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Newport, introduced in 1957, is a brand of menthol cigarettes produced by Lorillard Tobacco Company of Greensboro, North Carolina, United States. Newports comprise about 35 percent of menthol cigarette sales in the US. Newports have gained a commanding share of the African-American market; a 2005 survey stated that 49.5% of all cigarette sales to African Americans were Newport cigarettes. They are also among the most expensive major brands of cigarettes in the US.
The original Newport had a white filter and a hint of mint; both were gone in 1969 and thus the white filter was replaced by a standard filter. The Newport Classic full flavor cigarettes were promoted for many years as a cigarette that allows you to "Enjoy a full flavor menthol, without drowning out pure tobacco taste." In the mid-1980s, Newport began an advertising campaign that courted African Americans in urban areas. In two years, Newports became the fifth most popular cigarette on the market. A 2004 study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the percentage of teen Newport smokers doubled between 1989 and 1996. Researcher Karen Gerlach indicated that Newports made the most significant progress with the Hispanic and White American teen markets in those years. A 1998 Massachusetts Department of Public Health report indicated that Newports alongside unfiltered Camel cigarettes contained the highest levels of nicotine in cigarettes on the market. In the following six years, Lorillard Tobacco increased the amount of nicotine in Newports by 10%.
Newport cigarettes come in several varieties: Full Flavor, Medium, and Lights. In the United States, effective June 2010, "Medium" and "Lights" will be re-branded into "Blue" and "Gold" respectively. On the box, the words "Menthol Box" for shorts and "Menthol Box 100s" for 100s were replaced simply with "Cigarettes". Each variety is sold in 85mm soft packs (king size), 80mm hard packs (box), and 100mm soft and hard packs. They are available in standard packs of 20 cigarettes, as well as the more unusual 25s, containing 25 cigarettes. Prior to the signing of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement in the late 1990s, they were sold in packs of ten as well.
Due to the new FDA Tobacco Regulations, the terms "Full Flavor", "Medium", "Light", "Mild", and "Ultra Light" have been discontinued. New names for Newport Cigarettes are as follows:
Non-menthol Newports in Full Flavor and Lights were sold in United States during the mid to late 1990s, possibly as late as 2002; however they were discontinued until November 2010 in which they re-released them in order to keep up with the non-menthol cigarette smokers in America. The packs are identical in design to standard menthol Newports except the turquoise-colored area was red on the Full Flavors and mustard-yellow on the Lights. Newport Slim 120s (introduced 1998), Newport "Stripes", and Newport "M-Blend" were other varieties that have also been discontinued.
In some Latin American markets, such as tourist areas of the Dominican Republic, British American Tobacco has released some limited edition varieties and outer packagings including:
A lawsuit against the Lorillard Tobacco Company alleged that in the late 1960s, company vans were used to make regular trips to housing projects where free Newport cigarettes were given to children and babies. Evidence showed that the deceased plaintiff died of lung cancer, but that she started smoking at 9 years old after receiving free Newport cigarettes near the playground. The Supreme Court of Massachusetts upheld $35 million of damages against Lorillard Tobacco Company while reversing other issues of damages.
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