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Safety of Smokeless Nicotine Products

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Air date: November 22, 2009

Host: Barbara Lewis

Bioethics Cancer Healthcare Policy & Public Health Men's & Women's Health Safety
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Interview: Jeff Wigand, PhD
Former vice president of research and development
Brown & Williamson

We start today with a story about how the tobacco industry is working to expand its reach, and how state and federal regulators are pushing back.

With more and more localities banning cigarette smoking, the tobacco industry is devising new ways to package and sell products that contain nicotine, without the smoke.

Since January, the state of Indiana has served as a test market for some of those new products: candies and dissolvable strips that look harmless.

But there’s no way to be sure, since these so-called "nicotine delivery devices" haven't been tested for safety.

Now, Indiana’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation agency is asking the FDA’s new Center for Tobacco to step in …with new consumer-protection regulations.

Barbara West spoke recently with tobacco expert Jeffrey Wigand, who reports that he saw documents back in the 1990s that proved the tobacco industry was already looking for ways to supply smokers with nicotine, even when they didn't light up.

The FDA's Center for Tobacco has given the states until December 31st to submit comments on this issue.

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