New report challenges idea that snuff is a 'safer' substitute for cigarettes

Dec 24, 2007
New report challenges idea that snuff is a 'safer' substitute for cigarettes
A new study challenges the notion that snuff can be a safer substitute for cigarette smoking. Credit: Courtesy of the American Chemical Society

A 20-year review of scientific research on tobacco and cancer challenges the idea that moist snuff — increasingly popular in the United States — can be a safer substitute for cigarette smoking. The review, by Stephen S. Hecht, is scheduled for the Jan. 1 issue of ACS’ Chemical Research in Toxicology.

The paper, which covers the broad range of research on cancer induced by tobacco, points out that smokeless tobacco, a known cause of oral cancer, is contaminated with levels of cancer-causing nitrosamines that are generally 1,000 times greater than those found in any other consumer product. Despite health warning labels on packages of smokeless tobacco and a ban on electronic advertising, sales of snuff have continued to increase, the paper states.

“In the past several years, a new concept has emerged,” the paper notes. “Responsible members of the tobacco control community support the idea of using ‘low nitrosamine’ moist snuff as a substitute for cigarette smoking. The rationale for this is that moist snuff is demonstrably less carcinogenic in humans, and less toxic in other ways, because it lacks the combustion products.”

However, moist snuff products still contain significant levels of carcinogens, and users should stop, perhaps via use of nicotine replacement therapy, rather than switch from one risky product to another, the paper advises.

Source: ACS

Explore further: 3D printing technique explored to help treat type 1 diabetes

Related Stories

Cigarettes, not Swedish snuff linked to increased risk of MS

Aug 31, 2009

While smoking cigarettes appears to significantly increase a person's risk of developing multiple sclerosis, using Swedish snuff does not, according to a study published in the September 1, 2009, print issue of Neurology, the me ...

FDA: Electronic cigarettes contain toxic chemicals

Jul 23, 2009

(AP) -- Federal health officials said Wednesday they have found cancer-causing ingredients in electronic cigarettes, despite manufacturers' claims the products are safer than tobacco cigarettes.

Recommended for you

Why Americans can't buy some of the best sunscreens

21 hours ago

With summer nearly here, U.S. consumers might think they have an abundance of sunscreen products to choose from. But across the Atlantic, Europeans will be slathering on formulations that manufacturers say provide better ...

Expanding the code of life with new 'letters'

21 hours ago

The DNA encoding all life on Earth is made of four building blocks called nucleotides, commonly known as "letters," that line up in pairs and twist into a double helix. Now, two groups of scientists are reporting ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.