Nic Lite distribution halted

By Staff Writer
August 31, 2006

Shane Evans

The Food and Drug Administration is trying to put a stop to the distribution of a new way to “live smoke free.”

This is the motto of Nico Worldwide, Inc., a company based in California, who released in April what they call a dietary supplement for nicotine users. Nic Lite is an 8-ounce bottle of water that contains four milligrams of nicotine in each bottle. According to tobacco.org, one bottle is equivalent to smoking two cigarettes.

The FDA says that Nic Lite violates the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and it should not be marketed as a dietary supplement. In 2002, the FDA has said that products such as nicotine water are classified as new drugs not as supplements for those that are trying to quit smoking.

Nico Worldwide, Inc. tried to use the fact that nicotine occurs naturally in many vegetables, such as eggplant, cauliflower and tomatoes, and that dietary nicotine may maintain a healthy smoke free lifestyle. The FDA’s rebuttal included the fact the nicotine was classified as “under investigation” as of 1987 and has never been marketed as a food or dietary supplement. Vegetables have never been sold as a way to quit smoking.

Another reason that the FDA has a problem with the drink is because it is being sold in stores as if it were regular water. The FDA approves of the nicotine patch and gum because it is regulated; sold behind the counter – not in a refrigerator. “Nicotine gum and the patch are supposed to help people quit smoking, but Nic Lite is marketed as a way to get you through until you can smoke some more,” according to abcnews.go.com.

These little bottles of water were first sold in the Los Angeles International Airport for those who smoke cigarettes and cigars and needed a little fix during their flight. Now it is being marketed as a substitute for cigarettes for those who cannot smoke in airports, airplanes, bars, restaurants and at parties. The Nico Worldwide, Inc. wanted to have their product sold worldwide in the future.

According to their website, nicoworldwide.com, Nic Lite should be “used when you choose not to smoke or when smoking is not allowed.”

The suggested use is one bottle every four to six hours, never exceeding more than four bottles in one day. The amount of Nic Lite one should drink depends on the speed of metabolism and the number of cigarettes one smokes in an average day.

Just like cigarettes, the medical restrictions are the same as smoking cigarettes or cigars: those with high blood pressure, heart conditions, may become or already pregnant or lactating should consult a health care professional. Also, Nic Lite should not be used with other nicotine replacement drugs such as the patch or nicotine gum.

On their website, they have many testimonials from those that use Nic Lite in everyday use. Charlie E. from California was a chain smoker, smoking two packs a day. He wrote, “Using Nic Lite when I was not able to smoke, I used two bottles of Nic Lite a day for two weeks. I went from two packs a day to just one smoke in the morning and one after dinner.”

So, even though this bottle of lemon flavored water might help those that affected by the smoking ban, it might be a while before this product is sold worldwide.

Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to: Loquitur@googlegroups.com. The editors will review your comments each week and make corrections if warranted.

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