Introduction: Swedish-style snus (SS) has recently garnered controversy for its proposed use as a smoking cessation aid and/or harm reduction tool. However, to date, little work has been done to evaluate the extent to which SS affects cigarette cravings and smoking behavior under double-blind controlled conditions.
Methods: During four double-blind placebo-controlled randomized sessions, 15 smokers (8 male) administered SS, placebo (nicotine/tobacco-free) snus (PS), a nicotine-containing lozenge (NL), or a placebo lozenge (PL) for 30 min and assessed their effects using Visual Analogue Scales and the Brief Questionnaire of Smoking Urges. They could then self-administer their usual brand of cigarettes using a progressive ratio task over the next 60 min. Following the completion of their final session, 11 participants (6 male) ranked each of the products used in the study in terms of their preferences.
Results: Relative to the other products, SS was associated with a decreased intention to smoke as well as a delayed onset of cigarette smoking in men but not women. However, SS administration was also associated with increased feelings of frustration and irritability relative to NL and SS was ranked as being the least preferred product used in the study.
Discussion: Findings suggest that SS is effective in acutely suppressing craving and smoking in at least some smokers, but that its acceptability may be limited.