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In the wake of last week's U.S. House Subcommittee on Health hearing on smokeless tobacco, ACSH advisor and friend Dr. Brad Rodu has taken on one of the key witnesses. Dr. Rodu, an epidemiologist and oral pathology expert at the University of Kentucky, says in a post on his blog that National Cancer Institute epidemiologist Deborah Winn "fueled the misinformation campaign about smokeless tobacco almost 30 years ago."

Winn published a study in 1981 that "irresponsibly led the public and the medical establishment to falsely believe that smokeless tobacco was responsible for an American oral cancer epidemic...

The Wall Street Journal’s “Numbers Guy” took a look at the arguments for and against smokeless tobacco as harm reduction for addicted smokers over the weekend. He mentions dangers often cited by critics of smokeless tobacco, writing, “All of these risks appear to be overblown, particularly compared with smoking, which is far more likely to kill than smokeless alternatives. But researchers who recommend these products as alternatives for smokers seeking to quit also are relying on hazy figures.”

“He’s right that cigarettes are more likely to kill than smokeless...

A press release in the New York Sun caught ACSH off guard with its negative coverage of Swedish smokeless tobacco, also known as snus. Sweden is the only country in the European Union (EU) that is permitted to market smokeless tobacco because it joined after the EU placed a ban on the product, and was given an exemption.

Recently, the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) was asked by the European Commission to evaluate the health effects of smokeless tobacco products with specific attention to snus. The committee report confirmed that,...

A front-page article in today s Wall Street Journal reports, Confronted with the inexorable decline of cigarette sales, Reynolds is transforming itself into a company that also offers an array of smokeless alternatives -- including strips, lozenges, and snuff. Reynolds push into the products comes amid an intensifying debate among public-health professionals about how oral forms of tobacco should be regulated.

We have talked here a lot about smokeless tobacco, and for years we basically meant that to be synonymous with Swedish-style snus, says ACSH s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. What we re looking at now is a fuller spectrum of nicotine delivery...

A July 13, 2006 column (reprinted on July 17) by Steve Chapman on the use of smokeless tobacco instead of cigarettes as a method of harm reduction concludes with a quote from ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross:

Public-health zealots pretend that the only alternative to smoking is complete abstinence from tobacco. Gilbert Ross, executive and medical director of the American Council on Science and Health, says this approach is "condemning 45 million people to quit or...

This report provides a description of traditional and modern smokeless tobacco products. It reviews the epidemiologic evidence for low health risks associated with smokeless use, both in absolute terms and in comparison to the much higher risks of smoking. The report also describes evidence that smokeless tobacco has served as an effective substitute for cigarettes among Swedish men, who consequently have among the lowest smoking-related mortality rates in the developed world. The report documents the fact that extensive misinformation about smokeless tobacco products is widely...

If two Senators have their way, baseball fans will no longer have to watch their favorite ball players spit in the dugout or field — at least not tobacco, that is. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) want the Major Leagues to ban smokeless tobacco based on a survey showing that the use of smokeless tobacco among high school boys has increased by 36 percent since 2003. "We now know conclusively that smokeless tobacco endangers the health of baseball players who use it, but it also affects millions of young people who watch baseball," the Senators wrote to baseball commissioner Bud Selig earlier this week.

While ACSH's Dr....

This week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication by the CDC, found that the proportion of cigarette smokers who also use smokeless tobacco products — such as snuff and chew tobacco — ranged from 0.9 to 13.7 percent on a state-by-state analysis, according to data from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Puerto Rico and California had the lowest rates while Wyoming had the highest. According to American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown, “No tobacco product is safe to consume. The health hazards associated with tobacco use are well-documented and a recent American Heart...

Now for some more good news on the harm reduction front: While cigarette sales have fallen by 17 percent since 2005 due to robust health campaigns and steeper taxes, smokeless tobacco products sales have grown by an annual rate of approximately 7 percent, reports The Chicago Tribune. The increase in sales of smokeless tobacco products can be partially attributed to their invisibility. For addicted smokers stuck in a smoke-free office environment all day long, these products relieve them of their nicotine craving.

Economic factors have also been responsible for the rise in...

Many smokers are unable to quit smoking through complete nicotine and tobacco abstinence, and conventional quit-smoking programs generally present smokers with two unpleasant alternatives: quit or die.

A third approach to smoking cessation, tobacco harm reduction, involves the use of alternative sources of nicotine, including modern smokeless tobacco (ST) products. Switching from cigarette smoking to using ST reduces...