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

December 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: Smokeless tobacco called 'moist snuff' is contaminated with harmful substances

Related Stories

Cigarettes, not Swedish snuff linked to increased risk of MS

August 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, ...

Is snuff the answer to quitting smoking?

September 18, 2006

Researchers in Washington say smokeless tobacco is much safer than cigarettes but the jury is out on whether smokers should be encouraged to switch habits.

Study: Snuff users tend to obesity

August 25, 2006

A Swedish study finds that people who use snuff are more likely to be overweight and to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Recommended for you

'Material universe' yields surprising new particle

November 25, 2015

An international team of researchers has predicted the existence of a new type of particle called the type-II Weyl fermion in metallic materials. When subjected to a magnetic field, the materials containing the particle act ...

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...

New gene map reveals cancer's Achilles heel

November 25, 2015

Scientists have mapped out the genes that keep our cells alive, creating a long-awaited foothold for understanding how our genome works and which genes are crucial in disease like cancer.

A blue, neptune-size exoplanet around a red dwarf star

November 25, 2015

A team of astronomers have used the LCOGT network to detect light scattered by tiny particles (called Rayleigh scattering), through the atmosphere of a Neptune-size transiting exoplanet. This suggests a blue sky on this world ...


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.