A recent study has challenged the idea that a moist snuff is a "safer" substitute for cigarettes, by revealing that it could actually be more risky than cigarette smoking.
A 20-year review of scientific research on tobacco and cancer indicated that smokeless tobacco, which is a known cause of oral cancer, is contaminated with levels of cancer-causing nitrosamines.
The paper stated that it is 1,000 times greater than those found in any other consumer product, and the sales of snuffs have been continuously increasing despite warning labels and ban on electronic advertising.
"In the past several years, a new concept has emerged," noted the paper.
It disclosed that responsible members of the tobacco control community support the idea of using 'low nitrosamine' moist snuff as a substitute for cigarette smoking on the grounds that is evidently less carcinogenic in humans and less toxic as it lacks the combustion products.
However, the paper recommends people to stop using snuff products as it still contains significant levels of carcinogens and perhaps, can use nicotine replacement therapy, rather than switching over from one risky product to another.
The review, by Stephen S. Hecht, is scheduled for the Jan. 1 issue of ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology.