Regarding smokeless tobacco (SNUS): "What on the surface looks promising could turn out to be a public health disaster,"

August 7, 2007 - Regarding smokeless tobacco (SNUS): "What on the surface looks promising could turn out to be a public health disaster," says Dr. Gregory Connolly , director of tobacco-control research at the Harvard School of Public Health.Like us - many health advocates see the new smokeless alternatives as an attempt to create a new generation of tobacco users. According to Connolly, Taboka, Philip Morris' 1st smokeless offering, actually creates a craving for a cigarette. Philip Morris' Bill Phelps says a pouch of Taboka contains slightly more nicotine than a pouch of any of the 4-flavors of Marlboro SNUS. Bonnie Herzog, the tobacco industry analyst at Citigroup, says in a July 2007 survey of tobacco wholesalers and retailer that most respondents do not believe SNUS will prompt smokers to quit. Instead, they say smokers will use SNUS in addition to cigarettes. Nik Modi, a tobacco analyst at UBS,Taboka sales haven't been "lighting the world on fire." A USA Today visit to a dozen convenience, tobacco and Wal-Mart stores in Indianapolis found Taboka widely available, often in dispensers displayed near Marlboro cigarettes and priced at $1.20 to $3.80 per pack. Retailers say consumers have shown little interest. Pat Bowman at The Tobacco Shop says, "I haven't sold any at all." He says even people who had coupons for free samples didn't want Taboka once they knew what it was. "I couldn't give it away." In Wake County, NC (where Raleigh is located) where Camel SNUS was launched last month (July 2007), several smokers gave it a thumbs-down, says Gibbie Harris, the county's health director. Ten smokers in her agency tried it. She says "the women didn't like it at all," partly because they found it wasn't entirely spit-free. See related Newsbrief - July 15, 2007. Connolly says the health community should play no part in helping the industry expand tobacco sales share by acknowledging SNUS as a safer product. "We shouldn't be out there promoting harm," Connolly says, "even reduced harm." - Hey we're getting to like this guy.( As Cigarette Sales Dip, New Products Raise Concerns by Wendy Koch, REDORBIT NEWS)