Aims: Oral snuff is a less dangerous drug and therefore a good substitute for cigarette smoking. The aim of this study was to determine whether oral moist snuff induces acute endothelial dysfunction. Previous studies have shown that endothelial dysfunction predicts cardiovascular morbidity.
Methods and results: Twenty healthy middle-aged snuff users underwent ultrasound assessment of endothelial-dependent flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery. FMD measurements were performed in duplicate at baseline and then 20 and 35 min after the administration of 1 g portion-bag-packed moist snuff or placebo. Ten of the subjects were examined twice according to a randomized cross-over procedure, once with snuff and once with placebo. All images were arbitrarily analysed off-line by a single blinded observer. FMD values declined significantly from 3.4 +/- 2.0% to 2.3 +/- 1.3% (P < 0.05) 35 min after the administration of 1 g oral moist snuff. Heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure increased significantly (P < 0.05) after snuff administration. All parameters remained unchanged after placebo.
Conclusions: Oral moist snuff significantly impaired FMD of the brachial artery. As endothelial dysfunction predicts cardiovascular morbidity, use of oral snuff should be discouraged.