FDA Probes Smokeless Tobacco Lozenges

By Valerie Tejeda 01/19/12

Big Tobacco accused of hunting the teenage market with new, smokeless nicotine products.

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Camel "Orbs" are one of several new products
being product tested in select cities.
Photo via

The new smokeless tobacco product called “dissolvables” is the focus of a 3 day Food and Drug Administration meeting this week. Dissolvables are not a non-smoking aid—a way for smokers to satisfy their nicotine craving in non-smoking places. The productsnamed Camel Orbs, Camel Strips and Camel Sticksare being tested on the market in selected cities. Public health advocates are concerned that they pose a risk to children and teens for possible nicotine poisoning and early addiction. Teens who get a hold of the products could easily avoid detection in their home or a classroom. "If you wanted to design a product that would appeal to youth and addict younger adolescents and adults to nicotine, this would be it," says Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "These products are designed to look like a candy and addict the user permanently."

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix, Salon.com, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.