OUR VIEW: You use Snus, you definitely lose
The company that produces Camel Cigarettes, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, will soon launch another despicable marketing campaign with the goal of duping Americans into buying its products.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company has been called out because of controversial advertising tactics in the past. In 1997, under pressure from Congress and a lawsuit, the company halted the use of the popular Joe Camel advertising character because it was claimed to be attractive to children — or future smokers.
Now, the company plans to launch a marketing campaign in early 2009 to make its newly nationalized product, Camel Snus, seem harmless and worth your money. (See page 3 for details.)
Snus is a package of smokeless tobacco that is supposed to be tucked between the gum and cheek. It is flavored, and the company advises users to swallow the juice it produces.
Snus, which is popular in Sweden, has been available in U.S. test markets since 2006.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco plans to play up the fact that Snus can be discretely used indoors, which will appeal to people who are tired of the more and more prevalent restrictions that force smokers to go outdoors.
The company also will promote the facts that Snus tastes good and that it does not produce second-hand smoke.
But don’t be fooled. This is not a good product.
Smokeless tobacco, though not as lethal as smoked tobacco, has health risks and is not a safe substitute for smoking.
According to the American Cancer Society, smokeless tobacco users are at risk for oral cancer, pancreatic cancer, bone loss around the teeth and mouth lesions.
Snus also is highly addictive, just like cigarettes.
We know most Americans have it ingrained in their minds that smoking is harmful, but they must not fall for the lucrative advertising of a new — and harmful — product they know less about.
The point of advertisements is to make products look good. When it comes to Snus, do not fall for it.