Another new study has come around, and it's no surprise that is attempting to hurt the harm reduction field and suggest to people that switching to snus isn't the best idea. A few people have asked me why I take the time to write about these things, and if this is just giving steam to the anti-snus train. Well, two things. One, today, when you search snus and look at the news, this story actually comes up at the top spot. And two, I receive a lot of emails about stories like this asking if there is any fact in them. So I like to take the time to address these and reassure those who have switched to snus that these stories are not founded on any substantial fact. I want people to keep in mind that almost anything you read, particularly an article from people with the title Tobacco Control isn't going to be a pro snus article. Granted, sometimes these people research this and learn the truth about snus and switch sides. Particularly Lars-Erik Rutqvist from Swedish Match. He was a researcher into snus and actually went into the snus world to defend snus after his findings.
The article/study itself seems to be a bunch of randomness, bouncing around from point to point but not seeming to find any substance to the point they're trying to make. I did want to talk about one point that I believe they do try to stress. The "dual user". "Even more serious, other smokers who might otherwise be pressured to quit by bans on smoking in the workplace may be able to remain smokers by using nicotine administration products while at work - a use for which they are prominently advertised. In such situations they not only fail to get the health benefit of quitting entirely, but also wind up as "dual users" with the combined risks of both smoking tobacco and of the nicotine substitute product. Thus their overall health risk might simply be additive (the sum of the risks of both products) or, as some have suggested, synergistic (higher than the sum of the risks of both products)." Now, as we saw in the 60 Minutes Story, the nicotine junkie they found to say, "Hey, what about this guy?" Well, I don't know where they found this guy, but I do want to stress than dual usership is not common. Granted, there aren't studies into this because it's such an unfounded claim. The dual user is not common. It's been observed that people who do use both use much less cigarettes than smokeless tobacco and even, more often than note, kick the cigarette habit. In the case of tobacco harm reduction, most eventually just quit smoking all together and switch to snus, which in the long term view of things is a much safer route to go.
The point I want to stress is this. These articles are going to come around quite often, but it's important for you, the snus user or person interested in pursuing harm reduction to quit smoking, do the research and fully make up your mind about these things before believing what these anti-tobacco folks throw out there to confuse you. There is a lot of good information available, including health articles @Snubie.com, health articles @SnusCENTRAL, and the new Tobacco Harm Reduction Yearbook. Knowing these statistics and facts will help you make an educated decision and know that snus is truly a safer alternative to smoking.