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Camel Brand Dissolvable Tobacco Products

Dissolvable Tobacco Products Especially Appealing to Kids

The consumer demand for cigarettes has been decreasing, and Big Tobacco companies are looking to fill these sales gaps with cigarette alternative products. This includes cigars, chew, snuff, and nicotine replacements.

As the dangers of second-hand smoke becomes more prevalent, most areas have in place smoking bans in public places.

Big Tobacco companies are seeking out new products to keep addicted smokers dependent on their habit. Wikipedia defines the newest nicotine delivery devices as dissolvable tobacco products.

Nicotine Alternatives

Dissolvable tobacco products carry a significant risk of nicotine addiction and even poisoning if consumed by kids or teens. Additionally, these products have similar cancer and heart disease risks as traditional tobacco products.

Flavored—to make them taste “less harsh”—as well as dissolvable, these products are made from “finely milled tobacco” and are ingested similar to breath mints.

FDA Concerns

Camel Brand Dissolvable Tobacco ProductsThe FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has expressed its concern with these products to Big Tobacco companies R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Star Scientific Inc. Because the packaging is brightly colored, appearing like a candy product, and small enough to be easily concealed, the CTP questions the appeal of these products to kids and teens.

The CTP has asked both companies to provide research and marketing documentation on the perception people aged 26 years and younger have towards these products, the age of new users, and information on product misuse.

Tasty Nicotine?

Star Scientific Inc. manufactures the dissolvable tobacco products Ariva and Stonewall. These products, similar in appearance to breath mints, come in wintergreen, coffee, and tobacco flavors. A Star Scientific spokesperson points out that these products provide adult users a tobacco alternative, but are not made to be attractive for non-users.

R.J. Reynolds Inc. produces Camel Orbs (tablets), Camel Strips, and Camel Sticks (toothpick style), all available in mint flavor. A spokesperson for the company stated that not only are their products strictly market to and designed for adults, but they carry the same warnings and age restrictions as other tobacco products.

Camel Orbs are currently being test marketed in Columbus, Ohio, Portland, Oregon, and Indianapolis, Ind.

To learn more: Dissolvable Tobacco Products

Reference: http://www.cigarettesflavours.com/smoking-campaign/fda-dissolvable-tobacco-appeals-to-kids/

Big 5 Tobacco File Lawsuit to Fight New Warning Labels

On September 22, 2012, all cigarette packaging and advertising must display one of the FDAs 9 pre-approved graphic and text health warnings.

These labels are designed to discourage youths from smoking and to provide greater appeal for quitting to current smokers.

However, on September 21, 2011 a hearing was held in U.S. Federal District Court regarding the constitutionality of these warnings.

Big Tobacco Files Lawsuit

Five major tobacco manufacturers filed a lawsuit against the FDA on August 16, 2011 in hopes of achieving an injunction against the mandatory implementation of graphic and text warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements.

The tobacco manufacturing companies involved with this lawsuit are:

  • R.J. Reynolds
  • Lorillard Tobacco Co.
  • Commonwealth Brands Inc.
  • Ligget Group LLC
  • Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc.

New Cigarette Package Warning LabelsThe tobacco companies’ lawsuit against the FDA was filed on the grounds that the mandatory text and graphic warnings infringed on the constitutional free speech of the tobacco manufacturers. They have asked that the FDAs mandatory implementation be dismissed, and that a new set of warnings that do not threaten their constitutional right be developed. Following this, a new fifteen month waiting period will be set before the new warnings become effective.

The FDA Taken to Court . . . Again

In August 2009, a similar lawsuit was filed on behalf of Discount Tobacco City & Lottery Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Conwood Co. LLC, Commonwealth Brands Inc., Lorillard Tobacco Co., and National Tobacco Co. The purpose was to have it declared the FDAs proposed graphic and text warnings were unconstitutional.

The judge dismissed the suit, and an appeal was filed. A decision is still pending from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on this case.

