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Have you heard about the new tobacco pouches? I hadn’t either until I opened the latest issue of Advertising Age. The new pouches – called snus — look like tiny tea-bag pouches and don’t require a spittoon. They just sit there, nestled in between your lip and your gums until your nicotine fix sets in. It’s Big Tobaccos way to fight the high price of cigarettes and the never-ending bans on cigarette smoking in public. But will it work?

Camel snus have three different flavors – original, frost and spice. Marlboro is making four flavors – rich, mild, mint and spice. Pending legislation is taking aim at nixing flavored cigarettes – including smokeless tobacco. But there has been no mention of snus as of yet.

Philip Morris, the makers of Marlboro, said that they support the pending legislation. The reasons? Staying in business while cigarettes are becoming less and less popular.

From the article: We believe that such tough but reasonable federal regulation can benefit shareholders and other stakeholders by ensuring that all tobacco manufacturers and importers doing business in the U.S. operate at the same high standards; by providing a framework for the further pursuit of tobacco product alternatives that are less harmful than conventional cigarettes; and by ensuring transparent, accurate communication about tobacco products to consumers," said Philip Morris spokesman David Sutton.

The article reports that the American Cancer Society said that if every smoker in America were to switch to snus there would be substantial reductions in heart disease and certain cancers. Hooray for smokers and the people who are affected by second hand smoke? I can’t decide.

Will snus bring back "smoking" in the workplace? Will it catch on like wildfire, leading to other certain cancers that have to do with the mouth and jaw? To me there is no "safe" or "good" alternative to smoking other than not smoking. I’ll be interested to see if these little tea-bags of nicotine goodness catch on.