What is snus and can it safely replace cigarettes

What is snus and can it safely replace cigarettes

Categories: Health and Medicine

Small round boxes with the flag of Sweden on the lid and paper bags inside, you can easily buy in most Russian cities. And this is despite the fact that snus, which is the name of this tobacco product, cannot be officially sold on the territory of the Russian Federation. But no one forbids using it, so young people often use snus as an alternative to cigarettes. But is this product so safe for health?

What is snus and can it safely replace cigarettes

Snus is a purely Swedish invention, known in this Scandinavian country since 1637. This tobacco product has always been a cheap alternative to pipe tobacco and cigarettes, so the demand for it in Sweden has been and remains high. And what do they think about snus in other countries of the world?

In 1985, the World Health Organization declared snus a carcinogenic product, and since 1992 its sale has been banned in all EU countries, with the exception of Sweden. But since the use of snus is not prohibited anywhere, it is still considered as an alternative to smoking, chewing and snuffing.

Snus is sold in small paper bags, which, when used, are laid between the upper lip and teeth. This place, thanks to the mucous membranes saturated with blood vessels, is ideal for the absorption of nicotine.

Usually a pack with snus is kept in the mouth for 5 to 30 minutes, but there are special connoisseurs who can leave the bag behind the lip for an hour. Nicotine is present in snus, but, unlike cigarettes, it does not give a person's breath a tobacco smell. It is also an undoubted plus that you can use this product even where smoking is strictly prohibited, for example, on board an airplane.

What is snus and can it safely replace cigarettes

But with all the positive aspects of snus, on each box you can notice a warning inscription: "This tobacco product can damage your health and is addictive," which is somewhat confusing. What is included in the composition of this substance and how are these components dangerous?

The main ingredients of snus are tobacco, water, table salt and soda. Some brands add mint flavors to its composition, which many consumers like. Soda, also known as sodium carbonate, increases the pH of tobacco, improving its absorption through the mucous membranes.Tobacco for snus is prepared in a completely different way than for cigarettes. It is first cut into thin strips, dried in the open air and thoroughly crushed. Then the tobacco is heated at a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius for 24-36 hours. This process is pasteurization, which mainly distinguishes snus tobacco from ordinary tobacco.

What is snus and can it safely replace cigarettes

Such fermentation removes ammonia from tobacco raw materials and thereby increases its acidity. Thanks to this treatment, nicotine from snus is better absorbed by the body. A standard two-gram serving of snus increases the nicotine content in the blood by 15 nanograms (one billionth of a gram) per milliliter of tobacco for 30 minutes. At the same time, a cigarette gives 23 nanograms per milliliter of nicotine in the first five minutes.

Snus does not contain gorenje products, but it is still not safe for health. Many dentists are sure that this product can cause gum disease, as it promotes the proliferation of bacteria on their surface. There is information that the substances included in the mixture can also destroy teeth.

Swedish scientists conducted two large-scale studies that confirmed the relationship between the use of snus and the appearance of cancer of the oral cavity and other parts of the head. In addition, there are serious concerns that the increased nicotine content in the blood of a snus lover may provoke the development of pancreatic cancer. There are 9 cases of this disease per 100,000 fans of this potion.

What is snus and can it safely replace cigarettes

There is also an opinion that snus causes cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension. No one doubts that the mixture is seriously addictive anymore — this is quite obvious. But which is more harmful - snus or cigarettes?Snus is definitely not a healthy product, but experts still recognize that it is less dangerous for humans than cigarettes. Since snus does not burn, it does not emit polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which most often kill smokers.

Can snus make a person quit smoking? Statistics answer this question in the affirmative. Snus is more effective for quitters than nicotine gum and patches. In Sweden, 62% of men who gave up smoking using substitutes reported that they used snus as an alternative to regular tobacco. Patches and chewing gum helped only 38% of those who quit.

What is snus and can it safely replace cigarettes

Despite this, most doctors in the world believe that it is better to quit smoking relying on willpower or pharmaceuticals, rather than replacing one addiction with another, albeit less harmful.

Keywords: Alternative | Doctors | Bad habits | Smoking | Nicotine | Danger | Tobacco | Sweden

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