PM to test safer cig

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Philip Morris USA, New York, said Jan. 11 it will test-market cigarettes under the Merit brand that are made with a special paper that inhibits the cigarettes' ability to burn fabrics. Made with an ultrathin paper that the company said acts as "speed bumps" to slow down the burn rate, the product will within six months enter markets believed to include Buffalo, N.Y.; Denver; and Hartford, Conn. Ad details weren't available at deadline; Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, is Merit's agency. It couldn't be learned whether the test will expand beyond Merit to other Philip Morris brands. "It is very important to assess consumer acceptability of cigarettes made with this paper in order to determine the long-term potential of this product," said John Nelson, senior VP-operations. "Our future plans will take into account the results of this research."

Copyright January 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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