Swedish Match plots first nicotine ‘hit’ chewing-gum for smokers

Tobacco and lighter giant Swedish Match is believed to be developing the first nicotine chewing-gum for smokers who are not trying to kick the habit.

It will be sold as a convenient way for smokers to get a nicotine “hit” in non-smoking environments, such as public transport, according to a source at Swedish Match.

But some industry observers believe it may cause addiction among non-smokers.

Amanda Sandford of Action on Smoking and Health says: “We would welcome anything that gives smokers a safer way of getting nicotine. But there is also a worry that young people might become addicted to nicotine by using it.”

Unlike Pharmacia & Upjohn’s Nicorette and other nicotine gums, the Swedish Match product will not be marketed as a medicinal stop smoking aid.

The product, which will be developed with US partner Gumtech International, is likely to be sold in a range of strengths and flavours in tobacconists shops and supermarkets.

A Gumtech spokesman confirmed the company was in discussions with Swedish Match about non-tobacco nicotine gum products, but said no contracts had been signed.

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