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Title:
SMOKING ARTICLE INCLUDING FLAVOURED WRAPPER WITH RELIEF PATTERN
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/012840
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A smoking article (10) comprises: an aerosol generating substrate (12); a mouthpiece (14) in axial alignment with the aerosol generating substrate (12); and an outer wrapper (18) circumscribing the mouthpiece (14) along at least a part of its length. A relief pattern (20) is provided over at least a portion of the outer surface of the outer wrapper (18), the relief pattern defining a plurality of peaks (30) and depressions on the outer surface. A plurality of frangible flavour containers (34) are provided on the outer surface of the outer wrapper (18) in one or more of the depressions defined by the relief pattern (20), wherein the plurality of frangible flavour containers (34) are adapted to be manually ruptured by a consumer during use, to release a flavourant encapsulated within the containers.

Inventors:
CAMUS, Alexandre (Rue Basse 21, Colombier, CH-2013, CH)
Application Number:
EP2013/064685
Publication Date:
January 23, 2014
Filing Date:
July 11, 2013
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PHILIP MORRIS PRODUCTS S.A. (Quai Jeanrenaud 3, Neuch√Ętel, CH-2000, CH)
International Classes:
A24D1/02; A24D3/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2007052170A22007-05-10
Foreign References:
US20090104251A12009-04-23
EP1571933A12005-09-14
EP1958523A22008-08-20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BRADFORD, Victoria (Reddie & Grose LLP, 16 Theobalds RoadLondon, Greater London WC1X 8PL, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A smoking article comprising:

an aerosol generating substrate;

a mouthpiece in axial alignment with the aerosol generating substrate; and

an outer wrapper circumscribing the mouthpiece along at least a part of its length, wherein a relief pattern is provided over at least a portion of the outer surface of the outer wrapper, the relief pattern defining a plurality of peaks and depressions on the outer surface; and

wherein a plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided on the outer surface of the outer wrapper in one or more of the depressions defined by the relief pattern, wherein the plurality of frangible flavour containers are adapted to be manually ruptured by a consumer during use, to release a flavourant from within the containers. 2. A smoking article according to claim 1 , wherein the relief pattern comprises the topographical profile of the outer wrapper.

3. A smoking article according to claim 2 wherein the relief pattern is formed by a plurality of embossments in the outer wrapper.

4. A smoking article according to claim 3 wherein the outer wrapper comprises a first embossed region and a second embossed region and wherein the plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided within a non-embossed region defining a depression between the first and second embossed regions.

5. A smoking article according to claim 4 wherein the first and second embossed regions extend circumferentially around the mouthpiece and are separated from each other along the length of the mouthpiece. 6. A smoking article according to claim 3 wherein the outer wrapper comprises at least one embossed region and wherein the plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided within one or more depressions defined within the embossed region.

7. A smoking article according to any preceding claim wherein the height of at least one of the peaks in the relief pattern relative to the level of the one or more depressions in which the plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided is greater than the number average diameter of the frangible flavour containers.

8. A smoking article according to claim 7 wherein the height of at least one of the peaks in the relief pattern is at least two times greater than the average diameter of the frangible flavour containers.

9. A smoking article according to any preceding claim wherein the plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided on the outer wrapper at least 17 mm from the mouth end of the mouthpiece. 10. A smoking article according to any preceding claim wherein the plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided within a flavoured region of the outer wrapper extending at least 5mm along the length of the mouthpiece.

1 1 . A smoking article according to any preceding claim wherein the plurality of frangible flavour containers are frangible microcapsules.

12. A smoking article according to any preceding claim wherein the plurality of frangible flavour containers have a mean diameter of 5 to 40 microns. 13. A smoking article according to any preceding claim wherein the outer wrapper further comprises a coloured coating layer on the outer surface in the portion of the outer surface in which the plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided.

14. A smoking article according to any preceding claim wherein the Bekk smoothness of the outer wrapper in the region of the outer wrapper between peaks and in which the plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided is less than 20 s.

15. An outer wrapper for a smoking article, the outer wrapper having a relief pattern provided over at least a portion of a surface of the outer wrapper, the relief pattern defining a plurality of peaks and depressions on the surface, wherein a plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided on the surface of the outer wrapper in one or more of the depressions defined by the relief pattern.

16. A method of producing a smoking article according to any of claims 1 to 14 comprising: providing a plurality of discrete, wrapped mouthpieces;

providing a plurality of rods of aerosol generating substrate; providing a sheet of outer wrapper having a relief pattern thereon, and further comprising a plurality of frangible flavour containers provided on the outer surface of the sheet of outer wrapper within one or more depressions defined in the relief pattern;

disposing one of the wrapped mouthpieces adjacent to and in axial alignment with one of the rods of aerosol generating substrate; and

wrapping the sheet of outer wrapper around at least a portion of the wrapped mouthpiece and at least a portion of the adjacent rod of wrapped aerosol generating substrate such that the sheet of outer wrapper attaches the wrapped mouthpiece to the rod of wrapped aerosol generating substrate and the plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided at a position along the mouthpiece.

