Monday, 13 July 2009 12:01

Philip Morris Says Snus will not Help Smokers Quit

Written by Andrew Romeo
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Did the Soviet Union have a Tobacco Czar in 1937?Here is a great example of how Big Tobacco loves the Press.  Though this one was a bit obvious, keen observers should begin watching for more articles like this.  It's like the old art of "Kremlinology."  Read between the lines, and watch where the leaders are standing on the podium.

Here's one about how tobacco companies' 'high hopes' of helping smokers quit with snus may be dashed due to the results of an 'authoratative' study.

In this morning's Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch, there is an article by David Ress called "Study: New products may not curb smokers' cravings."

It is quite clear that US Big Tobacco is interested in keeping smokers hooked on cigarettes.  I have discussed this in a previous article.  In a nutshell:  They want you to smoke, but also are offering snus products for when you can't due to local laws, restrictions, or out of consideration for others. "Your cigarettes may get jealous" according to Camel SNUS's website.

Now, with the FDA on board, and snus poised to be submitted under the 'Reduced Exposure' categorization, what a great time for a paper in PM's hometown to say snus is already a failure in that category?  Why?  Smokers can only be satisfied by smoking!

The study cited, conducted by a team of specialists from Virginia Commonwealth University, and funded by Philip Morris is linked in the article.  Subject a group of smokers to an overnight of

no nicotine.  Then offer them Marlboro Snus, Camel SNUS (US), Commit lozenges, Ariva tablets, Quest lo-nic cigarettes, unlit cigarettes, and their own cigarettes. One trial replacement in two sessions, per participant per day.

The conclusion?  Cigarettes satisfy a smoker's cravings more effectively than these other products because they contain less nicotine than cigarettes! (Notice they did not use Swedish snus.  How would the participants have responded to one of the new extra-strong snuses?)

Dr. Lars Erik Rutqvist - Sr. VP of Scientifica Affairs; Swedish Match ABMr. Ress then attacks the Swedish phenomenon.  First citing Lars-Erik Rutqvist, VP of Scientific Affairs at Swedish Match, who says "If you are a smoker, there is nothing that compares with a cigarette."

Then Mr. Ress says that the Swedish snus phenomenon is reduced to the possibility that "an entire generation" of Swedes switched to snus during WWII because of lack of cigarettes, and that the tradition existed before then anyway, according to "some American tobacco-control advocates."

So that means that, because of a war Sweden did not participate in, there were no cigarettes.  Indeed, if what the study says is true, Swedes would have gone head-first into a post-war smoking frenzy.  Certainly, in the sixties and seventies, cigarettes were quite popular in Scandinavia, with a giant Danish company supplying most of Nordic Europe.  The Swedes enjoyed strong American Blends of their own as well.  But the cigarettes were taxed, and taxed in the nineties.  Snus was not, and...

That is not the point of the article.  Mr. Ress has clearly underlined PMUSA's near-term strategy towards snus:

1.  We do not want our smokers to quit by using snus

2.  Sticks per man per day are decreasing, as is pricing power.  Snus will fill in the gap.

3.  The Swedish experience, while admirable, is based on local cultural differences. An anomaly. It must always be presented as something which can't happen here.

4. Snus, while it cannot help you quit, is a tasty and fun way to get your nic when you can't smoke.

5. PMUSA will fight snus's consideration as a 'reduced exposure' product by the FDA

The article wraps with a PMUSA spokesman refusing to comment on the study, but praising reduced exposure products as a key element of FDA oversight.

Mr. Ress does cite the success of snus as a smoking alternative in Sweden.  But, clearly, the message to US Smokers is:  You are not Swedish. You can't do it.  Nothing will help.

ANDREW ROMEO Founding Member of SnusCENTRAL
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Read 3187 times Last modified on Saturday, 09 November 2013 03:08

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