RAI Forms Partnership With Pharmaceutical Consultancy

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) is continuing its journey to transform tobacco through a new partnership with a pharmaceutical consultancy.

The Winston-Salem-based tobacco company reached an agreement with Maryland-based Pinney Associates to work on efforts to decrease the effects of smoking and tobacco, according to The Associated Press.

As part of the pact, RAI's subsidiary Niconovum USA will partner with a Pinney affiliate to develop a new kind of nicotine gum and other nicotine replacement products like electronic cigarettes. The two will also work on policies that aim to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco, the report added.

This partnership comes as RAI expands the distribution of its Zonnic nicotine gum nationally, as CSNews Online previously reported.

According to the AP, Pinney Associates has done extensive work for GlaxoSmithKline plc, the leading seller of nicotine gums, patches and other products that help people stop smoking. Its former employees include Mitch Zeller, the current director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products.

"While what we've been doing in tobacco control is working, it's just not working fast enough," John Pinney, CEO of Pinney Associates, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We've got a lot of people who I believe probably need nicotine for the rest of their lives and the goal here would be — if that's the case — let's get them a product that's not going to kill them."

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