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Old 11-01-07, 06:57 PM   #1
JackSpratts
 
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 9,987
Lightbulb Walgreen Selling Cigarette in a Hand Gel Across U.S.

new to me

Martinne Geller

A new hand gel is starting to appear on drug-store shelves promising more than just an end to germs or dry skin -- this one claims to satisfy users' tobacco cravings for up to four hours.

Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain by sales, is now stocking its more than 5,500 stores with packets of Nicogel, a quick-evaporating gel made with tobacco extracts. The roll-out should be finished within a couple weeks, said company spokeswoman Carol Hively in an e-mail, adding that it costs $5.99 for box of 10 doses.

Nicogel, made by a unit of privately held Blue Whale Worldwide Inc., can be used when smoking is inconvenient, such as at work, on an airplane, in a theater or, these days, in almost any other public place.

"The potential for this product is enormous," said Whalen, a horticultural geneticist with a business degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. "The most important thing is smoking bans. (Also, more) people don't want to smell like smoke."

Nicogel, already sold in 40 other countries, could generate $200 million in U.S. sales this year, Whalen said, predicting that sales will reach $1 billion by the end of 2008.

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