Tuesday, 03 October 2017 06:51

US Cities Banning Wintergreen and Mint Smokeless Tobacco AND Snus Featured

Written by Larry Waters
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The calls for banning flavored nicotine-containing products has been primarily a long and vocal one when it comes to vapor and e-cigarettes.  Poking out of the eSmoke debate is a new threat that hits my community much closer to home:  a ban on flavored mint and wintergreen snus and smokeless tobacco.

San Francisco, Oakland, St. Paul, and Canton have proposed regulations to effectively slash the availability of all smokeless tobacco products and ban outright wintergreen and mint flavored dip and snus.  Since US sales of these flavors make up 60% of the total US market, this will be a huge blow to national Adult Tobacco Harm Reduction (ATHR) efforts to switch current cigarette smokers to safer nicotine alternatives.

"Medically approved" products like Big Pharma's nicotine gum are of course excluded in these new regulations.  New nicotine pouches and dissolvables which contain no tobacco like Swedish Match's new ZYN product have no such luck and fall under the proposed bans as well.

If you are a tobacco-centric snus or dip user, you're going to have to look a lot harder to find your brand of choice.  Smokeless tobacco sales would be limited to "Adult Only Tobacco Outlets" (traditional tobacco stores).  Convenience stores, supermarkets, and the like will only be allowed to carry....cigarettes.

As usual, these actions are being taken to "save the children", although most of the proposed regulations clearly acknowledge that selling or providing tobacco to minors is already illegal with fines and even jail time attached for those who do so. 

As usual, Big Pharma and Big Tobacco will be the ones to profit the most.

The big losers are nicotine-addicted adults; either those still smoking who want to quit or those who have already quit thanks to smokeless products; especially Swedish snus.  Swedish snus is already proven to be 99% less harmful to a smoker than cigarettes.

The Dirty Secret: tobacco doesn't kill children

Irresponsible Parent IssueUnless a child lights themselves on fire in the process of lighting a cigarette, cigarettes don't kill children.  The deadly effects of cigarette smoking such as lung cancer and heart disease take years to develop.  I'm not aware of any minor who died of cigarette or tobacco-related illnesses before they were old enough to vote.

Illegal cigarette or tobacco use by minors can result in nicotine addiction.  Once addicted, these individuals will be subject to all the negative outcomes especially cigarette smoking can bring later in life.

Nicotine addicted adults are the biggest health concern we are facing, especially that of smokers.  This is the group most at risk and for whom the availability of safer and effective nicotine alternatives is the absolute priority; or at least it should be.  Banning any flavor, delivery system/device, or restricting the availability of Adult THR products is counter-intuitive, agenda and ideologically driven, hateful, and ultimately deadly to the group at the greatest risk:  adult nicotine addicts.

Big Pharma Adult Tobacco Harm Reduction Products really aren't

All these proposals carve out exemptions for "medically proven" or "doctor prescribed" smoking cessation methods.  While these are expensive and very profitable to the pharmaceutical industry, they are the least effect options available to help nicotine addicted smokers to quit long-term.

I come in lots of great flavors!Nicotine gum has a one year success rate in stopping smoking of 8%.  In other words, 92% of nicotine gum users go back to smoking after one year.... that's a 92% failure rate.  Yet those huge displays of brand name and generic nicotine gum, in a plethora of fruit and candy flavors, sit proudly on the shelves of Walmart in easy reach of children.  Each box sells for about $50/box, depending on your market.  Nicotine addicts buy them by the truckload, often at the advice of their doctors.

Fifty or 60 years ago, 4 out of 5 doctors were recommending different brands of cigarettes "for the taste".  Look where that got those patients.

Big Pharma also has pills to stop smoking.  Of course they do.  Pills mean "medicine".  Pills are serious.  Smoking cessation pills can also be dangerous.

Pfizer markets Chantix in the US and Champix internationally.  Both are designed to take away the urge to smoke.  If you've ever seen a commercial (yes, these are advertised on TV) for Chantix, don't tune out the huge list of possible side affects Pfizer is grudgingly required to list at the end of the commercial.

There was a big uproar about two of these side affects a few years ago.  The first was "this product may cause depression in people who were not previously diagnosed with a depressive disorder".  The second was "this product may cause suicide in people who where not suicidal before taking the medication.

