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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,...

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...

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...

New York, NY -- October, 2006. Smokeless tobacco use is a much-ignored means of reducing the overwhelming health risks of smoking. In a new publication, Helping Smokers Quit: A Role for Smokeless Tobacco?, physicians and scientists associated with the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) point out that the public health establishment has misled smokers about the benefits and risks of substituting smokeless tobacco for cigarettes.

Despite using all the currently approved quitting methods, only a small minority of smokers who try to quit are successful each year. According to ACSH, smokers who can’t quit don’t realize that...

The American Heart Association yesterday issued a strong statement against the use of smokeless tobacco as a means of harm reduction and smoking cessation. In a 26-pagepaper in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers argued that smokeless tobacco may increase the risk of a fatal heart attack and hasn’t been found to help smokers quit in the United States.

“The AHA’s analysis of the risks of...

An October 9, 2007 article by Becky Bell on the website of Southern Arkansas University describes a visit by ACSH's Jeff Stier to participate in a panel on smokeless tobacco as a means of harm reduction:

Smoking can kill, but nicotine addicts might have a healthier outcome if they choose a smokeless form of tobacco according to Jeff Stier, Esq., Associate Director of the American Council on Science and Health.

"If you don't use tobacco, you shouldn't start because none of it is good for you on any level," Stier of New York City said. "But there are in...

As media reports continue to promote misguided claims about the risk of smokeless tobacco products compared to cigarettes, it s clear that the word still isn t out that certain types of smokeless tobacco carry both a significantly lower risk than smoking and can help smokers quit. Case in point: A recent editorial in The Baltimore Sun argues there should be a tax on other forms of tobacco similar to the high tax that is currently placed on cigarettes. According to this editorial, other tobacco products, such as cigars and smokeless tobacco, are also harmful to human health, and thus should be heavily taxed in...

WTS Smokeless Tobacco As Harm Reduction for Smokers (cover) New York, NY -- May 1, 2007. The public health establishment has misled smokers about the benefits and risks of using smokeless tobacco as a method of quitting cigarettes. That's one conclusion of a new pamphlet, What's the Story? Smokeless Tobacco as Harm Reduction for Smokers, created by physicians and scientists associated with the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH).

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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...

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...