torsdag 6 maj 2010

Should we keep quiet about snus?

I write my column Should we keep quiet about this? in TCS Daily on 17 October 2003.
Understanding the nature of harm reduction
Recently the 12th World Conference on Tobacco or Health, entitled Global action for a tobacco free future, was held in Helsinki. Scientists, activists, researchers and organizations from all over the world came to discuss tobacco and public health issues, and strategies for tobacco prevention.
It is perhaps surprising that at a conference with such an ominous name, the question of harm reduction would be raised. Harm reduction has become an alternative to the "quit or die" policy. Swedish "snus" is a type of smokeless tobacco that has been found less dangerous than cigarettes by many scientific researchers. Even if the use of snus cannot be seen as harmless, the lack of combustion near the oral cavity, associated with smoking, eliminates the risk for lung cancer and other pulmonary diseases, which are the main causes of tobacco-related death. Some researchers have pointed out the availability of snus, used as an alternative to cigarettes, as the factor behind the low figures for smoking in Sweden, especially for men, and as an easy step towards smoking cessation for many Swedes.
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