Encouraging smokeless tobacco use is not only a dangerous tactic in the drive to reduce smoking rates, but scientifically unproven as well..

January 10, 2008 - "This approach puts us at great risk of repeating the fiasco of ‘Light’ and ‘Mild’ cigarettes," says Michael Thun, MD, ACS Vice President of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research. "There is no evidence that smokers will switch to smokeless tobacco products and give up smoking. In fact, the tobacco companies market these products as a ‘bridge’ that provides smokers with nicotine in settings where smoking is prohibited. Any product that encourages smokers to postpone quitting will increase rather than decrease their risk of lung cancer, as was the case with ‘Light’ and ‘Mild’ cigarettes." Thun adds another problem with promoting smokeless tobacco over cigarettes is the danger of youth uptake. "Now that all of the large tobacco companies have introduced their own lines of smokeless products, their marketing strategies will inevitably target susceptible adolescents. They have already introduced flavors such as apple, peach, and mint." ( SMOKELESS TOBACCO: HARM REDUCTION DEBATABLE, CA Cancer J Clin 2008 doi: 10.3322/CA.2007.0006,© 2008 American Cancer Society) Britain’s Royal College of Physicians (RCP) says tobacco harm-reduction strategies are urgently needed to help hard-core smokers who can’t kick the habit—and smokeless tobacco should be among the options. There chief spokesman, Dr. John Britton agrees that more research on the long term effects of SNUS (smokeless tobacco) would be helpful. Professor Britton is also concerned about our youngsters being enticed to use smokless tobacco. "It's their (tobacco companies) job to sell as much tobacco as possible, so they will be targeting non-smokers rather than current ones, that's the worry." An example high school kids on SNUS. In a recent debate on this subject in the UK Dr. Britton lost badly to Dr. Keir Lewis, a physician against the use of smokeless tobacco. (TobaccoWatch.org)