FDA To Determine If Smokeless Tobacco Product Is Less Harmful Than Cigarettes

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Food and Drug Administration panel is planning to review smokeless tobacco maker Swedish Match’s request to certify its General-branded pouches of tobacco as less harmful than cigarettes.

The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee has scheduled a two-day meeting beginning April 9 to discuss the request that the agency approve the snus (pronounced “snoose”) products as “modified risk.”

Snus — teabag-like pouches or loose tobacco that users stick between their cheek and gum to get their nicotine fix — are popular in Scandinavian countries and are part of a growing smokeless tobacco market in the U.S.

In an application filed in June, the company, whose North American headquarters is in Richmond, Virginia, is proposing to say the snus products are addictive but substantially less risky than smoking. The company also wants permission to remove one of the required health warning labels relating to oral cancer.

The advisory panel’s review and FDA’s ultimate action on the application are being closely watched by both the public health community and tobacco companies, which are looking for new products to sell as they face declining cigarette demand due to tax increases, health concerns, smoking bans and social stigma. Many panels advise the FDA on —> Read More Here


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