Tuesday, September 28, 2010

GSK Takes On Tobacco Companies

When it comes to smoking there are two truths. 1) People are always going to smoke. 2) People are always going to hate smoking. Of course, science is on the side of those who hate smoking. They have pushed it out of restaurants, workplaces, and even some public spaces.

For the smokers out there, the tobacco companies have developed alternative, smokeless products for their customers to get their nicotine fix. Up to a few years ago, those alternatives were less than glamorous, dip and chew. Today we have tobacco lozenges, like the Camel Orbs seen above.

As the WSJ points out today, GSK wants these off the shelf and for good reason.

Critics call them tobacco candy for kids. GlaxoSmithKline, makers of Nicorette, view it exactly as a cheaper alternative to their smoking cessation products. A box of brand name Nicorette can run around $40 and Orbs are the price of a pack of cigarettes. The thrifty and uninformed consumer who is eager to quit smoking could easily say, “Why buy the gum, when I could get this for so much less?”

Despite the fact that I am not the biggest fan of drug companies, I do believe that they are in the right on this one. Maybe the tobacco companies would have been better off saying that these were designed to lure in kids; that way they could openly deal with a familiar opponent.

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