While cigarettes remain the most common form of tobacco used, popularity of other tobacco products is on the rise, especially due to the fact that the tobacco industry promotes them as an alternative when smoking is not an option.
Tobacco companies launched a new smokeless, spitless tobacco product called snus (pronounced “snoose”) in 2006, with a marketing campaign that capitalizes on the fact that there are fewer places that allow smoking. That same year, the five largest tobacco manufacturers spent over $354 million on smokeless tobacco advertising and promotions, which flaunt its use in places with existing smoking restrictions.1
In 2009, tobacco companies began test marketing more smokeless tobacco options, including candy- and fruit-flavored dissolvable strips, mint-shaped “orbs” and sticks that may appeal to youth and be easily mistaken for candy. Studies show that these new products cause nicotine to be absorbed more rapidly into the body than in cigarettes. 2 They also allow youth to use them at home or school without others’ knowledge it is a tobacco product.
Given the many varieties of smokeless tobacco products introduced in recent years and record marketing spending levels, it is no surprise that youth’s use of smokeless tobacco has increased after a long period of decline. 2