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RLR smoking lounge goes down

Published on June 18th, 2007 18:06

As recently sustained officials of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., they leaved off plans to open a smoking lounge in downtown Winston-Salem. This decision resulted after introduction of smoking restriction on regional and national level.

According to analyst for Citigroup, Bonnie Herzog, in around 17 states now are obliged to have smoke-free workplaces for all workers, including restaurants and bar workers. There are states where restrictions are more lenient, as Louisiana and Nevada, where smoking is banned in all workplaces except for standalone bars and casinos.

Launching a new cigarette brand, RJR initiated the smoking-lounge concept as a marketing tool.

First “ridiculously plush” lounge Reynolds, inaugurated in Chicago, launched the “superpremium” cigarette brand called Marshall McGearty Tobacco Artisans. A pack sells for $9 in Chicago, which includes $3.86 in taxes. Every visitor of Chicago lounge was pleased with lightening up of cigarettes, and offered to taste alcoholic and other beverages and light food. It is restricted to people 21 and older.

Company spokesman David Howard said: “The lounge has been well-received in Chicago and proven successful in attracting adult smokers to our superpremium cigarette products.”

That located in Winston Salem Reynolds was planned to be number two, after Chicago one. Opening of a Winston-Salem lounge was revealed in July 2006. The company was within weeks of completing extensive renovations to the building, which is on the corner of West Fourth and Marshall Streets.

Now, building that Reynolds leased for five-year, is going to be sublease the property once the renovations, including a special ventilation system, are done by early August. Howard declined to say how much Reynolds has spent on the renovations.

Howard sustained: “We’re going to work quickly to find someone for the building. This move in no way lessens our commitment to the overall revitalization of downtown Winston-Salem.”

Even, RJR had another plans about their products. Howard said that Reynolds is not closing the Chicago lounge and company will continue to maintain its tobacco product Marshall McGearty selling it in traditional retail stores.

For this summer, RJR plans to make Seattle another retail tested market. “We will continue to evaluate how to market and brand our superpremium products,” Howard declared.