RESEARCH PAPER
Beyond the brotherhood: Skoal Bandits’ role in the evolution of marketing moist smokeless tobacco pouches
 
More details
Hide details
1
Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA
2
Rutgers School of Public Health, New Jersey, USA
3
Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California San Francisco, Box 1390, 530 Parnassus Avenue, Suite 366, San Francisco, CA 94143-1390, USA
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Pamela M. Ling   

Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA
Publish date: 2017-12-19
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2017;15(December):46
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Since 2006, “snus” smokeless tobacco has been sold in the U.S.. However, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco (USST) and Swedish Match developed and marketed pouched moist snuff tobacco (MST) since 1973.

Methods:
Analysis of previously secret tobacco documents, advertisements and trade press.

Results:
USST partnered with Swedish Match, forming United Scandia International to develop pouch products as part of the “Lotus Project.” Pouched MST was not commonly used, either in Sweden or the U.S. prior to the Lotus Project’s innovation in 1973. The project aimed to transform smokeless tobacco from being perceived as an “unsightly habit of old men” into a relevant, socially acceptable urban activity, targeting 15–35 year-old men. While USST’s initial pouched product “Good Luck,” never gained mainstream traction, Skoal Bandits captured significant market share after its 1983 introduction. Internal market research found that smokers generally used Skoal Bandits in smokefree environments, yet continued to smoke cigarettes in other contexts. Over time, pouch products increasingly featured increased flavor, size, nicotine strength and user imagery variation.

Conclusions:
Marlboro and Camel Snus advertising mirrors historical advertising for Skoal Bandits, designed to recruit new users and smokers subjected to smokefree places. Despite serious efforts, pouched MST marketing has been unable to dispel its association with traditional smokeless tobacco stereotypes as macho and rural. Public education efforts to discourage new users and dual use of MST and cigarettes should emphasize that “new” pouch products are simply repackaging “old” smokeless tobacco.

 
REFERENCES (91)
1.
AC Nielsen. ScanTrack retail measurement, smokeless category, grocery chennel, Total US and 50 retail markets. Illinois 2015.
 
2.
Meier E, Isaksson Vogel R, O’Connor R, et al. Preference for flavored noncombustible nicotine products among smokers motivated to switch from cigarettes. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015;18(5):892–93. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntv259
 
3.
Adkison SE, O’Connor RJ, Bansal-Travers M, et al. Validation of a measure of normative beliefs about smokeless tobacco use. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015;18(5):801–08. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv156.
 
4.
Stepanov I, Jensen J, Hatsukami D, et al. New and traditional smokeless tobacco: comparison of toxicant and carcinogen levels. Nicotine & tobacco research: official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. 2008;10(12):1773–82. doi: 10.1080/14622200802443544.
 
5.
Delnevo CD, Wackowski OA, Giovenco DP, et al. Examining market trends in the United States smokeless tobacco use: 2005–2011. Tob Control. 2014;23(2):107–12.
 
6.
Liu ST, Nemeth JM, Klein EG, et al. Adolescent and adult perceptions of traditional and novel smokeless tobacco products and packaging in rural Ohio. Tob Control. 2014;23(3):209–14.
 
7.
Hatsukami DK, Ebbert Jon O, Feuer Rachel M, Irina S, Hecht SS. Changing smokeless tobacco products: new tobacco-delivery systems. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 2007;33(6S):S368–70.
 
8.
Carpenter CM, Connolly GN, Ayo-Yusuf OA, Ferris WG. Developing smokeless tobacco products for smokers: an examination of tobacco industry documents. Tob Control. 2009;18:54–9.
 
9.
Mejia AB, Ling PM. Tobacco industry consumer research on smokeless tobacco users and product development. Am J Public Health. 2010;100(1):78–87.
 
10.
Alpert HR, Koh H, Connolly G. N. Free nicotine content and strategic marketing of moist snuff tobacco products in the United States: 2002-2006. Tob Control. 2008;17:332–8.
 
11.
Nelson DE, Paul M, Scott T, Stephen M, Gary G, Luhua ZH. Trends in smokeless tobacco use among adults and adolescents in the United States. Am J Public Health. 2006;96(5):897–905.
 
12.
Connolly GN. The marketing of nicotine addiction by one oral snuff manufacturer. Tob Control. 1995;4:73–9.
 
13.
Rogers JD. Beiner, Lois, and Clark, Pamela I. Test marketing of new smokeless tobacco products in four US cities. Nicotine Tob Res. 2010;12(1):69–72.
 
14.
Federal Trade Commission. Federal Trade Commission Smokeless Tobacco Report for 2012. 2015 (https://www.ftc.gov/reports/fe...). Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
15.
United States Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing tobacco use among youth and young adults: a report of the surgeon general. Atlanta, GA: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012.
 
16.
U.S. Tobacco. UST, inc. Q3 2007 earnings call transcript. 2007. (Date Accessed: 24 Nov 2015) http://seekingalpha.com/articl....
 
