"It's a marriage made in heaven," said Leif Fumar.
That's how an Industrial Tobacco Vice President of Marketing descibed the tobacco industry's latest attempt to boost revenues.
"Fried cigarettes will be a tremendous hit," Fumar continued. "Focus groups seem to find them irresistible."
"Imagine going into a restaurant where you can't smoke, and you need a smoke," Fumar said. "Now you can get that refreshing taste with all the flavor of tobacco and deep-fried-in-fat goodness."
Several restaurants are partnering with Industrial Tobacco to promote the new take on smokeless tobacco.
"We're offering complimentary frying to customers who supply their own cigarettes," said Kentro Trofi, head of Emerging Market Research for fast food giant Lardbutt's. "We will also have a cigarette area on the menu that offers regular, light, and menthol fries. And we're offering to fry in either vegetable oil flavored in bacon fat or Olestra with imitation bacon flavors."
Industrial Tobacco will be offering pre-fried cigarettes along with RediFri™ cigarettes for restaurant use.
Early testing of fried cigarettes took place late last year at county fairs across most of the South.
"Fried Coke was pretty popular," said Beller Fasching, president of Southern Carnivals of the South. "Fried Snickers, fried apples, and fried dough. It's a logical progression to cigarettes. Kids seem to like 'em, too. And you don't have to worry 'bout them pesky underage law doodads."
"We're not about addiction," said Fumar. "We're about making something full flavored with chemicals that people can't resist coming back to."