Description:
SMOKING ARTICLE INCLUDING FLAVOURED WRAPPER WITH RELIEF PATTERN

The present invention relates to a smoking article having a mouthpiece circumscribed by an outer wrapper including a relief pattern and a plurality of frangible flavour containers on the outer surface of the wrapper, and to a method for producing such a smoking article.

Filter cigarettes typically comprise a cylindrical rod of tobacco cut filler surrounded by a paper wrapper and a cylindrical filter axially aligned in an abutting end-to-end relationship with the wrapped tobacco rod. Conventionally, the wrapped tobacco rod and the filter are joined by a band of tipping wrapper, typically formed of an opaque paper material that circumscribes the entire length of the filter and an adjacent portion of the wrapped tobacco rod.

A number of smoking articles in which tobacco is heated rather than combusted have also been proposed in the art. In heated smoking articles, an aerosol is generated by heating a flavour generating substrate, such as tobacco. Known heated smoking articles include, for example, electrically heated smoking articles and smoking articles in which an aerosol is generated by the transfer of heat from a combustible fuel element or heat source to a physically separate aerosol forming material. During smoking, volatile compounds are released from the aerosol forming substrate by heat transfer from the fuel element and entrained in air drawn through the smoking article. As the released compounds cool they condense to form an aerosol that is inhaled by the consumer. Smoking articles in which a nicotine-containing aerosol is generated from a tobacco material, tobacco extract or other nicotine source, without combustion or heating, are also known.

It is well known to incorporate flavourant or odorant additives into smoking articles in order to provide additional flavours or smells to the consumer during smoking. Flavourants may be used to enhance the tobacco flavours produced upon heating or combusting the tobacco material within the smoking article, or to provide additional non-tobacco flavours such as mint or menthol.

The flavourant additives used in smoking articles, such as menthol, are commonly in the form of a liquid flavourant which is incorporated into the filter or the tobacco rod of the smoking article using a suitable liquid carrier. Liquid flavourants are often volatile and will therefore tend to migrate or evaporate from the smoking article during storage. The amount of flavourant available to flavour the mainstream smoke during smoking is therefore reduced. To address this problem, it has previously been proposed to reduce the loss of volatile flavourants from smoking articles during storage through the encapsulation of the flavourant, for example, in the form of a capsule or microcapsule.

It is known to provide smoking articles including flavourants that are manually releasable by a consumer to modify the smoking characteristics of the smoking article. For example, it is known to incorporate one or more breakable capsules of a flavourant into the mouthpiece of a smoking article, wherein the breakable capsules may be crushed by the consumer to release the flavourant. In certain types of smoking articles, one or more breakable capsules containing a flavourant are provided within the filtering material forming the mouthpiece, wherein pressure is indirectly applied to the capsule through the application of pressure to the mouthpiece.

In other types of smoking articles, a plurality of microcapsules containing a flavourant or odorant are provided on at least one surface of the tipping wrapper that connects the mouthpiece to the aerosol generating substrate. For example, WO-A-2007/052170 describes a smoking article having a plurality of frangible microcapsules of a flavourant or odorant provided on the outer surface. The microcapsules are capable of being manually ruptured by the consumer on the application of a frictional force, to provide a "Scratch and Sniff" effect.

The microcapsules will typically be applied to the outer surface of the tipping paper of such a smoking article during production of the tipping paper, or during assembly of the smoking articles. However, during these processes, the microcapsules may unavoidably be subjected to different frictional forces due to the contact between the tipping paper and the manufacturing apparatus, or due to the interaction of the smoking articles with each other. The assembled smoking articles may also be subjected to frictional forces during subsequent processing and packing of the smoking articles.

These frictional forces may cause at least a portion of the microcapsules to rupture, thereby prematurely releasing the flavourant. This reduces the amount of flavourant that is subsequently available for manual release by the consumer. In addition, the flavourant that is prematurely released from the microcapsules may contaminate, stain or damage other components of the smoking article.

It would be desirable to provide a smoking article having a novel outer wrapper with flavourant containers on the outer surface that are adapted to be manually ruptured by the consumer but are provided in such a way that the risk of premature rupture of the containers during production or processing of the smoking articles is reduced. It would be particularly desirable if the outer wrapper of such a smoking article could be readily produced using conventional processing techniques and apparatus.

According to the invention there is provided a smoking article comprising: an aerosol generating substrate; a mouthpiece in axial alignment with the aerosol generating substrate; and an outer wrapper circumscribing the mouthpiece along at least a part of its length. A relief pattern is provided over at least a portion of the outer surface of the outer wrapper, the relief pattern defining a plurality of peaks and depressions on the outer surface. A plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided on the outer surface of the outer wrapper, in one or more of the depressions defined by the relief pattern. The frangible flavour containers are adapted to be manually ruptured by a consumer during use, to release a flavourant encapsulated within the containers. According to the present invention there is further provided an outer wrapper for a smoking article, the outer wrapper having a relief pattern provided over at least a portion of a surface of the outer wrapper, the relief pattern defining a plurality of peaks and depressions on the surface, wherein a plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided on the surface of the outer wrapper in one or more of the depressions defined by the relief pattern.

