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The Return of the Smokeless Cigarette


December 1994

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is back with another smokeless cigarette prototype ("RJR Makes Smokeless Cigarette that Works Like a Coffee Maker," Washington Times, Nov. 28, 1994, p. A20).

The cigarette, called the Eclipse, looks like a regular cigarette but heats the tobacco instead of burning it, a process that eliminates up to 90 percent of the second-hand smoke. A piece of carbon in the tip is lit and the user draws the heated air over the tobacco to release a tobacco and nicotine vapor. Company spokespeople say the Eclipse contains tar and nicotine levels comparable to ultralight cigarettes and will carry the standard Surgeon General's warning on the package.

The company had tried to market a smokeless cigarette six years ago, but users complained that it carried an unusual taste and smell.