Tobacco companies use ingenious ways to keep users interested – and addicted. Filters, forms (like smokeless tobacco gums, bags and dissolvable strips), and formulations are all designed to do one thing: put nicotine into your system and keep you coming back for more.
Dissolvable products – fine-ground tobacco mixed in a dissolvable, candy-like base – like bags and lozenges – are marketed as “discreet,” to be “enjoyed anywhere.” There is enough nicotine in one package to kill a child.
Packaging for smokeless tobacco products is colorful, innocent seeming, and easy to conceal, barely distinguishable from candy or mints … the products they are often displayed near.
Menthol. Although a 2008 federal law passed banning 13 candy flavorings in cigarettes, it allowed for the continued use of menthol. In a study requested by the FDA, the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee was asked to investigate the harm caused by the use and marketing of menthol cigarettes, whose use, the draft report found, is highest among minorities, teenagers and low-income populations.
Advertisements often tout the “freshness” of menthol cigarettes…an additive, the report revealed, that many smokers mistakenly believe makes cigarettes less of a health risk. The truth is this: Menthol numbs the lungs of smokers, allowing them to pull in more smoke, more deeply – and the higher concentration of carbon monoxide that comes with it.
Filters were introduced to make cigarette smoke taste less bitter. They don’t work: They don’t remove enough tar to make them less dangerous. They are just a marketing ploy to trick you into thinking you are smoking a safer cigarette.