In the following description, any discussion of the outer wrapper of smoking articles according to the invention applies equally to the outer wrapper of the present invention.

The term "frangible flavour containers" is used herein to mean any container which is suitable for housing a flavourant and which can be manually ruptured by a consumer. Preferably the frangible flavour containers are frangible microcapsules. Therefore, further aspects of the invention will be described with reference to frangible microcapsules, although the skilled person will understand that such aspects are equally applicable when used with other forms of frangible flavour container.

Smoking articles according to the present invention incorporating the outer wrapper as defined above may be in the form of filter cigarettes or other smoking articles in which tobacco material is combusted to form smoke. The present invention additionally encompasses smoking articles in which tobacco material is heated, rather than combusted, and smoking articles in which a nicotine-containing aerosol is generated from a tobacco material, tobacco extract, or other nicotine source, without combustion or heating. The present invention further encompasses smoking articles in which a nicotine-containing aerosol is generated from a tobacco material, tobacco extract or other nicotine source, without combustion or heating.

The term "relief pattern" refers to the topographical profile of the outer wrapper normal to the overall plane of the surface of the wrapper, which defines a pattern of raised peaks and recessed depressions. That is, the relief pattern may be formed by the profile, contours and overall topography of the outer wrapper itself, rather than any deposit on the outer wrapper. In smoking articles according to the invention, the outer wrapper has been processed in some way, for example by embossing, in order to provide such a topographical profile, in which there is a greater variation in the surface profile of the outer wrapper than for the unprocessed sheet material.

The "peaks" of the relief pattern are the regions of the outer wrapper that are raised outwardly from the outer surface of the outer wrapper when the wrapper is in place around the mouthpiece. Conversely, the "depressions" of the relief pattern are the regions of the outer wrapper that are recessed inwardly relative to the peaks of the relief pattern and in some cases, relative to the outer surface of the outer wrapper. The areas of the outer surface of the outer wrapper within the depressions of the relief pattern are therefore recessed relative to the areas of the outer surface of the outer wrapper over the peaks of the relief pattern. In the smoking articles of the present invention, at least some of the frangible microcapsules are deposited on the outer wrapper within one or more of the depressions defined by the relief pattern on the outer wrapper. These microcapsules are thereby at least partially recessed from the surrounding peaks of the relief pattern and are protected to a certain extent from f rictional forces by the peaks. The relief pattern provided on the outer surface of the outer wrapper can readily be adapted to provide improved protection from frictional forces in both the lengthwise and crosswise directions relative to the longitudinal axis of the smoking article, or relative to the direction of travel of the sheet material forming the outer wrapper.

This protection of the microcapsules within the relief pattern advantageously reduces the risk of premature rupture of the microcapsules due to frictional forces applied to the outer wrapper during production and packing. The integrity of the microcapsules can therefore be retained so that a larger proportion of the microcapsules remain unbroken until the consumer chooses to rupture them manually. In this way, a higher level of the flavourant applied to the smoking article can be retained in an encapsulated state at the surface of the smoking article during production and storage of the smoking articles. This may in turn enable a lower total number of microcapsules to be used for each smoking article whilst providing a similar level of flavourant release.

The reduction or prevention of the early rupture of the microcapsules also advantageously reduces the risk of contamination or staining of the outer wrapper and any underlying components of the mouthpiece. This ensures that a consistent quality and appearance of smoking articles is provided to the consumer.

The use of microcapsules that are ruptured manually by the consumer, rather than, for example, upon combustion of the smoking article, advantageously provides the consumer with a greater degree of control over when the flavourant can be released from the microcapsules. The consumer can therefore release the flavourant in a controlled manner before, during or after smoking.

Furthermore, the combination of the relief pattern and the microcapsules at the outer surface of the outer wrapper may provide a unique tactile effect on the outer surface of the mouthpiece.

As described above, at least a portion of the outer surface of the outer wrapper of smoking articles according to the invention is provided with a relief pattern that modifies the surface of the outer wrapper to define a plurality of peaks and depressions, wherein the plurality of frangible microcapsules are deposited within the depressions of the relief pattern.

The relief pattern may be provided in one or more defined regions of the outer surface of the outer wrapper, wherein the remainder of the outer wrapper retains a smoother surface texture, for example the texture generated during production of the sheet material forming the outer wrapper. For example, in certain preferred embodiments, the relief pattern is provided in a plurality of discrete bands which extend circumferentially around the mouthpiece in the assembled smoking article and are separated from each other along the length of the mouthpiece. Alternatively, the relief pattern may cover substantially the entire outer surface of the outer wrapper.

5 Preferably, the height of at least one of the peaks in the relief pattern relative to the level of an adjacent depression in which the microcapsules are provided is greater than the average diameter of the microcapsules. Preferably, the height of at least one of the peaks in the relief pattern relative to the level of an adjacent depression in which the microcapsules are provided is greater than the diameter of at least 90% of the microcapsules, more preferably at least 95% i o of the microcapsules. Preferably at least 50% of the peaks in the relief pattern have a height relative to an adjacent depression that is greater than the average diameter of the microcapsules, more preferably at least 75%.

