March 7, 2008 - Star Scientific gets Maine lawmakers to repeal a ban enacted last September 20, 2007 on the sale of a tobacco lozenge product known as hard snuff.. Star Scientific's tobacco lozenges - Ariva® and Stonewall® Dissolvable Smokeless Tobacco Products. The Senate on Wednesday gave its final approval to the emergency bill and sent it to Gov. John Baldacci for his signature. The ban on selling or giving away hard snuff was passed last year as part of a broader anti-tobacco bill. In the meantime, lawmakers were told they had made a mistake. Star Scientific says the products are widely used by smokers to wean them from tobacco dependence. They also say their products are packaged so they are not attractive to minors. The ban on tobacco products took effect last September 20th. If you go to the web site for Ariva and Stonewall not a word is mentioned about weaning a person from smoking. Star recommends that the lozenges be used as a substitute for smoking when you can't smoke. Stonewall is recommended for heavy smokers (more than one pack per day) it contains approximately 4.0mg of nicotine and comes in 3-flavors: wintergreen, natural and Java blends. Ariva is recommended for smokers and contains approximately 1.5mg of nicotine and comes in one flavor: wintergreen blend. Testifying in favor of lifting the ban were Scott Ballin, VP American Heart Association, Dr. Brad Rodu, Professor Oral Pathology, University of Louisville and a nurse from the Cancer Centers of North Carolina, Pamela Harlan Brown. Emergency measure! "Emergency" bills take effect the instant they're signed into law. Where's the Anti-Tobacco People?? Lifting the ban on tobacco containing lozenges is a set back for Maine's health promotion efforts. In 2007 Maine ranked No. 1 for the sixth year in a row in funding programs to protect children from tobacco. Where was Dr. Dora Anne Mills (MD,MPH) the Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention when big tobacco came calling??