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Camel Cigs Appeal More and More to Tweens

The tobacco giant won't self-congratulate too loudly for the profitable popularity of its "Crush" cigarettes among kids.

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By Bryan Le

05/18/12

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Even though iconic smoking mammal Joe Camel retired back in 1997, his legacy lives strong—Camel cigarettes have gained 21% of the market share among 12-16-year-olds. Why? Experts say it's due to the Camel Crush cigarette—a cigarette that magically goes from normal to menthol with a squeeze of its filter and appears popular among "tween" smokers. Newport has also gained ground with youngsters, though only by half as much at 11%; meanwhile Marlboro, despite actually losing ground in the barely-teen demographic, remains the king of youth smoking with 57% market share. And whatever the brand, menthol cigarettes dominate among young consumers. Market analyst Vivien Azer says this information is valuable because "young smoking brand preferences drive long-term market shares." But hold off on snapping up those Camel stocks because—fortunately non-cigarette investors, and developing lungs—overall youth smoking rates are dropping.

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