Reynolds American Inc., the second-largest tobacco company in the United States, expressed ots intention to participate in the nicotine-replacement therapy marketplace.
The tobacco company launched the Zonnic gum of its Niconovum pharmaceutical subsidiary. With this gum Reynolds is asking smokers to trust the company that it produces the right smoking cessation product for them.
Until four years ago, anti-tobacco advocates did not believe in Reynolds’ evolution into a “total tobacco company”.
But, the introduction of Zonnic in retail stores in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 3 offers just the latest novelty for Reynolds, following Camel Snus and three Camel dissolvable products.
As well Reynolds launched an electronic cigarette (Vuse), smokeless pouches and pellets (Viceroy) and nicotine extract products such as lozenges.
Tommy Payne, president of Niconovum USA Inc., said that the company hopes that Zonnic will be an alternative product for smoking cessation.
The Zonnic gum is the first product of Niconovum that was introduced in the United States. Reynolds aquired Niconovum AB, that is based in Sweden, in 2009 for $44 million. Niconovum products, which as well include pouches and spray forms, are sold in Denmark and Sweden.
Payne said that the Food and Drug Administration has alread approved Zonnic.
Zonnic is the latest product into a nicotine-replacement therapy marketplace.
The effectiveness of NRT products was thrown into question in January by a research conducted by investigators at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
787 adult smokers of Massachusetts participated in the research. The research revealed that the products, especially nicotine patches and gum, do not represent effectiveness in helping people quit smoking cigarettes in the long term.
Gregory Connolly, director of the Center for Global Tobacco Control at Harvard, said the research demonstrated that while the NRT products can help with smoking cessation over two weeks to six months, they are not really intended to be an alternative product.
Payne said that nearly 70% of smokers each year intend to give up smoking, but only 10% succeeded. Of that 10%, nearly 6% succeeded using NRT products, he said.
Payne said that the attractiveness of Zonnic will be based “on its unique approach to brand positioning, distribution, packaging and price.”
There will be10 pieces in each Zonnic package and a “stop smoking aid” labeling. It will represent 2-milligram and 4-milligram mint styles. 4-milligram mint style is aimed at adults who are heavy smokers.
The 10-count package will be sold for nearly $3.
Zonnic will be available in convenience stores and gas stations. Most nicotine-replacement therapy products will be sold in large quantities in drug and big-box retail stores.