Dissolvable Candy Tobacco

By: Vanessa Nguyen Email
By: Vanessa Nguyen Email

Smokeless tobacco products are apparently a big hit with Holmes County teenagers.

Christopher Lauen,Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, says, "They commonly think that smokeless, not being cigarettes or cigars, it's somehow healthier and in many times, they think it tastes better, it looks better, it must be better for you."

But Holmes County Health Department Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Christopher Lauen says the effects of smokeless tobacco are just as harmful.

And he's worried the latest entry into the category, candy-flavored tobacco products, will attract even more users. The products include chewing tobacco, snuff, 'snus' which is a modern version of snuff and dissolvable tobacco.

He says those products "...are just like the Listerine strips that you would pull out of your packet, place on your tongue, they would basically instantly dissolve."

Lauen accuses the tobacco companies of using a 'back-door' approach to market to teenagers. The Holmes County Health Department is working with community organizations to educate people about it's 'sweet deception.'

"So many flavors, the flavors are endless, it's really ridiculous at how creative they've become."

In fact, the county currently ranks 2nd highest in the state in the number of teenagers who use smokeless tobacco.
Health officials say 1 in 4 male students admitted to using it in the last 30 days. In less than 5-minutes, Lauen purchased this 6-dollar can of peach-flavored (Skoal) Snuff from the local BP store known for selling the products to teenagers.
"He told me 'peach is very, very good so take the peach, as we open it up and smell it, it is exactly that, it's very sweet smelling."

The health department is hoping local government leaders will pass an ordinance banning the products.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Sarah on Dec 27, 2010 at 05:40 AM
    Oh good. More ways to make your teeth go bad and your breath stink. Hope our lower class citizens enjoy their new candy!
  • by Dan Location: NE on Dec 26, 2010 at 08:20 PM
    Christopher needs to research his subject a bit. On average a person who uses smokeless will die 15 days earlier then someone who does not use tobacco... "One study compared life expectancies of 35-year-old smokers with smokeless product users and nonusers. Smokers averaged a life expectancy nearly eight years lower than those who used smokeless tobacco or did not use tobacco (28.1 years versus 35.9 years in the latter two groups). Smokeless tobacco users averaged a life expectancy 15 days shorter than a nonuser." (http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pulmonology/Smoking/22144) So, 15 days versus 8 years... This is "Not Safer"? By what possible standard? We'd save thousands of lives if we could just get smokers to switch to smokeless tobacco. Not to mention the benefits to everyone else around the smokers... Bad advice kills people. Challenge him to provide ANY study that supports a conclusion that smokeless is as harmful as smoking - or fire him.
  • by 11 years sober. Location: ga on Dec 24, 2010 at 07:45 PM
    i dont understand how the gov. can pick on the cigarett companys for marketing a legal product that causesalot of pain for people. but they do nothing about the alcohol companys and we all knowwhat pain that has caused people. how come they havent been suied for all the innosent people that is killed on our highways?
  • by can't smile in public on Dec 24, 2010 at 10:12 AM
    Banning the selling of the product is not the way to stop young people from using tobacco. I could stop 99% of potential tobacco users by showing them what 55 years of chewing has done to my teeth. It isn't pretty.
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