Doctors were found to be prescribing anti-depressants along with Chantix as a matter of course. In Australia, about a dozen suicides were attributed to the use of Champix by patents attempting to quit smoking.  Lawsuits were filed by the mourning families.  I assume Pfizer settled them all out of court as I can't find a reference to an actual judgement against them.  But that's why Big Pharma has lots of lawyers on staff and ample settlement funds set aside.

FDA forced Pfizer to slap what is called a "Black Box" warning on Chantix boxes and materials.  Black Box warnings are reserved for products which are FDA approved but must be prescribed with extreme caution and additional monitoring of the patients by the doctor.

A year or so ago Pfizer submitted a study they had prepared to FDA stating Chantix didn't cause meaningful depression or suicide.  Based on this one manufacturer conducted study, FDA went ahead and lifted the Black Box warning label requirement on Chantix.  I don't have the current figures, but the effectiveness of Chantix was similar to that of nicotine gum after one year.

Combined, nicotine gum and anti-smoking pills are a multi-billion dollar business today.  Congratulations to the shareholders of the relevant Big Pharma stocks.

Adult Smokeless Tobacco and Swedish Snus users have the Right to Freedom of Choice

It is illegal for children to buy or consume alcohol.  Unlike tobacco, that first bottle of booze behind the wheel of a car can kill the child...and innocent others.

As an adult, I can walk into a liquor store and walk through row upon row of flavored alcoholic beverages of all kinds.  I can buy any I chose legally.  If a less responsible adult decides to buy a bottle of flavored vodka, drive while drunk and kills himself or others, they and they alone are held responsible for their actions...and this is how it should be.

Apparently, nicotine addicted adults are not worthy of the same respect.  Apparently, the government from the local to the national doesn't trust nicotine addicted adults to make rational decisions when attempting to stop smoking cigarettes. 

Freedom to chose a legal Adult THR product of the flavor they enjoy or from a store they patronize is just too much control to leave to the individual.  One has to question the hypocritical agenda of these anti-THR extremists.

On one hand, they hate cigarettes and the health risks they bring as do we all; especially ex-smokers.  Yet on the other hand, they support the least effective smoking cessation products (in all their yummy flavors) while fighting tooth and nail to keep products proven at a minimum to be substantially less harmful than cigarettes off the market or as difficult as possible to obtain.

In reading the drafts of these anti-smokeless tobacco/anti-snus ordinances, I am outraged and offended by the arrogance and hatred these ignorant, self-anointed gatekeepers of my personal freedom to quit smoking using the most effective products for me.  I am 10 years cigarette-free today because I was able to walk into a store and buy a can of General Snus to try.  Heart disease runs in my family; if these tobacco prohibitionists had their way, I would have been forced to continue smoking and most likely would be dead today. 

If I have the freedom to legally buy alcohol as an adult, I have the freedom to choose which adult tobacco harm reduction product works the best for me and that I enjoy the most.

As for "the children" justification.....just stop it.  It doesn't apply to me or any other nicotine-addicted adult. 

Use the laws in place or create even more to criminalize and slow the sale of all tobacco products to minors.  That is a totally separate issue.  Leave my Swedish snus alone; mint, wintergreen, or any other flavor I fancy!  My tax dollars pay your salary.


LARRY WATERSOfficial Seal of the Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States

Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org

Read 6609 times Last modified on Thursday, 05 October 2017 20:27

1 comment

  • Comment Link B. Wiberg Tuesday, 03 October 2017 10:54 posted by B. Wiberg

    This is nothing else than "voluntary manslaughter" by these states deciding politicians. Americans will die due to availability of cigarettes and not for smokeless tobacco with flavors. Adults have "the right to life". FDA is finally embarrassing tobacco harm reduction and as late as two weeks ago Director Mitch Zeller confirmed absolutely understanding "The Swedish Experience" i.e. that due to the use of snus instead of cigarettes, Sweden has the lowest daily smoker rate and tobacco mortality rate in all Europe! Only 5 % of Swedish men smoke. FDA also attribute The Swedish Experience, with accompanying and 100 % proven epidemiological date from a whole population adults. See the words of FDA Director himself. Share it with clown politicians who don't know what they are doing.

    I'm Bengt Wiberg with patented snus iinovation #StingFreeSnus, global award winner of "Most Exciting Newcomer to the Industry" for reasons being that it will also help more of the worlds smoking population (1,2 billion people) to easier quit smoking or as FDA would put it, down smokers risk continuum or in simple worlds, tobacco harm reduction.




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