Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New tobacco product coming under fire in W. Va.

In a rural state with one of the nation's highest smoking rates, tobacco company RJ Reynolds has debuted a new ‘spitless’ tobacco product with higher-than-normal nicotine levels.

Camel Snus, a pouch placed between the gum and the lip, is under scrutiny from West Virginia University’s Translational Tobacco Reduction Research Program, which has issues with the perceived manipulation on the part of tobacco companies in the region.

“It would appear that tobacco companies are trying to strategically market new smokeless, spitless tobacco products in these areas of high use, such as West Virginia, and also promoting their use as a way to get nicotine in places where you can’t smoke,” Cindy Tworek, Ph.D., said in a release. First spotted in a convenience store in Morgantown, W. Va., Camel Snus are advertised as a cleaner alternative to smoking or chew tobacco. Low levels of salt and moisture content mean users don’t have to spit and the packaging and design of the product appears to be clearly aimed at the younger consumer. “Packaging, colors, and advertising have potential appeal to a younger audience, including product pamphlets on where you can use Camel Snus,” said Tworek.

Further analysis showed the nicotine levels in Camel Snus were much higher than other snuff products sold in the U.S. Newswise, a research-reporting service, reports that “ the version of Camel Snus currently being sold in West Virginia has double the nicotine compared to an earlier analysis of a test-market version of the same product.” The level is much higher than the Liggett Group’s comparable Tourney product line. “With nicotine levels this high, these products are going to be highly addicting,” said Bruce Adkins of the state Division of Tobacco Prevention. “The public needs this awareness, especially to remind them that there’s no tobacco product that can be used without significant potential health risks.” Read the release from Newsiwse here.

1 comment:

Virginia Universities said...

This should be interesting. Aside from causing cancer, it's said to taste like... welll... dung