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Substituting With Smokeless Tobacco Saves Lives, Research Suggests

MouseMouse Posts: 4,855
edited February 2012 in General

This should be reassuring to those on this list who are trying to quit smoking cigarettes:

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Substituting With Smokeless Tobacco Saves Lives, Research Suggests

ScienceDaily (Feb. 19, 2012) — Substituting smokeless tobacco products can save smokers' lives, and there is a scientific foundation that proves it.

That is the message Brad Rodu, D.D.S., professor of medicine at the University of Louisville (UofL) School of Medicine and the Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction at UofL's James Graham Brown Cancer Center, delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Feb. 18. Rodu spoke at the session, "Harm Reduction: Policy Change to Reduce the Global Toll of Smoking-Related Disease."

"Quit or die: That's been the brutal message delivered to 45 million American smokers, and it has helped contribute to 443,000 deaths per year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Rodu said. "The truth, however, is that total nicotine and tobacco abstinence is unattainable and unnecessary for many smokers."

Rodu's presentation, "Transforming Tobacco Use: The Potential of Tobacco Harm Reduction," was based on his almost 20 years of research. His work shows that smokers can greatly reduce their risk of disease and death by replacing smoking products with e-cigarettes or modern, spit-free smokeless tobacco. These products provide a much safer alternative for those smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit smoking because they continue to deliver nicotine without the harmful effect of smoking.

"Nicotine is addictive, but it is not the cause of any smoking-related disease. Like caffeine, nicotine can be used safely by consumers," Rodu said.

Decades of epidemiologic research bear out Rodu's findings. While no tobacco product is completely safe, smokeless products have been shown to be 98 percent safer than cigarettes. In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Physicians reported in 2002 that smokeless tobacco is up to 1,000 times less hazardous than smoking, and in 2007, further urged world governments to seriously consider instituting tobacco harm reduction strategies as a means to save lives.

To see the proof of what tobacco harm reduction can do, look to Sweden, Rodu said. "Over the past 50 years, Swedish men have had Europe's highest per capita consumption of smokeless tobacco as well as Europe's lowest cigarette use. During the same time, they also have the lowest rate of lung cancer than men in any other European country."

In the United States., steps have been made to document the value of tobacco harm reduction. In 2006, a National Cancer Institute-funded study estimated that if tobacco harm reduction was "responsibly communicated" to smokers, 4 million would switch to smokeless tobacco. The American Council on Science and Health -- which organized Rodu's session at the AAAS Annual Meeting -- concluded in the same year that tobacco harm reduction "shows great potential as a public health strategy to help millions of smokers."

Rodu is well aware of the controversy his research findings generate. Opponents of any use of nicotine delivery products maintain that smokeless tobacco puts the user at great risk for oral cancer, a position not supported by research.

"The risk of mouth cancer among smokeless tobacco users is extremely low -- certainly lower than the risk of smoking-related diseases among smokers," he said. "The annual mortality rate among long-term dry snuff users is 12 deaths per 100,000 and the rate among users of more popular snus, moist snuff and chewing tobacco is much lower. For perspective, the death rate among automobile users is 11 per 100,000 according to a 2009 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Compare those to the rate among smokers: more than 600 deaths per 100,000 every year."

"The data clearly show that smokeless tobacco users have, at most, about the same risk of dying from mouth cancer as automobile users have of dying in a car wreck."


Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Louisville.

Comments

  • Finally! Someone in the US is catching on! Do wish you had provided a link to the article though.
  • TheatreTheatre Posts: 174
    It's here : Click me Though there's an article to the right of the link that contradicts it and says it's unhealthy to use smokeless tobacco...which one is more accurate is the question.

