Now available: Tobacco that ... melts in your mouth?

On Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Public Health held a hearing to discuss the problem of who might want them: namely, kids and teens. Stephanie Walton of the state’s health department, who specializes in youth tobacco prevention, laid out the potential draws: youth are price- and brand-oriented, she said, and Camel Sticks, Orbs and Strips are selling in Colorado for about $2.50 for a 12-pack, compared to roughly $5 for a pack of cigarettes. (Dissolvables are cheaper because they aren’t yet taxed like tobacco products.)

Camel is also a recognizable brand, as are Marlboro and Skoal, which have been test-marketing their own dissolvable “tobacco sticks” in Kansas, and are therefore more likely to attract younger customers. Although other dissolvable tobacco products have been on the market for a decade, including Ariva and Stonewall, both manufactured by Star Scientific, they have not been advertised like Camel products and are likely unknown to the average teenager (or adult for that matter).