Professor John Britton, chair of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP)tobacco advisory group,

October 6, 2007 - Professor John Britton, chair of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP)tobacco advisory group, believes smokers should be able to buy a lower risk alternative to cigarettes. British American Tobacco is quick to agree with Professor Britton and the RCP that smokers should be able use a tobacco product like SNUS which the Royal College has said is significantly less harmful than smoking.(Doctors call for new nicotine products, London (Reuters),, 10/5/2007) But Who's listening to Professor Britton?? - NOT - at the 1st National Conference for the British Association for Stop Smoking Practitioners (BASSP) in Manchester on September 26, 2007 with an audience of over 100 smoking cessation specialists from hospitals, primary care and management within the National Health Service from all over the UK, voted strongly against the proposal to make SNUS more available in their practice - see related news brief: October 2, 2007. Dr. Britton implies that it is not nicotine that kills but it's the hundreds of other toxic chemicals that come with it. IS THIS TRUE!!Nicotine alone is an extremely toxic; 60 mg of nicotine (about the amount in three or four cigarettes will kill an adult). Not enough is known about smokeless tobacco. As pointed out by Marita Broadstock in her systematic review (Systematic Review of the health effects of modified smokless tobacco products, NZHTA Report, February 2007, Volume 10 Number 1), the number of studies on smokeless tobacco is relatively slight compared to the wealth of literature published relating to smoking.) More and more studies are surfacing about the dangers of nicotine, e.g., a new study from Weill Cornell Medical College provides evidence that nicotine may accelerate atherosclerosis and may be as dangerous as tar. A recent by Dr. Stephen Hecht and colleagues suggests that smokeless tobacco is not a good option for reducing health risks from smoking Considerable more quality research and product regulation is necessary prior to considering smokeless tobacco as a harm reduction method (Drs. Dorothy Hatsukami, Charlotte Lemmonds and Scott Tomar, Prev Med 38(3):309-317, 2004). Even Professor Britton agrees that more research into the long-term health effects of SNUS would be helpful. ( Regarding the availability of tobacco products. In the past, Dr. Britton has said, "At the moment we have the absurd situation that kids can easily get a hold of cigarettes...." (BBC News, Nicotine therapy for young smokers, 10/2/2001) How about kids easily obtaining and using SNUS - promoted for use anywhere, anytime, no one will ever know?? (