In case you haven't noticed, it's a rotten time to be a tobacco marketer. So bad that the government recently accused the tobacco giants of fraud and racketeering for positioning their light, mild and medium products as better for you than regular ol' smokes. Well, they aren't. Cigarettes are terrible for you no matter what (which the American Legacy Foundation does a great job reminding us in its latest round of its scared-straight "Truth" ads). That's why tobacco marketers are now pushing hard behind "snus." R.J. Reynolds is calling these "spitfree" pouches of smokeless tobacco "freedom for smokers." The only problem is, they "may cause gum disease and tooth loss." To turn smokers onto its Snus Frost and Snus Mellow, RJR is giving the product away free with a purchase of any tobacco product. You, of course, need the coupon that comes glued to its recent print ads. I just wonder how long it will be before the government brings the hammer down on the snus or American Legacy begins attacking them in ads. I even have a tagline ready: "You snus, you lose."
—Posted by Kenneth Hein