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Smokeless Tobacco Wave Coming

Smokeless Tobacco FactsThis piece of news was passed along by StopSpitUSA:

From “Fox 47” Madison, Wisconsin

Smokeless Tobacco Wave Coming
By Jeff Angileri
May 12, 2009

Wisconsin lawmakers are expected to pass a statewide smoking ban this week, making Wisconsin the 26th state in the nation to go smoke-free, and there are already companies promoting products to get around it.

They’re called nicotine delivery systems. They don’t involve smoking, but experts say they’re just as dangerous.

They’re packaged to look like gum and candy, new smoke-less tobacco products coming to a store near you.

“The marketing of tobacco has totally changed,” said Lyle Burmeister with Tobacco Free Dane County. He says the colors are getting brighter and flavors more exotic.

“Grape flavored, apple flavored, honey flavored, cinnamon flavored, menthol, strawberry, you name it,” Burmeister said.

The tobacco industry spends $13.4 billion every year to market products in the United States, $280 million in Wisconsin alone. Marketing to children and teens is illegal, but experts say these new products could be aimed toward them — like tobacco sticks and a tobacco pouch placed under the tongue.

“The biggest thing we know about them is we don’t know,” said Dr. Douglas Jorenby with UW School of Medicine.

Jorenby says none of these products has been tested by the FDA or independent medical groups. Tobacco in itself isn’t dangerous, he says, it’s the delivery system.

“The smoke, the carbon monoxide, the tar, and the carcinogens, that come along with the nicotine — that’s the primary concern,” he said.

Jorenby says young people are more susceptible to addiction because their bodies are still developing. And there’s the teenage urge to try new things, and rebel.

With a state-wide smoking ban likely to pass on Wednesday, experts worry people who try to quit smoking will use these products because they’re marketed as smokeless.

Experts say there’s no safe alternative to cigarettes, other than quitting. You can get help by calling the free tobacco quit line, 1-800-quit-now.

We really need to make people understand just hour dangerous smokeless is.  I hear time and time again that smokeless (dip, chew, snuff, etc.) is not as dangerous or addictive as cigarettes.  That’s simply not the case.  Big tobacco will try to tell us differently (as evidenced above).  It’s time to stop this… once and for all.

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2 Comments

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more theo – I was never a big smoker (a cigar now and then) but the “rush” I got from dip was ALWAYS much bigger. I just can’t understand how more people don’t understand this.

  2. I was a smoker and a dipper—both for many years. Some years I did one, other years, the other, and for quite awhile I did both. From my perspective, dip is more addictive than cigs…largely because it packs a bigger dose of nicotine.

    So, indeed, not only is smokeless not a less-dangerous alternative to smoking. I’d argue that it’s more dangerous because it’s more likely to lead to lifetime addiction. And once you’re dependent on such massive daily doses of nicotine (like I was), it’s incredibly hard to shake loose of the addiction.

    Smokeless tobacco is simply the most powerful nicotine delivery channel there is.

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