After 2 and a half years of fumbling the Swedish Match application for Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) status on their General Snus products sold in US convenience stores, the FDA announced on Dec 14th they had taken "action".
After a careful review of the entire MRTPA process concerning General Snus and FDA's eventual ruling, a fair-minded person can only conclude that NO tobacco product will ever win MRTP status, regardless of the merits, from this FDA Center for Tobacco Products.
This begs the question, Congressional mandate notwithstanding, why does FDA perpetuate this cruel, expensive, and time consuming farce? Simply make the MRTPA process a one page form, hold the required public comment period, and then deny the application. That would save both the government and the manufacturer huge amounts of money while delivering the same outcome as the current process...minus the hypocrisy.
You will never see published a letter from a cigarette smoker thanking Altria or Reynolds American for addicting them to nicotine through cigarettes. Likewise, a short note saying "I'm a life-long smoker. So happy today to learn I have lung cancer!" is even more unlikely.
In the case of nicotine-addicts now cigarette-free because of Swedish snus, thank you letters and testimonials are more the rule than the exception.....
Once again, the Swedish government caved to EU interference concerning Swedish snus. On May 20, 2016 the EU's Tobacco Products Directive was implemented in Swedish legislation, which among other things means new health warnings on snus cans.....
17 Nov 2014 - Breaking News: Swedish Match AB, the world's largest manufacturer of Swedish Snus, will announce this morning that if the Swedish Parliament votes to raise the excise tax on snus, Swedish Match will be forced to respond in kind with price increases for all their their snus products.
If history is any indicator, it is likely other Swedish manufacturers of snus will also raise their prices...
I still have an occasional pipe or cigar now and then. I went a long time without wanting them once I gave up cigarettes. I was afraid that the mere act of burning tobacco would drive me back to cigarettes, but it isn't like that at all. Even when I smoked cigarettes I never inhaled pipes or cigars, but my tastebuds were still wrecked and I never really got to appreciate the nuances of premium tobacco like I can now thanks to snus.
Today we learned that Senator Ted Kennedy has died of a brain tumor. He was first elected to the Senate in 1962 and only two Senators in the history of the United States have served in the Senate longer. Politically, it was rare that I would agree with Sen. Kennedy on much of anything. That's water under the bridge now and I send my heartfelt condolences to his family.
How Sen. Kennedy was used; better said, abused, by Senate leadership and others in his final year, however, I find disgusting, unforgivable and in my opinion, criminal elder abuse.
A few months back, I commented how Philip Morris USA and Marlboro Snus had impressed me. The people at PMUSA must have read my remarks, recoiled in horror, and immediately changed gears. After all, if Larry Waters liked it, something must be wrong!
There have been many questions and much confusion concerning the Kennedy/Waxman legislation since it became law on June 22, 2009. What does FDA regulation of tobacco really mean? Why aren't cigars or pipe tobacco treated the same way under the law as Cigarettes, RYO (roll your own), and Smokeless Tobacco or all kinds? When does all this go into effect? How does it affect me as a tobacco manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or consumer?
Dr. Brad Rodu is one of the pioneers in establishing that Reduced Harm products such as any form of smokeless tobacco including snus and Swedish Snus are, as he said to me recently, "virtually 100% less harmful than cigarettes".
He is also a very courageous man. When he began advocating snus as a way to stop using cigarettes and even all tobacco products, the University he was associated with came crashing down on him for being so politically incorrect. He survived but at a cost.
Dr. Rodu and the studies he published and/or participated in were the first concrete scientific evidence I discovered in my quest 3 years ago to learn as much as I could about Swedish Snus and it's affects on the human body. He is a personal hero of mine and I confess to a little gushing when he first contacted me.
Virtually unknown is the fact that Brad Rodu's work is soon to be validated. Phase III double-blind Clinical Trials on Swedish Snus began in 2008 and should conclude in 2010. My next article will detail the Phase III trials in yet another of my humble string of exclusives.....OK, I'm not so humble.
Below are the contents of an email I received from Dr. Rodu recently and the contents of a letter he sent back in 1994. I think you will find both fascinating.
Dear Snus, I am writing you this letter to let you know that I have strayed. For a couple of years now, you have been my trusty companion. You have kept me away from cigarettes, and you have made me feel healthy again.
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