Monday, July 13, 2009

Spearmint-Filled Cigarette Helps Gum Addicts Beat Their Habit

by Benjo

I'm not a gum chewer, but this will surely be welcome news for some of you. Now if they'd only make a cigarette that will help me beat my addiction to Gossip Girls!

In an effort to wean heavy chewers off of gum, Philip Morris has recently introduced Bubbarette, a cigarette filled with spearmint leaves and other gum-flavored fillings.

“In months of testing, Bubbarette helped over 95% of chewers beat their addiction,” said company spokesman Donald Middlecross. “The cigarettes are safe, they're tasty, and they leave your clothes smelling minty-fresh. And best of all, they won't rot the teeth like gum, so even kids can smoke them.”

Indeed, as some of the most dedicated gum chewers, children are expected to be some of the heaviest Bubbarette smokers.

Pediatrician Jay Gorman says this is a good thing. “If kids smoke Bubbarettes, it's probably the most effective way to ensure that they don't develop a lifelong dependency on one of the most harmful habits out there: chewing gum.”

Third-grade teacher Dina Withers says that Bubbarettes will also help keep order in her classroom. “I'm thrilled. I'm never going to have to get on my knees and pick a cigarette off the bottom of a desk, because they don't stick. Plus, Bubbarettes have made my classroom smell delicious.”

Critics warn of the dangers of second-hand mint. Studies have shown that being in the same room as someone who has smoked seven Bubbarettes will leave an individual's breath just as minty as if she had smoked one Bubbarette herself.

Such criticisms have not derailed Philip Morris's efforts, however. Bubbarette (formerly known as Ciga Yum) currently exists in just spearmint and peppermint, but the company will soon add three more flavors: Cotton Candy; FruitStripe, which is a striped cigarette; and Sour Blueberry, which colors the tongue blue when smoked.

Bubbarettes work by gradually weaning chewers off of gum over the course of 12 weeks. While the first cigarettes are 100% mint leaves, mint is gradually removed and replaced by tobacco. By the twelfth week, the cigarettes are pure tobacco. Philip Morris recommends that chewers continue to smoke even after the twelfth week to prevent relapses.

“The gradual nature of the Bubbarette system has been key to my efforts to quit chewing,” said Darren Leonard of Wabash. “I tried to quit cold-turkey once, but the withdrawals were too intense. Now, I'm only two weeks away from the end of my program, and it feels great. I've never sat in the non-chewing section at a restaurant before. Now I'll finally have my chance.”

Leonard mentioned that, as the cigarettes have become filled with less mint and more tobacco, he has begun craving the cigarettes. “I don't know why that's happening, but it's fine with me,” Leonard said with a laugh. “Whatever it takes to get me off this nasty gum kick.”

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