Particularly preferably, the height of at least one peak in the relief pattern is at least about two times greater than the average diameter of the microcapsules, more preferably at

15 least about five times greater, most preferably at least about ten times greater. This ensures that at least the bottom layer or layers of microcapsules provided within the depressions of the relief pattern are entirely below the level of the peaks in order to achieve maximum protection of the microcapsules from frictional forces.

In this context, the "height" of a peak in the relief pattern corresponds to the distance

20 from the lowest point of the depressions in the relief pattern to the highest point of the peak, in a direction that is substantially perpendicular to the outer surface of the mouthpiece.

In relation to the present invention, the "average diameter" of the frangible containers refers to the mean diameter of the frangible containers provided within the one or more depressions of the relief pattern, wherein the diameter of an individual frangible container is

25 measured as the largest dimension of that frangible container. The mean diameter is a number average, rather than a weight average. The diameter of the frangible containers may be measured using suitable known techniques, including for example, a sieve test, or by individually examining a sampling of the frangible containers.

The relief pattern may be formed at the outer surface of the outer wrapper using any

30 suitable technique. Preferably, the relief pattern is formed from the topography of the outer wrapper itself, rather than any material deposited thereon. In one preferred embodiment, at least a portion of the outer wrapper is embossed such that the relief pattern at the outer surface is formed by a pattern of a plurality of embossments.

The term "embossed" is used herein to refer to a sheet material which has a pattern or

35 image impressed or imprinted onto the surface such that the pattern or image is raised from the overall surface of the sheet material. The term "embossment" refers herein to the impression produced by the embossing process. Embossments may be formed on the outer surface of the outer wrapper with a variety of known embossing techniques using, for example, embossing dies or rollers. Suitable apparatus for forming an embossed outer wrapper for use in smoking articles according to the present invention is commercially available from various sources, for example Boegli-Gravures S.A.

Preferably the embossments in the relief pattern have a depth of at least about 30 microns, more preferably at least about 150 microns, most preferably at least about 200 microns. Preferably, the embossments have a depth of less than about 350 microns, more preferably less than about 300 microns. For the purposes of the present invention, the depth of the embossments will typically correspond to the height of the peaks, as defined above.

In a first preferred embodiment of the invention, the smoking article comprises an embossed outer wrapper wherein the outer wrapper comprises a first embossed region and a second embossed region. The frangible microcapsules are provided within a non-embossed region defining a depression between the first and second embossed regions. In such embodiments, the depression in which the microcapsules are provided is not within either of the embossed regions, but is defined between the first and second embossed regions. The non- embossed region of the outer surface is effectively recessed as a result of the provision of the embossed regions on either side. The peaks of the first and second embossed regions surround the depression on at least two sides, so that the peaks in the embossed regions provide protection for the microcapsules deposited in the non-embossed region.

Preferably, the first and second embossed regions are in the form of first and second embossed bands extending circumferentially around the mouthpiece and separated from each other along the length of the mouthpiece. The microcapsules are preferably applied to the outer wrapper in a circumferential band provided between the first and second circumferential embossed bands.

In smoking articles according to the first embodiment of the invention, the non-embossed region in which the microcapsules are provided preferably extends at least about 5mm along the length of the mouthpiece, more preferably at least about 10 mm. Alternatively or in addition, the non-embossed region in which the microcapsules are provided preferably extends less than about 15 mm along the length of the mouthpiece.

The non-embossed region is preferably at least about 17 mm from the mouth end of the mouthpiece, more preferably at least about 20 mm from the mouth end. Preferably, the non- embossed region is at least about 2 mm from the rod end of the mouthpiece, more preferably at least about 5 mm.

Alternatively, the non-embossed region is preferably less than about 15 mm from the mouth end of the mouthpiece, more preferably less than about 10 mm from the mouth end.

In a second preferred embodiment of the invention, the outer wrapper comprises at least one embossed region, wherein the microcapsules are provided within one or more depressions defined within the embossed region. The microcapsules are therefore provided within the embossed region itself. As in the first embodiment, the peaks of the embossed region protect the microcapsules within the depressions from frictional forces to which the smoking article may be subjected during assembly and processing. Microcapsules may be provided in the at least one embossed region only, or may additionally be provided in non-embossed regions of the outer wrapper. For example, in certain embodiments, the microcapsules may be provided across substantially the entire surface of the outer wrapper.

In smoking articles according to the second embodiment of the invention, the at least one embossed region within which the microcapsules are provided may extend over one or more discrete areas of the outer surface of the outer wrapper or may extend over substantially the entire outer surface of the outer wrapper. Preferably, the embossed region is an embossed band extending circumferentially around the mouthpiece along a part of the length of the mouthpiece.

In smoking articles according to the second embodiment of the invention, the at least one embossed region preferably extends at least about 5 mm along the length of the mouthpiece, more preferably at least about 10 mm. Preferably, the at least one embossed region extends less than about 15 mm along the length of the mouthpiece.

Preferably, the at least one embossed region is at least about 17 mm from the mouth end of the mouthpiece, more preferably at least about 20 mm from the mouth end. Preferably, the at least one embossed region is at least about 2 mm from the rod end of the mouthpiece, more preferably at least about 5 mm.

