Thursday, September 22, 2011

Just say no to Sticks, Strips and Orbs

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 12:55 PM

The state Health Board voted yesterday to ask R.J. Reynolds Company to remove Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs from Colorado until a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to regulate such products as tobacco products is made.

Those products already have been removed from some markets.

“In passing today’s resolution, the board made an important statement — that dissolvable tobacco products are a risk to the public’s health,” Dr. Chris Urbina, the state’s chief medical officer and executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a press release.

The products are seen as a way to entice young people to start using tobacco or continue its use. Some of these products are packaged to look like breath mints or gum.

The FDA is expect to rule on dissolvable tobacco products regulations next year.

Here's the state resolution adopted Wednesday:

Colorado State Board of Health Resolution
On
R. J. Reynolds Camel Sticks, Strips, and Orbs
WHEREAS, the Colorado State Board of Health is empowered to act in an advisory capacity and to determine general policies in administering and enforcing the public health laws of Colorado; and
WHEREAS, Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs contain tobacco and nicotine, and therefore are defined as tobacco products under C.R.S. 18-13-121(5)(a); and are also defined as a tobacco product under 21 U.S.C. §321(rr) ; and
WHEREAS, tobacco products are detrimental to health and contribute to numerous cancers, heart disease, lung diseases and stroke; and
WHEREAS, the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act grants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products; and the Tobacco Product Scientific Advisory Committee, convened by the FDA, is studying “dissolvable” tobacco products; and
WHEREAS, Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs cannot be considered a safe alternative to smoking and may endanger individuals who initiate their tobacco use by using these products; and
WHEREAS, individuals such as teenagers may be attracted to the flavoring and discreet nature of the products and use the product illegally and inappropriately; and
WHEREAS, research shows that increasing the price of tobacco products decreases teen initiation and use of tobacco products; and
WHEREAS, studies show teenagers who use nicotine are those most likely to become adult users; and
WHEREAS, the state of Colorado has made significant progress in reducing youth smoking rates, and these products may impede that progress by enticing young people to start using tobacco or continue to use it; and
WHEREAS, regulation of Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs or like products by the Food and Drug Administration would provide the American people with an assured means of determining present and future chemical contents of the products; and
WHEREAS, on July 20, 2011, the Colorado State Board of Health was requested to hold a public hearing regarding the test-marketing of these products and held an informational hearing on Wednesday, August 17, 2011, concerning the test-marketing in Colorado of Camel Sticks, Strips, and Orbs products of the R.J. Reynolds Company;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Colorado State Board of Health objects to using Colorado as a test market of Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs, or similar products; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Colorado State Board of Health requests that the R.J. Reynolds Company remove Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs from Colorado until a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to regulate such products as tobacco products is determined; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Colorado State Board of Health petitions and requests the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs products, or any similar products, as a tobacco product; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Colorado State Board of Health requests that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment educate the public, including parents, youth, family members, school officials and others about the availability and potential dangers of these products; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Colorado State Board of Health requests that the Colorado General Assembly investigate and consider imposing the tobacco excise tax on dissolvable tobacco products, as it is imposed on other forms of smokeless tobacco; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Colorado State Board of Health requests that the R.J. Reynolds Company cease marketing their Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs in any way that may potentially attract youth to the products.
Dated this 21st day of September, 2011
_________________________________
Laura J. Davis, President
Colorado State Board of Health


And just to, uh, clear the air, R.J. Reynolds wants to set the record straight on its products:

Camel dissolvables are tobacco products, NOT mints or candy.
ς These are tobacco products. Finely milled tobacco is the predominant ingredient.
ς They are sold on the same store shelves as other tobacco products, behind the sales counter, requiring a
clerk’s assistance to access them.
ς They carry the same health warnings as other smokeless tobacco products.
ς They are taxed at the same rate as other smokeless tobacco products.
ς Their sale is age-restricted, requiring proof of age before purchase.
ς The packaging is child-resistant.
ς The front label on all Camel dissolvables’ packaging clearly identifies the contents as “dissolvable
tobacco.”
ς Those who keep referring to these tobacco products as “candy” or “mints” are irresponsibly perpetuating
false and misleading information. If a minor hears these products referred to as “candy,” they may be
more likely to try to get them. A better approach is to make sure everyone knows these are tobacco
products, and like all tobacco products they carry risks and should only be used by adult tobacco
consumers who have made the informed decision to use tobacco products.
Camel dissolvables are marketed to adult tobacco users, NOT to children.
ς Camel dissolvables are tobacco products made for and marketed to adult tobacco consumers.
ς They are sold on the same store shelves as other tobacco products (non-self-service), carry the same
health warnings as other smokeless tobacco products, are taxed as smokeless tobacco products, their
sale is age-restricted and the packaging is child-resistant.
ς They provide adult tobacco consumers another option for enjoying tobacco. They are spitless, have no
secondhand smoke and no cigarette-butt litter — thus, they are more in line with societal expectations
about tobacco product use today.
ς Dissolvable tobacco products have been sold in the U.S. for a number of years to adults interested in
consuming tobacco in places where smoking is not permitted or feasible.
ς Use of smokeless tobacco products by youth has declined substantially in recent years according to the
University of Michigan “Monitoring the Future” survey. Youth smoking rates have also reached historic
lows.
ς Any print advertising for Camel dissolvable tobacco products are placed in periodicals with at least 85
percent adult readership.
Camel dissolvables DO NOT contain significantly greater levels of nicotine than other
dissolvable/smokeless tobacco products.
ς These products are made of finely milled tobacco, and thus contain nicotine.
ς Dissolvable tobacco products have been on the market for several years (Ariva — 2001 and Stonewall
Hard Snuff — 2003).
ς The amount of nicotine in Camel dissolvables ranges from 1.2 milligrams of nicotine to 2.4 milligrams of
nicotine.
ς Other dissolvable tobacco products on the market contain as much as 1.5 milligrams of nicotine to 4
milligrams of nicotine.
ς Compared to other portioned smokeless tobacco products currently on the market, Camel dissolvables
contain less nicotine. A pouch of Camel Snus (0.6 gram) contains about 6 milligrams of nicotine, and
other portioned smokeless tobacco products contain as much as 8 milligrams of nicotine.
ς Adult tobacco consumers who use loose moist snuff products will expose themselves to varying levels of
nicotine, depending on the amount of loose snuff they hold in their mouth. While the amount of tobacco
used per pinch can vary widely, if an adult has 1-2 grams of moist snuff in their mouth, they will be
exposed to about 11-22 milligrams of nicotine.
ς Everyone uses smokeless products differently, and everyone uses Camel dissolvables differently. But on
average, tobacco consumers get roughly a similar amount of nicotine, or less, from a Camel dissolvable
as they do from other dissolvable or smokeless tobacco products currently on the market.
There is no clear evidence that smokeless tobacco products like Camel dissolvables prevent adult
smokers from quitting or that they serve as a “gateway” product for youth.
ς The best course of action for tobacco users concerned about their health is to quit.
ς Dissolvable tobacco products have been sold in the U.S. for a number of years to adults interested in
consuming tobacco in places where smoking is not permitted or feasible. During this time, the rates of
smoking among adults and youth have continued to decline.
ς Smokeless tobacco sales have increased in the U.S. over the last several years, even as smoking rates
have continued to decline.
ς There are more former smokers in the U.S. than current smokers.
ς Adult tobacco consumers should have access to a range of commercially viable tobacco and nicotinebased
products.
ς Minors should never use tobacco products and adults who do not use or have quit using tobacco
products should not start.
ς Rates of youth usage of cigarettes are down about 50% from their historic highs.
ς In Sweden, where the smokeless tobacco product snus is far more popular than cigarettes, there has
been no trend of youth starting with smokeless tobacco products and moving to cigarettes. In fact, studies
generally suggest the opposite — that smokeless tobacco use in Sweden is associated with lower rates
of people taking up or continuing to use cigarettes.
ς Little research has been conducted in the U.S. on smokeless tobacco as a “gateway” to cigarettes. The
studies that do exist show conflicting results. Recently, several research institutions have received
government grants to study smokeless tobacco use trends, and if properly designed and conducted,
these studies may provide more insight.

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