Philip Morris had its new Marlboro packaging waiting in the wings. It had been launched in France last year at the beginning of  the northern hemisphere summer. The new designs were therefore released in the UK one week after the UK government signed off on proposals to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products. 

Marlboro Red, Gold, Silver Blue, Ice Blast and White Menthol will all be introduced this month. The cigarettes have new tipping paper designs and have been upgraded to include a firm filter. The new packs have retained the familiar Marlboro chevron (and an on-pack health warning), but an embossed font design and soft touch finish replace the black font of the old Marlboro logo. According to Philip Morris, the new design reflects the “constant evolution of the brand over its 90 year history”. The cigarettes have new tipping paper designs and have been upgraded to include a firm filter.

Martin Inkster, managing director for the UK and Ireland, stated, “We have made the bold move to redesign the product to ensure that adult smokers get the most premium smoking experience possible. Our new packaging sets us apart from the competition, strengthens Marlboro’s brand credentials, and most importantly, contains the world’s best-selling cigarette range.”

"We have also added firm filters which offer quality you can feel, and a cleaner way to stub out your cigarette,” he added.

The rumour about Marlboro launching a marijuana cigarette called Marlboro M in the US, following the legalisation of the drug in Colorado and Washington, has turned out to be a fantasy begun by satirical publication, Abril Uno, in October last year. 

Statements like, “Norcik [Serafin Norcik, Phillip Morris senior vice president for marketing] added that they have begun contacting former drug lords in Mexico and Paraguay, currently the largest marijuana-producing countries in the world, for the possibility of setting up a distribution ring across the North and South American continents, to streamline the supply lines,” and “Norcik also revealed that a big initial push is planned around January next year, and have acquired most of the ad airtime for Superbowl XLIX. However, since marijuana will be legal only in Colorado and Washington during the 2015 Superbowl, all the ads will be blacked out in all other States and will only show a static “M” logo with smoke blowing in the background, for the duration of the ad,” got tongues wagging and journalists writing throughout the world.

As did this image of the packaging:

Philip Morris has, though, invested in the Marlboro HeatStick after purchasing British e-cigarette maker, Nicocigs.

The Heatstick is cigarette-like stick, which heats its tobacco to 350 Celsius to create a tobacco-flavoured nicotine vapour, rather than burning it. The new form of e-cigarette claims that it could reduce the harmful toxins found in smoke.

Philip Morris International has spent more than £1.2 billion developing the electrically powered product that differs from an e-cigarette in that it contains tobacco. It looks like a cigarette and works when it is placed inside a holder (a device developed by an external company called iQO). The holder can heat 20 'cigarettes' on a charge, and come with a mains USB charger.








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