Marketing of Smokeless Tobacco (SLT) products through internet among the WHO FCTC ratified countries
 
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National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A726
 
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WCTOH
 
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ABSTRACT
Background:
Marketing of SLT products through internet is banned in 42 countries. Flavouring of SLT is banned in only in a handful of countries. There is scant literature on the internet sale of SLT products and their associated flavours. This study evaluates global online market of SLT products, the number of websites selling these products, the type of products and the flavours mentioned in the website.

Methods:
The current study was conducted in June-July 2017; online search was done for the sites selling SLT products through Google browser. First 20 pages of the Google results were visited for each country using the key words "chewing tobacco", "snuff", "snus", "smokeless tobacco" and "oral tobacco" in combination with general terms "tobacco sale", "online sale" etc. Data was obtained for the number and type of product sold and flavours mentioned for each product.

Results:
Our search showed that there is a wide spread internet sale of SLT products notably in India, UK, USA and Sweden. There is lack of policy in the high SLT burden countries like India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan and China. Policy on ban of flavoured SLT products is there in only Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka. Online sale of flavoured SLT product sale was extensive in India, Thailand, USA and UK. Most commonly used flavours were sweet, spice, flower, fruit, alcohol flavours and various non-specific flavours.

Conclusions:
There is a wide spread sale of SLT products online. This enables the individuals to buy the products around the globe. The need of the hour is to formulate a policy to reduce the sale of online SLT products.

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