Jon Krueger

The Battle over Chewing Tobacco

Are spit and snus the harm reduction we've been waiting for? 1. Spit ("smokeless") tobacco has 100 to 1,000 times more tobacco-specific carcinogens than any other consumer product intended for oral use: Sure, it's less harmful than cigarettes -- but almost anything is less harmful than cigarettes. Fen-phen is less harmful than cigarettes. 2. What's being peddled in the US as "snus" is not the same as Swedish snus: Marlboro snus is not snus. So the Swedish experience, however interesting, is not relevant. 3. The elephant in the room is dual use. Spit and snus are a way to keep smokers smoking. Philip Morris explicitly markets its suck tobacco product for dual use: Whenever smoking isn't an option, reach for Marlboro snus Rides alongside your smokes: Marlboro snus Made for smokers: Marlboro snus! For Philip Morris, spit and snus are a way around smoking bans. So spit and snus have potential to increase smoking, by undermining quitting. These facts do not support the argument that snus and spit are the harm reduction we've been waiting for.
— March 16, 2012 9:48 a.m.

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