HEALTH

GSK takes smoking cessation to a new level with mini lozenge

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. GlaxoSmithKline announced Tuesday the launch of its new Nicorette Mini Lozenge, a smaller smoking-cessation lozenge that dissolves three times faster than stop-smoking lozenges currently on the market. The lozenges will be lined-priced with existing smoking-cessation products and will be sold at U.S. retail healthcare centers as three small vials, each containing 27 lozenges.

The new mini lozenge is expected to drive incremental growth to the category, suggested Roger Scarlett-Smith, in an interview with Drug Store News, because the smaller lozenge size actually satisfies different usage scenarios. “It’s an opportunity for people to use it in a more situational way,” Scarlett-Smith said. For example, the small vials can be discreetly carried in a pocket for the person “on the go.”

And because there are three vials per package, they can be strategically placed in trouble areas for the person attempting to quit smoking, i.e., in the glove compartment box for a person inclined to smoke while driving.

“Smoking is an addiction, and when trying to quit, smokers may need help to address physical nicotine cravings as well as behavior change,” stated Drew Pinsky, the addiction expert featured on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab who has agreed to help promote the product. “Products, like the new Nicorette Mini Lozenge, can help address the physical symptoms associated with quitting.”

As part of the launch, GSK is launching a “Mini Moments” contest on its new Nicorette Facebook page at www.Facebook/Nicorette.com. The page is designed to help connect smokers interested in quitting, allowing them to provide each other with support throughout the quitting process. The contest offers them the chance to win an opportunity to meed addiction expert Dr. Drew.

 

Dr. Drew also will be promoting the Mini Moments campaign to his 1.9 million Twitter followers.

 

 

GSK plans to fold advertising of its Nicorette Mini Lozenge into its “Quitting sucks … Nicorette helps it suck less” campaign with some updated television spots. The campaign takes a slightly different tact than traditional smoking-cessation advertisements — instead of warning smokers of the health consequences associated with smoking, the “Quitting sucks” campaign speaks more to the benefits. “What we really wanted to do was advertising that was for smokers but against smoking,” Scarlett-Smith said.

 

 

In addition to the launch of the new Mini Lozenge offering, GSK will also be rebranding its line of Commit lozenges under the Nicorette banner, meaning now all of GSK’s smoking-cessation lozenge and gum products will be branded Nicorette.

 

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Bayer Diabetes Care introduces blood-glucose monitor intended for kids

BY Allison Cerra

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. Bayer Diabetes Care has introduced a new blood glucose-monitoring system for children.

Didget, which connects directly to Nintendo DS and DS Lite gaming systems, can help kids manage this lifelong disease by rewarding them for building consistent testing habits and meeting personalized blood glucose target ranges, Bayer said. The meter is intended for use by children ages 4 through 14 years and is based on Bayer’s Contour system, the first blood-glucose monitor in the United States that connects directly to a PC or MAC — providing users with instant access to information and trends about their blood sugar levels.

“As the first meter truly designed with kids in mind, the DIDGET meter can transform a child’s blood sugar testing experience from something they have to do into something they want to do,” said Larry Deeb, pediatric endocrinologist and medical director for the Diabetes Center at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in Florida and a paid consultant for Bayer. “Regular blood sugar testing is critical for diabetes management and one of the biggest challenges facing parents of kids with diabetes is motivating their kids to develop good testing habits. Bayer’s DIDGET meter adds an element of fun and rewards to the routine of testing and, by doing so, helps ease that parent/child tension that testing often creates,” he added.

The meter is available through CVS.com, Drugstore.com and Walgreens.com at a suggested retail value of $74.99.

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Grandmother’s diet may up breast cancer risk in future generations

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Can what grandma consumed during pregnancy up her granddaughter’s risk of breast cancer? According to a new study, it’s possible.

According to researchers at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, which tested this theory on a population of rats, found that an elder female that consumed a high fat-concentration diet may fall onto future generations, and that the quantity of food does not necessarily factor in (average meal consumption was noted). The study’s lead investigator, Sonia de Assis, a postdoctoral fellow at Lombardi, said fatty foods may cause an increase in terminal end buds in the breast tissue– structures where breast cancer can develop, she said.

“The implications from this study are that pregnant mothers need to eat a well balanced diet because they may be affecting the future health of their daughters and granddaughters,” said de Assis.

The results were presented at the AACR 101st Annual Meeting 2010.

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