Alternatively, the non-embossed region is preferably less than about 15 mm from the mouth end of the mouthpiece, more preferably less than about 10 mm from the mouth end.

The microcapsules may be provided over a part or parts of the at least one embossed region. Alternatively, the microcapsules may be provided over the entire embossed region. Where the embossed region covers substantially the entire outer surface of the outer wrapper, the microcapsules are preferably provided in one or more specific flavoured regions of the embossed region and not across the entire embossed region.

In described embodiments of the present invention, the plurality of frangible microcapsules are provided within one or more flavoured regions of the outer surface of the outer wrapper, wherein within each flavoured region the microcapsules are distributed within one or more depressions of the relief pattern. The flavoured region of the outer wrapper corresponds to the region in which the consumer will apply a frictional force, or other type of force, in order to rupture the microcapsules and release the flavourant.

The flavoured region may cover the entire outer surface of the outer wrapper but more preferably, the flavoured region covers one or more specific areas of the outer surface, wherein the remaining areas do not have microcapsules applied to the surface. Each flavoured region preferably extends at least about 5 mm along the length of the mouthpiece, more preferably at least about 10 mm. Preferably, each flavoured region extends less than 15 mm along the length of the mouthpiece.

In one set of embodiments, the one or more flavoured regions are preferably provided at least about 17 mm from the mouth end of the mouthpiece, more preferably at least about 20 mm from the mouth end so that the flavoured region does not come into contact with the lips of the consumer during smoking. Preferably, the flavoured region coincides approximately with the position where the consumer's fingers are likely to contact the mouthpiece during smoking, so that flavour is transferred to the consumer's fingers

Alternatively, in another set of embodiments, the non-embossed region is preferably less than about 15 mm from the mouth end of the mouthpiece, more preferably less than about 10 mm from the mouth end so that the flavoured region does not come into contact with the consumer's fingers during smoking. Preferably, the flavoured region coincides approximately with the position where the consumer's lips are likely to contact the mouthpiece during smoking, so that flavour is transferred to the consumer's lips.

Each of the plurality of microcapsules provided on the outer surface of the outer wrapper within the one or more flavoured regions comprises a core including a flavourant material and a frangible shell encapsulating the core. Suitable methods for the manufacture of such microcapsules are well known. For example, a suitable method is described in US-A- 2009/0104251 of Sensient Flavors, Inc. A suitable microcapsule is also commercially available from Schubert International.

The flavourant encapsulated within the microcapsules preferably comprises one or more volatile flavour compounds which will volatilise upon rupture of the microcapsules by the consumer. Preferably, the flavourant is additionally an odorant which is capable of producing an olfactory sensation, so that a scent or aroma is generated upon rupture of the microcapsules. Suitable flavourants for use in the microcapsules of the present invention are well known to the skilled person. The flavourant in the microcapsules may include one or more natural flavourants, one or more synthetic flavourants, or a combination of natural and synthetic flavourants.

Suitable flavours to be provided by the flavourant within the microcapsules include, but are not limited to, natural or synthetic menthol, peppermint, spearmint, coffee, tea, spices (such as cinnamon, clove, ginger, cardamom, sage, rosemary, basil and such like), cocoa, vanilla, fruit flavours, chocolate, geranium, linalool and essences (such as pine, Cyprus, cedar, sandalwood, amber, eucalyptus and such like).

Preferably the flavour comprises at least one of cardamom, sage, rosemary and basil.

Alternatively, or in addition, the flavour preferably comprises an essential oil, or a mixture of one or more essential oils. An "essential oil" is a volatile oil having the characteristic odour and flavour of the plant from which it is obtained. Suitable essential oils for inclusion in the microcapsules on the outer wrapper include, but are not limited to, pine, Cyprus, cedar, sandalwood, amber and eucalyptus. The one or more essential oils may be provided in a solution of, for example, ethanol.

The plurality of frangible microcapsules provided on the outer surface of the outer wrapper of smoking articles according to the present invention may contain the same or different flavourants and each microcapsule may encapsulate a single flavourant or a combination or two or more flavourants.

The number of frangible microcapsules provided on the outer surface of the outer wrapper of smoking articles according to the present invention and the amount of flavourant encapsulated within the plurality of microcapsules is such that by manually rupturing the microcapsules the consumer releases sufficient flavourant to produce the desired level of flavour. The quantity of microcapsules required will depend upon the size of the microcapsules as well as the nature and concentration of the encapsulated flavourant. Smoking articles according to the present invention may have several thousand frangible microcapsules provided on the outer surface of the outer wrapper, for example at least about 2500 or at least about 10,000 frangible microcapsules. The smoking articles according to the present invention may have less than about 100,000 frangible microcapsules provided on the outer surface of the outer wrapper.

Preferably, the frangible microcapsules have a mean diameter of between about 5 microns and about 40 microns, more preferably between about 10 microns and about 20 microns.

The frangible microcapsules provided on the outer surface of the outer wrapper are adapted to be manually ruptured upon application of a physical force by the consumer during use of the smoking article, to release the flavourant encapsulated within the microcapsules. For example, the shape and configuration of the microcapsules may be such that the microcapsules rupture upon application of a force. Alternatively or in addition, the materials forming the outer shell of the microcapsules may be such that the outer shell is sufficiently brittle that it is broken apart upon application of a force. Alternatively or in addition, the way in which the microcapsules are incorporated onto the outer wrapper may be such that the microcapsules rupture upon application of a force.

