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February 27 2011 - Just a couple of days ago we found that Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco operating companies are planning to test-market a new type of smokeless tobacco product in Kansas starting in March. (Altria companies to test new smokeless tobacco stick..)
The Marlboro and Skoal Smokeless Tobacco Sticks will be sold in packs of 10 sticks, priced roughly equivalent to a premium moist smokeless tobacco brand. Both Skoal and Marlboro products will be sold in four flavors.
To tell you the truth I was shocked that Mike Szymanczyk, Chairman & CEO and his Altria Group would enter the smokeless tobacco market. I thought Altria had been trying to portray themselves as a more socially responsible company.
They know that marketing will be geared to young adults and as a result lots of youngsters will be enticed to try this product resulting in a life of nicotine addiction never able to reach their full potential.
As pointed out by Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the USA: "Our Highest Priority Has To Be Keeping Children From Beginning To Use Tobacco Products."
The proper term for these products should be "suckers" and not "sticks". The products are more then a thin piece of wood, a stick, but heavily flavored coated tobacco at one end. This is the exact definition for a "sucker" or even a "lollipop". (Smokeless Tobacco products with up to 700% more flavor additives than candy..)
A discarded tobacco stick will create major problems. The flavored stick could be picked by a child (or pet) and placed in their mouth resulting in a toxic reaction.
(Poison Control Centers - Camel Dissolvables - Nicotine Toxicity..)
Can the federal government prevent these products from being targeted at our children?? On June 22, 2009 President Barack Obama signed into law an anti-smoking bill (Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act) that gives the FDA greater power to regulate tobacco. The president called this law the "Kids tobacco regulation bill to protect our kids." (President Obama signs bill for FDA to regulate tobacco..) On January 5, 2011
the FDA announced that certain tobacco products introduced or changed after Feb. 15, 2007 must be reviewed by the agency. (FDA - mission based on law to ensure new tobacco products do not pose an increased threat to the American public..)
In a commentary in the journal of Pediatrics, Dr. Laurence R. Deyton, director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the FDA indicated that dissolvable products are the second priority for review by the FDA office, after menthol cigarettes. But by this time we could have a few nicotine poisonings but thousands of children with a life-long addiction to nicotine. This is unacceptable, after all we are involved in public health - if you see an epidemic brewing you react immediately. (U.S. - senator urges FDA to pull dissolvable tobacco products from test market sites..)
Communities in Kansas where these products will be tested in the near future should ban together and tell tobacco companies they don't want to be the test site for their addicted tobacco products. Community involvement seems to have worked with R.J. Reynolds when they announced that they will pull the Camel Dissolvables line of smokeless tobacco products--Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs--from current lead tests markets of Columbus, Ohio, Indianapolis and Portland, Ore. (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco confirms Camel Dissolvables being pulled from all 3-test markets..)
Referenec: Documentation: For Our Children - ban all dissolvable tobacco products - permanently..