Salem is a brand of cigarettes introduced in 1956 by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company as the first filter-tipped menthol cigarette. Its name (along with that of the Winston brand) derives from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the city where RJR was founded and headquartered. Salem cigarettes are unique in that they are blended with Asian Menthol[clarification needed] rather than the traditional mainstream Menthol. It is currently a product of ITG Brands LLC, a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco Company. In the 1983 prison movie Bad Boys, both Salem and Winston cigarettes are seen being offered to and purchased by Sean Penn's character.
Until the early 2000s, Salem was a sponsor of the Hong Kong Open, an ATP tennis tournament, which attracted a number of top ranking professional players. As a result of the sponsorship, it was titled the Salem Open. Salem also sponsored a number of events there including concerts throughout Asia.
In 2001, as with legislation restricting tobacco sponsorship in Hong Kong, the tournament sponsorship was proven to be controversial, when its official logo was altered to include the logo of Perrier, causing anti-smoking campaigners to claim that the organisers exploited a loophole in its sponsorship clause.
Salem has also introduced new light and ultralight variety cigarettes.
- Salem Box (Full Flavor) - 85's and 100's
- Salem Gold Box (Lights) - 85's and 100's
- Salem Silver Box (Ultra Lights) - 85's and 100's
- Salem Slim Box (Lights) - 100's
- "Above it All"/"The Bright Mild Salem" (Salem cigarette jingle) (1986-1989, 1991-1995), radio commercial only
- Assunta, M., Chapman, S., "A 'clean cigarette' for a clean nation: a case study of Salem Pianissimo in Japan", Tobacco Control 2004;13:ii58-ii62.