Chewing tobacco once called to mind men in double-breasted suits gathered around a spittoon or a baseball player sending a mouthful of brown spittle spewing across home plate.

But do a hashtag search for #oralnicotine today, and you’ll see young women in parkas playing with a sleek container labeled Epok. Try #snus, and you’ll see a freckled Swedish maiden whose crown of flowers is studded with a tin of Ace Superwhite nicotine pouches.

Such Instagram-friendly products, known as dip, snuff, pouches, or snus, are being positioned as a replacement for cigarettes. Traditional smokes are a more than $700 billion-a-year global business that for decades has been dogged by health concerns and changing social norms that have led to a slow, steady decline of users. Big Tobacco in recent years had hoped to get its mojo back by steering smokers toward vaping. Instead, the industry ran into new trouble with concerns that fruity vape flavors helped addict a young generation to nicotine and that the liquids aerosolized into harmful chemicals. Then came Covid-19: Public-health agencies warn that smoking may worsen the symptoms of the virus, and vaping’s effect on them isn’t fully understood.

Read full article here.

Tiffany Kary and Corinne Gretler – Bloomberg Quint – July 17, 2020.

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