The Health Effects of Snus
Unlike chewing or dipping tobacco, Snus is pasteurized rather than fire-cured, and as a result contains significantly lower amounts of cancer causing tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs). One study from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health identified that the popular snus brand Ettan had 2.8 parts per million TSNAs, compared to 127 parts per million for one variant of American dipping tobacco.
The large majority of health problems caused by cigarette smoking comes from burning the tobacco. Since snus is smokefree, it improves the health of both the user and eliminates the annoyance and dangers of secondhand smoke to others nearby. The Royal College of Physicians estimates that regular snus usage is 1,000 times less harmful than smoking cigarettes (source). In Sweden, 20% of Swedish males consume snus on a regular basis, and Sweden has some of the lowest rates of lung cancer in the world (and also a very low smoking rate compared to other developed countries).
Snus is also beginning to show promise as an effective smoking cessation strategy, and a recent study has suggested that that those wishing to quit smoking have had an easier time doing so using snus (myself included) rather than using other nicotine replacement therapies (such as the nicotine gum or Chantix/Champix). By informing (rather than legislating against) reduced harm tobacco alternatives, governments have the potential to significantly reduce the amount of health problems resulting from cigarette smoking (such as lung cancer).
For more information about Snus, check out our About Snus and Getting Started with Snus pages. Finally, don’t forget to take a look at our list of snus brands and flavors in order to get an idea of which brand to try next!