A moving advertisement, showing a chest X-ray and a shadowed lung, took to the streets to promote the new brand after promoters were 'blocked' from booking fixed poster sites in London.
Boz Temple-Morris, Death's marketing director, said the new company's 'honest' approach left it trapped between the anti- and pro-smoking lobbies. He defined its ethical position as 'pro- choice'.
The cigarettes, which first found success in the United States, come in a black packet decorated with a skull and crossbones. Each cigarette bears the same motif.
Mr Temple-Morris, a non- smoker, said: 'The other tobacco companies are major customers of the billboard firms. The billboard companies may feel our campaign would displease them. But we feel the campaign is at least honest. We don't pretend that smoking makes you sexy, macho or athletic. We say it kills.'
He denies the trendy black pack and the advertising slogan 'The Shadow of Death' is a cynical marketing ploy designed to lure the young rebellious smoker. He says that there is no shame in profiting from the truth.