Tobacco Ruling Reopens Debate on Smokeless Products

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A September 26, 2006 article by Lauren Foster notes that judges have ruled claims that "light" cigarettes are healthier to be false but that the idea of using smokeless tobacco as a safer alternative for those who can't quit nicotine is catching on, citing researcher Brad Rodu and ACSH's Jeff Stier:

Mr. Rodu and others point to Sweden, where snus is more widely used by men than cigarettes and where men have the lowest rate of lung cancer in Europe. One study showed that the smoking rate among Swedish men fell from 19% in 1996 to 9% in 2004. By contrast, women are much less likely to use snus and their rate of tobacco-related deaths is similar to that in other European countries.

Jonathan Foulds, director of the Tobacco Dependence Program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, says it is "fairly clear" that people in Sweden who use snus are less likely to smoke and young people who use snus are less likely to start smoking.

Jeff Stier, associate director of the American Council on Science and Health, acknowledges snus is "not 100% safe" and that there are "clearly" risks associated with it, but says they are lower than the risks of smoking cigarettes.