Appleton, Wisconsin - will city get grant to fight dissolvable tobacco products seen as a threat to children..

March 5, 2010 - APPLETON, Wisconsin — City officials could know this week whether Appleton will receive $3 million in federal stimulus money to fight a new form of tobacco product seen as threatening children with nicotine addiction.

Directly related story:
NY City Council not backing down as US Smokeless Tobacco files lawsuit against city..

The program focuses on preventing youth from using and getting addicted to nicotine embedded in dissolvable tobacco products. The products are made from finely ground tobacco and shaped to look like breath mints, chewing gum and toothpicks, Appleton Health Officer Kurt Eggebrecht said. "It could be very appealing to youth," he said.

The money is part of $8 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requested by the state to help stop the flow of dissolvable tobacco products into Wisconsin. Appleton's grant would include $1 million for a media advertising blitz.

"We've done a good job of educating people on the harmful effects of cigarettes, but an unsuspecting user of the new dissolvable products may not realize they are getting hooked on nicotine," Eggebrecht said.

The state Department of Health Services would funnel the money as part of the federal Communities Putting Prevention to Work program. The state's grant application says dissolvable tobacco products "threaten to weaken the intended impact of Wisconsin's smoke-free air law," a ban on smoking in workplaces that takes effect July 5. Appleton enacted a smoke-free workplace ban in 2005.

In the past three years, the nation's two largest cigarette companies, R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris USA, have moved into the smokeless tobacco market as smoke-free laws sweep the nation and cigarette sales continue to fall.

A year ago, R.J. Reynolds debuted a new aspirin-sized tablet, called "Camel Orbs," that lets tobacco melt in the mouth. The dissolvable product was the first such product by a major tobacco company.

Reference: Appleton tries for $3 million grant from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fight Big Tobacco's new dissolvable tobacco products by Steve Wideman, Post-Crescent staff writer, 3/3/2010.

Wisconsin related news briefs:
Wisconsin - lawmakers defeat plan to eventually eliminate candy-flavored tobacco..;
Wisconsin - almost last state to require fire-safe cigarettes..;
Wisconsin - government anti-smoking programs cut from $15.3 million a year to $6.9 million..;
Wisconsin - tobacco taxes to go up tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1, 2009..;
U.S. - Midwest States smoking bans do not hurt business..;
Wisconsin Governor Doyle signs smoking ban..;
Wisconsin - legislature passes smoking ban in restaurants, bars and other businesses..;
Count Wisconsin as the 26th state to ban smoking..;
Wisconsin may be the 26th state to ban smoking in all bars and restaurants..;
Wisconsin - Increased Sales Tax Decrease in Smoking..;
Wisconsin's achieves the lowest adult smoking prevalence ever..;
The primary reason to increase the tax on tobacco is to get smokers to quit and dissuade kids from starting..;
Wisconsin cigarette tax and tax on other tobacco products to increase January 1, 2008..;
Wisconsin to Increase Tax on All Tobacco Products..;
Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly (2-to-1) favor upping cigarette taxes by $1.25 a pack..