Smoker-specific supplement launches in UK

A new multivitamin and mineral formula, Sense for Nicotine Lovers, has been introduced in the UK, targeting smokers.

The supplement is described by the manufacturer Sense Products as ‘a unique enhanced multivitamin formula to assist with the damage caused by smoking’.

Talking to NutraIngredients, company founder and CEO Jonathan Ebsworth, said that he expects the product will stir up some controversy but that believes it will stand up to scrutiny. “Given that smoking is both legal and addictive, why shouldn’t there be something out there to help smokers?” he said. “I think people know that cigarettes are inherently bad for you and no matter what you take it won’t truly compensate for the potential consequences. We are certainly not trying to encourage people to continue smoking. The supplement is something to assist the body’s response to smoking.”

Combining nutrients including vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C, and D along with copper, iron, selenium and magnesium, the product claims to support the immune system, assist in the normal function of the heart and nervous system, reduce tiredness and fatigue, balance energy levels and help against oxidative stress.

But would this type of product fit comfortably into the natural products sector? Alan Martin of Food For Thought’s reaction was: “It is an interesting angle, but personally I wouldn’t stock such a product. We already have lots of supplements to offer customers who want to give up smoking along with protocols for quitting. I think we can offer good dietary advice for anyone wanting to quit or for anyone that has just stopped to prevent them lapsing.”

Mark Hubbard from Fodder in Hereford commented: “It does seem a bit odd. It seems a bit pointless to carry on damaging your body and then trying to repair the damage. We won’t be rushing out and stocking it but if our customers want it we’ll order it in for them. I think if the customers will tell us whether there’s a demand for it or not. It seems the wrong approach to me.”

The supplement contains no artificial flavours, sweeteners or preservatives and is milk-, lactose-, soya-, gluten-, fish- and wheat-free. It is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.