Oh how Reynolds American's Susan Ivey has seen the world of big tobacco change. She joined the industry more than 25 years ago, when companies endured a lot less vilification and enjoyed a lot more financial success from cigarette sales.
Now Ivey, who's been CEO since 2004, has a new strategy for bolstering profits, which fell by more than a quarter in 2009: help people quit.
Last year, Reynolds American bought Niconovum AB, a Swedish maker of smoking-cessation products, for $44 million. Now nicotine gum, mouth spray and pouches are part of the portfolio, alongside Camels and Kools. No other major American tobacco company sells quitting aids, but Ivey hopes that Niconovum will be on U.S. shelves within the next few years.
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