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Following scientific literature review, Imperial Brands calls for legalisation of snus in EU

Imperial Brands

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IMAGE: An infographic detailing the harm reduction potential of snus compared to cigarettes view more 

Credit: Imperial Brands

Following a new literature review* of the harm reduction potential of snus, Imperial Brands - owners of leading snus brand Skruf - has urged the European Union (EU) to re-examine its position on the product.

Published in the prestigious Harm Reduction Journal, the scientific literature review encouragingly indicates snus use is not a significant risk factor in the development of several cancers (inc. lung, oral and pancreatic), COPD, cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

The review also contributes to the growing evidence base substantiating the Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) potential of snus compared to smoking, comparing the prevalence of use against the reported incidence of tobacco-related diseases across the EU.

Dr Grant O'Connell, Director of Strategic Science and Policy Engagement at Imperial Brands, comments: "Research suggests the health risks associated with snus use, where nicotine is decoupled from harmful tobacco smoke, are considerably lower - around 90-95%** - than those associated with cigarettes.

"Snus should therefore be officially regarded as a reduced harm tobacco product, as advocated by the United Kingdom Royal College of Physicians*** ."

Dr Alan Hardacre, Head of Group Corporate Affairs at Imperial Brands, adds: "Modern snus is a compelling alternative to the various medically licensed - but largely ineffective - nicotine replacement therapies.

"Given the compelling long-term scientific evidence gathered from Sweden and Norway, we again urge the EU to revisit its ban on snus that's currently in place across the rest of its Member States.

"The ban continues to be detrimental to European public health and so we urge the European Commission to base future decisions on the ever-increasing scientific evidence base demonstrating the harm reduction potential of products like snus."

Dr O'Connell concludes: "We must not let this important opportunity to make a genuine difference to EU-wide public health pass us by."

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*Snus: A Compelling Harm Reduction Alternative to Cigarettes, Harm Reduction Journal https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12954-019-0335-1

** The relative risks of a low-nitrosamine smokeless tobacco product compared with smoking cigarettes: Estimates of a panel of experts, Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention 13 2035-2042 http://cebp.aacrjournals.org Gartner CE, Hall WD, Vos T, Bertram MY, Wallace AL, Lim SS. Assessment of Swedish snus for tobacco harm reduction: An epidemiological modelling study. Lancet 2007;369:2010-4

*** https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/file/3563/download

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