To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the death of the General Snus Reduced Harm Tobacco Product (MRTP) application have been greatly exaggerated.
Friday afternoon, the anti-all-tobacco crowd and media immediately began reporting that the FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) had "turned down" the General Snus application; that "approval was denied", that the MRTP application had been "voted down" and in the case of Matthew Myers of Tobacco Free Kids, the Swedish Match application was "poorly written" and "full of holes".
As more information about the TPSAC deliberations began to trickle out, a different picture began emerging.....
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...
The best of intentions carry unintended consequences. In the case of The Tobacco Act of 2009 giving FDA control over tobacco products, the intentions weren't even praise-worthy. The Tobacco Act was pure political pandering to both Anti-Tobacco Zealots and Big Tobacco at the same time. As usual, "the children" were mentioned often. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, as it was called up until about 20 minutes after President Obama signed it into law, is now just called The Tobacco Act. No need to hide behind the family or children once the Big Guy made this travesty the law of the land.
"Unintended Consequences" were big on the mind of Bill Greiwe, CEO of Cheyenne International, when we spoke a little over a month ago. Much has happened in the short time between then and now which makes Mr. Greiwe's thoughts more prophetic than speculative.
EDITOR's NOTE: Bill Godshall checked in with some (amazingly) positive news on Reduced Harm Tobacco as a way to cut cigarette smoking. If only the rest of the EU would start thinking rationally...
We are off to a positive start in 2010 on cigarette replacement solutions in the EU. In an historic first for public health, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) of the UK's National Health Service overwhelming approved tobacco harm reduction as a key component in England's ten year plan to reduce cigarette smoking by half. The US FDA should follow the UK's lead. The announcement and a news excerpt are below and you can read the full report "A Smokefree Future".
There exists the misconception within the United States that American Moist Snuff/Dip is little different than Swedish Snus except you don't have to spit with Swedish snus. I decided to delve into the history of dip and snus to find the true differences.
I'm working through an excellent history of snus right now written by Janne Sundling. It is in Swedish, and I am constantly pulling out my Svenskt/American dictionary or calling my Swedish neighbor all hours of the day to clarify certain passages, but there's a lot in there about the differences between American snuff and Swedish snus.
Andrew Romeo recently wrote a column 'Philip Morris says Snus will not Help Smokers Quit.' I'm not going to repeat it here but encourage you to read it if you have not done so already. He eviscerates the nature of the PMUSA-sponsored study, the quality of the study, and in doing so demonstrates how the Study was pre-destined to produce the results Philip Morris USA desired: that snus was a complimentary product; not a replacement for cigarettes.
In short, the PMUSA Study was designed to support their marketing strategy; not the facts. At least their motivation is transparent.
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.
Kennedy/Waxman, S. 982, HR 1256; all very innocuous names for one of the most destructive bills to American Health Care which ever slithered through Congress. Lets call this legislation by it's Official title: Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act. Really, I'm not making that up. It is the Official title of the Kennedy/Waxman legislation.
I'm not even sure why it is called Kennedy/Waxman anyway. Both Bills were substantially written by Philip Morris USA and extremist group Tobacco Free Kids. Add the US Congress which will pass both bills overwhelmingly and we have a NEW Axis of Evil.
Negotiations between Swedish Match AB, and SnusCENTRAL.org over the alleged detention of Swedish Match officials Joakim Blom and Markus Ersmark at the Snus Central Command Bunker experienced an unexpected breakthrough this week.
The Government of Sweden dispatched a squadron of Saab Snus Fighter Jets which deliberately over-flew the Snus Central Command Bunker. How Sweden or Swedish Match discovered the location of the Snus stronghold is as yet unknown.
I always track the consumer and expert reviews of all the new types of snus which hit the market both here on SnusCENTRAL, and on other snus related forums inhabited by non-Swedes.
This is the new and growing Internet-shop generation. This generation seeks out flavors and strength, and the reviews resemble those one would see of fine wines, discussing bouquet, flavor intensity and decay, and the proper accompanying beverage. Debates rage: "What is bergamot?" "Why does the fig note taste like lemon?" (One of my favorites about Taboca snus).
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