In the face of declining smoking rates, Altria, the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, is looking to innovate. The company has just partnered up with Lexaria Nicotine to offer edible nicotine, which is much healthier than cigarettes. This subsidiary of Lexaria BioScience has been making approved oral nicotine supplements for years.
The deal was made on January 15, when both parties agreed to sign to an investment deal. The agreement provides marketing rights to Altria to advertise oral nicotine supplements in the United States. With this agreement, the group also retains the right to appoint directors and be involved in shareholding.
Could this nicotine technology outshine vaping?
While smoking rates have declined, the FDA maintains its skeptical stance on the rise of vaping. Scott Gottlieb believes vaping can lead to nicotine dependence, notably amongst young people. With this new oral nicotine supplement, Lexaria and Altria should expect similar resistance.
However, both companies promise that this new form of nicotine is much less harmful than cigarettes. Studies have shown that consuming nicotine orally is no less harmful than drinking a cup of coffee.
Chris Bunka, director of Lexaria, wants smokers to adopt healthier lifestyles. He supports the development of vaping, which he believes is much safer than combustion-based smoking. Lexaria is going even further with a nicotine product that contains no additives.
Dehaydratech is a process that dehydrates nicotine, resulting in a healthier product. Without any artificial flavoring, this product poses no health dangers whatsoever. Even better, the product will not be as attractive as e-cigarettes, which is sure to please the FDA. Young people are unlikely to turn towards this edible form of consumption, which tends to only be used for smokers who want to quit. Dehydratech may only be at the beginning, but its future in helping people quit smoking looks bright.