Tobacco Manufacturers Argue Warnings Are Unconstitutional

What’s at issue with the tobacco manufacturers is whether or not the FDAs nine warnings portray actual health risks as a result from smoking, or whether or not they stem more from an advocacy perspective.

Tobacco use accounts for more than one in five deaths. Smoking remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in America.

Judge Richard Leon’s decision on the injunction is expected by the end of October.

Reference: http://www.csdecisions.com/2011/09/22/tobacco-companies-fight-warning-labels/

Users of Smoking Cessation Drug Chantix Experience Increased Aggressive Behavior

Over two million people attempt to quit smoking each year in the United States. Popular methods of quitting include using smoking cessation aids, such as nicotine replacement products or anti-nicotine medications.

Common effects of smoking cessation include increased levels of irritability and anxiety as the body adjusts to the lack of nicotine.

One common smoking cessation aid, anti-nicotine medication Chantix, has been linked to abnormal levels of aggression and violence amongst its users.

Pfizer’s Smoking Cessation Aid Chantix

Chantix is a smoking cessation aid manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. First approved by the FDA in 2006, this pill is intended to reduce users’ positive associations with smoking. It works by blocking in smokers’ brains the receptors that are stimulated by nicotine. It has been used by millions of people around the world as its popularity grows. In 2007, Chantix profits reached over $883 million.

Chantix lawsuits are on the riseReports indicate many users experiencing aggressive behavior and thoughts, including self harm and suicide, and lashing out at friends and family members when unprovoked. This has even occurred for people with no previous aggressive or violent behaviors. Pfizer has many lawsuits pending against it on the basis that the company did not disclose the risks of psychological side effects.

Study Documents Adverse Side Effects of Chantix

Chantix now leads the list of prescription drugs that are associated with acts of violence.  Results of a study published in PLoS ONE medical journal revealed that Chantix played a role in 408 cases of FDA reported adverse events. The second highest rate of incident was with the anti-depressant medication Paxil, with 177 cases. Not only are the reported rates of violence the highest, but the rates are proportionate to the number of people taking the medication.

Researchers speculate that the increased acts of violence are due to extra dopamine or serotonin released to the smoker’s brain while using the prescription medication, resulting in neuropsychiatric side effects. For people taking Chantix, the violent urges begin shortly after starting, and end quickly after discontinuing its use.

In 2009, manufacturers added to Chantix packaging a warning label depicting the potential hazards, including severe behavior changes and bouts of depression. Pfizer has also been required to do scientific trials on people with these symptoms to help determine their causes.

If you or someone you know has made the decision to quit smoking, talk about all your cessation options and strategies with your doctor.

Reference: “Chantix Side Effects Linked to More Violence Than Any Other Drug: Study”

Lighting Up While Driving Can Be Costly

This week’s tobacco news was filled with history making reports about congress signing off on regulation of tobacco by the FDA.

Many opinions are floating around. Some are in favor of it, while others are against the bill. Then there are those who like the idea but have concerns over the vast loopholes in the legislation.

Another story this week caught our attention. It is not as newsworthy, but on the other hand this story illustrates how the danger of second-hand smoke is making an impact.

In Toronto, Canada a recent law went into effect that regulates driving while under the influence of Tobacco. In the US, Louisiana and Arizona have similar laws, and many states are considering similar rules.

Driver Fined For “Lighting Up” in Car with Kids

The Star.com – June 11, 2009

smoking-while-drivingA women from Vaughan, Toronto, Canada was driving while smoking with three children in the car, all were under the age of eleven. She was stopped and cited under a recent law that took effect the first of the year.

The report did not say what she was fined, but offenders can be fined up to $250 for smoking in vehicles with children under the age of sixteen present.

There have been a handful of other charges, but it seems people are catching on to the effects of second-hand smoke and the dangers to children. Kids are really vulnerable because they absorb more toxins than adults. Their respiratory rates and metabolisms are higher due to their air intake to body weight ratio.

