Nicotine - drug or supplement?

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nicotine

A bottled water containing a nicotine 'supplement' is soon to hit
the American market, but is causing controversy with anti-smoking
campaigners.

A nicotine-enhanced bottled water, soon to hit the American market, is causing controversy with anti-smoking campaigners.

Nico Water, made by QuickTest5, contains two or four milligrams of nicotine, but unlike nicotine gum, the product is marketed as a supplement - not a replacement, reports CNN.

The concept comes from the new thinking among some researchers that an alternative nicotine source may reduce smoking rates for those who cannot fully give up the habit.

However campaigners are not happy with the product, which manufacturer QuickTest5 hopes to see on the market in July.

Danny Goldrick of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids said: "It should be regulated. It has a highly addictive drug in it. And it's intended to help smokers treat nicotine addiction."

According to QuickTest5 CEO Steve Reder the company has gone to great lengths to ensure the product is used safely - and by those over the age of 18.

"Our bottles are packaged as an 18 years and older product. They are tamper-proof and are sold in two-pack and four-pack configurations. We are very very cautious about this bottle and who is going to drink this,"​ Reder told CNN.

The FDA is currently assessing the safety of smoking cessation products. Last month the agency issued a warning letter to pharmacies selling nicotine lollipops and lip balm online. The warnings cite the fact the products are sold without a doctor's prescription, contain an unapproved form of nicotine, and can be used by children.

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