The frangible microcapsules provided on the outer surface of the outer wrapper may be adapted to be manually ruptured by the consumer applying a physical force to the microcapsules using their hands, or an alternative tool such as, for example, a part of the container in which the smoking articles are packaged or a coin. For example, the frangible microcapsules may be adapted to be manually ruptured upon application of a frictional force to the flavoured region of the outer surface of the outer wrapper by the consumer through rubbing or scratching of the flavoured region.

In certain embodiments of the invention, at least some of the plurality of frangible microcapsules may be initially covered by a removable layer of paper, film or other sheet 5 material, which is releasably affixed to the outer surface of the outer wrapper of the smoking article. In such embodiments, the frangible microcapsules may be adapted to be ruptured upon removal of the removable layer of material from the outer surface of the outer wrapper by the consumer.

Frangible microcapsules may be applied to the outer wrapper by printing or otherwise i o depositing the microcapsules on the outer surface of a layer of sheet material, such as paper or film, used to form the outer wrapper. Preferably, the microcapsules are printed or deposited on the sheet material in the form of a suspension. For example, a suspension of the microcapsules may be applied to the outer wrapper by gravure or offset printing, or by spraying. The frangible microcapsules may be applied to the outer wrapper before the outer wrapper is

15 assembled around the smoking article. Alternatively, the frangible microcapsules may be applied to the outer wrapper after it is put in place around the mouthpiece of the smoking article.

The outer wrapper may extend along the full length of the mouthpiece, or may extend along only a part of the mouthpiece. In certain preferred embodiments, the outer wrapper additionally circumscribes a portion of the aerosol generating substrate adjacent to the

20 mouthpiece. Preferably, the outer wrapper including the relief pattern and the plurality of microcapsules is a tipping wrapper circumscribing the mouthpiece and connecting the mouthpiece to the aerosol generating substrate.

Preferably, the outer wrapper is formed of a continuous sheet of material, which does not include holes or cut outs. The outer wrapper therefore may fully cover any underlying filter

25 wrappers or components.

Preferably, the outer wrapper is formed of a paper material, such as a standard tipping paper. Preferably, the outer wrapper has a weight of between about 20 and about 75 grams per square metre (gsm), more preferably between about 30 and about 60 gsm.

In certain embodiments, a coloured coating layer is applied to the outer surface of the

30 outer wrapper in the one or more flavoured regions on the outer surface of the wrapper, where the microcapsules are provided. This advantageously provides the consumer with a visual indication of the position of the flavoured region, such that it can readily be seen where the appropriate force should be applied to rupture the microcapsules and release the flavourant. Alternatively or in addition to the application of a coloured coating layer on the outer surface of

35 the outer wrapper, at least some of the frangible microcapsules provided within the depressions of the relief pattern may be coloured. For example, at least one of the outer shell or the flavourant within the outer shell may be coloured through the use of a suitable dye or colourant. The flavoured region or regions in which the frangible microcapsules are applied to the outer wrapper will typically have a rougher surface texture than the original surface of the outer wrapper. This provides a unique tactile effect on the outer surface of the mouthpiece and enables the consumer to physically perceive by touch where the microcapsules are provided.

The smoothness of the surface of a sheet material can be quantified by measuring the

Bekk smoothness of the surface using a Bekk smoothness tester in accordance with ISO 5627:1995. In this test, air at a specified pressure is leaked between a smooth glass surface and the sample of the sheet material, and the time (in seconds) for a fixed volume of air (10 ml) to seep between these surfaces is measured. This time corresponds to the Bekk smoothness, which is therefore also expressed in units of seconds. The higher the Bekk smoothness value, the smoother the surface of the sheet material.

Preferably, the Bekk smoothness of the outer surface of the outer wrapper is reduced by at least about 30 times by the application of the plurality of frangible microcapsules on the outer surface, more preferably at least about 40 times. Typically, the Bekk smoothness of the outer wrapper prior to the application of the relief pattern and the microcapsules is at least about 200 seconds, more preferably at least about 250 seconds. Preferably, the Bekk smoothness of the outer surface of outer wrapper in a flavoured region (that is, a region between embossments and containing the microcapsules) is less than about 20 seconds, more preferably less than about 12 seconds, most preferably less than about 8 seconds.

Smoking articles according to the invention comprise a mouthpiece incorporating the outer wrapper with the relief pattern and the frangible microcapsules, connected to a rod of aerosol generating substrate. Preferably, the mouthpiece is attached to the aerosol generating substrate by means of the outer wrapper described above. The mouthpiece may be connected directly to the rod of aerosol generating substrate such that the end of the mouthpiece abuts the end of the rod of aerosol generating substrate. Alternatively, the mouthpiece may be indirectly connected to the rod of aerosol generating substrate, for example, by means of one or more intermediate segments.

