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Altria Will Introduce Tobacco-Free Nicotine Lozenge

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Tobacco manufacturer Altria is introducing a tobacco-free nicotine lozenge called Verve, The Wall Street Journal reports. Verve is a chewable, mint-flavored disc, which provides nicotine that is extracted from tobacco. It does not dissolve, so users must throw it away after use.

The company, which makes Marlboro, is introducing the new product at a time when sales of traditional cigarettes are falling, the article notes. Altria hopes that since Verve does not contain tobacco, it can market the product with milder health-warning labels than those used on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.

While nicotine is addictive and is linked to heart problems, high blood pressure and diabetes, it has not been shown to cause cancer, according to the newspaper. The product will include a warning label that states nicotine can increase heart rate, blood pressure and aggravate diabetes. It will also say that nicotine “can harm your baby if you are pregnant or nursing” and “cause dizziness, nausea and stomach pain.”

Verve will be sold in Virginia by early June. The company has not decided whether to introduce the product nationally. There will be 16 discs in a package, which will sell for about $3. Verve will be sold to adults only.

Although smokeless tobacco products represent less than 10 percent of tobacco industry sales, they are growing at a rate of 7 percent each year, while cigarette sales have been dropping 4 percent annually.

2 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Dana Isabella
    Dana Isabella / June 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I don’t understand. If this is not a tobacco product why is it not being approved by the FDA as a Nicotine Replacement Therapy like nicotine gum and lozenges? Something seems shady here.

  2. Avatar of Scott H
    Scott H / July 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Hi Dan,

    This is shady. Here’s exactly why: this IS a tobacco product. Verve is NOT a quit medication, like nicotine gum or lozenges, which ARE approved by the FDA for tobacco cessation.

    The shadiness is in the fact that companies like Marlboro are trying to blur the line of safe, effective medications with their own addictive and harmful products. They will do anything they can to keep their products in the hands of their users, and keep the real medication away from them. The make more money that way.

    I will tell you, I have vast expertise with tobacco cessation professionally. This is what’s happening. Hope this answers your question and raises many more!

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