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Snus - fix without the risk

January 2006

SNUS -Best hope for tobacco cancer deaths reduction

Paul Flynn MP Newport West who has long advocated the legalisation in the UK of SNUS said Snus has cut by half nicotine cancer deaths among Swedish men. ‘Snus’ is legal in Sweden but illegal in the rest of Europe.

Sweden is the only country in the world to achieve the WHO targets to reduce smoking. Half of Swedish male tobacco users use snus. Male nicotine cancer deaths there are half the European average. Few Swedish women use snus. Their nicotine deaths are exactly the European average.

ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) and the medical authorities are calling for an end to the ban.

Paul Flynn will say: “Tobacco is not the killer: smoking is. Setting fire to tobacco creates dozens of cancer creating substances. Inhaling them kills 120,000 Britons per year. Those addicted to nicotine can get their buzz by ingesting nicotine with negligible health risks. One researcher has claimed that moving from smoking to snus is as advantageous as giving up altogether. While Swedish male cancer deaths of the lung, larynx, mouth and bladder are the lowest in Europe. The dangers of passive smoking are reduced.

The EU banned snus because of fears of mouth cancers. Experience has proved otherwise. Research shows that smoking produces many more mouth cancers that the relatively tiny numbers that can be attributed to snus and none of the other health problems of emphysema, heart problems or other cancers.

All other initiatives to reduce smoking and smoking deaths have had modest effects in Britain. The total number of smokers is still high. Snus has been brilliantly effective. The UK must end the ban and benefit from Swedish experience.