Monday, 21 September 2009 17:28

The New York Times Takes on Camel SNUS (and I was there)

Written by Andrew Romeo
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Andrew Adam NewmanToday, Andrew Adam Newman, an Advertising/Marketing columnist for the New York Times, published an article, A Different Camel is Back in the Glossies .

What is remarkable is that the New York Times, well known for editorializing Big Tobacco to the cleaners on a regular basis,  has painted a fair and balanced look at whether or not cigarette branded snus products in the US are meant as reduced-harm products or complementary products to cigarettes.


The New York Times Article on Camel SNUS, cigarettes, and FDAThe Legendary Rupini Bergström of Swedish Match ABWhat is also remarkable is that I was interviewed by Mr. Newman along with some bigger names in the debate, and that I get the last word.  I have to thank my former Gallaher colleague Ms. Rupini Bergstrom, who was a point person on the piece, and is now in Press Relations for Swedish Match in Stockholm, for recommending me as an independent voice.  I did mention SnusCENTRAL numerous times, but, alas, it didn't make the cut. [Editors Note:  Should never have spilled my drink on Andrew Adam Newman at the last Pulitzer Award dinner It was not intentional.  LW]

Newman regularly reports on trends in consumer goods and how they are marketed, and his column is an unusual place in the Times for serious discussion of a contentious issue related to tobacco.  Interesting issues: Are there two different types of addiction from complementary use?  And is snus as a way to promote identically branded smokes and avoid the new black and white cigarette press and point-of-sale ads required next year by the FDA?  In my opinion, the former is worth a look, while the latter is paranoid blather.

One thing Mr. Newman asked me was "am I outraged" that cigarette companies would try to sell snus as a complementary product to cigarettes?  My answer was "No.  I totally understand it.  These guys are in the business of making money, and they produce a legal product called cigarettes.  Cigarettes are bad, and it's worse for public health if snus is sold alongside cigarettes than as a reduced harm alternative.  But in an environment which is becoming increasingly more restrictive, smokers are smoking less.  Better to keep 'em smoking and replace the lost sticks with snus than with lost revenue  And I understand the mindset."


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Read 3342 times Last modified on Saturday, 09 November 2013 03:08

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