HEALTH

CDC study reveals smokeless tobacco use trends

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA According to new data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that covers use of smokeless tobacco in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam released Thursday, the rates of smokers who also use smokeless tobacco, including chew tobacco and snuff, range from 0.9% in Puerto Rico to 13.7% in Wyoming.

Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, emphysema and more, all of which lead to premature death. Use of smokeless tobacco while continuing to smoke may add to one’s risk for tobacco-related diseases, the CDC suggested. Smokeless tobacco use has been marketed by tobacco companies as a substitute for tobacco users when they are in a place that does not allow smoking.

"Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in this country," stated CDC director Tom Frieden. “Unfortunately, smokers are also using smokeless tobacco. If you smoke, quitting is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. Use of smokeless tobacco may keep some people from quitting tobacco altogether. We need to intensify our anti-tobacco efforts to help people quit using all forms of tobacco."

The research found that smokeless tobacco is predominantly a problem among men, young adults, those with a high school education or less, and in some states with higher smoking rates.

Among the states, in 2009 smoking prevalence was highest in Kentucky (25.6%), West Virginia (25.6%) and Oklahoma (25.5%), and lowest in Utah (9.8%), California (12.9%) and the state of Washington (14.9%).

Smokeless tobacco use was highest in Wyoming (9.1%) and West Virginia (8.5%) and lowest in the U.S. Virgin Islands (0.8%) and California (1.3%). Among adult male smokers, 23.4% in Wyoming and 20.8% in Arkansas reported smokeless tobacco use.

"These new numbers are concerning,” noted Tim McAfee, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. "But progress is possible. We need to fully put into practice effective strategies, such as strong state laws that protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke, higher tobacco prices, aggressive ad campaigns that show the human impact of tobacco use and well-funded tobacco control programs, while stepping up our work to help people quit using all forms of tobacco."

For the full report, visit cdc.gov/mmwr. For state-specific tobacco data, visit CDC’s State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System at cdc.gov/tobacco/statesystem.

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HEALTH

NPA leader weighs in on what elections mean for industry

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON This year’s elections may prove to be a boon to the business of dietary supplements and other natural alternatives, according to John Gay, Natural Products Association executive director and CEO. “This was the most remarkable election in my 25 years in Washington,” he said, “and the effects will be felt almost immediately.”

For example, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who must now step down as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is seen as a potential positive for the industry, Gay said.

 

The Energy and Commerce Committee oversees the Food and Drug Administration.

 

 

With additional authority unlikely to be granted by the new Congress, NPA expects federal regulators to test the limits of their existing powers. “We support their actions aimed at getting the bad actors out of the market,” Gay said, “but it is a problem if they target the legitimate industry, especially if they go beyond the current law to do so.”

 

 

In the Senate, industry champions, such as Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, remain well-positioned “to continue their work,” Gay said. One wild card is Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “Will he introduce another version of his Dietary Supplement Safety Act, or will he continue to work with Sen. Hatch? That is a key question,” Gay said.

 

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KidKupz arriving at Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK KidKupz on Tuesday announced its new medicine-dispensing cups soon will be available nationwide through Walgreens.

 

The KidKupz are fruit-flavored medicine dispensing cups that contain 2 g of sugar and no high-fructose corn syrup.

 

 

"We launched KidKupz with the goal of making the act of taking medicine fun for kids — less of a chore and more of a treat," stated Jill Addeo, KidKupz president. "Now, with KidKupz available through Walgreens, parents and caregivers nationwide have easy access to this safe and effective way to make sure the medicine goes down."

 

 

Suggested retail price for consumers is $4.99 per package, which includes six dosage cups with fruit-flavored rims. Variety packs also are available at a suggested retail price of $19.97.

 

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