The Ontario Medical Association provided statistics on smoking in cars that is beyond alarming. The concentration from second-hand smoke in a vehicle can be up to twenty-seven percent higher than that of a smoker’s living environment, and up to twenty times higher that the smoke that floated in smoky bars prior to public smoking bans.

Raveena Aulakh, The Star Staff reporter

Will New FDA Regulations Backfire and Lend Big Tobacco a Hand?

Government tobacco regulation has been a topic of discussion for years.

Today, the house approved a bill titled, “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act” that would allow the FDA the power to regulate the sale of tobacco products and the ingredients they contain.

For instance, tobacco companies would be banned from adding fruity flavors or additives designed to hook young smokers.

Look Dad, I Can Smoke, Too

pic-candy-ciggysDepending on your age, you may remember the candy cigarettes given to kids. I remember eating them and mimicking my parent’s smoking habits. In those days, the dangers of smoking was downplayed and the uphill battle to expose their risks had not yet kicked in.

Recently, R J Reynold’s Camel No 9 marketing tactics were similar. They aimed their campaign at young women smokers with packaging that is dressed up in pretty pink, a light and luscious slogan, and parties offering gifts. If this bill makes it through congress, perhaps the FDA will take steps to curb actions that attempt to entice young smokers to the negative effects of smoking tobacco products.

We wonder how closely the FDA will view all the harmful additives in cigarettes, and how much of a difference it will make in the end. The FDA does not have a strong track record in keeping toxic substances out of food or personal care products. Therefore, how well will they regulate products we inhale or chew?

Another thing to consider are the existing cigarette ingredients. If they are to be “grandfathered in” like the cheap ingredients found in many personal care products, the FDA could end up allowing more toxic substances in consumer items than they already do.

Imagine the FDA regulation of tobacco products backfiring and thus supporting Big Tobacco’s idea to manipulate FDA regulation by advertising that their products as “FDA Approved.”  This would give people the wrong idea: that there is a safe cigarette.

Hopefully, by the time this bill is approved, it will be well thought out. At least the government is attempting to take the lead in addressing the unchecked power over people’s health that Big Tobacco has had for years.

Times are changing, this is a good thing.

Obama Expected To Render Stricter FDA Imports Monitoring

With Barack Obama having been elected the next president of the United States on November 4, Americans are now expecting to see him keep his promise of bringing the change that the nation needs.

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is said to begin to both monitor more closely and to instate stricter regulations, as well, where imports are concerned, in order to prevent incidents similar to the recent salmonella outbreak from occurring in the future.

Moreover, since president-elect Obama, who is a former smoker trying to break the habit with the help of nicotine gum, is a sponsor of a legislation that aims to enable the FDA to only control (but not to ban) tobacco products, rumor has it that new institutions would be given the power to ban cigarettes and other products of the like.

Under former U.S. president George W. Bush’s administration, the FDA has come into much criticism, many claiming that it had become too lenient with regards to food and drugs safety measures, giving rise to consumer protection issues.

The first step that Obama is expected to take is appointing a new commissioner for the Administration. For the time being, there are about six people whose names have come up during talks about a new FDA leader, including Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Dr. Steven Nissen, former director of the FDA’s women’s health office Susan Wood and Baltimore’s health chief Dr. Joshua Sharfstein.

FDA Badge Furthermore, more inspections of imported food are to be performed by the FDA under Obama’s administration, along with ones concerning foreign drug manufacturing plants, which have been long neglected the time Bush was at the helm of the nation.

In addition, a tracing system for fresh produce is part of Obama’s plan for the FDA, in order to tighten the regulations regarding consumer protection.

As for the tobacco legislation the president-elect has sponsored, the proposal entails that the FDA would be able to request that nicotine products be rendered less addictive and toxic, but not to put a ban on tobacco or nicotine.

