Imperial Tobacco has announced the tobacco industry’s first major changes to a product since the introduction of plain packaging in May 2017.

The three innovations relate to Imperial’s key economy level brand – JPS, and will be available from the beginning of 2018 with an RRP of £8.30.  The news comes as Imperial’s latest financials show a 0.8% increase in UK market share to 41.9%. The report names JPS sales as a key reason for the growth.

JPS Real Blue cigarettes will now feature “firm filter” technology that prevents it from softening while smoking.

JPS Silver gets a name change to “JPS Silver Stream” and features a “smooth filter” and paper that creates less smoke.

JPS Green also gets a name change to “JPS Green Edge” and will feature a stronger menthol flavour.

Brand manager Stephen Phillips commented: “Imperial is leading the way in the tobacco category, delivering sophisticated product innovation in a post-standardised packaging environment.”

Phillips said JPS commands a 5% share of all cigarettes sold in the UK and concluded: “JPS Real Blue, JPS Silver Stream and JPS Green Edge will be ‘must stocks’ in UK retailers’ gantries.”