New tobacco products – Look and taste like candy
Tobacco companies are facing new criticism, accused of targeting children with new types of tobacco products that allegedly look and taste like candy.
Camel is launching three dissolvable tobacco products: Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs. All three smokeless tobacco products are made of finely-milled tobacco and are designed to completely dissolve in the mouth.
According to R.J. Reynolds spokesman Tommy Payne, the new products solve all kinds of problems for smokers.
“They don’t have second hand smoke. They don’t have a litter problem. The product actually dissolves in your mouth as opposed to having to spit or extract something like a patch from your mouth like other smokeless products,” Payne said.
Orbs are small and pill-like. Sticks are designed like toothpicks and Strips are similar to breath strips that dissolve on the tongue. Both come in “mellow” tobacco and mint flavors.
Critics contend the new products are designed to look and taste like candy, and they claim Camel is marketing to smoker wanna-bes and not adults.
“Really what you’re doing with kids, actually, it’s kind of like a gateway drug: you’re getting them addicted to nicotine, which then leads them to possibly wanting to do other things,” said Dan Smith, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society.
Critics also claim there is a risk of overdose, especially for children who mistake the product for candy. According to the Indiana Poison Control Center, just one Camel dissolvable delivers up to 300 percent of the nicotine found in just one cigarette. That could put people at risk of nicotine poisoning.
Camel’s Web site said the products come in child-resistant containers to prevent accidental overdoses. The products are only available to those over the age of 18.
“They’re not candy; they’re tobacco products,” Payne said. The Web site also warns about other problems related to smokeless tobacco, including oral cancers. Camel spokesman Payne said they’re simply another option for nicotine-seeking adults.
“It’s just when compared to smoking and the impact that it has on our society these products at least should be made available for those who can’t or won’t quit,” he said.
The products are scheduled to hit the market this summer. Camel Orbs are currently being test marketed in Columbus, Ohio, Portland, Oregon, and Indianapolis, Ind.
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