Facts about Swedish Snus from WHO.
The effects of Swedish Snus has been reviwed by the World Health Organization, WHO.
Snus is used by 20% of Swedish males and by 2% of Swedish females and consumption is increasing. If snus was not available these people might still have been cigarette smokers. If you are interested to buy Swedish Snus you find all major swedish snusbrands at our webstore SWEDISHPRODUCTS.ONLINE. The below text is part of an text publiced by WHO. If you are interested of the complete article, please click World Health Organizaiton, WHO.
What is Swedish snus?
Swedish snus, manufactured by Swedish Match, is a moist to semi-moist, ground, oral
smokeless tobacco product. It is made from selected, mainly air-cured tobaccos, water, salt
and flavourings. Snus is produced in a proprietary heat-treatment process that complies with
food standards. The moisture content of the product ranges between 30 and 60 %. Packaging
forms vary: loose snus, which is sold in 50 g cardboard or plastic cans and portion-packed
snus which is sold in three packaging varieties. The vast majority of Swedish snus users place
the snus in the upper vestibular cavity of the mouth. Swedish snus is regulated by the Swedish
Food Act. Except for Sweden, snus has been banned since 1992 in the European Union countries. The
legislative background for the ban is Art. 2.4 of Directive 92/41/EEC. The Article 2.4 defines
those smokeless tobaccos that may not legally be sold in the European Union. Since snus is
widely used in Sweden, the Swedish government obtained permanent derogation from the ban
on certain smokeless tobacco products as part of the terms under which Sweden joined the
Snus and harm reduction strategies
Swedish Match has put a lot of effort into improving product quality in order to minimise any
possible health risks. This goes all the way from the selection of leaf tobacco to the
manufacturing process. Swedish Match selects its raw materials carefully taking into account
not only traditional leaf characteristics but also chemical data. The manufacturing involves a
proprietary heat treatment process instead of the more commonly used fermentation. As a
result of these measures snus contains lower levels of nitrosamines, polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons and other controversial compounds than similar smokeless tobacco products.
As all tobacco products, snus contains nicotine. The blood nicotine levels in snus users do not
differ from the levels in cigarette smokers. We wish to stress this point as we are aware of the
common misconception that snus contains more nicotine and delivers more nicotine than
Facts about Swedish Snus from WHO (World Health Organization):
The health effects associated with the use of snus have been evaluated in several independent
2 scientific studies. These studies show that the adverse health effects associated with the use of
snus are much lower than those associated with cigarette smoking (detailed below).
Sweden is the only country to have reached the WHO goal of reducing cigarette smoking
to less than 20% of the adult population. Sweden has one of the most effective antismoking policies in Europe, measured by the significant reduction of the numbers of smokers.
Facts about Swedish Snus from WHO: Snus has played an important role in achieving this goal, since 54% of the snus consumers are
ex-smokers. Snus is used by 20% of Swedish males and by 2% of Swedish females and
consumption is increasing. If snus was not available these people might still have been cigarette smokers.
Facts about Swedish Snus from WHO: The evidence available demonstrates:
That snus is significantly less harmful to health than was previously thought when it was
banned by the European Union in 1991 and
That snus can play a constructive role in a tobacco related harm reduction strategy.
Health risks associated with moist snuff – Swedish snus and scientific evidence
As stated above, a significant body of scientific evidence now clearly shows that the health
risks associated with snus use are significantly lower than those associated with cigarette
smoking (this may be understandable since the snus user is not exposed to the toxic pyrolysis
products generated by cigarette smoking). The European Commission has recognised this.
The proposed Directive on tobacco labelling, endorsed by both the European Council and the
Parliament, clearly distinguishes between the health warnings for cigarettes and for smokeless
The health warning on smokeless tobacco is proposed to be changed to “This product can
damage your health and create addiction” instead of the present requirement “Smokeless
tobacco damages health seriously” and ”Causes cancer”. The Commission’s moderation of
the health warning reflects the scientific consensus, which has developed over the past 10
years. Several, independent, scientific studies have looked at the health patterns of Swedish
users of snus and found that the product is not associated with cancer.
Swedish snus does not increase the risk of dysplastic changes and is not a risk factor for oral
or gastric cancer.
Facts about Swedish Snus from WHO: The key findings of the scientific studies are:
High daily use of snus gives rise to oral mucosal changes, which are reversible after
cessation of snus use (4). The probability of these lesions to transform into cancer
appears to be low (5).
No statistically significant association between oral cancer and snus use was
observed in two epidemiological case-control studies. It was also shown that tobacco
smoking and alcohol intake had a strong interactive effect on the risk of carcinoma (6,7).
• There is no association between any type of cardiac or gastric cancer and snus use.
By contrast, active smokers have a higher risk of gastric or cardiac cancers than neversmokers (8).
• Gastric cardia adenocarcinoma is associated with smoking among heavy smokers
but not with alcohol or snus use. Oesophageal squamous-cell carcinoma is strongly
associated with smoking, moderately with alcohol, but not with snus use (9).
No increased cancer mortality was found among snus users in a large co-hort study
on Swedish construction workers (10).
The use of snus appears to be unrelated to the incidence of myocardial infarction, but there is
conflicting evidence on the role of snus on mortality from cardiovascular disease.
Facts about Swedish Snus from WHO:
The key findings are:
Snus usage is associated with lower risk of myocardial infarction than cigarette
smoking in middle-aged men (11).
The risk of myocardial infarction is not increased in snus users. Nicotine is probably
not an important contributor to ischemic heart disease in smokers (12).
An excess risk of dying of cardiovascular disease has been observed among snus
users in a co-hort study comprising Swedish construction workers (10). However, the
survey included no adjustment for alcohol consumption – a positive co-variation has been
demonstrated between use of alcohol and snus and it has been contended that this plays an
important part in the interpretation of epidemiological studies (13).
No significant elevation of diastolic blood pressure, haemoglobin concentrations,
white cell count, serum cholesterol or triglyceride levels has been found in snus
users. This is in contrast with findings for cigarette smokers. The use of snus by young
men appears to have less impact than smoking on cardiovascular risk factors with the
possible exception of elevated serum insulin and plasma fibrinogen levels (14).
The use of snus does not appear to affect potential cardiovascular risk factors
measured as plasma fibrinogen levels, fibrinolytic activity, glucose tolerance and
serum insulin levels (15).
An increased cardiovascular risk on use of snus was observed in a large co-hort
Snus users do not significantly differ from nonusers with respect to atherogenic risk
factors such as increased levels of serum lipids, fibrinogen, blood glucose and blood
cell count (17).
These data relate only to Swedish snus. The types of oral tobacco favoured, for example, in
the Asian sub-continent, have different health risk profiles probably due to different product
composition with high levels of undesired constituents and to different usage patterns. It is
noteworthy that the current EU ban on the sale of smokeless tobacco products is based on a
definition that does not take into account the widely different health risks that are associated
with different oral tobacco products.
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