Are tobacco companies going too far?

As smoking bans become more popular, tobacco companies are developing new products and facing new criticism.

Snus’ are tea-bags, filled with mint-flavored tobacco. They fit neatly between your teeth and gum, with no need to spit.

The tobacco stays in the bag.

Tobacco companies say Snus’ have become so popular, they’re taking the next step, totally dissolvable tobacco.

For traditional smokers it will solve all kinds of problems.

“They don’t have second hand smoke,” Tommy Payne with R.J. Reynolds said. ”They don’t have a litter problem. The product actually dissolves in your mouth as opposed to having to spit or extract something like a patch from your mouth like other smokeless products.”

R.J. Reynolds will soon test test three new products: Camel sticks: that dissolve as you suck them, minty tobacco strips: that look like breath strips and orbs: flavored dissolvable tablets, that some say look and taste like candy, and there’s the thing.

Critics say R.J. Reynolds is doing what it did with Joe Camel, marketing not to adult smokers, but smoker wanna-bees.

“Really, what you’re doing with kids actually, it’s kind of like a gateway drug,” Dan Smith with the American Cancer Society said. ”You’re getting them addicted to nicotine, which then leads them to possibly wanting to do other things.”

And according to the Indiana Poison Control Center, just one Camel dissolvable delivers up to 300 percent of the nicotine found in just one cigarette.

Take too many, and nicotine poisoning might set in and you could possibly develop oral cancer.

“They’re not candy,” Payne said. ”They’re tobacco products.”

R.J. Reynolds said their new dissolvables have warning labels.

It’s illegal for kids to buy them, and, yeah, they’re not completely safe, but they’re for adults.

“It’s just when compared to smoking and the impact that it has on our society,” Payne said. ”These products at least should be made available for those who can’t or won’t quit.”

Anti-smoking groups like the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids said use of smokeless tobacco causes oral cancer, gum disease, nicotine addiction, and increases the risk of heart disease.

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