Two of North Carolina's largest companies could be headed for a showdown.
The Wall Street Journal reports today that GlaxoSmithKline, which has its U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park, has asked the Food and Drug Administration to remove dissolvable smokeless tobacco products from stores.
Reynolds American, based down the road in Winston-Salem, has been test-marketing tiny lozenges, called Camel Orbs, in several cities, the WSJ reports. The lozenges are basically smokeless tobacco products.
The new dissolvable tobacco products are competition for GSK's quit-smoking products such as Nicorette gum. In its letter to the FDA, sent after the agency asked for public comment on the issue, GSK expressed concern that the new products are not being marketed in a way that protects the public health.
The FDA, according to the WSJ, has already expressed its own concerns about the lozenges, writing to Reynolds that their candy-like appearance may appeal to kids.