British American Tobacco (BAT) and JTI are racing to be first to market with premium cigarettes that use new capsule technology. Both companies say the technology is new to the UK.

BAT’s is Lucky Strike Click & Roll which the company says enables smokers to change the taste of their cigarette with a simple click. It explains that this will give them a ’fresh finish’ to their smoking experience.

Meanwhile, JTI’s new Silk Cut Choice includes a capsule that releases a menthol flavour. Jeremy Blackburn, head of communications at the company, says: "Silk Cut Choice offers adult smokers on-demand menthol via the latest innovation in the tobacco market. By placing a menthol capsule in the filter, this gives them the opportunity to customise their smoking experience." According to Nielsen data, Silk Cut accounts for nearly 19% of premium cigarette sales. And the menthol segment currently represents nearly 8% of the market.

Over at BAT, premium brand manager Hinesh Patel, says: "This launch offers smokers their preferred blend with the benefit of an added innovation, all at no extra cost."

He reckons the launch will help retailers maximise their profits from the premium cigarette sector. Both products come in packs of 20 with a recommended retail price of £7.09.

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