Monday, August 17, 2009

Study Sends Notions of "Safe Snuff" Up in Smoke

Sales of moist snuff have doubled since the 1980s, and many smokeless tobacco users mistakenly believe the products are less hazardous to their health because they do not expose the user to tobacco smoke. But a new study presented at a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society, shows some of the most popular smokeless tobacco and snuff brands contain an additional 21 smoke-related polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are potent toxins and carcinogens.

"This study once again clearly shows us that smokeless tobacco is not safe," researcher Irina Stepanov, PhD, of the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, says in a news release. "Our finding places snuff on the same list of major sources of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as smoking cigarettes."

Until recently, researchers thought smokeless tobacco contained only trace amounts of PAH because the tobacco was not burned when used.


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