Eclipse is an American cigarette brand that was developed and is marketed by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco. Unlike the company's previous attempt at a smokeless cigarette, Premier, Eclipse uses a simpler system without the aluminum 'capsule', and does not suffer the unpleasant taste & smell consequences when lit with sulphur-based matches (though each pack does recommend using a lighter because it takes time to light, like a cigar.) They operate similarly to a coffee-maker, using hot air instead of hot water: The user lights a carbon tip with holes in it, which supplies hot air to tobacco wrapped in foil to insulate the outer paper from the heat, and a hollow 'filter' serves as a mouthpiece. The hot air drawn through the holes evaporates the juices in the tobacco, giving off a flavored vapor. Unlike traditional cigarettes, very little tobacco is burned, and indeed the cigarette does not get shorter during use. The Eclipse simply last about 5 minutes before the carbon tip is exhausted, and the whole unit is discarded after a few minutes' cooling period. They were first tested with consumers in 1994, and brought into limited market distribution in 2000. As of 2014 they are still in production, and are one of the remaining choices allowed to be smoked in the offices of R.J. Reynolds facilities after the company began to restrict traditional smoking in their office facilities. The makers claim that this design produces significantly less smoke than normal cigarettes and no ashes. The company also claims that this creates a better environment around the user. Because of this attribute, the cigarettes are marketed as "present[ing] less of a risk of certain smoking-related diseases". This writer's experience has proven (with non-smoker test subjects) that there is virtually no secondhand smoke that clings to draperies, clothes, upholstery etc, compared to the heavy pall of conventional tobacco smoke in a closed room.
The American Cancer Society argues that the cigarettes are not as safe as the marketing campaign suggests, and that they should be removed from the marketplace: although they produce less tar and produce less second-hand smoke, this leads to a false sense of security, since the cigarette still contains high amounts of carcinogens. Other concerns are that they produce more carbon monoxide than regular cigarettes. R. J. Reynolds has countered by claiming that the company is not trying to market a "safe" cigarette, only a better alternative.