Why Quitting is so Difficult
Snus: Not a Safe Alternative
Snus is a type of moist, ground tobacco that originated in Sweden (it literally means “smokeless tobacco” in Swedish). It is usually packaged in thin bags much like tea bags, but can also be sold loose as a moist powder. Like snuff and other spit tobaccos, snus is held between the gum and mouth tissues where the juice is absorbed into the body.
Studies have found that snus users in Sweden have lower rates of several types of cancer than Swedish smokers, which has led some to believe that snus is “safe.” But snus users have a higher risk of pancreatic cancer than non-users. And like people who use other types of smokeless tobacco, snus users get sores or lesions in the mouth where the snus is held. There is evidence that snus users may develop mouth cancer more often than non-users, though more research is needed to confirm this.
Since snus has just been introduced in the US, it is uncertain what other problems it might cause. Just remember that the primary ingredient in snus is tobacco, which naturally contains nicotine and many other substances known to be harmful to your health.
Cigarette smoking is currently at a lower rate than at any point since the start of World War II. However, an estimated 25 percent of men and 20 percent of women still smoke cigarettes.