Source: By Jenny Huntington,- eFluxMedia

Let’s Not Waste Another 12 Years

The federal government regulates everything from breakfast cereal and hair dye to horse feed and breast implants. The list of items regulated by our government includes just about every consumable product in America from prescription drugs to vegetables.

But there’s one item strangely absent from the list, the one that causes more preventable deaths than any other product. A powerful and well-funded lobby has managed to keep tobacco off the list of federally regulated products for more than 40 years after the first surgeon general’s report linked smoking to cancer. Even today, a simple list of ingredients is not required for tobacco products.

Tobacco companies have taken advantage of this lack of oversight and have shamelessly marketed to underaged recruits through cartoon advertising, nicotine and ingredient manipulation, fruity flavors, free giveaways at rock concerts, and ads in publications with high teen readership.

In 1996, the Food and Drug Administration assumed the authority to regulate tobacco as a consumable product and published rules regarding this regulation. Some basic common-sense approaches were proposed in those rules, including ways to prohibit the sale and marketing of tobacco to children. However, the Supreme Court ruled that only Congress could give the FDA authority to regulate tobacco.

Twelve years later, we continue to wait for Congress to take action regarding this lone unregulated product. We submit to you that this is twelve years too long.

Government RegulatorsCurrently being considered by Congress, the Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act, S. 625 and H.R. 1108, would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products the way drugs, devices, and foods are currently regulated. The American Cancer Society encourages all members of Congress to stand up and be counted on this issue. We cannot afford another 12 years of inaction.

Clanton is chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, High Plains Division, which includes Oklahoma. He is former deputy director for the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

Source: Mark Clanton, M.D., The Oklahoman

Anti-Smoking Drug Chantix Tied to Serious Mental Illness

Melinda and Kenny Peterson wanted to kick their two-pack-a-day smoking habit.

In early January, the Green Bay couple started taking three-month prescriptions of Chantix, a new anti-smoking pill. About six weeks later, they weren’t smoking at all.

But what the Petersons didn’t know was that as they were weaning themselves off cigarettes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert.

Chantix Causes Neuropsychiatric Symptoms

Some patients taking the powerful drug had experienced serious neuropsychiatric symptoms. And Pfizer, the maker of Chantix, had recently added a warning about these symptoms in a more prominent position in the drug’s information packet, at the FDA’s urging.

The alert was issued in early February. But the Petersons didn’t know about it until the end of March, when a friend who was a pharmacist filled them in.  By then, it was too late. About a week earlier, Kenny Peterson had spiraled into a deep depression. He told his wife he wanted to kill himself. His family checked him into a hospital psychiatric ward four days before Easter. Chantix’s safety is now under fire, as similar stories of patients with suicidal thoughts, depression and aggressive behavior surface. The FDA received reports of 37 suicides and 491 cases in which people had suicidal thoughts. The FDA also said it “appears increasingly likely that there is an association between Chantix and serious neuropsychiatric symptoms.” About 5 million people use the drug.

“I think the jury is still out on what’s going on here,” said Carlyle Chan, a professor in the psychiatric department at the Medical College of Wisconsin. “Be aware that there are some concerns about (Chantix). It needs to be watched closely.”

A Pfizer spokeswoman said the company was rolling out Chantix globally but halted advertising the drug to consumers in February. The FDA approved the drug in May 2006.

The company maintained that the serious neuropsychiatric symptoms are rare, but physicians and patients should be on the lookout for them. Pfizer said a causal relationship between the drug and these symptoms has not been determined.

“The real problem out there right now is smoking,” Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Joe Feczko said at a health investor conference in March.

Chantix can help shrink the global population of 1.3 billion smokers, he said, thus addressing health problems such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. In 2007, Chantix brought in $883 million in revenue.

