The world’s fourth largest cigarette maker, UK-based Imperial Brands, announced it is experimenting with caffeine energy products.
Packs of pomegranate-flavoured caffeine powder are being sold in the UK at a cost of £3 ($4) for four doses. One sachet contains 80mg of caffeine, about the same as a double espresso.
Imperial also sells a “roulette” pack, containing an unlabelled spicy chilli sachet.
“We’ve been increasingly looking in other areas,” with a focus on products that would appeal to millennials, said Matthew Phillips, the company’s chief development officer.
“If it goes well, there are other brands and products we could consider. There’s a variety of different options but it is one step at a time,” Phillips added.
The move comes before new anti-tobacco legislation is enforced later this month. From 21 May small packets will be banned in the UK and menthol cigarettes will be phased out by 2020.
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Last year, the London High Court rejected an appeal launched by tobacco companies against plain cigarette packaging in the UK.
All packets must be sold in plain brown-grey packaging with pictures showing the harmful effects of smoking covering at least 65 percent of the front and back.
Imperial Brands’ cigarette sales have already taken a hit.
The company published its results for the half-year to March 31 earlier this week — the number of cigarettes sold fell 6 percent to 126bn compared with a year earlier.
Philip Morris International, the largest tobacco company in the world said it will eventually completely stop selling traditional cigarettes.
The New York-based company has invested more than $3bn in products to replace cigarettes.