The boys in blue and yellow never cease to amaze. I refer to Brian Wheeler’s remarkable article suggesting that Swedish Match is about to bring out a nicotine chewing gum that – wait for it – will target smokers who, far from trying to give up, can’t get enough of the drug (MW June 29).
Agitated smokers will soon be able sit in the doctors’ waiting room chewing to their heart’s content as they await news of their latest chest x-rays. But, on a more serious note, behind this new product development may lurk a plot far more sinister than making a few bob by stopping habituals from stripping their nails or sucking on the nearest chair leg.
Could it be that – faced with a uniform advertising ban – tobacco companies may soon try to wean children on to nicotine long before they are able to afford £2.00 for a pack of ten? Just think of what marketers could do with bubble-gum machines. And what about the “chewing gum can reduce tooth decay” sell?