There has been speculation that FDA would follow the suggestion of some tobacco critics and try to prevent Eclipse from being sold until RJR can show the brand is safer than opther cigarettes. Although Reynolds primarily touts the lack of second-hand smoke in the cigarette, its press release says Eclipse "is also low in `tar' and nicotine, with a smooth, rich tobacco taste."
Like RJR's unsuccessful Premier cigarette of a few years ago, Eclipse heats the tobacco rather than burning it, and doesn't produce an ash. The heated tobacco releases glycerine, producing the tobacco smoke. RJR compares the process to that produced by pouring hot water through coffee grounds. Eclipse will be test marketed in Chattanooga, Tenn., and sell for a 10 cents per pack premium. Advertising from Mezzina/Brown, New York, will break this weekend.