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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

NICOTINE WARS (2)



Last April we commented on a paper from the Harvard School of Public Health that contended that the nicotine lozenges marketed by Big Tobacco were a lure to children that could even be poisoned by the abuse of such a product. We questioned why they didn’t express any worries about the similar pharmaceutical product, Commit and then went on to compare the pharmaceutical produced nicotine lozenges Commit, to the tobacco produced lozenges Orbs. Our findings were quite interesting:

Orbs contain 0,6 - 3,5 ml of nicotine
Commits contain 2 - 4 ml of nicotine

Orbs are fruit and candy flavored
Commits are fruit and candy flavored

Orbs come in attractive packaging
Commits come in attractive packaging

Because they’re a tobacco product minors cannot purchase Orbs
Commits are marketed over the counter and are available to everyone

Orbs dissolve in the mouth in minutes are small in size and can be conveniently hidden anywhere
Commits dissolve in the mouth in minutes are small in size and can be conveniently hidden anywhere

In the U.S. Orbs are priced at around 4.00 $ before tax for 15 pieces (approx. 15 cents per piece)In the U.S. Commits are priced at around 40 $ for 72 pieces tax exempted (approx 55 cents per piece).

Up until then we could only suspect that this paper was to be served as ammunition to Big Pharma for their scheme to eliminate the cheaper competition, namely tobacco manufactured lozenges, but now our suspicions have been confirmed.

Glaxo Smith Klein, makers of Commits, recently urged the FDA to take dissolvable smokeless tobacco products off the market contending that they are a threat to public health.

But what will the FDA, that has several members with financial ties to Glaxo Smith Klien sitting at the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, do? It remains to be seen. Dr. Michael Siegel has already called for the resignation of such members. Will the FDA do the right thing? We somehow doubt it, but we will just have to wait and see. To follow.

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