17.
The Street, Trefis. Altria's smokeless tobacco is on fire. The Street 2011. (Date Accessed: 24 Nov 2015) http://www.thestreet.com/story....
 
18.
Peeters S, Gilmore AB. Transnational tobacco company interests in smokeless tobacco in Europe: analysis of internal industry documents and contemporary industry materials. PLoS Med. 2013;10(9):e1001506. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001506.
 
19.
Malone REBE. Tobacco industry documents: treasure trove or quagmire? Tob Control. 2000;9(3):334–8.
 
20.
Bantle LA. Memo from Louis F Bantle regarding evaluation of Swedish work. US Smokeless Tobacco 1973 Date. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
21.
Minutes from a meeting in Greenwich 72,07/18 at Mr. L.a. Bantle's office. Lotus Project. Lorillard. 1972. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
22.
The Perception and Use of Chewing Tobacco. A qualitative study: US Smokeless Tobacco. 1977. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
23.
The Lotus Project. US smokeless tobacco. 1972. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
24.
Beethem SW. Identifying and exploiting the difference between the 'Moist' and 'Bandits' businesses. US Smokeless Tobacco. 1983; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
25.
O'Grady TB. Note from TB O'Grady to TD Pickett regarding lotus project. US Smokeless Tobacco. 1973; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
26.
United States Tobacco Company, Maher AE. Report on operation planning committee meeting - September 28, 1978. https://industrydocuments.libr....
 
27.
Furman Selz Mager Dietz and Birney Incorporated. US Smokeless Tobacco. 1974. https://industrydocuments.libr....
 
28.
Smith Barney Harris U, Co. Tobacco Monitor. Scheduled further tax increases as possible contributing factors: RJ Reynolds; 1982. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
29.
Connolly GN. Testimony before the United States house of representatives subcommittee on health and the environment on regulation of nicotine-containing tobacco products under the Federal Food, drug and cosmetic act (FDCA). US Smokeless Tobacco 1994 Date. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
30.
Beethem SW. Identifying and exploiting the difference between the 'Moist' and 'Bandits' businesses. US Smokeless Tobacco 1983 Date. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
31.
Phillip Morris U.S.A. Smokeless tobacco business planning and analysis. Philip Morris. 1978. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
32.
Tobacco U, Beetham SW. Research project on graduation-based strategy. US Smokeless Tobacco. 1985; https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
33.
Marconi RR. Memo from RR Marconi to RL Rossi regarding lotus project. US Smokeless Tobacco. 1973; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
34.
1981-1982 Tobacco Division Objectives. US smokeless tobacco [34]. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
35.
Creative Positioning: Happy days long cut: US Smokeless Tobacco; 1982. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
36.
Information from Annual Reports. US Smokeless Tobacco 1982. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
37.
Freedman AM. Juiced up: how a tobacco giant doctors snuff brands to boost their 'kick'. Wall Street Journal. 1994.
 
38.
National Survey of Moist Snuff Users 1980 - 1982 - 1984. US smokeless tobacco 1984. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
39.
US smokeless tobacco: Moist smokeless products note; 1984. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
40.
Tobacco Reporter. Skoal bandits sponsor le mans race team: Tobacco Reporter. 1983.
 
41.
US Tobacco, Africk S. Smokeless signals: US tobacco company college marketing program: US Smokeless Tobacco; 1982. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
42.
Tobacco Reporter. Smokeless tobacco: the bright start of the US market: Tobacco Reporter. November 1983. p. 68–9.
 
43.
US Tobacco, Beetham SW. Skoal bandits task force: final report transmittal. US Smokeless Tobacco 1983 Date. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
44.
Freedman AM. Climbing the ladder to more potent snuff: US Smokeless Tobacco; 1994. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
45.
[Launch of Skoal bandits in New York market article]. US Smokeless Tobacco. 1983. https://industrydocuments.libr....
 
46.
Beethem SW. The new dimensions of Skoal bandits business: strategy tied to action. US Smokeless Tobacco. 1983; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
47.
Overall target audience - people WHO use or will use tobacco. US Smokeless Tobacco. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
48.
Softness Group Incorporated. Media placement update: Skoal Bandits: US Smokeless Tobacco; 1983. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
49.
Skoal bandits - New York introduction overview. US Smokeless Tobacco 1983. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
50.
An outlaw taste for new York City. Newsweek. Found in US Smokeless Tobacco Collection. 1983. https://industrydocuments.libr....
 
51.
Heath A. Smokeless tobacco. British American Tobacco 1984. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
52.
US Tobacco Co. 13 TV Commercials. Multimedia 1982. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
53.
US Tobacco: Skoal Bandits. US Smokeless Tobacco. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
54.
For the times when you can't smoke. US Smokeless Tobacco. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
55.
Wall Street Journal. US Tobacco is Canceling Snuff Ads' 'Pouch' Slogan. US Smokeless Tobacco. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
56.
United State Tobacco Refutes New York Attorney General Robert Abrams' Smokeless Tobacco Statements. US Smokeless Tobacco. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
57.
Buoniconti NA, Axinn SM. Agreement between Skadden, Arps, slate, Meagher & Flom and United States tobacco company: US Smokeless Tobacco; 1984. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
58.
Skoal Bandits Usage among Cigarette Smokers. US Smokeless Tobacco. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
59.
Tobacco Reporter. New Skoal product targets cigarette smokers. Tobacco Reporter. 1995.
 
