BrandKing Sano

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Brand King Sano

Only one brand, King Sano, manufactured by US Tobacco, focused exclusively on health claims in their ads. King Sano cigarettes of the 1950s and RJR's Premiere, were commercial failures because, according to the defense, consumers did not like their taste. [Note from someone who smoked Sano cigarettes back in the late 1950's. They were, by virtue of lower levels of tar and nicotine, "milder" and less aromatic than the most popular brands (Camels, Lucky Strike, Chesterfield, Old Gold, and Marlboros). Sanos certainly had more flavor than a later low-tar brand, Carlton. While Sanos didn't have the obvious appeal of Camels and Marlboros, the company did sponsor a TV show, Martin Kane, Private Eye, starring Mark Stevens, who clearly smoked the brand on TV. And Sanos were popular with the upper crust in Manhattan: in one of his 1960's articles, Tom Wolfe mentioned that society women on the Upper East Side smoked Sanos. Why did I switch from Sanos? They were hard to find, their shelf space edged out by the larger brands, and then by newer brands manufactured by R.J. Reynolds and the other giants. If a retailer had shelf space for just one more brand, would he choose Sanos over Marlboro Lights? And when I was in the Army, forget trying to find Sanos at the PX.] John Solow, an economics professor at the University of Iowa, on Monday cited a 1957 form letter sent by United States Tobacco Co. to doctors urging them to recommend King Sano cigarettes to patients because of its low tar and nicotine levels.
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