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I hope there is reserved a special place in Hell for tobacco company executives. First there were flavored cigarettes. Guess what age group they were aimed at? Then I have been receiving junk emails for "Electronic Cigarettes", whatever they are, being pimped by shock jock Howard Stern. But today the Associated Press reports that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is test marketing disolvable tobacco products and says they are designed for adults. The trouble is, the little tablets look an awful lot like the Pez candies my grandsons consume.

Some members of the U.S. Senate call the product "tobacco candy" and say the are designed with one thing in mind: to get kids hooked on nicotine.

"Tobacco candies are clearly designed to appeal to children through both packaging and taste," said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. "This is not a safe product. This is not safe tobacco. It is a product that, like cigarettes, causes cancer and kills."

Merkely and Sen Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio have co-sponsored a provision in the Senate tobacco bill requiring the government to study health effects of dissolvable tobacco. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would be given authority to restrict how the products are marketed and sold.(somehow that doesn’t make me feel any better about it)

A spokesperson for North Carolina based R.J. Reynolds accused Merkley and others of intentionally distorting the nature of the dissolvable tobacco products. "It’s not tobacco candy. That terminology is their terminology," says David Howard , a spokesman for Reynolds.

I wonder how the two Senators from North Carolina will vote on Senators Merkely and Brown’s provision?


  1. Gravatar for Mike Bryant

    Huh, they would go after kids? Wonder why? Guess they need to hook that next generation. Great post.

  2. Gravatar for Noel

    "Electronic cigarettes, whatever they are?". You are what we refer to in Ireland as an absolute muppet. I know this dounds REALLY hard and complex but little piece of advice - establish the facts before you pass judgement. It's a very elementary principle of Western democracy.

  3. Gravatar for Nancy

    I have a suggestion for about we discuss parenting issues rather than banning products that might actually help smoking adults. It's unfortunate that Stern is 'pimping' electronic cigarettes because he certainly can't add anything to their image. I agree with Noel,it is very one sided of you to refer to the electronic cigarettes in such an offhand way. It would have been far more responsible of you to have done your homework before spouting off. Thanks to narrow minded individual like yourself, a product that has helped people either quit or greatly minimize their smoking habits will now be banned. Sadly you are like so many others, running around screeching it's 'for the children' and drowning out any sensible, effective options or even discussion. Since you've apparantly been deafened to any information regarding this option, they produce NO second hand smoke. Now to me, that sounds like something that's actually 'for the children'.

    I agree there is a special place in Hell for tobacco executives. But it won't be lonely for them...many of our government officials will be there with them, which is convenient since they've already spent so much time in the execs. pockets.

  4. Gravatar for Nancy

    I had one more thing to add: The real irony is that you have been duped by the Philip Morris tobacco company and I don't think you even realize what just happened.

    And we wonder why our country is in the state it's in.

  5. Gravatar for Gerry McGill

    Noel, I think it was Winston Churchill who said the British and Americans are two peoples separated by a common language. Apparently it is also true for the Irish and Americans. I know what an American muppet is but I don't know what an "absolute muppet" is,although I am pretty sure it is not meant as a compliment. Seriously, if you would like to point out facts in my post that were incorrect or left out, please enlighten me.

  6. Gravatar for Gerry McGill

    Nancy, if electronic cigarettes are a legitimate aid in reducing smoking or helping smokers to quit then you were on the money in correcting me. I just find it hard to buy into anything Howard Stern is pushing. As to being duped by the Phillip Morris tobacco company I would be curious to know the facts.

  7. Gravatar for Chrissie Cole

    I could not agree more with your point of view Mr. McGill, especially as the mother of 2 teenagers. I have never been a smoker and I am so very glad and proud to say that.

    Last year we reported about US tobacco companies deliberately manipulating menthol levels in cigarettes depending on whom they marketed them to - especially teens. The story is here:

  8. Gravatar for Nancy

    Mr. McGill,

    Thank you for your response. I would be happy to enlighten you to the benefits to electronic cigarettes and appreciate the opportunity to do so.

    I agree that anything Howard Stern promotes would appear to be something to avoid, but unfortunately this product has been wrongly maligned.

    The electric cigarette is a rechargeable battery, an atomizer and a replaceable cartridge containing nicotine, flavoring, and propylene glycol -a product designated as GRAS by the FDA and already approved for and in use in many products, including food. The atomizer vaporizes the ingredients in the cartridge creating a harmless water vapor and no secondhand smoke. It lacks the thousands of other harmful products in a tobacco cigarette. And since it's battery operated, there's no hazard of fire.

