products to smokers because they are far less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes (and they don’t expose others to tobacco smoke pollution).

Although tobacco company lawyers won’t let these products be marketed to smokers as less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes, no laws presently exists in the US that prohibit this type of truthful claim by a tobacco manufacturer (ever since the SCOTUS struck down the FDA’s authority to regulate tobacco products).

But unfortunately for smokeless tobacco manufacturers and public health, the Philip Morris backed FDA legislation specifically prohibits any tobacco manufacturer from making any health risk claim (even a truthful claim) about the product.

Hopefully, Philip Morris will reconsider this policy in the FDA legislation (which protects Marlboro cigarettes from harm reduction competition by smokeless products) now that it plans to acquire UST, as Skoal is by far the leading entry brand among smokeless products.

#16 FUENTE on 10.10.08 at 3:32 PM

I do believe that Mr Godshall is correct in his assessment that even if a product is not a winner now it needs to be introduced now as it will be much more difficult once FDA rules the industry. So if you have a new product you need to get it out to the market!

#17 BIG MO on 10.11.08 at 11:34 PM

I’m curious if anyone knows whats going on at Commonwealth. I heard at the show that several sales managers abruptly left Commonwealth a couple of weeks ago? Anyone verify this acxtivity?

#18 The OTP Kid on 10.13.08 at 12:13 PM

Verified! All 4 Sales Directors went to General Tobacco, following their former leader Gary Ebert. The spin Commonwealth is putting on it is that they wanted that to happen, but it’s an obvious joke. Who wants all their Sales Directo’s to resign all at once? Please….!

#19 Patriot on 10.13.08 at 3:28 PM

I heard that folks are not really happy with the way Commonwealth of all companies is strong arming retail into taking their products over their competitors. Everyone was worried about Philip Morris and here we find Commonwealth is tying folks up! This is going to be real interesting moving forward! What a joke to hear Commonwealth pitch their spin on the folks leaving.

#20 The OTP Kid on 10.14.08 at 2:21 PM

I think a lot of distributors were very upset when Commonwealth sent their cans of Premier tobacco directly to retailers, bypassing the wholesalers. The distributors were even more mad about it when the retailers were calling them up asking if the state taxes were paid. A big problem.

Has anyone heard if Commonwealth is going to be adding a 3% freight surcharge on to their orders like Altaids recently did? I heard it’s in the works, but I cannot confirm it.

#21 Snowboarder on 10.14.08 at 5:05 PM

I got a chance to taste the new Reynolds product and I think they must have forgot to get test results as it was bad! Read here that they stopped the sampling due to that but really not sure if thats true as I was there two days and sampled it both days!

#22 SeaCaptain on 10.15.08 at 6:03 PM

Someone at Reynolds is smoking crack with the dissolvable strips. With .6 mg of nicotine, they may as well be selling candies — nobody is going to buy that one a second time. Need to re-design that product. The Rods are pretty neat. I think mint is a no go. Re-design strips and sell them along rods — would be interesting.

#23 Brave heart on 10.16.08 at 12:57 AM

I attended the tobacco workshop that was not very clearly designated in all the info. It was interesting as it discussed the issues in Canada. We really need consider the issues presented but it made me wonder why NACS never included this in their objectives when they were working with the legislature on the FDA regulation.

I was impressed with the Reynolds booth as they always do a great job – so creative – but I liked the move to get the new products out as future FDA legislation becomes a reality. They can fix the product. They are intent on bringing in the new smokeless products! Need to be careful though as to not upset Matt Myers! He’s a nightmare to the industry as he has a closed mind which just shows how ignorant he is to the possibility of reduced harm!

#24 The OTP Kid on 10.20.08 at 4:38 PM

Speaking of alternative products, does anyone know if there’s any truth to the fact that the “mist” blowing down infront of the entrances of the PM booth was nothing less than a nicotine spray they were secretly testing on unwitting NACS attendees? Personally, I’m not sure because it smelled like B.O. to me so I turned around and walked away!

#25 Smoking Joe Camel on 10.20.08 at 7:44 PM

I’m cracking up over that one! I never went into their booth as it’s always the same a lot of b…s…
We are so wonderful, we this and we that! As they constantly just continue to kill the industry!!!

#26 Sweetness on 10.25.08 at 11:42 PM

I’m wondering if anyone knows if Philip Morris has any new age tobacco products being developed. I saw were they discontinued their reduced harm cigarette Marlboro Ultra Smooth. But you would have to think they are working on some type of product like Reynolds?

#27 Smoker Babe on 10.29.08 at 6:56 PM

I tried the new products and they were so weak and taste pretty bad. I don’t think they have it right yet!

#28 RENEGADE on 12.08.08 at 2:32 AM

I agree with a comment made prior that the manufacturers are all just trying to get new age products into the market prior to FDA regulation taking place. So the final product could still be completed.
This is even why I believe PM has pulled their reduced harm cigarette for now but the technology of the filter is already out in the market so as to be in the system prior to FDA.

#29 Deon on 07.13.11 at 2:01 PM

Furrealz? That’s mraelvuosly good to know.

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