Boost to smokeless market equals boost to public health

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The state of Tennessee, one of the largest growers of dark tobacco used in smokeless products such as Swedish snus, is seeing a comeback in smokeless tobacco use and is reaping the benefits. Beyond the financial gains, the increased use of smokeless alternatives to cigarettes offers great potential in terms of harm reduction. Many modern smokeless tobacco products, like snus, come in small packets that are placed between the cheek and gum line. The old types of “spit” and “chaw” may have more adverse health effects and are often viewed as aesthetically problematic.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross comments: “Smokeless tobacco products quickly deliver a nicotine hit equivalent to that of cigarettes — unlike pharmaceutical products such as nicotine patches, which are only approved for short-term use — without the harmful combustion products from cigarette smoke known to cause cancer and other health consequences. Consequently, the success rate of smoking cessation with snus is much higher. While sales of cigarettes are decreasing, the sales of smokeless tobacco products are increasing, which is a great thing. If this trend continues, the rate of smoking-related diseases will follow the same path as they did in Sweden — steady decline.”