INDIANAPOLIS, March 16 (UPI) -- Dissolvable tobacco products -- pop-into-the-mouth replacements for cigarettes -- have the potential to cause mouth diseases, U.S. researchers say.
John V. Goodpaster of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and colleagues say the first dissolvable tobacco products in pellet, stick and strip forms went on sale in 2009 in test markets in Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Portland, Ore. The products contain mainly nicotine, along with finely-ground tobacco and a variety of flavoring ingredients, sweeteners and binders.
They are marketed as smoke- and spit-free but nicotine, in particular, is a toxic substance linked to the development of oral cancers and gum disease, Goodpaster said.
Goodpaster and colleagues say not only are health officials concerned about the health effects of the products on adults, but there is a possibility that children may be accidentally poisoned by the nicotine in these products.
"The packaging and design of the dissolvables may also appeal to children, and some dissolvables, such as Orbs, may be mistaken for candy," Goodpaster says in a statement.
The findings are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.