“A Whole ’Nother Smoke” or a Cigarette in Disguise: How RJ Reynolds Reframed the Image of Little Cigars (2007)

Authors: Cristine Delnevo and Mary Hrywna


Present-day consumption of little cigars rivals that of the early 1970s when sales of little cigars boomed. This boom was largely attributed to RJ Reynolds, and documents reveal how and why they became a powerful force in little cigar sales. RJ Reynolds designed a little cigar, Winchesters, for cigarette smokers and produced one as close to a cigarette as legally possible.

Initially, RJ Reynolds intended to capitalize on the cigarette advertising broadcast ban, but the price and tax structure was more critical to Winchester’s success. Today, the tobacco industry is fighting again to sustain its unique application of federal definitions for little cigars. Regulatory efforts are needed to close taxation loopholes for the little cigar.

Read more: American Journal of Public Health