In certain preferred embodiments of the present invention, the aerosol generating substrate of the smoking article comprises a tobacco rod and the mouthpiece comprises a filter comprising one or more filter segments. Preferably, the outer wrapper is a tipping paper which joins the tobacco rod to the filter.

Where the mouthpiece comprises a filter, the filter may be formed of a single segment or may be a multi-segment filter comprising two or more filter segments which are connected in a longitudinal direction. Where two or more filter segments are provided, the filter segments may be of the same construction and materials as each other but more preferably have a different construction, or contain different filtration material or additives. In certain embodiments of the present invention, the mouthpiece comprises a filter including a filter segment comprising a particulate material. The filter segment comprising the particulate material may be the only segment forming the filter, or may be connected to other filter segments to form a multi-segment filter.

Any particulate material in the filter may be dispersed through a plug of filtration material.

Preferably, the filtration material within the filter segment is a plug of fibrous filtration material, such as cellulose acetate tow or paper. A filter plasticiser may be applied to the fibrous filtration material in a conventional manner, by spraying it onto the separated fibres, preferably before applying the particulate material to the filtration material.

Alternatively or in addition to the filter segment described above, the filter may include a hollow cavity at least partially filled with a particulate material. In such embodiments, the hollow cavity is preferably provided between two plugs of a filtration material, for example a mouth end filter segment downstream of the cavity and a rod end filter segment upstream of the cavity. Preferably, between 40% and 100% of the volume of the cavity is filled with particulate material, more preferably between 60% and 80% of the volume of the cavity. Cavity filters according to the invention may be produced using known machinery for producing charcoal filters, such as that described in EP-A-1 ,571 ,933. Such machinery is commercially available, for example from Filtrona International Ltd., Great Britain.

The particulate material incorporated into the filter segments described above may include at least one sorbent capable of removing at least one gas phase constituent from mainstream smoke drawn through the filter. Preferably, the at least one sorbent is selected from the group consisting of activated carbon, coated carbon, active aluminium, zeolites, sepiolites, molecular sieves and silica gel.

Alternatively or in addition to the at least one sorbent, the particulate material may include at least one flavourant material. For example, the particulate flavourant material may include particles of a sorbent or cellulosic material impregnated with a liquid flavourant. Alternatively, the particulate material may comprise particles of plant material. The plant material may be in the form of plant leaf, as described in EP-A-1 , 958, 523. For example, the filter segment may include leaf from tobacco, green tea, mint, such as peppermint or spearmint, laurel, eucalyptus, basil, sage, verbena and tarragon. The plant material may alternatively be in the form of a seed, root, bark or flower, such as those typically used as spices.

Smoking articles according to the present invention may include a variety of different types of filter segments or combinations of filter segments, including those described above as well as other types of filter segments that would be known to the skilled person.

Preferably, the overall length of mouthpieces of smoking articles according to the present invention is between about 18 mm and about 36 mm, more preferably about 27 mm. Preferably, the overall length of smoking articles according to the present invention is between about 70 mm and about 130mm, more preferably about 84 mm. Preferably, the external diameter of smoking articles according to the invention is between about 5.0 mm and about 8.5 mm, more preferably about 7.9 mm.

Smoking articles according to the invention may be packaged in containers, for example

5 in soft packs or hinge lid packs. The smoking articles within the container may be wrapped in an inner liner, which may optionally have a flavourant applied to at least one surface.

The present invention further provides a method for the production of smoking articles according to the invention, as described above. The method of the present invention comprises the steps of providing a plurality of discrete, wrapped mouthpieces; providing a plurality of rods i o of aerosol generating substrate; providing a sheet of outer wrapper having a relief pattern thereon, and further comprising a plurality of frangible flavour containers provided on the outer surface of the sheet of outer wrapper within one or more depressions defined in the relief pattern; disposing one of the wrapped mouthpieces adjacent to and in axial alignment with one of the rods of aerosol generating substrate; and wrapping the sheet of outer wrapper around at

15 least a portion of the wrapped mouthpiece and at least a portion of the adjacent rod of wrapped aerosol generating substrate such that the sheet of outer wrapper attaches the wrapped mouthpiece to the rod of wrapped aerosol generating substrate and the plurality of frangible flavour containers are provided at a position along the mouthpiece.

In such a method, the placement of the frangible flavour containers within one or more

20 depressions defined by the relief pattern in the outer surface of the outer wrapper protects the flavour containers from the frictional forces to which the smoking article will be subjected during the production process.

The embossing of the sheet material forming the outer wrapper may be carried out online on the cigarette maker, by incorporating an embossing apparatus, such as embossing

25 rollers, upstream of the apparatus for wrapping and gluing the outer wrapper around the smoking articles.

Alternatively, the embossing of the outer wrapper may be carried out offline from the cigarette maker, using separate apparatus which may be provided at the same or a different location to the cigarette maker. In this case, the steps of the method of producing the smoking 30 article can be carried out using standard wrapping techniques and apparatus to apply the embossed wrapper.

