Project Trout

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Project Trout was a British American Tobacco company struggle to produce a less annoying cigarette to help maintain the overall social acceptability of smoking, ease pressure on smokers to quit, and avoid further erosion of the cigarette market in Britain.

BAT recognized that "complaints [about smoking] relate more to smoke (40%) and smell (30%) than health (15%)" and that "The only solution to social pressure is to quit, albeit temporarily." According to the document, "the need for the tobacco industry to address this problem is critical to secure the total [cigarette] market against accelerating erosion."

Problems facing BAT with the proposition of a new cigarette that puts out less smoke and less odor were how to advertise these properties, since advertising that a certain brand of cigarette was a "low smoke, low smell" brand would call more attention to the fact that cigarettes--particularly "traditional" ones-- constitute a source of pollution:

"It would be unwise to suggest that conventional cigarettes are a pollution source and nor should the end benefits of reduced side stream [smoke] be pointed out."

BAT also recognized that, if they should introduce a "beneficial" low sidestream cigarette into their domestic market, "we could be open to the double-standards argument being raised by such bodies as the W.H.O.", if such products were not introduced into less developed countries as well.[1]

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External resources


  1. R,IA Project Trout Summary of Development Marketing report. 22 pp. March 28, 1983. Brown & Williamson Bates No. 516003320/3341

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