This afternoon Betsy Brock from Association for NonSmokers Rights – Minnesota (ANSR) came to show off some of her interesting collection of new tobacco products. With more and more clean air laws, the tobacco companies are really focusing on getting out non-combustible tobacco delivery products.
We were pretty fascinated by many, some look like mint strips and of course lots of tobacco packets. Overall I’m thinking it’s all about the mint or gum type theme and I hope these don’t slide in next to the Dentyne gum, right?
Look at this nifty little Camel Tobacco Stick dispenser down in the 2nd picture. That little brown stick is just made to be chewed like a toothpick. Pretty low key certainly. And frankly I’d prefer my kids mama used that over something giving off smoke. But the real nub here is… how are these products being marketed? They’re not being aimed at kids are they?
Isn’t it great that Joe Camel is finally gone? That’ll really give the next generation of youth a step up in avoiding tobacco addition, right? But… look at the (cloyingly sweet) strawberry cigarettes and the Rockit Snuff in this picture… and I’ll leave you to make your own conclusion on how well the tobacco industry is avoiding marketing to kids. No wait, these are probably new products aimed at college women, right? Or probably college age men, yah, that must be it. Rockit in your pocket boys. [<– update I’m getting word Rockit is actually a tobacco-free product sold by tobacco companies? Hmm, let me look into it all and get back tya.]
Thanks Betsy for the update. And she has one last great strategy for all of us working in tobacco control. Get a smoking friend to sign onto as many tobacco company lists as they can, it’ll really help us to understand what the tobacco industry is sending folk directly. Fewer billboards these days, but that means more is in the mailbox and it helps to keep tabs on what is going on.Best, Scout, Ph.D.
Director, National LGBT Tobacco Control Network p.s. I’ve found a powerpoint from Kentucky tobacco control program that describes some of these products in more detail… chfs.ky.gov/NR/…465A…/LatestTrendsinSmokelessTobacco1.ppt. Thanks KY TCP!