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Experts Say New Tobacco Product Targets Young Adults
Date:11/21/2008

MORGANTOWN, W.Va., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New research at West Virginia University is examining whether a smokeless, spitless tobacco product aimed at young adults is catching on. And the researchers have found that RJ Reynolds' Camel Snus - touted as a socially acceptable way to satisfy addiction - contains surprisingly high levels of nicotine.

"Camel Snus contains more nicotine than most other snuff products," said Bruce Adkins of the state Division of Tobacco Prevention in Charleston. "In fact, the Camel Snus currently being marketed in West Virginia contains double the nicotine of an earlier tested version sold elsewhere in the United States. This provides a new example of the tobacco companies' manipulating nicotine levels without informing consumers."

"West Virginia has extremely high rates of smokeless tobacco use and high rates of smoking," said Cindy Tworek, Ph.D., a member of WVU's Translational Tobacco Reduction Research Program (T2R2). "It would appear that tobacco companies are trying to strategically market new smokeless, spitless tobacco products in these areas of high use, such as West Virginia, and also promoting their use as a way to get nicotine in places where you can't smoke." T2R2 is a joint effort of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center at WVU and the West Virginia Prevention Research Center.

Tworek is conducting a survey of several hundred young adults on or around college campuses in West Virginia to see whether the product's marketing has scored a hit. She hopes to have results compiled early in 2009.

Snus comes in a pouch that is placed between the gum and the upper lip. Because of low salt and moisture content, users don't have to spit. "It's a pouch you put in your mouth and you basically just let it sit there and absorb," she said. "You are supposed to be able to swallow the juice so you don't spit."


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SOURCE West Virginia University Health Sciences Center
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