Tobacco companies are shifting their business toward selling smokeless tobacco in a pouch, aka snus. R.J. Reynolds is test-marketing it in two cities; Philip Morris is trying it in two others. Rationales: 1) Snus users get less cancer than smokers. 2) They produce no passive smoke. 3) This is a way to sell more tobacco as the cigarette market wanes. 4) Unlike regular smokeless tobacco, the new products put the tobacco in something like a tea bag, so you don't have to spit. Companies' spin: Great taste, less killing. Critics' view: It's wrong to market snus as safe, since it's still addictive and causes pancreatic cancer. (For previous updates on the shift to smokeless tobacco, click here and here. For oral sex and oral cancer, click here. To post your thoughts on the safety of smokeless tobacco, click here.)
Latest Human Nature columns: 1) The spread of virgin births. 2) The abolition of menstruation. 3) The chess match of man and machine. 4) Ultrasound and the future of abortion. 5) The global market in human organs. 6) The evolution of brains and morals. 7) Machines that read your mind. 8) Invasion of the naked body scanners. 9) The future of pain-beaming weapons.
* Correction, June 14, 2007: The item on captchas (Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart) originally said that test images had become so hard to decipher that a company's chief technology officer flunked 75 percent of them. The source article actually said that the CTO passed 75 percent of the tests, which were administered by Ticketmaster. For this mistranslation, Human Nature blames … human error. Return to the corrrected sentence.