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Changing Habits 

Jump to full article: Newsweek, 2003-08-14
Author: Jason McClure


As higher taxes and increased restrictions have made taking a cigarette break an ever more difficult and expensive proposition, snuff makers are seeking to lure the nicotine-dependent with a habit they're not prohibited from doing at the office or in a restaurant. Though more than 90 percent of America's 5 million snuff users are male, manufacturers are hoping they can attract female smokers as well by removing snuff's most socially unpleasant side effect: the spitting.

Both U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., whose Skoal and Copenhagen brands dominate the snuff market, and Swedish Match, a smaller rival, are test-marketing new "spitless" products in several cities around the country. Similar to a product popular in Sweden known as snus, the companies are hoping they can attract consumers who have long been wary of traditional forms of snuff. The companies estimate that of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who try snuff each year, only a tiny fraction actually stick with it. The learning curve for snuff is high: new users often experience "float" (where the pinch of tobacco breaks apart and scatters about the mouth) and "throat-grab" (where the new user swallows the tobacco juice, which often induces vomiting). Then there is the spitting, which forces indoor users to keep a cup of yellow tobacco juice-or a potted plant-close at hand.

USSTC's solution is Revel

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