Tobacco companies are constantly developing new products to hook another generation on nicotine and keep the cycle of addiction in motion. Tough new smoking laws ban cigarette smoking in public, and the tobacco industry needs new products to keep users hooked, and new users to bring in revenue while they sell addiction.
A new smokeless tobacco product, which is the size of a toothpick, is called a “stick.” It has about 3.1 mg of nicotine whereas an average cigarette has about 1 mg of nicotine. It is a round stick of crushed pulverized tobacco, sweetener, flavor and nicotine (don’t forget the nicotine). These sticks, which look like a brown tooth pick without the pointy ends, are placed in the mouth, require no spitting, and last about 20 minutes. One user reported it burned her throat as she chewed and swallowed it.
Pieces can be broken off and placed between the cheek and gum where it is supposed to dissolve, although users complained that the stick just softened and did not dissolve completely. The sweeteners added to the stick to make it taste good could be a source of tooth decay as it sits on your teeth without dissolving. And since it does not dissolve completely, the tobacco pressed against your gums, along with the sweeteners and nicotine become a source of irritation to delicate oral cavity tissues. The sticks are also more obvious to use compared to orbs, but less obvious than a cigarette.
How much tobacco is needed in a product to be defined as a tobacco product? Are users hooked on the tobacco in the product or on the nicotine delivery system?
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