Winston Cigarettes: What’s Behind the Brand?

Winston cigarettes hit the market in 1954 and quickly became the first nationally well-known filtered cigarette. It grew to the best-selling cigarette in the nation in 1966 and held the spot for 10 years straight. Today, Winston cigarettes are still popular, ranking in the country’s top 10 for cigarette brands. So what makes the Winston cigarette so great?

The Origin of Winston Cigarettes

Originating in Winston, North Carolina the popular cigarette brand was founded in 1875 by Richard Joshua Reynolds. Reynolds is the owner of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) who initially manufactured numerous kinds of chewing tobacco. The company eventually branched out to include the manufacturing of pipes and cigarettes. The Camel brand was the first major success for the company. As legend has it, one of the company’s execs by the name of Edward Darr, vacationed in Switzerland and tried a filtered cigarette. It was the latest and greatest invention in Europe. Once Darr returned to the U.S., he shared his experience with the filtered cigarette in Switzerland and the rest is history.

RJR used an American blend of tobacco that included Burley tobacco, which gave the cigarettes a light aftertaste, instead of the strong taste that didn’t appeal to most cigarette smokers.

The Popularity of Winston Cigarettes

As America’s best selling cigarette, Winston is known for its catchy jingles that became synonymous with the brand. Its iconic slogan “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should” was the first advertising campaign for the Winston brand. In only two years, the Winston brand became the most successful tobacco brand, with sales reaching 31 billion sticks in one year. Among people age 35 and older, Winston cigarettes has gained recognition as the preferred choice when it comes to cigarette options.

The Winston Cigarette Product Line

In the United States, Winston cigarette packs are now only available in boxes. They come in two sizes: Kings and 100’s. The Kings are 84mm cigarettes and are 3 – 3 1/4 inches in length. These are the most popular sized cigarettes. There are also 100mm Winston cigarettes that are typically 3 3/4 – 4 inches in length. Compared to the Kings, these are longer in overall length. Here are the different Winston flavors you can find: (1) Winston Red (Full Flavor), (2) Winston Gold (Lights), and (3) Winston White (Ultra Lights). The S2 line is now discontinued.

More About R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

Today, RJR is the second largest tobacco company in the U.S. Reynolds owns multiple brands including Camel and Pall Mall, which are also bestsellers in the cigarette industry. As evidence of its success, the estimation is that R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company manufactures one in three cigarettes sold in the U.S.

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