On the heels of FDA’s surprising determination that dissolvable tobacco products, such as Star Scientific’s Stonewall and Ariva and R.J. Reynolds’ Camel “Orbs,” are not considered smokeless tobacco products currently subject to regulation under the Tobacco Control Act, the FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee convened its first meeting to evaluate these products.
Dissolvables appear to be gaining in popularity, with high taxes of cigarettes and social stigma shifting more smokers to other tobacco products. Dissolvables are also popular because they do not require the user to spit like other smokeless tobacco products such as snuff and chew. Stonewall and Ariva have been on the market for years, while R.J. Reynolds has been test marketing Camel Orbs.
Many in the public health community suggest that dissolvables are more attractive to youth. Other public health advocates encourage the use of dissolvables as a safer alternative to cigarettes.
TPSAC is required to issue a report on dissolvables by March 2012. One possible outcome is a recommendation that FDA promulgate regulations to encompass dissolvables within the TCA’s requirements.