    In this one though, is he saying that snus is healthier than snuff? I thought it was the other way round, in fact in the link there's a load of articles to the right saying how bad snus is.
  • bobbob Posts: 6,741
    the one articles stance is that if you use smokeless since it's addictive you will smoke. Which is statisticaly full of shit. Anothers point is that slightly higher chance of dying is some how equal to this shit will kill you out right. One isn't even a statistically significant piece  of information while the other is a club of truth. It's amazing that the anti-articles have to stretch their point and feel that miss information is fine for some reason. They're are clear cases of here is some science and a bunch of dogma. Seriously there has never been a study conducted that showed a correlation between using smokeless as a harm reduction method and increased smoking, but since it's assumed that addicts smoke that's obviously what will happen. Basically they're hold outs that refuse to accept a new stance because they have an agenda or their pay masters refuse to accept the truth.
  • TheatreTheatre Posts: 174
    Yeah I guess. This article has better sources too. I know one of the articles is nonsense because it says it can't be used to quit smoking, and I've used snuff to quit smoking and I know many have.
  • There was a similar article, also quoting Dr. Rodu, in the Feb. 16th issue of Forbes magazine.  I read it earlier today on Google News, but I'm having trouble locating it again.
  • TheatreTheatre Posts: 174
    edited February 2012
    Dr.Rodu. This guy has quite a few studies and articles here : Click me and one of the links leads to this huge set of articles and studies by a variety of people : Click me

    I just skimmed through the stuff...quite positive things for smokeless tobacco, one article talks about its "antioxident properties", and another article where someone mentioned that it posed a "90% reduction in health risks compared to smoking" and another where it says "smokeless products are 98% safer than cigarettes."


  • 98% safer than smoking. Wow. Just wow. That's fantastic.
  • KebAMPKebAMP Posts: 212
    Well, considering that not a single case of cancer is related to the use of nasal snuff, I would have thought that this is even a higher percentage.
  • JohnnyFridayJohnnyFriday Posts: 392
    edited February 2012
    Im positive that it is not 100% safe. Physical irritation alone can cause cancer.  However , the safety of snuffing relative to that of smoking is going to  be quite dramatic, What morphological changes there are in nasal tisues after longterm snuffing will be interesting to discover. Theres an abstract floating around that describes these changes but I'm sure as there's more  research in the subject we will find out quite a bit more.
  • Mr_OMr_O Posts: 1,693
    I think it could be considered like wine (in moderation), which may be considered to have some risks, but also some health benefits, if tobacco is used wisely enough (snuffing and pipe smoking) it's plausible that the benefits outweigh the negatives for many, such as stress reduction. As probably many of you have seen, there was a surgeon general's report stating that pipe smokers who inhale tend to live as long as non-smokers, and pipe smokers who do not inhale tend to live longer than non-smokers. I personally believe that nasal snuff can plausibly be considered to be in the same category.
  • DogwallaDogwalla Posts: 942
    That's awesome.  Hail to you snuff!
  • AbraxasAbraxas Posts: 5,431
    I think snuff is entirely in its own category - not in the pipe smoking one because there are no combustion based by-products and not a single reported death through nasal snuff use, ever
  • Mr_OMr_O Posts: 1,693

    That's true, point taken. My thinking is simply that they are both very safe, and simply saying the same category to keep them distinct from the other definitely unsafe forms that were all familiar with. I have no need or desire to put down the briar forever, you know.

  • AbraxasAbraxas Posts: 5,431
    I know what you mean. I enjoy tobacco in all its forms and I have no intention of ever stopping smoking cigarettes, roll ups, cigars or my pipe. I just do them very infrequently nowadays - cigarettes and cigars to the point of pretty much zero, but at a social gathering or something I will always have a couple. I've been smoking a few rollups this last week as I got a sinus infection from a heavy cold - and I physically couldn't get any snuff up there:) It's nice to be able to use moderation for the riskier products. But your old briar; you enjoy it my friend.
  • Mr_OMr_O Posts: 1,693

    Thank's! Yeah for me (full disclosure) I've still been smoking Am. Spirit RYO's most every day and snuffing usually several times a day. Also been waiting for this stupid (but minor) lip injury to heal up, so my snus, my pipes and my cigars have been lonely for months now. Yesterday I (sorry to be graphic here) coughed up something with a litlle red in it. So it was like "screw this, I got snuff, I'll try to maintain without inhaling"- haven't smoked since half of a rollup yesterday afternoon. I'll see how long I can hold off now.

    Btw, just got my Abraxas Club today- haven't cracked the seal yet though.

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