Buying Cigarettes
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Melt-in-your-mouth tobacco has fewer health risks, but might lead to more users: FDA

A nicotine fix as simple as a Listerine strip could carry fewer health risks than smoking cigarettes, officials say.

With dissolvable tobacco, users bypass the toxins that are delivered with regular cigarette smoking, The Associated Press reported.

But the dissolvable products, which often come in tablet or strip form, also have the potential to increase the number of overall tobacco users, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

The agency says the melt-in-your-mouth tobacco is being marketed to users who find themselves in a situation where they can't smoke.

It's part of tobacco companies' continuing attempt to maximize sales growth by focusing on cigarette alternatives, like cigars, snuff and chewing tobacco, according to the AP.

One company testing the products, R.J. Reynolds, offers dissolvable strips, pellet-shaped "orbs," and sticks, which last the longest, up to 30 minutes.

The orbs last between 10 and 15 minutes, while the strips fizzle out after just a couple minutes.

Under the Marlboro brand, Altria Group Inc. is testing wooden sticks coated in tobacco. Star Scientific Inc. is also marketing tobacco lozenges in wintergreen, coffee and tobacco flavors, according to the AP.

Published: Friday, March 23, 2012

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