2 doctors weighed in:

Is snus a safe alternative to cigarettes? Snus is being touted as a safe alternative to cigarettes. Studies cite low if non-existent rates of associated lung cancer, with a very mild uptick in pancreatic cancer - the studies were carried out in sweden, a

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Fung
Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Snus

Snus is also known as swedish snuff and is a moist powder tobacco product originated from a variant of dry snuff in the early 19th century in sweden, consumed by placing it under the lip for extended periods of time.
While it has been touted as an alternative to smoking and traditional "chewing" tobacco, there are concerns regarding health risks associated with its use. Although some say smokeless tobacco poses fewer health risks than cigarettes, they note that it has been linked to various types of cancer and warn against using any tobacco product. There are contradictory studies on the risk for cancer and other health problems. In a study from the karolinska institute in stockholm, sweden, published in the international journal of cancer in 2008 found a statistically significant increase in the incidence of the combined category of oral and pharyngeal cancer among daily users of snus (incidence rate ratio 3.1, 95% confidence interval 1.5-6.6) was found. Overall mortality was also slightly increased (hazard ratio 1.10, 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.21). In an earlier study published in lancet in 2007, snus use was independently associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer (relative risk for ever-users of snus 2.0; 95% ci 1.2-3.3, compared with never-users of any tobacco), but was unrelated to incidence of oral (0.8, 95% ci 0.4-1.7) and lung cancer (0.8, 0.5-1.3). These differences may also lie in the variations of smokeless tobacco in the marketplace. In a study from 2008, researchers found a large variation in the levels of some toxic compounds and carcinogens analyzed in american and swedish smokeless tobaccos. Based on this and other studies, while smokeless tobaccos provide some protection against lung cancer, the overall health risks or benefits have not been clearly determined and the best advice is to avoid using any tobacco at all.

In brief: Snus

Snus is also known as swedish snuff and is a moist powder tobacco product originated from a variant of dry snuff in the early 19th century in sweden, consumed by placing it under the lip for extended periods of time.
While it has been touted as an alternative to smoking and traditional "chewing" tobacco, there are concerns regarding health risks associated with its use. Although some say smokeless tobacco poses fewer health risks than cigarettes, they note that it has been linked to various types of cancer and warn against using any tobacco product. There are contradictory studies on the risk for cancer and other health problems. In a study from the karolinska institute in stockholm, sweden, published in the international journal of cancer in 2008 found a statistically significant increase in the incidence of the combined category of oral and pharyngeal cancer among daily users of snus (incidence rate ratio 3.1, 95% confidence interval 1.5-6.6) was found. Overall mortality was also slightly increased (hazard ratio 1.10, 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.21). In an earlier study published in lancet in 2007, snus use was independently associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer (relative risk for ever-users of snus 2.0; 95% ci 1.2-3.3, compared with never-users of any tobacco), but was unrelated to incidence of oral (0.8, 95% ci 0.4-1.7) and lung cancer (0.8, 0.5-1.3). These differences may also lie in the variations of smokeless tobacco in the marketplace. In a study from 2008, researchers found a large variation in the levels of some toxic compounds and carcinogens analyzed in american and swedish smokeless tobaccos. Based on this and other studies, while smokeless tobaccos provide some protection against lung cancer, the overall health risks or benefits have not been clearly determined and the best advice is to avoid using any tobacco at all.
Dr. John Fung
Dr. John Fung
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Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry

In brief: This

This is a great question.
Before i provide any more information, it is important to let you know that because of the decline in sales of tobacco products, nasal snuff may be receiving a lot of press by the tobacco industry in order to improve sales. The second issue is that there has not been an abundance of medical studies on the effects of dry nasal snuff in humans. Dry nasal snuff has been used in europe for hundreds of years. Snuff has different health risks than smoking tobacco or use of wet snuff in the mouth. Dry snuff presents with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease compared to smoking. This could at least in part be due to the fact that snuff does not involve the combustion of carcinogenic materials in tobacco that way that smoking does. Chronic abuse of dry snuff creates changes in the nose. It can lead to atrophy of some of the turbinates and metaplastic changes of some of the tissues in the nose. It can also inhibit mucus clearance by cilia in the nose. There are a paucity of studies regarding cancer and dry snuff. It is being suggested that nasal snuff could be used as substitution therapy for someone who is trying to quit smoking. This is because nicotine is absorbed at a similar rate when using nasal snuff or smoking. One of the problems is that nicotine dependence can occur with any form of tobacco use. The bottom line is that it is not safe to repeatedly take tobacco into the body in any form. Argueably, use of dry snuff has less risk of certain types of health problems than smoking. .

In brief: This

This is a great question.
Before i provide any more information, it is important to let you know that because of the decline in sales of tobacco products, nasal snuff may be receiving a lot of press by the tobacco industry in order to improve sales. The second issue is that there has not been an abundance of medical studies on the effects of dry nasal snuff in humans. Dry nasal snuff has been used in europe for hundreds of years. Snuff has different health risks than smoking tobacco or use of wet snuff in the mouth. Dry snuff presents with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease compared to smoking. This could at least in part be due to the fact that snuff does not involve the combustion of carcinogenic materials in tobacco that way that smoking does. Chronic abuse of dry snuff creates changes in the nose. It can lead to atrophy of some of the turbinates and metaplastic changes of some of the tissues in the nose. It can also inhibit mucus clearance by cilia in the nose. There are a paucity of studies regarding cancer and dry snuff. It is being suggested that nasal snuff could be used as substitution therapy for someone who is trying to quit smoking. This is because nicotine is absorbed at a similar rate when using nasal snuff or smoking. One of the problems is that nicotine dependence can occur with any form of tobacco use. The bottom line is that it is not safe to repeatedly take tobacco into the body in any form. Argueably, use of dry snuff has less risk of certain types of health problems than smoking. .
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Dr. Heidi Fowler
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