Potentially dangerous chemicals found in Ariva tobacco include nicotine and tobacco-specific nitrosamines, or TSNAs, such as NNN and NNK, which are known carcinogens. Ariva is a smokeless tobacco product made of finely ground tobacco combined with a binding agent and flavoring agents. It is sold in pellets or tablets that resemble lozenges or breath mints.
The majority of TSNAs associated with tobacco products result from the curing phase of production. Ariva’s maker, Star Scientific, claims that its curing process results in a product with far fewer chemicals and substantially lower amounts of TSNAs than other tobacco products. Studies confirm that Ariva contains significantly reduced levels of tobacco-specific lung carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-l-(3-pyridyl)-l-butanone (NNK), but its makers admit that the health risks associated with other ingredients have not been assessed.
Studies also show that smokeless forms of tobacco such as Ariva contain higher amounts of non-ionized nicotine than other types of tobacco products. Non-ionized nicotine is more rapidly absorbed in the mouth and can increase its toxicity.
Health officials have concerns that Ariva and similar products still contain TSNAs that are potential causes of cancer, especially oral and pancreatic cancer that studies have linked to these ingredients. Officials also have concerns that the physical similarity of products such as Ariva to candy may encourage use among young people and lead to higher incidents of tobacco poisoning among children.
In 2012, Star Scientific announced it was discontinuing the production of Ariva and tobacco substitute products due to poor sales and marketing problems associated with regulatory difficulties.