Dissolvable tobacco: Advocate criticizes R.J. Reynolds for not ending test marketing

camel orbs.jpg
Yesterday, Bob Doyle, executive director for the Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance, touted a resolution calling for the Colorado Board of Health to oppose test-marketing of dissolvable tobacco products by R.J. Reynolds under names like Camel Orbs. The board supported this notion, but R.J. Reynolds has brushed off the suggestion -- a response that doesn't exactly leave Doyle slack-jawed.

"We're not surprised," Doyle says. "The board of health called for them to suspend the sale of their products until the FDA has an opportunity to review them, but we didn't think that decision would move them. That's why we're calling on the public to join us -- to call on R.J. Reynolds to stop the marketing of this product."

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A look at three dissolvable-tobacco products being test-marketed in Colorado.
Why? Doyle believes the items are being marketed in stealth fashion to children via candy-like packaging and flavoring. He compares Orbs to nicotine Tic Tacs.

Not so, responds R.J. Reynolds spokesman Richard Smith as quoted in the Denver Post. "Camel Dissolvables are smokeless tobacco products -- they are not candy or mints as some have erroneously described them," he told the paper. "The packaging is child-resistant and is clearly labeled 'dissolvable tobacco.' They are sold alongside other tobacco products, their sale is age-restricted, and they are taxed at the same rate as other smokeless tobacco products."

Doyle has heard such claims before. "Their history has been to reject calls to protect kids," he says. "So it's up to us. We're hoping others around the state will join our cause in getting these products off the shelves." He encourages those interested in adding their voice to the cause to contact him at

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Crack Baby
Crack Baby

Whatever happened to just eating cigarette butts?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

If adults want to poison themselves with nicotine flavored and packaged as candy, they must be allowed to do so, but the warnings on these products are completely inadequate, and should include a large skull-and-crossbones and the legends:  "This product is very addictive and it is poisonous" and "Transfer to minors is a felony".  Anytime anyone purchases any tobacco product, they should be required to sign an affidavit acknowledging that they understand and assume the significant risks of using tobacco.

Colorado is the perfect place for R.J. Reynolds to test-market its poison -- lots of addicts and nary a clue about consumer protection.

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