Please find below a small exposé in to the snus situation from my personal and professional perspective, these conclusions are my own, but widely recognized as being the only reasonable conclusion.
The reason for posting this is not as insignificant as you might believe. E-cigarettes and vaping are quickly gaining massive backing also from prominent health bodies and scientists globally, and may in actual fact gain global acceptance as a harm reduced cigarette alternative, and possibly even enjoy wide dissemination and pro-information campaigns. Snus though, seems set on the path toward continued marginalization, continued demonization and possibly being sacrificed on the altar of a less controversial product, the e-cig. But what if snus and similar food grade low nitrosamine smokeless products are every bit as safe as vaping, possibly even safer.
700 million smokers and 300 million users of very toxic and carcinogenic smokeless products simply don’t have the economic means to switch to vaping. They can’t afford it.
We in truth risk throwing a billion people under a bus, if we have acceptance only for e-cig but not for tobacco containing low risk alternatives, despite them being every bit as safe, maybe even safer, than vaping.
This could be one of the most “eyes-wide-shut” public health travesties and injustices ever perpetrated globally.
Snus use is argued by opponents to be a population relevant harmful product and thus never applicable as a possible harm reduced alternative to cigarettes or for use as a temporary cessation aid. What level of actual harm in per cent (%), when compared to the harms from smoking, does the available body of science support?
- Snus use is proven to not cause relevant increase in cancer
- Snus use is proven to not cause relevant increase in CVD
- Snus use is proven to not affect the GI tract in terms of metabolic disorders
- Snus use is empirically proven to not have relevant effect on lung disease
- Snus use is proven as a gateway OUT of smoking and does not materially function as a youth gateway into smoking, rather seems to act as a protective measure against future smoking behaviour
Given the above 5 concluded non-effects and positive effects of snus, it seems unlikely, bordering on impossible, that snus use could have any more than 2% of the harms associated with smoking or continued smoking.
Snus is often discussed in a framed situation where it is said that there is so little data available to adequately (and with a safety margin) put a percentage number on the level of harm reduction from snus compared to cigarettes, that thus the benefit one can realize by switching to, or initiating with, this product actually affords the user. Tobacco Control prefers framing the argument to be that only in relation to being totally nicotine free, should snus ever be measured. I disagree and sees the most important measurement as the ratio of risk between snus use and smoking, whether switching or initiating.
So Swedish scientist used to always say – “Aheerm, snus is very dangerous because it causes Cancer”
Snus does not cause population health relevant increases in any forms of cancer:
So Swedish scientist always say – “Aheerm, snus is still dangerous because it causes CVD”
Snus does not cause CVD:
forte-projektbeskrivning : 9 studies, 4 papers, 1 Doctorate and cohort of 300,000 concludes roughly the following (translation mine): Snus use seems to be associated with somewhat higher immediate (30 days) mortality after infarction, but is not associated with infarction, arrythmia, failure or other vascular diseases and does not seem to be associated with diabetes, latent diabetes, diabetes metillus, but may be associated with metabolic syndrome, but eating habits could be the explanation for weight gain and more science is necessary.
So Swedish scientists always say – “Aheerm, snus is still dangerous because it still probably causes Diabetes and if not, then at least snus causes metabolic syndrome” (which is what exactly, just by the way?)
snus-and-diabetes-2016 Three years later this study was published in 2016 cross border between Sweden, Norway and Finland. The study clearly concludes that snus us is not at all associated with diabetes in different forms. If snus use does not cause CVD or weight gain or metabolic disturbances, since these are the main precursors to the elusive study diagnosis of metabolic syndrome; then snus use does not cause metabolic syndrome either. Unless there is some form of direct action between the product and the elusive diagnosis that is also totally elusive to medical science as a whole.
So Swedish scientist resort to saying – “Aheerm, snus is still horribly dangerous because it causes nicotine addiction and acts as a gateway to smoking”
Snus use acts as a protection agains smoking and is a clear gateway away from smoking in those who already do smoke and are unlikely to give up tobacco/nicotine – Epidemiology and prevalence data clearly show that smoking rates decrease concurrently with increase in use of harm reduced products.
The world needs to say to Sweden:
“Aheerm, enough is enough!!”
“Please immediately publish a best guess of percentage of snus harm compared to smoking, or Publish a statement clarifying that harms from snus may be there, but are so low that harms simply cannot be relevantly measured or quantified, therefore at least below 5% but probably considerably lower than that”
– No other alternatives than the above are acceptable to the international scientific and public health communities
“Enough is enough!!”