Reynolds, eager to increase the sales of its fast growing Camel brand among women, is introducing a variety aimed at female smokers. The new variation, Camel No. 9, has a name that evokes women s fragrances like Chanel No. 19, as well as a song about romance, Love Potion No. 9.

But don t look for a Jo Camel to join Old Joe the dromedary on Camel packages, displays or posters. Rather, Camel No. 9 signals its intended buyers with subtler cues like its colors, a hot pink fuchsia and a minty green teal its slogan, Light and luscious and the flowers that surround the packs in magazine ads.

For decades, Camel has been a male focused cigarette only about 30 percent of Camel buyers are female. By comparison, for competitive brands like Marlboro and Newport, women comprise 40 percent to 50 percent of customers. Almost half of adult smokers are women, so that limited Camel s potential.

Wall Street analysts praise the introduction of Camel No. 9, in regular and menthol flavors, as a further step by the R. J. Reynolds, a unit of Reynolds American, toward a new marketing strategy. The goal is to refocus on the biggest, most popular and most profitable brands, which include Kool as well as Camel.

But critics decry the new Camel as yet another effort to single out women for smoking pitches, a tactic they trace back to the 1920s when American Tobacco urged, Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet to promote Lucky Strike cigarettes.

The sad part is, this product is just more of the same, said Cheryl G. Healton, president and chief executive of the American Legacy Foundation in Washington. The foundation oversees the national antismoking Truth campaign aimed at youth that is financed by money from Reynolds American and the other major cigarette marketers.

More women die of lung cancer than breast cancer, by a wide margin, Ms. Healton said, yet the tobacco companies still want to increase their market share among women.

R. J. Reynolds sells two brands, Capri and Misty, aimed at women. A tiny competitor, the Vector Group, sells Eve, and the principal rival to Reynolds, the Altria Group, which owns Philip Morris, pioneered the category in 1968 with the Virginia Slims brand.

Virginia Slims, pitched for decades with a campaign that carried the theme You ve come a long way, baby, is the largest brand directed at women.

Research that began early last year found female adult smokers mostly weren t Camel smokers, said Cressida Lozano, vice president for marketing of the Camel brand at Reynolds American in Winston Salem, N.C., because, they said, they didn t feel Camel had a product for them.

What we re about is giving adult smokers a choice, Ms. Lozano said, with products we believe are more appealing than existing products. The introduction of Camel No. 9 is part of plans to focus on products that are wow, she added, that add fun and excitement to the category.

Bonnie Herzog, an analyst at Citigroup who follows the tobacco industry, described Reynolds American as very good at innovation bringing out variations of existing brands with new packages, flavors, styles and other twists on familiar offerings.

There is a risk of cannibalization, Ms. Herzog said, in that so called line extensions like Camel No. 9 could take shelf space and sales from the almost 30 other varieties of Camel.

But if you can steal from your competitor, a Virginia Slims, she added, a new variety would make sense and could be quite successful.

One reason for Reynolds American to introduce the new cigarette as part of the brand family of Camel, which dates to 1913, is that the many restrictions on marketing cigarettes make it more difficult for an all new brand name to break through. That is why Camel No. 9 is joining a Camel lineup that includes newcomers like Camel Wides, Camel Turkish Gold, Kamel Special Lights and Camel 99s.

We tested several different names among adult female smokers, said Brian Stebbins, senior marketing director at R. J. Reynolds, and Camel No. 9 had a lot of appeal for being premium and sophisticated.

The 9 is meant to suggest dressed to the nines, putting on your best, Mr. Stebbins said, rather than a perfume or a song.

R. J. Reynolds is working with two of its longtime agencies to introduce Camel No. 9, Agent 16 in New York and Gyro Worldwide in Philadelphia. The company will not disclose spending for the introduction, but estimates range from $25 million to $50 million.

Reynolds American will sponsor promotional events for the new Camel in large markets around the country and promote the brand in a variety of other ways, like giving away packs at nightclubs, distributing cents off coupons and running ads in magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Flaunt, Glamour, Vogue and W.

Ms. Healton at the antismoking foundation said she worried about ads in Cosmopolitan and Glamour because both have large numbers of young readers. That means R. J. Reynolds is looking for initiation, appealing to young girls to up their market share, she said, as well as hoping that older smokers will switch to Camel No. 9 from other brands.

Aiming tobacco ads at women is a longtime strategy. Documents from the files of the tobacco companies, released in 1998, indicated they had studied female smoking habits through research projects with names like Tomorrow s Female, Cosmo and Virile Female.

Decades ago, a sultry woman cooed, Blow some my way to a man smoking Chesterfield cigarettes in magazine ads from the old Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company. Ads for Chesterfield, Camel, Lucky Strike, Old Gold, Philip Morris and other mainstay brands featured female celebrities like Lucille Ball, Marlene Dietrich, Risл Stevens and Barbara Stanwyck.

Even Wilma Flintstone smoked, in animated commercials for Winston cigarettes that appeared during The Flintstones. The last cigarette commercial to be broadcast on American television, on Jan. 1, 1971, was for Virginia Slims.

One of the most famous moments in marketing took place in 1929, when Edward L. Bernays, widely considered the father of public relations, alerted newspapers that women would be smoking in public, during the Easter parade on Fifth Avenue, to promote equality of the sexes. He did not reveal he was paid for his torches of freedom effort by American Tobacco, the maker of Lucky Strike, which sought to encourage women to smoke.

Best electronic cigarettes: a guide to disposables, rechargeables, and mods

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The Sentinel from Grand Vapor is the epitome of a mod, and a current favorite among vaping enthusiasts. (Especially if you like shiny objects.) The Sentinel features machined aluminum and brass components that make this mod stand out from the crowd. And the entire device is telescopic, making it possible to use a range of battery sizes, from small 18350 batteries to 18650 monsters. It also features silver coated pins for maximum battery connectivity, and an adjustable bottom button to fine tune your vape. And yes, you will have to get your own tank/clearomizer, batteries, and e juice before you’re ready to roll with this looker but by the time you get to this level, you should already have all that in your stash.

Additional information

So, which one is the “best” e cigarette? The one that works, and that you enjoy using, whether it’s a disposable or heavy duty mod. If possible, test out a few different models and see which one fits with your lifestyle, and what you’re looking to get out of vaping. The one you like best is best.

Also, note that the kits and prices listed above are mainly for your convenience. If you re looking for the best deal, check out FastTech, which is easily the least expensive vendor out there, but has long shipping wait times due to China based suppliers. As for e juice, Mt. Baker Vapor is a favorite among e cig aficionados due to its high quality product, low prices, and wide range of flavors. (Pro tip Try the Ecto Cooler, it s a slam dunk.)

Images via librakv/Piotr Marcinski/nito/Shutterstock/Giuliano Correia