Preliminary study on reducing oral moist snuff use

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2003 May 21;70(2):215-20. doi: 10.1016/s0376-8716(03)00006-1.


Background: Tobacco exposure reduction may be an alternative treatment approach for those tobacco users who are unwilling or unable to quit tobacco use. However, very little information is available on the feasibility of this type of intervention, especially in the area of oral moist snuff tobacco (ST). This pilot study examined whether reducing ST use using various methods can be achieved and whether this reduction results in lower exposure to carcinogens.

Methods: Moist snuff users (N=40 males) were randomly assigned to 4 mg nicotine gum, non-tobacco mint snuff, brand switching, or elimination of ST use in specific situations. These approaches were used to reduce ST use or nicotine exposure by at least 25% for the first 2 weeks and 50% the subsequent 6 weeks of treatment. Follow-up sessions occurred at 12 and 26 weeks.

Results: Significant reductions were observed in tins per week and cotinine levels across all conditions. Among the intent-to-treat population, the abstinence rate was 15% at 26 weeks. Reduction in nicotine exposure was associated with reduction in exposure to nitrosamines.

Conclusion: Reduction in ST use may be a viable approach for those oral moist ST users with no immediate quit plans. Future research in this area is needed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Chewing Gum
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Nicotine / therapeutic use*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Substance-Related Disorders / drug therapy
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / pharmacology


  • Chewing Gum
  • Nicotine