Tobacco company Reynolds American recently confirmed that it will be buying Niconovum, a maker of nicotine gum and other products that help people quit smoking, ABC News reported Dec. 2.
The $44 million acquisition “extends the harm-reduction strategies [Reynolds American] and its operating companies have been developing over the past several years,” said Susan M. Ivey, president and CEO of the tobacco company. Acquiring Niconovum will also allow Reynolds American “to provide adult tobacco consumers with innovative cessation products that have the potential to reduce the risks of diseases and death caused by tobacco use,” she said.
The acquisition shows that tobacco companies want to make a profit from selling nicotine products other than cigarettes, according to critics such as David Sweanor, who worked as counsel for Canada's Non-Smokers' Rights Association. Reynolds American could boost sales by transforming Niconovum products into products that are used for months or years instead of just weeks, said Sweanor.
Reynolds American's move to acquire Niconovum and the smokeless tobacco maker Conwood Company back in 2006, and Altria's purchase of U.S. Tobacco, the makers of two of the leading smokeless tobacco, signal that the companies are trying to make up for falling cigarette sales, said Sweanor.