The application of the frangible flavour containers to the outer surface of the outer wrapper may also be carried out online on the cigarette maker, after the embossing step, by incorporating a printing or spraying apparatus downstream of the embossing apparatus. The 35 apparatus for the application of the flavour containers may be provided upstream or downstream of the apparatus for wrapping and gluing the outer wrapper around the smoking articles. Alternatively, the application of the frangible flavour containers to the outer surface of the outer wrapper may be carried out offline from the cigarette maker, using separate apparatus which may be provided at the same or a different location to the cigarette maker.

The invention will be further described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings (not to scale) in which:

Figure 1 shows a schematic longitudinal cross section of a smoking article according to the first preferred embodiment of the invention described above; and

Figure 2 shows a schematic longitudinal cross section of a smoking article according to the second preferred embodiment of the invention described above.

The smoking article 10 shown in Figure 1 comprises a cylindrical wrapped tobacco rod

12 and a filter 14 aligned in end-to-end relationship with the tobacco rod 12. The tobacco rod 12 comprises a plug of tobacco cut filler circumscribed by a paper wrapper. The filter 14 comprises a single segment of cellulose acetate tow which is attached to the tobacco rod 12 by a band of tipping paper 18, which circumscribes the filter 14 and an adjacent portion of the tobacco rod 12.

The tipping paper 18 corresponds to the "outer wrapper" described above for the first preferred embodiment of the invention. A relief pattern 20 is provided on the outer surface of the tipping paper 18. The relief pattern 20 includes a first embossed region 22 extending circumferentially around the filter 14 at the mouth end of the filter 14 and a second embossed region 24 extending circumferentially around the filter 14 at the rod end of the filter 14, where the filter abuts the tobacco rod 12. The first embossed region 22 extends about 20 mm along the length of the filter from the mouth end and comprises a pattern of a plurality of embossments 28 having a depth of about 30 microns and defining a plurality of peaks 30. The second embossed region 24 extends about 5 mm along the length of the filter from the rod end and similarly comprises a pattern of embossments 28 having a depth of about 30 microns. The relief pattern 20 is not shown to scale in Figure 1 .

A non-embossed region 32 is provided between the first 22 and second 24 embossed regions. The non-embossed region 32 extends circumferentially around the filter 14 and has a width of about 5 mm. In this non-embossed region 32, the tipping paper 18 is not embossed and as shown in Figure 1 , is recessed relative to the surrounding peaks 30 of the embossed regions 22, 24 to provide a depression at the outer surface of the tipping paper 18. A plurality of frangible microcapsules 34 of a flavourant are deposited in the non-embossed region 32 such that the non-embossed region 32 defines a flavoured region on the tipping paper 18.

The microcapsules 34 each have a diameter of about 10 microns (not shown to scale in Figure 1 ) and therefore at least the microcapsules 34 directly in contact with the surface of the tipping paper 18 are entirely below the level of the peaks 30 of the embossed regions 22, 24. The peaks 30 protect the microcapsules 34 from frictional forces that may be inadvertently applied to the tipping paper 18, for example, during production. At least a significant proportion of the microcapsules 34 will therefore be retained in an unbroken state until the consumer chooses to manually rupture the microcapsules in the manner described below.

The consumer may manually rupture the microcapsules 34 either before, during or after smoking in order to release the flavourant encapsulated therein. This may be achieved through the rubbing or scratching of the non-embossed region 32 of the tipping paper 18 to generate a frictional force that breaks the shell of at least some of the microcapsules 34 and releases the flavourant from the core. Where the consumer uses their fingers to apply the frictional force, the flavourant released from the microcapsules may advantageously be transferred to the consumer's fingers.

The smoking article 50 shown in Figure 2 has a similar construction to the smoking article 10 shown in Figure 1 and described above but is provided with an alternative tipping paper 58 in place of the tipping paper 18 described above.

The tipping paper 58 corresponds to the "outer wrapper" described above for the second preferred embodiment of the invention. A relief pattern 60 is provided on the outer surface of the tipping paper 58. The relief pattern 60 includes a single embossed region 62 extending circumferentially around the filter 14 at an intermediate position along the filter 14. The embossed region 62 extends about 10 mm along the length of the filter from the mouth end and the most upstream part of the embossed region 62 is provided about 2 mm from the rod end of the filter. The embossed region 62 comprises a pattern of a plurality of embossments 64 having a depth of about 230 microns and defining a plurality of peaks 66 and a plurality of depressions 68 between the peaks. The relief pattern 60 is not shown to scale in Figure 1 .

A plurality of frangible microcapsules 34 of a flavourant are deposited in the depressions 68 of the embossed region 62 and the embossed region 62 therefore defines a flavoured region on the tipping paper 58. The microcapsules 34 each have a diameter of about 10 microns (not shown to scale in Figure 2) and therefore at least the microcapsules 34 directly in contact with the surface of the tipping paper 58 in the depressions 68 of the relief pattern are entirely below the level of the peaks 66 of the embossed region 62. As with the relief pattern 20 of the tipping paper 18, the peaks 66 therefore protect the microcapsules 34 from frictional forces that may be inadvertently applied to the tipping paper 58, for example, during production.

As described above in relation to smoking article 10, the consumer may manually rupture the microcapsules 34 on the tipping wrapper 58 of smoking article 50 in order to release the flavourant encapsulated therein by rubbing or scratching of embossed region 62 of the tipping paper 58.