Tag Archives: smokeless tobacco
The researches from the University of South Carolina commence a study with an objective of finding answers to two questions related to potential public health consequences of usage of smokeless tobacco.
Are smoke-free tobacco, for example, Camel Snus, help an adult smoker stop smoking – especially one who has no intention to quit?
Attempting to answer these questions is Matthew Carpenter, an associate professor from the University of South Carolina Department of Medicine. The research, which will be performed by Carpenter and his team, is funded mostly by the National Institutes of Health.
The nationwide study will comprise 1,250 adult smokers, half of them will be receiving Camel Snus or other smoke-free product, while the other half will not be given anything.
The scientists are willing to know if consumption of Snus results in reduction or quitting smoking. They also seek to estimate the quantity and patterns of consumption of Snus.
“The research will give strong and reliable evidence to initiate clinical and regulatory decision-making in the given controversial part of tobacco control,” the scientist admitted.
Matthew Myers, chairman of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids stated studies of smoke-free tobacco products should estimate what health damage results from the usage of the product as well as the strategies used to market that product.
“In case a smoke-free tobacco product diminishes the risk of health complication, but leads to more people consuming tobacco, it might lead to more deaths, not fewer,” declared Myers.
Carpenter admitted they are not attempting to encourage consumption of smokeless tobacco products in their research.
“We’re simply willing to imitate the real-world actions of an adult cigarette smoker being exposed to smokeless products in certain environment, such as a convenience store, “Carpenter noted.
“If smokers decide to try such products, what could be the effect? We think regardless of the determination of the research, it would possess a public-health effect.”
The present research is based on a similar study Carpenter research team performed last year on Ariva and Stonewell smoke-free products manufactured by Star Scientific Inc.
The main conclusion of the latter research was smoking diminished by 40 percent after the 14-day examination period, however overall usage of tobacco remained unchanged.
“That means Ariva and Stonewall might be effective in reducing nicotine withdrawal and craving,” the scientist admitted in his summary. “We did not find any changes in overall nicotine craving or withdrawal, as surveyed smokers exchanged cigarettes for Ariva/Stonewall lozenges.
“We discovered no evidence that smoke-free products (Ariva and Stonewall) prevent smoking cessation. On the contrary, willingness to stop – during the 60 days and next six months – considerably grew among adult smokers who consumed smoke-free tobacco products in comparison to those who smoked cigarettes.”
Leading tobacco companies, headed by Reynolds American are focusing on smokeless tobacco products to obtain market share and increase sales since cigarette smoking rates across the country are falling. According to government data, approximately 42 million adult Americans are smokers, versus 53.5 million reported in 1983.
Snus is the newest kind of dissolvable smokeless tobacco products recently introduced to U.S. tobacco consumers. Originated in Sweden, this moist tobacco product is looking like small teabags, as the tobacco is contained in dissolvable sachets.
Generally, a portion of snus is put between lip and gum and sucked for up to 20 minutes, and then removed. Snus is marketed as a spit-less product, but this can be achieved only if placing snus in a particular location in the mouth which almost lacks saliva.
In Sweden Snus is a traditional product, consumed by a great part of adult men. Snus is made from air and sun-cured tobacco, which also goes through the pasteurization procedure in order to destroy bacteria. During the storage by the manufacturers or by the sellers Snus is stored in refrigerators under certain temperatures and humidity levels.
In Sweden Snus is covered by the Swedish Food Act, under which the product should correspond with quality standards, named as the Gothiatek system. This system of quality indicators involves manufacturing snus applying a particular system that reduces the levels of tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNA), carcinogens contained in tobacco.
Whereas Swedish Snus makers don’t market their products as safe, they are regarded as being less harmful the cigarette smoking because of the lack of tobacco smoke and low levels of nitrosamines. Snus provide high levels of pH, so that the speed of nicotine absorption increases, however the amount of nicotine in snus is similar to that in cigarettes.
Among health risks related to the consumption of Snus there are the following:
• Snus can trigger dental diseases like caries.
• Snus users are more likely to suffer from hypertension compared to non-users.
• The risks of cardiovascular diseases are two-time higher among Long term Snus consumers than among non-users.
• Female Snus consumers may be likely to have the same complications during pregnancy as the cigarette-smokers.
• Snus consumption causes nicotine addiction because these products contain nicotine as well as ordinary tobacco products.
Meanwhile, there is no regulation covering manufacture, sales and marketing of Snus in the United States. And the process of producing Snus and processing tobacco for Snus greatly differs from that in Sweden. Tobacco companies, which make Snus reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Snus is portioned moist tobacco product and the sachets and packages are almost identical to other smokeless tobacco products.
The majority of smokeless tobacco products sold in the U.S. are made from fire-cured tobacco, processed using the fermentation technology that impacts on the levels of tobacco specific carcinogens. U.S. Food and Drug Administration required Snus makers to place the same warnings as on other smokeless tobacco.
According to several public health groups smokeless tobacco products bear the same health risks as cigarettes, However, until smokeless tobacco is not regulated, their manufacturers may state anything they want about these products.
According to the results of a research accomplished by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration the rates of minor boys who use chewing tobacco have increased from 3.5 to 4.5 percent within 5 years, making it a 30 percent rise. Scientists have underlined that teenagers who preferred using smokeless tobacco have been living mainly in rural areas.
As regards the use of chewing tobacco among adult population, the numbers have remained relatively stable, increasing by only 0.3 percent from 3.0 to 3.3 percents.
The survey regarding smokeless tobacco use found out that almost 8 million people aged 12 and older admitted chewing smokeless tobacco during last year.
During the nationwide survey around one million minors were proposed to answer several questions related to using tobacco for chewing, inhaling, snorting and mixing with gums. According to the survey results almost 400,000 teenagers said trying or using chewing tobacco regularly.
Other results of smokeless tobacco use survey indicated that:
- The overwhelming majority of actual users of chewing tobacco (86%) admitted to smoke cigarettes at least 10 times and 40 percents of surveyed minors lighted up within last couple of months.
- Many regular smokers switched to using chewing tobacco thinking that it would help them give up smoking, however the majority of them (almost 90%) were still puffing on their cigarettes after almost a year of chewing smokeless tobacco.
- Amidst people who had tried both cigarettes and chewing tobacco at least once during their lives, 66 percent began smoking before using smokeless tobacco; 32 percent of surveyed tried chewing tobacco first and 2 percent admitted to begin smoking and chewing simultaneously.
- Men are almost 20 times more likely to use smokeless tobacco for chewing than women.
Prof. Jonas Smirnoff, one of the survey leaders commented the results of survey saying that users of smokeless tobacco have not been aware that chewing tobacco was a not a healthier substitute for cigarettes, as smokeless tobacco has been linked with oral cancer risk for a long time. Scientist also added that smokeless tobacco could contribute to becoming nicotine addicted as well as in case with smoking usual cigarettes.
Jennifer McNally, assistant to president of the campaign for tobacco-free kids advocacy group stated that the trend of using chewing smokeless tobacco among minors has been raising more and more concerns among scientists and physicians.
She blamed tobacco industry for luring adolescents to start chewing tobacco in order to become more popular among their friends.
Mrs. McNally indicated that the recent increase in the rates of teenage tobacco chewers is closely related to the increase in the tobacco companies’ investments in advertising their products and attracting minor audience by indirect propaganda of smokeless tobacco.
The recent surveys raised many demands to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the power to ban the use of smokeless tobacco among minors as well as to regulate tobacco products.