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Cigarillos: Short and Small

In Europe, the Cigarillo, or Short, Dry-Cured Cigar, Sells. In America, it Has Never Caught On.
Patrick Oster
From the Print Edition:
George Burns, Winter 94/95

(continued from page 3)

With that taste preference confronting them, Europe's cigarillo makers may have an even harder time selling their newest product, the "light" cigarillo. Burger's brother Christian has his hopes, though. "Americans seem to want 'lighter' everything these days--colas, foods, cigarettes," he says. The small, thin design of cigarillos may also appeal to young-minded Americans, notes Noordzij.

Light or otherwise any cigarillos, which, like cigars are not meant to be inhaled, may also prove appealing to health-conscious cigarette smokers looking for an alternative, as they have in Europe. "People want to smoke less--but better quality," says Pedersen, whose firm's parent company, Skandinavik Tobakskompagni A/S, makes Europe's popular Prince cigarettes.

Cigarillo firms are also hoping their more discreet-looking product will appeal to American smokers who have experienced complaints in social settings about lighting up a large cigar or who have been irritated by bans on cigar smoking when cigarette smoking is allowed. "I've smoked them on airplanes in Europe without any fuss," Pedersen says. "I haven't tried it in the States, but it might work."

Patrick Oster is a journalist who lives in Brussels.

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