RJR CATCHING SOME HEAT OVER LOW-SMOKE ECLIPSE

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No sooner had R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. last week said it plans to consumer-panel test its Eclipse low-smoke/no-ash cigarettes in Chattanooga, Tenn., than Action on Smoking & Health asked the Food & Drug Admini-stration to prevent it.

Reynolds plans to try out marketing concepts, including advertising from Mezzina/Brown, New York, the agency for RJR's Camel that was named to handle the new brand.

The marketer probably will test pricing strategies and do additional taste tests.

Eclipse will not actually be on sale anywhere.

But Action on Smoking & Health contended Eclipse, which heats tobacco rather than burns it, is a new "drug delivery system" that needs to be investigated before being tested.

The FDA said it is studying the request; no timetable has been set.

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