British doctors talk up Swedish ‘snus’

Swedish moist snuff, or 'snus', should be made available on the UK market as a healthier alternative to smoking, according to the Royal College of Physicians.

British doctors talk up Swedish 'snus'

“In Sweden, the availability and use by men of an oral tobacco product called snus, one of the less hazardous smokeless tobacco products, is widely recognised to have contributed to the low prevalence of smoking in Swedish men and consequent low rates of lung cancer,” the group wrote in a report published on Monday.

The aim of the report, commissioned by the UK Department of Health, was to suggest radical ways of effectively eliminating tobacco smoking in the UK.

The report “advocates making Swedish snus available to smokers in the UK as part of the solution,” said snus manufacturer Swedish Match in a statement.

According to the report’s recommendations, retailers would require a license to sell snus and the product should only be sold to people over the age of 18.

The Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians also recommended that snus should be marketed solely as a product aimed at helping smokers kick the habit.

Although availability of snus in Norway had not led to any measurable drop in the prevalence of smoking, the report noted that “Swedish data provide proof of concept that substitution of smokeless for smoked tobacco can be effective as a harm reduction strategy.”