60.
Garfield B. Wrigley ads tied to smoking are tasteful winners, by gum. Advertising Age. 1991; https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
61.
Wrigley's Letter. Philip Morris 1991. https://industrydocuments.libr....
 
62.
Tobacco Journal International. UST could end test of revel brand by year end. 2006. (Accessed: http://www.tobaccojournal.com/.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
63.
Bickers C. An avalanche of dry snuff in pouches. Smokeshop Magazine. 2006.
 
64.
RJR, MF B, JA B, et al. The chemical composition of smokeless tobacco: a survey of products sold in the united states in 2006 and 2007 (20060000 AND 20070000). RJ Reynolds 2007. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
65.
Nemeth JM, Liu ST, Klein EG, et al. Factors influencing smokeless tobacco use in rural Ohio Appalachia. J Community Health. 2015;37(6):1208–17.
 
66.
Bahreinifar S, Sheon NM, Ling P. Is snus the same as dip? Smokers’ perceptions of new smokeless tobacco advertising. Tob Control. 2013;22(2):84–90.
 
67.
WJ DG. Memo from WJ DeGeal to RL Rossi regarding lotus project: US Smokeless Tobacco; 1973. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
68.
Special marketing program: segmentation blacks. US Smokeless Tobacco 1984. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
69.
Beetham SW. Skoal bandits task force: final report transmittal. US Smokeless Tobacco. 1983; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
70.
Why the College Market? US Smokeless Tobacco 0000. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
71.
Smokeless signals: catch US in 1983. US Smokeless Tobacco 1983. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
72.
Klouse RJ. College spring break survey. US Smokeless Tobacco. 1984.http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
73.
US tobacco backs Skoal bandits with strong new ad campaign. US Smokeless Tobacco. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
74.
Watson GP. Special market development. US Smokeless Tobacco. 1982; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
75.
Profile of the Spanish market in the USA notes. US Smokeless Tobacco 0000. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
76.
Qualitative research on smokeless tobacco note. US Smokeless Tobacco. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
77.
Skoal bandits black market program. US Smokeless Tobacco 0000. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
78.
Pisarski D. Smokeless tobacco. Philip Morris. 1989; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
79.
Connolly GN. Testimony before the United States house of representatives subcommittee on health and the environment on regulation of nicotine-containing tobacco products under the Federal Food, drug and cosmetic act (FDCA). US Smokeless Tobacco 1994. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
80.
Convenience Store News. Skoal Bandits: Convenience Store News; 2006. https://www.cstoredecisions.co.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
81.
US Smokeless Tobacco. US Smokeless Tobacco Annual Report 2007. Altria 2007 (http://thomson.mobular.net/tho...). Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
82.
Staff S. All Eyes on Smokeless. Smokeshop. 2010;1:90.
 
83.
Convenience Store News. The pouch proposition: Convenience Store News; 2010. https://csnews.com/pouch-propo.... Accessed 10 Dec 2017.
 
84.
US Department of Health and Human Services. Tobacco Use. Healthy People 2020 (http://healthypeople.gov/2020/...). Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
85.
Health So, Environment T, Energy UHoRCo, et al. Oversight inquiry into the adverse health effects of smokeless tobacco. US Smokeless Tobacco 1994.
 
86.
The Lotus Project. US Smokeless Tobacco 1994. https://industrydocuments.libr.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
87.
Trinkets and Trash Collection. Skoal dippers get their ultimate issue: Playboy Magazine; 2009. https://trinketsandtrash.org/d.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
88.
Skoal Pouches. Playboy Magazine. 2008. https://trinketsandtrash.org/d.... Accessed 12 Dec 2017.
 
89.
PR Newswire. New and Improved Skoal Bandits(R) to Debut in August 2006. 2006. (Date Accessed: 29 Nov 2015) http://www.prnewswire.com/news....
 
90.
Agaku IT, Filippidis FT, Vardavas CI. Effectiveness of text versus pictorial health warning labels and predictors of support for plain packaging of tobacco products within the European Union. Eur Addict Res. 2015;21(1):47–52.
 
91.
Messer K, Vijayaraghavan M, White MM, Shi Y, Chang C, Conway KP, et al. Cigarette smoking cessation attempts among current US smokers who also use smokeless tobacco. Addict Behav. 2015; 51:113-119. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addb.... PubMed PMID: PMC4558255.
 
 
CITATIONS (1):
1.
From tobacco-endgame strategizing to Red Queen's race: The case of non-combustible tobacco products
Karma McKelvey, Bonnie Halpern-Felsher
Addictive Behaviors
 
eISSN:1617-9625