Chantix, known generically as varenicline, works by blocking nicotine receptors in the brain. When people smoke, nicotine attaches to receptors and the brain releases the chemical dopamine, which gives pleasure. Chantix activates the receptors and blocks nicotine from attaching to them.

Before You take Chantix Be WarnedThe drug now includes a mention of possible serious neuropsychiatric symptoms in a warning section of the printed information that accompanies each prescription and is folded inside the packaging. Previously, the information was in a less prominent place in a section of the drug’s literature in which “adverse events” were reported. But there is no requirement to put the warning on the actual package because the FDA hasn’t mandated it.

None of this is comforting to Melinda Peterson, who believes that Chantix cost her family too much.

In the psychiatric ward, Kenny Peterson was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He’s out of the hospital now but can’t work, and his doctors said they wouldn’t know when he would be able to work.

“He is completely mentally ill right now,” Melinda Peterson said. “My belief is that the drug caused him to go into a manic episode. He has paranoia. He has delusions.”

Chan said it was unclear whether Chantix actually caused depression and suicidal thoughts or whether Chantix exacerbated the symptoms of people who already have some sort of depressive behavior.

The FDA reported that it has seen both types of situations – some in which patients had no history of depression, and cases in which depression previously was an issue.

Source: Ellen Gabler,  journalsentinel.com

Future of Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes Uncertain

Washington – The Food and Drug Administration may soon have the ability to regulate sales, distribution and advertising of tobacco products, but it would not be allowed to require removal of nicotine from cigarettes.

Nicotine, the most addictive ingredient in a cigarette, increases the level of the dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain.

Dopamine controls many important responses in the brain, such as behavior.

Nicotine spreads in the brain within a few minutes of the first inhalation, creating feelings of reward, which then cause the smoker to continue smoking.

“People may smoke for non-nicotine reasons, but it is the nicotine that is the primary addictive component of cigarettes,” said Dr. Allison Chausmer from the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

American Lung Association Graph of Chemicals in CigarettesAlthough the FDA would not be able to get rid of nicotine altogether under the bill being considered by Congress, it would have the power to reduce nicotine levels in tobacco products.

The possible benefits for smokers, just like the bill, remain debatable.

A study by the National Institute of Drug Abuse found that tapered reduction of nicotine in cigarettes over a four-week span led one-fourth of smokers who were not trying to quit to spontaneously stop smoking after returning to their regular cigarettes.

“If a cigarette has nicotine levels that are below the level that people find rewarding, it may result in a reduced incidence of smoking initiation and/or increased incidence of quitting,” Chausmer said.

Chausmer also said that if the FDA lowers the nicotine content of cigarettes, “Fewer people will become addicted, and those who are addicted may find it easier to quit.”

However, smokers’ behavior varies, and some, if faced with lower nicotine levels in cigarettes, might smoke more to achieve the same nicotine satisfaction. Chausmer noted that smoking more cigarettes would mean spending more money and taking more time away from work or friends because of today’s smoke-free workplaces and restaurants.

The bill that would give the FDA regulatory power was approved by a House committee last week and will move to the House floor in the coming months.

Source: Farah Khan, Medill Reports, Northwestern University

Cigarettes are Carcinogenic Cocktails

“Cigarettes are carcinogenic cocktails, containing unknown amounts of harmful and addictive substances.

Tobacco is a deadly product, period.

Congress should give the FDA the authority to regulate it — and the power to protect our kids.”

The Charlotte Observer, 08/26/2007

Deadly Cigarette Cocktail There is a lot of controversy over how to regulate Big Tobacco and outlaw all the addictive chemicals that they add to cigarettes.

Not only is smoking bad for the smoker, but we often forget about the health risks of those exposed to secondhand smoke.

Also research has shown that children whose parents smoke are more susceptible to addiction along with all the health risks they are subjected to. Subjecting children to second-hand smoke could be classified as a form of abuse if you really think about it.

It is not much different than making your child consume a little poison each day.