A recent UK study funded by Cancer Research UK, has indicated that the average cigarette consumption in England has dropped by nearly a quarter between 2011 and 2018, equating to approximately 118m fewer cigarettes being lit up each month. Thankfully a similar trend of decreasing smoking rates is being observed all across the globe.
In many cases, this drop in smoking rates is being achieved thanks to the prevalence of safer alternatives. For example, Sweden has reached a smoke-free status because many smokers have migrated from smoking to using snus. Similarly, data from several countries including the UK, has indicated that the significant drop in smoking rates is attributed to the fact that many people have switched to e-cigarettes.
Tobacco harm reductions experts keep pointing out that the more safer alternatives there are available for smokers, the better their chances of finding a product that works for them and helps them quit. Below is a list of the most common and smokeless tobacco products available on the market:
This product is made from cured and loose tobacco leaves. Users keep this product in their mouth between the cheek and the gums for several hours to extract the nicotine from the tobacco leaf. This product can be found in the form of loose leaves, bits, plugs, and twists. Users of chewing tobacco usually spit out the nicotine juice, while some swallow it. This type of tobacco is very popular in Asian countries such as India, but there are different varieties of chewing tobacco in different parts of the world.
Also called nicotine lozenges, this product is considered as one of the “offical” nicotine replacement therapies/over-the-counter medication, alongside patches and gum. It comes in a small and candy-like tablet with a variety of flavours, taken orally and allowed to dissolve in the mouth for the nicotine to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Nicorette, Nicorette Mini Lozenge, and Commit are popular brands of dissolvable tobaccos in 2 and 4 mg. Common side effects of these tablets are hiccups, indigestion, and sore throat.
Of course, these products need no introduction on our page. Yet, it is important to point out that despite the fact that they contain no tobacco, several regulators around the world including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categorizes them as “tobacco products.”
Countless studies have indicated that they are at least 95% safer than regular cigarettes. Moreover, due to the hand to mouth motion micimicking the one of smoking, they are considered to be the most effective smoking cessation tool to date.
Heated Tobacco/Heat-not-Burn Products
Heated Tobacco Products (HTPs) work by heating tobacco leaves’ refills. These refills which look like short cigarettes, must be inserted into the main device and are heated up once the it is switched on. They are mainly sold by Big Tobacco companies, such as Philip Morris which sells it as IQOS under the Marlboro brand, for approximately the same price as their combustible counterparts.
These tea bag-like pouches are placed under the upper lip for about 15 to 30 minutes for the preferred nicotine dose and have the added benefit of being tobacco-free, odour-free, and don’t require spitting. These patches should not be confused with snus, as the latter contain tobacco, and these do not. However like snus, this product has a high smoking cessation success rate.
Snuff is made of dried and finely ground tobacco leaves that are packaged in pouches similar to tea bags. This product comes in various scents and flavours, and can be dry or moist. Moist snuff is placed either between the cheek and gum or between the upper and lower lip. Dry snuff, on the other hand, can be inhaled through the nose. The process of inhaling dry snuff is also called dipping. Only a pinch of snuff is needed to get the effect of nicotine as it is absorbed in the bloodstream directly.
Snus is a moist powder tobacco product that is placed under the upper lip for extended periods. It is mostly popular in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, where it is legal and considered an effective harm reduction product. In fact, snus has not only led to Sweden boasting the lowest smoking rates in Europe, but more importantly, also to reporting the lowest rates of lung cancer across the continent.
There are now over 150 different types of snus, and one of the most popular types is the Siberia snus due to its nicotine content and various flavours. Some variants of the Siberia snus can be bought online and is very much popular with seasoned users. It has a nicotine content of 43 mg and is available in different sachet sizes.
Read Further: London Post
Burning Issues: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) 2020