    Many people have who use this product and have either cut down significantly on their smoking or quit completely. Some work their way down to zero nicotine and continue to enjoy the product. Most are people have tried the other nicotine replacement options, and found all of them useless.

    The passing of the tobacco bill has put this product in a very precarious situation. In the hands of the FDA, it will be viewed as a 'drug delivery device' and subject to FDA's rigorous and tiresome process. Meanwhile, millions of people will die because a life preserver will have been snatched away.

    Tell me what sense does it make to allow cigarettes, with hundreds of known carcinogens to be freely sold, yet a product reduced to three ingredients to be banned? I believe that if Philip Morris had introduced the ecigarette, we would more than likely have had a parade in their honor. In fact, they’ve been trying to design similar items for decades, but have failed.

    The problem with teen smoking is not a lack of laws. The problem is a lack of enforcement.

    It is shameful thing that there are people who would produce nicotine candies that look like your grandson’s pez, but at what point did we decided to allow the government to take responsibility for parenting our children? And at what point do my right as an adult supersede that which is a parent’s responsibility?

    In reference to the duping by Philip Morris I offer the following quote from CBS News:

    Lorillard, Reynolds American Inc. and other tobacco companies have an explanation for why Philip Morris is supporting a bill that would mean stronger regulations on its products: They say the legislation will pave the way for the company to cement its dominant position in the market, because the regulations will make it harder for companies to market smaller brands or introduce new products.

    Should you be interested, the rest of the article can be found here:

    The Philip Morris tobacco company not only helped draft the Tobacco Bill, they will also have a non-voting advisory position on the board that regulates tobacco products. If that conflict of interest were not enough, cigarettes are grand fathered into the bill and will not be banned - The FDA is now responsible for a product that is in direct opposition to their sole purpose, which is to protect us from harmful products. And isn’t it interesting that the cutoff date for grand fathering products is February 2007…A date just after Philip Morris closest competitor, RJ Reynolds, introduced Snus, which was about the same time electronic cigarettes were gaining in popularity. What an odd coincidence!

    Incidentally, people always assume that if nicotine is lowered, it will cut down on smoking. It actually has the inverse effect. Smokers will buy more cigarettes in order to receive the same dose of nicotine, only enhancing the tobacco company’s bottom line.

    I would love to know why our government officials would not permit a 'harm reduction’ amendment to be included in this bill? Would it surprise you to know that Senator Lautenberg (NJ) who sought to ban electronic cigarettes, received in excess of $128,000 in the last 5 years in campaign contributions from pharmaceutical companies? This information is available at:

    Of course, he’s not the only one seeking personal gain as masquerading well intentioned concern. Can you imagine the lost revenue for pharmaceutical, medical industries and even the American Cancer Society if cigarettes were to become a thing of the past? What if groups like Smoke Free Kids and the American Lung Association were no longer needed? How about the effect of lost taxes on our government? Philip Morris will ultimately be the biggest benefactor of this bill, but there are a lot of entities that earn their living on the backs of smokers. Keeping us that way should serve them well.

  9. Gravatar for Gerry McGill

    Nancy, what a wonderful and intelligent response to our previous posts. I learned a lot about what you had to say. I don't claim to know everything about everything. Heck, sometimes I don't know anything about anything, but I'm willing to learn. This is the great thing about this site. What I do believe is that the tobacco industry is trying to hook the next generation and we need to fight that. Please stay in touch.

  10. Gravatar for Nancy

    Thank you...I agree that the tobacco industry intentionally seeks out that 'next generation' to support their product. The frustrating part is the people we entrust to speak for the greater good have participated in manipulating us all.

    I would also like to see a time when no teenager picks up a cigarette, but the plans we have right now to get there will fail.

    In a perfect world, people would be less self-serving and products like this would be embraced. If that were the case, I don't believe it would be long before tobacco use would go the way of the butter churn. : )

    Incidently, I am new to ecigarettes. I've only had one about a week, and it holds a lot of promise for me. I can easily see myself going to zero nicotine in the not too distant future and just enjoying the flavors. That's if it isn't unavailable before I get to that point.

    Thanks for reading my long winded post and for being open-minded enough not to dismiss the whole issue...Probably more information than you were looking for, but I really wish more people understood the potential we are throwing away.


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