Position Statement on Dissolvable Tobacco Products

Iowa Counties Public Health Association

Dissolvable Tobacco Products

Position Statement

 

Background:

In response to increasing restrictions on the use of cigarettes and other products limited by the implementation of smoke-free air acts in multiple states, the tobacco industry has produced and begun to distribute new dissolvable products including Orbs, Strips, and Sticks, and Ariva and Stonewall tablets.  Flavored tobacco products are considered the potential third wave of tobacco addiction. Concerns regarding the potential health impacts of these products include the following.

  • These products are not FDA-approved cessation products.  They do not help people end their addiction to nicotine.
  • Rather than promote cessation, these products will likely discourage smokers from quitting because they will allow them to ingest nicotine in places where they can’t smoke—in theaters, restaurants, at work, in school, etc.
  • Dissolvable tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes. The typical cigarette will give the smoker a dose of between 1 and 2 milligrams of nicotine over the time it takes to smoke the cigarette (10 min or so).  These products are designed to dissolve in the mouth in 3 (strips) to 10 (tablets) minutes but they can also easily be chewed or swallowed whole.  Arriva delivers about a 1.5 mg dose, Stonewall delivers about 4mg.
  • These products are intentionally marketed in colorful packages, sweet flavors, and convenient sizes that are very attractive to youth and are very easy to hide.  Kids can use them at school, at home–anywhere. Their discreet form, candy-like appearance, and added flavorings may make them very attractive to children, and increase the risk of unintentional ingestion of toxic levels of nicotine. Further, access to these products may increase youth initiation and addiction to tobacco products.
  • Dissenters argue that tobacco products already cannot be legally sold to anyone under the age of 18; however, these products are being aggressively marketed to youth via social media channels. Youth will access these products in many ways, including from legal purchasers, just as they have done with other illicit products in the past.

 

Policy Recommendations:

To prevent tobacco-related disease and death, ICPHA recommends three measures designed to control the sale and distribution of these products within Iowa based on ordinances that were recommended by the Linn County Board of Health to the Linn County Board of Supervisors:

  • Prohibit the sale of Dissolvable Tobacco Products;
  • Prohibit the sale of Buy One Get One Free Tobacco Product Offers; and
  • Prohibit the Distribution of Smokeless Tobacco Samples at Qualified Adult-Only Facilities.

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