CDC study reveals smokeless tobacco use trends
ATLANTA According to new data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that covers use of smokeless tobacco in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam released Thursday, the rates of smokers who also use smokeless tobacco, including chew tobacco and snuff, range from 0.9% in Puerto Rico to 13.7% in Wyoming.
Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, emphysema and more, all of which lead to premature death. Use of smokeless tobacco while continuing to smoke may add to one’s risk for tobacco-related diseases, the CDC suggested. Smokeless tobacco use has been marketed by tobacco companies as a substitute for tobacco users when they are in a place that does not allow smoking.
"Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in this country," stated CDC director Tom Frieden. “Unfortunately, smokers are also using smokeless tobacco. If you smoke, quitting is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. Use of smokeless tobacco may keep some people from quitting tobacco altogether. We need to intensify our anti-tobacco efforts to help people quit using all forms of tobacco."
The research found that smokeless tobacco is predominantly a problem among men, young adults, those with a high school education or less, and in some states with higher smoking rates.
Among the states, in 2009 smoking prevalence was highest in Kentucky (25.6%), West Virginia (25.6%) and Oklahoma (25.5%), and lowest in Utah (9.8%), California (12.9%) and the state of Washington (14.9%).
Smokeless tobacco use was highest in Wyoming (9.1%) and West Virginia (8.5%) and lowest in the U.S. Virgin Islands (0.8%) and California (1.3%). Among adult male smokers, 23.4% in Wyoming and 20.8% in Arkansas reported smokeless tobacco use.
"These new numbers are concerning,” noted Tim McAfee, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. "But progress is possible. We need to fully put into practice effective strategies, such as strong state laws that protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke, higher tobacco prices, aggressive ad campaigns that show the human impact of tobacco use and well-funded tobacco control programs, while stepping up our work to help people quit using all forms of tobacco."
For the full report, visit cdc.gov/mmwr. For state-specific tobacco data, visit CDC’s State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System at cdc.gov/tobacco/statesystem.
NPA leader weighs in on what elections mean for industry
WASHINGTON This year’s elections may prove to be a boon to the business of dietary supplements and other natural alternatives, according to John Gay, Natural Products Association executive director and CEO. “This was the most remarkable election in my 25 years in Washington,” he said, “and the effects will be felt almost immediately.”
For example, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who must now step down as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is seen as a potential positive for the industry, Gay said.
The Energy and Commerce Committee oversees the Food and Drug Administration.
With additional authority unlikely to be granted by the new Congress, NPA expects federal regulators to test the limits of their existing powers. “We support their actions aimed at getting the bad actors out of the market,” Gay said, “but it is a problem if they target the legitimate industry, especially if they go beyond the current law to do so.”
In the Senate, industry champions, such as Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, remain well-positioned “to continue their work,” Gay said. One wild card is Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “Will he introduce another version of his Dietary Supplement Safety Act, or will he continue to work with Sen. Hatch? That is a key question,” Gay said.
Clif introduces reformulated shot energy gel
EMERYVILLE, Calif. Clif Bar on Thursday announced the introduction of a revamped Clif Shot energy gel, a line of all-natural and organic energy gels with a formula that emphasizes effectiveness, taste and consistency in easy-to-use packaging.
The new energy gels contain up to 50% more electrolytes than its previous recipe. For fast-acting energy, the new gel combines two carbohydrate sources that work together efficiently — organic maltodextrin and organic evaporated cane juice — to deliver energy to the bloodstream in five minutes or less.
“When athletes are at a critical stage in training or racing, there’s a big difference between nutrients they absolutely need to keep their bodies working optimally, and additives that just get in the way,” stated Chris Randall, Clif Shot brand manager. New, streamlined packaging features rounded corners for carrying convenience and a smaller opening for easier eating. The packets also feature a patented Litter Leash to keep the torn-off tops from littering trails and roads.
As before, Clif Shot energy gel provides more caffeine options for customized intake than any other brand, ranging from no caffeine to flavors with 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg — the highest caffeine level of any energy gel, according to the company. The caffeine is derived from all-natural green tea extract, which has been found to improve endurance capacity, Clif Bar claimed, citing a study in the American Journal of Physiology.