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Tobacco industry use of flavourings to promote smokeless tobacco products



While fruit, candy and alcohol characterising flavours are not allowed in cigarettes in the USA, other flavoured tobacco products such as smokeless tobacco (ST) continue to be sold. We investigated tobacco manufacturers' use of flavoured additives in ST products, the target audience(s) for flavoured products, and marketing strategies promoting products by emphasising their flavour.


Qualitative analysis of internal tobacco industry documents triangulated with data from national newspaper articles, trade press and internet.


Internally, flavoured products have been consistently associated with young and inexperienced tobacco users. Internal studies confirmed that candy-like sweeter milder flavours (eg, mint, fruit) could increase appeal to starters by evoking a perception of mildness, blinding the strong tobacco taste and unpleasant mouth feel; or by modifying nicotine delivery by affecting product pH.


Similar to cigarettes, flavoured ST is likely to encourage novices to start using tobacco, and regulations limiting or eliminating flavours in cigarettes should be extended to include flavoured ST products.

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