Nicotine replacement therapies

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Tobacco industry reaction to the development of nicotine replacement therapies:

When nicotine patches hit the market, companies within the industry took differing views of the new product. Some saw the patch as a threat, competition that could erode the industry's base of nicotine consumers. British American Tobacco examined it as a potential new sales area. This document reveals how the industry viewed various means of nicotine dosing and administration, and why people consider cigarettes so exquisite: they allow individuals total freedom to tailor their own drug self-administration patterns to fit their personality, tasks at hand, etc. Patches don't do that, and nothing else does, either. The document considers the pros and cons of going into the patch business. The pluses are that it's the same drug they already sell, it would be cheaper to manufacture than cigarettes, would be priced about the same at retail, would avoid duty charges and excessive taxes and it's relatively safe for their cigarette business because it doesn't really help anybody quit smoking anyway. The minuses: trading in another nicotine delivery device could bring scrutiny by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of cigarettes as drug delivery devices. Also, if they touted patches as a cessation aide but they weren't effective, it could open the tobacco industry to allegations of misleading claims. And if the industry claims that smoking isn't addictive and people can quit on their own, why would they need to manufacture an aid to help people quit? The document itself states that if tobacco companies were to market nicotine patches, this could be seen as a move towards tobacco companies being regarded as pharmaceutical companies.

Title Note For The Tobacco Strategy Review Team: Transdermal Nicotine
Date 19920519 (May 19, 1992)
Type Note
Bates No. 500872815/2824
Collection British American Tobacco
Pages 10


When Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals started marketing Nicorette gum in the early 1980s, it put out a newsletter in doctors' clinics called the Smoking Cessation Newsletter, to advertise the product. PM executives took great exception to Dow's Smoking Cessation Newsletter. Dow also started encouraging its own smoking employees to quit. PM disliked that. Dow did a study that revealed that smoking adds an addtional $59,000 to the lifetime medical expense for smokers. Then PM discovered that a new doctor's clinic in its home town of Richmond, Virginia was actually discouraging patients from smoking -- and offering them Nicorette. That was the last straw. Ironically, Dow Chemical was the only domestic supplier of tobacco additives like glycerin and propylene glycol, the chemicals that keep tobacco moist (humectants). To punish Dow for the transgression of encouraging people to quit smoking cigarettes, PM withdrew all of its humectant purchases from Dow, and let them know why. PM had to start buying their humectants overseas, but it was apparently worth it to them to retaliate against Dow.

Title Suspension of Dow Purchases
Org. Author Philip Morris
Per. Author R.D. Latshaw
Date 19840507 (May 7, 1984)
Type Memorandum
Bates 2023799799/9800
Master Bates 2023799789/9807
Collection Philip Morris
Pages 2


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