Logo from a pack of regular Lark Cigarettes
Liggett & Myers
Current Market Share
Lark is a brand of cigarettes introduced in 1963 by Liggett & Myers and notable for its charcoal filter and past advertising campaigns, among which was one featuring people on the street being asked to “Show us your Lark pack”.
1 Brand history and ownership
2 Packaging and ingredients
3 Advertising history
4 Health concerns
6 External links
Brand history and ownership
In 1963 Liggett & Myers introduced the Lark brand with its trademark charcoal filter in an effort to halt a five-year downward drift in sales. The distinguishing feature of the brand, both in terms of physical characteristics and taste was the 3-piece “Keith” filter (named for Dr. Charles H. Keith, “Supervisor of Physical Chemistry” for Liggett & Myers, who developed it)- the middle section of which contains small charcoal granules, which purportedly reduces the harshness of the cigarette’s smoke.
Liggett & Myers underwent several corporate name changes over the ensuing years but kept the Lark brand in their product mix until 1998, when Liggett Vector Brands Inc. sold Lark, along with the L&M & Chesterfield brands, for $300 million to Philip Morris Companies Inc., later known as the Altria Group. (The sale involved only domestic rights; Philip Morris already owned the international rights to the three brands, which it had purchased in the late 1970s.) As of 2008, Lark continues to be manufactured and sold by Philip Morris USA, a subsidiary of Altria Group.
Since its introduction and despite several prominent advertising campaigns, Lark has never held a large share of the U.S. cigarette market. As of 2008[update], the brand had less than 1% of the U.S. market share, but was extremely popular in Japan.
Packaging and ingredients
Lark is currently sold in the following packages:
Lark Red Pack (Full Flavor) – Soft: Kings and 100s
Lark White Pack (Lights) – Soft: Kings and 100s
The Lark Soft Pack contains the following ingredients (listed in descending order by weight) and tar and nicotine content:
Sugars (Sucrose and/or Invert Sugar and/or High Fructose Corn Syrup)