Snuff Not a Safe Tobacco Option
Quitting Smoking? Researchers Advise Against Switching to Smokeless Tobacco
Dec. 21, 2007 -- Planning to quit smoking? Smokeless tobacco
isn't a safe alternative, says a University of Minnesota cancer expert.
"The results of our studies do not support the concept that smokers
should switch to smokeless tobacco," writes Stephen Hecht, PhD.
"Long-term use of nicotine replacement therapy may be a better
Hecht has been studying smokeless tobacco -- mainly as oral moist snuff --
for more than 20 years.
He notes that smokeless tobacco -- which can cause oral and pancreatic cancer -- contains
carcinogens called nitrosamines in levels similar to nitrosamines in
Nitrosamine levels are about 1,000 times higher than in other consumer
products, and products touting "low nitrosamine" claims don't eliminate
the risk, according to Hecht.
Smokeless tobacco products bear a warning label about health risks. But
sales of moist snuff have "continued to increase" in the U.S., notes
Hecht's report appears in Chemical Research in Toxicology.