Nicotine-containing fruit drinks could soon be available as an alternative for people trying to stop smoking, says a Los Angeles-based firm which has received exclusive rights to market nicotine drinks.
Platinum Products, set up to develop the nicotine beverages, said today it has acquired the exclusive right to United States patent number 6,268,386, and will start making its first products within the next few weeks.
The company will market the nicotine drinks, which can be either water- or fruit juice-based and carbonated, as a means of reducing a person's use of tobacco products. The patent is based on the theory that products providing nicotine without the other ingredients of tobacco could reduce the risk of negative health effects seen with cigarette use.
The delivery system should prove popular, with growth in the functional beverage market, and more accessible than over-the-counter smoking-cessation products. But nicotine-based drinks are faced with significant safety issues, as well as taste concerns.
Finished products wil need to mask the 'pepper' taste of nicotine yet contain enough of the ingredient to be effective.
The patent provides for a drink containing between 0.0001 per cent and 0.1 per cent of nicotine or alkaloid, allowing the drink 'to meet the needs of the individual be it a serious desire to quell their need for nicotine or a more casual desire for a product that includes nicotine or nicotine like component. Tobacco users are an enormous and dynamic group and it is the flexibility of this concept as much as any component that will allow it to perform as planned', according to the patent.
The company is also embarking on a lawsuit against QT5, which according to Platinum no longer has rights to the patent after its inventor signed it over to Platinum, when QT5 'failed to fulfill several material obligations'. Platinum Products is pursuing immediate relief against QT5 to stop the production and distribution of any product based on the patent.
"In our view, the potential and possibilities for this patent are almost endless," said Platinum founder Robert Moore.