The federal government might want to buy a million of the low-nicotine variety
The federal government is doing a little window-shopping for cigarettes — a million of them.
Health Canada recently issued a tender notice asking suppliers what it would cost to purchase a million very low-nicotine cigarettes as part of its wider tobacco control strategy.
VLN cigarettes, which have less than 0.4 mg of nicotine each, aren't available in Canada now. The tender notice is meant to find out which companies could make them and at what cost.
It also asks how a million cigarettes could be safely stored, and for how long, without a "deterioration in quality."
Health Canada spokeswoman Rebecca Purdy said the government issued the tender notice merely to learn more about the availability of "Canadian-style" VLN cigarettes for possible research applications.
She stressed it's a "preliminary inquiry and does not necessarily signal intent to carry out the research."
Rob Cunningham, a senior policy analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society, said the idea of VLN cigarettes has been around for 25 years, but the product hasn't succeeded commercially anywhere.
"Smokers will not smoke cigarettes without nicotine, and if that was the case, they'd be on the market today," he said.
Cunningham points to herbal cigarettes that are available for sale now, but aren't very popular.
Read more at http://www.cbc.ca