Quitting cigarettes completely or switching to smokeless tobacco: do US data replicate the Swedish results?

S-H Zhu
April 2009
Tobacco Control;Apr2009, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p82
Academic Journal
BACKGROUND: Swedish male smokers are more likely than female smokers to switch to smokeless tobacco (snus) and males’ smoking cessation rate is higher than that of females. These results have fuelled international debate over promoting smokeless tobacco for harm reduction. This study examines whether similar results emerge in the United States, one of few other western countries where smokeless tobacco has long been widely available. METHODS: US data source: national sample in Tobacco Use Supplement to Current Population Survey, 2002, with 1-year follow-up in 2003. Analyses included adult self-respondents in this longitudinal sample (n = 15 056). Population-weighted rates of quitting smoking and switching to smokeless tobacco were computed for the 1-year period. RESULTS: Among US men, few current smokers switched to smokeless tobacco (0.3% in 12 months). Few former smokers turned to smokeless tobacco (1.7%). Switching between cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, infrequent among current tobacco users (<4%), was more often from smokeless to smoking. Men quit smokeless tobacco at three times the rate of quitting cigarettes (38.8% vs 11.6%, p<0.001). Overall, US men have no advantage over women in quitting smoking (11.7% vs 12.4%, p = 0.65), even though men are far likelier to use smokeless tobacco. CONCLUSION: The Swedish results are not replicated in the United States. Both male and female US smokers appear to have higher quit rates for smoking than have their Swedish counterparts, despite greater use of smokeless tobacco in Sweden. Promoting smokeless tobacco for harm reduction in countries with ongoing tobacco control programmes may not result in any positive population effect on smoking cessation.


Related Articles

  • Some practical points on harm reduction: what to tell your lawmaker and what to tell your brother about Swedish snus. Kozlowski, L. T.; O'Connor, R. J.; Quinlo Edwards, B. // Tobacco Control;Dec2003, Vol. 12 Issue 4, p372 

    For harm reductionists in some countries, smokeless tobacco can be used as a small backfire to help control a larger, more deadly forest fire. For tobacco prohibitionists, smokeless itself is too evil to use even as a tool. For some anti-tobacco scientists, the necessary data may still be...

  • European Commission asked to investigate use of snus tobacco. Watson, Rory // BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);11/3/2007, Vol. 335 Issue 7626, p907 

    This article reports that people who want to relax the European ban on chewing tobacco called snus, have asked the European Commission to start an investigation to see if its use could help people stop smoking. Members of the European Parliament asked the commission to investigate the health...

  • Prevalence and Correlates of Switching to Another Tobacco Product to Quit Smoking Cigarettes. Schauer, Gillian L.; Malarcher, Ann M.; Babb, Stephen D. // Nicotine & Tobacco Research;May2015, Vol. 17 Issue 5, p622 

    Introduction: Using nationally representative data, we assessed the prevalence and correlates of cigarette smokers who tried switching to smokeless tobacco (SLT) or to other combusted tobacco (OCT) products to quit. Methods: Data came from 12,400 current or former adult smokers who made a quit...

  • Characteristics of Adolescent Smoking in High School Students in California. Ellison, J.; Mansell, C.; Hoika, L.; MacDougall, W.; Gansky, S.; Walsh, M. // Journal of Dental Hygiene;Spring2006, Vol. 80 Issue 2, p1 

    Purpose. This pilot study assessed smoking-related behaviors, experiences, and beliefs among a sample of continuation high school students in California to inform dental hygienists about adolescent tobacco use and to assist with the development of effective tobacco cessation intervention...

  • Is use of smokeless tobacco a risk factor for cigarette smoking? The U.S. experience. Tomar, Scott L. // Nicotine & Tobacco Research;Aug2003, Vol. 5 Issue 4, p561 

    Some researchers are promoting the use of smokeless tobacco as safer than cigarette smoking and as a possible method for quitting smoking, but smokeless tobacco might be a gateway drug that leads to smoking, and the availability and marketing of smokeless tobacco may keep smokers from quitting....

  • A Study on Prevalence of Chewing Form of Tobacco and Existing Quitting Patterns in Urban Population of Jamnagar, Gujarat. Joshi, Urvish; Modi, Bhavesh; Yadav, Sudha // Indian Journal of Community Medicine;Jan2010, Vol. 35 Issue 1, p105 

    Background: Awareness towards tobacco hazards has increased with time but its role alone towards cessation is questionable. With widespread menace of tobacco in developing countries like India, not much tobacco chewing prevalence and their quitting patterns data are available in urban Saurashtra...

  • Predictors of Early and Late Escalation of Smokeless Tobacco Use and Cigarette Smoking Among Swedish Adolescents. Rosendahl, K. Ingvar; Galanti, M. Rosaria // Open Addiction Journal;2010, Vol. 3, p50 

    Knowledge concerning developmental trajectories of tobacco use has until recently been limited to smoking. We utilized information on 960 adolescents who participated in the BROMS cohort study, with follow-up between the ages of 11 and 18 years. Factors related to personal monetary allowance,...

  • SEVEN YEAR FOLLOW-UP OF SMOKING CESSATION WITH SMOKELESS TOBACCO. Tilashaiski, Ken; Rodu, Brad; Cole, Philip // Journal of Psychoactive Drugs;Mar2005, Vol. 37 Issue 1, p105 

    This study evaluated the tobacco use status of 63 subjects seven years after enrollment in a single-intervention smoking cessation study employing smokeless tobacco (SLT) as a nicotine substitute. Information about tobacco use and cessation attempts was obtained in interviews. The duration of...

  • Misuse of and dependence on over-the-counter nicotine gum in a volunteer sample. Hughes, John R.; Pillitteri, Janine L.; Callas, Peter W.; Callahan, Richard; Kenny, Michael // Nicotine & Tobacco Research;Feb2004, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p79 

    To estimate the amount of misuse of and dependence on nicotine gum in an over-the-counter (OTC) setting, we conducted two telephone surveys of smokers recruited by newspaper ads. Study 1 surveyed 266 U.S. ever-smokers using OTC gum to determine the percentage who used the gum for noncessation...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics