Friday, August 5, 2011

Tobacco products that really suck

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 9:32 AM

The Colorado Board of Health will take up the matter of dissolvable smoke products at a board meeting Aug. 17. The board could decide that day to adopt a resolution opposing the marketing of such products.

From the dissolvable tobacco website.
  • From the dissolvable tobacco website.

One website touts these products as "the future of tobacco," and that you can "stay in the game whether it is having fun with your family or friends, stuck in a meeting at work or on the golf course."

Dissolvable tobacco comes in the form of a pill that you're supposed to put between your cheek and gum, but not chew. Because of how it's used, the website calls it "the most innovative tobacco product ever," that "you can enjoy ... anywhere, smoke-free and discreet."

A video on the website talks about the advantages of these products and offers them in natural, wintergreen and java flavors.

The site also carries this cautionary statements: "Warning: This product can cause gum disease and tooth loss," and "There are no safe tobacco products and quitting or not starting tobacco use is always your best option."

The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Sabin-Cleere Conference Room, Building A, at 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South in Denver. Here's the release from the Board of Health:

DENVER — On Aug. 17, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the Colorado Board of Health will hold a public hearing at its regular monthly meeting to discuss health concerns related to new dissolvable tobacco products being test-marketed in the state.

Dissolvable tobacco products represent the newest line of tobacco products marketed by the tobacco industry. These products pose potential health concerns, particularly because of their appeal to youth. Some new dissolvable tobacco products resemble breath mints and strips. Counties throughout Colorado have reported seeing these new products in local stores.

“The Board of Health wants to provide an opportunity for public input on the sale of dissolvable tobacco products in Colorado. The public health concern is that the composition, packaging and flavoring may have a particular appeal to kids. In 1989, the board adopted a resolution opposing the marketing and sale of a new tobacco product, and the board may consider a similar resolution for these dissolvable tobacco products,” said Laura Davis, board president.

Colorado research has shown children have easy access to tobacco products, with nearly half the children who purchased tobacco illegally reporting they were not asked to show any proof of age.

Dr. Chris Urbina, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said, “While data specific to tobacco dissolvables are not yet available, the research on cigarettes and tobacco is conclusive. Tobacco is highly addictive, and use of tobacco products can lead to cancer, heart disease and stroke.”

More than 80 percent of adults who use tobacco started before the age of 18. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death and is a major driver in health care costs.

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