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Listerine Designs Portable Product

April 6, 2000

NEW YORK _ Listerine, which has been attacking bad breath for 120 years as a mouthwash, this summer will be available in strips that dissolve instantly in your mouth.

The makers of Listerine Pocket Packs Oral Care Strips say the product is designed to work as a breath freshener that people can take easily during the day. Listerine mouthwash is typically taken first thing in morning and before bedtime, and is marketed as a way to fight gum disease as well as bad breath.

Warner-Lambert intends to promote the new product’s ability to kill germs, something it says other breath fresheners can’t claim.

``This is for freshening breath and getting that clean mouth feeling when on the go,″ said Dr. Jack Vincent, senior director of dental affairs at Warner-Lambert Consumer Health Care.

The Listerine strips will sell for $1.49 for a 16-count package and $3.39 for a package of three 24-count dispensers.

Listerine controls more than 40 percent of the mouthwash market, but the overall sales of such dental rinses have been flat in the past five years, according to Information Resources Inc. In comparison, the breath freshener market, which includes such brands as Tic Tacs, Altoids and Certs, is growing. Warner-Lambert also makes Certs.

The strips include the basic germ killing ingredients as Listerine mouthwash, including eucalyptus. The strips are designed to improve one’s breathe for about 90 minutes.

The tiny transparent strips are intended to supplement, not replace, the need for Listerine mouthwash. Only the mouthwash has the federal approval to say it can prevent and reduce the build up of plaque and gingivitis, a common gum disease.

Vincent said people who want a breath freshener without having to chew gum, or keep a tablet in their mouth for several minutes, will be attracted to the strips.

``You put it on the tongue, and almost instantly it’s gone,″ he said.

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