EU Scientific Committee Concludes: Insufficent Evidence to Lift Ban on SNUS..

February 18, 2008 - EU Scientific Committee Concludes: Insufficent Evidence to Lift Ban on SNUS.. General conclusion of the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) is that smokeless tobacco products (STP) are addictive and their use is hazardous to health. STP contain various levels of toxic substances. Evidence on the effectiveness of STP as a smoking cessation aid is insufficient, and relative trends in progression from STP into and from smoking differ between countries. It is thus not possible to extrapolate the patterns of tobacco use from one country where oral tobacco is available to other countries due to societal, and cultural differences the patterns of tobacco use'' to other countries, the committee said. Evidence that the snuff, known as snus, may help Swedish smokers stop isn't sufficient to lift an EU ban because it's not possible to extrapolate. For example, overall smoking prevalence in Norway, as well as in young Norwegians, has decreased at the same rates in men and women during the last decade, whereas a marked increase in snus use during this time period has only occurred in young men. The benefits of lifting a ban would be offset by the risk that consumers who might never have smoked would start using snus, or that consumers who quit smoking for the product would continue using it indefinitely, the panel said. Now the European Commission must decide to accept or reject the commitee's conclusion. "This conclusion implies that there will be no impetus for a change in policy for a lifting of the ban," wrote David Hayes, an analyst at Lehman Brothers. Related news briefs: EU officials said that Snus might appeal too much to young people.. and SCENIHR received the assignment from the European Union (EU) Commission to investigate the health risks of smokeless tobacco products, including Swedish snus.