Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio teamed up with Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon today to attach an amendment to a tobacco regulation bill that would order the government to study the public health effects of new tobacco products that resemble breath mints.
Both Democratic senators are from states where R.J. Reynolds is test-marketing a smokeless tobacco product called "Camel Orbs." It's made of ground tobacco, but looks like breath mints and comes in two flavors, "mellow" and "fresh." R. J. Reynolds is is also devising dissolvable tobacco products that resemble toothpicks and breath strips.
Tobacco companies say "Orbs" and other new smokeless tobacco products are sold only to adults, contain health warnings and are designed for use in places where cigarette smoke -- or the spitting associated with chewing tobacco -- would be unwelcome.
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