Reynolds: Smoke 'em if you got 'em. Then call us once you're ready to quit

In a move headed for the Irony Hall of Fame, No. 2 tobacco marketer Reynolds American (RAI), parent of R.J. Reynolds, announced Wednesday that it's buying Niconovum, a Swedish marketer of smoking-cessation products, for $44 million.

It's a sea change from recent decades, when tobacco companies inclduding Reynolds, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, denied that nicotine was even addictive. "Niconovum's products have great potential in meeting consumer demand and public health objectives," Reynolds American's chairman-president-CEO Susan M. Ivey said in a statement. "This acquisition extends the harm-reduction strategies RAI and its operating companies have been developing over the past several years."