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A pack of KOOL Milds and a cigarette.

KOOL is a brand of menthol cigarette currently produced by the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, introduced in 1933, that has marketed itself towards the "sophisticated man". Originally introduced as an unfiltered "regular" size (i.e., short) cigarette, filtered 85 mm king-size versions were later added to the lineup as filtered cigarettes gained popularity in the 1960s. Since then, mild (milder menthol flavor), light (reduced tar), and 100 mm long varieties have been introduced. As a menthol flavored cigarette, the tobacco taste is dulled, and the menthol numbs the mouth, which allows for a less harsh inhalation for some.



Kool cigarette advertising began with the character of "Willie" the penguin who was portrayed as several different professions, among which were a doctor, a soldier and a chef. In the early 1960s the image of the cartoon penguin was no longer used, and Kool instead began marketing their cigarettes by linking the cool taste of menthol to cool outdoor scenes portraying water or snow.[1] In the newest Kool ads, male/female encounters and sports references are prominent.

Kool, and other mentholated cigarettes, have been criticized for extensive marketing campaigns designed and intended to attract more African-Americans to smoke. Documents released by the tobacco industry are cited as evidence of this effort to market menthol cigarettes to blacks in the United States.[2]

Newport is the number one menthol cigarette in the United States (as of 2005), and the second most popular menthol is Kools.[3] Menthol cigarettes are particularly popular among the African-American community; the same 2005 survey stated that 79% of all cigarette sales to African-Americans were of the menthol variety.

Popular culture

Film Actor Steve Tyler started as the KOOL Man [1]

Before cigarette ads on TV were banned in 1971, KOOL used several jingles. Through most of the '60s, the song went "Come up to the KOOL taste; taste extra freshness every time you smoke." Later, a jingle with the lyric "Lady be KOOL" was used in a campaign aimed at selling the then-new Kool 100s to women.

Denzel Washington is seen smoking KOOLs in the film Training Day, and reaches for one when his partner pulls a gun on him.

KOOL was a full time sponsor of Team Kool Green, in CART from 1996 to 2002.

In the movie Wild at Heart, the main character's girlfriend smokes KOOLs while the main character smokes Marlboro reds.

In the movie The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick claimed to receive eye surgery, or a "surgical shine job"; as he calls it, from a doctor in Butcher Bay that gave him superlative night vision in exchange for, "20 menthol KOOLs"

Author David Sedaris, identifies himself as a 'KOOL mild smoker in his short story 'The Smoking Section' in his book When You Are Engulfed in Flames. He also explains that usual KOOL smokers are, "black people and lower class whites".

KOOL are (somewhat ironically) the cigarette of choice of the character Dallas Winston in Susan E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders.

KOOL are smoked by English TV presenter Simon Cowell.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Cigarette Brand Preferences". 

External links



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