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Sound Off: Swapping Cigarettes for Snuff

By June 10, 2008 - 8:00pm
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I came across this article on MSN.com:

Cigarette sales in the United States have declined in recent years, but sales of non-cigarette tobacco products have risen and offset the decline in cigarette sales by 30 percent, a Harvard School of Public Health study finds.

Read the full story: Decline in Cigarette Sales Offset by Use of Alternative Products Low taxes on substitute tobacco items keep addiction affordable, study says.

I expected tobacco companies would not lay down and die in the face of billions of dollars in lawsuits over deaths related to tobacco-related cancers. I'm concerned about the implications for our young people who might try to kid themselves into believing that, just because they're not smoking cigarettes, they might be "immune" to lung cancer. However, they could be setting themselves up for throat or other mouth cancers by using chewing tobacco or other non-cigarette products.

Are you alarmed or shocked by the results of this study?

Add a Comment4 Comments

I have never heard of nasal snuff! Could you explain what this is?

I do agree that smokeless tobacco is a safer alternative to smoking tobacco as far as lung cancer is concerned, but what about the increased risk of mouth and throat cancer that smokeless tobacco users have? We aren't saying that one cancer is "better" than the other, but that they all contain cancer-causing agents and are harmful when used. There is no safe way to use tobacco products.

NRT (Nicotine-replacement therapy), including gum, patch, inhalers, etc., do NOT contain any cancer-causing agents, and are a safer method of quitting smoking.

June 12, 2008 - 12:39pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Alison Beaver)

its a super fine ground tobacco "sniffed" in to the front of the nose (not the sinuses) and nicotine is absorbed through the mucous membranes. later when you blow your nose, out it comes.

July 29, 2009 - 10:09am
EmpowHER Guest

I would like to point out that not all smokeless tobacco is for oral use and Toque Snuff, a nasal snuff, has been proven to be 99% safer than smoking. Snuff is safer and more successful for stopping smoking than any other NRT, snuff 76%, patches 17% and gum 12%. With no known harm ever being recorded for nasal snuff, and the number of educated smokers switching to less harmful nasal snuff rising every day, it is reprehensible of these researchers of this article not to mention the safer Toque nasal snuff, the fastest growing NRT in America. This is madness, killing smokers by not informing them that there is another form of safer tobacco, is tant amount to murder. If every smoker in America switched to Toque snuff we would save 400,000 smokers lives a year.

I have to say that I question the intelligence of the Harvard researchers of such an article, Particularly when they say things like ``They are doing it because of the high profits, low taxes and the perception that these products are safer,'' and “ tobacco is tobacco is tobacco — it’s going to kill you no matter what. And we need to get that message out to the public.”, when medical associations of the caliber of the Royal College of Physicians and Cancer Research have provided substantial evidence to the contrary.

Professor Martin Jarvis, of Cancer Research UK: says that the health implications surrounding snuff use are significantly lower than smoking. "Studies show that the health hazards surrounding snuff are much less than cigarettes and the risk is approximately one per cent compared with the risks associated with smoking," he explains. "The reason for this is that by smoking you are setting fire to the products which causes their combustion. Snuff doesn’t have the combustion products which are carcinogenic and all the user is getting is the nicotine."

The late Dr Michael Russell, father of tobacco addiction research:
"Snuff could save more lives and avoid more ill-health than any other preventive measure likely to be available to developed nations well into the 21st century". "Switching from cigarettes to snuff could have enormous health benefits". Snuffing has two major advantages... Firstly there are no products of combustion such as tar, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen. Secondly it cannot be inhaled into the lungs, which eliminates any risk of lung cancer.”

Professor (Sir) Robert Peto, Oxford University, World renowned epidemiologist on smoking:
“If this or some other such habit were to become widespread and did to any substantial extent replace smoking (particularly of cigarettes) then the net effect would be likely to be a reduction in tobacco-induced mortality.

June 12, 2008 - 2:09am

I'm not really shocked by the results of the study as there seems to be a pattern of tobacco use as I get older. Many of the people who I know who smoke followed these lines of non-cigarette products:

Back in the day -- or at least when I was in high school -- chew was pretty popular. It was in wide use by high school 'athletes' and some non-athletes even picked up the habit. I remember one student brought a styrofoam cup to class and told the teacher it was for his sunflower seeds, which we weren't even supposed to have in the classroom. The area outside our lockers was riddled with tobacco spit and sometimes it made it onto the lockers themselves.

In college, students turned to hookahs filled with the sweetly flavored tobacco or shisha which they considered less dangerous. There was an additional lure because it was considered exotic and students dying to set themselves apart from others, couldn't start using it fast enough. And do I even need to touch on marijuana use in college?

Now that I'm older, more men I know smoke cigars. Am not really sure that they like cigars, but it's perceived as having more cache than ciagrettes and smoking one cigar is perceived as less dangerous than smoking cigarettes -- at least by my friends. (Well done, marketers!)

I can only assume the next stage is a pipe -- old school style -- the kind grandfathers smoke while sitting in rocking chairs and living out their golden years.

Then there's the final stage and I'm assuming it will have something to do with "froth-corrupted lungs," a breathing machine and several years of diminished quality of life ... Golden, indeed!

June 10, 2008 - 8:49pm
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