Moist snuff in Sweden--tradition and evolution

Br J Addict. 1990 Sep;85(9):1107-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1990.tb03435.x.


Snuff-dipping was already widespread in Sweden in the 19th century. After the 1920s snuff sales went down, but Sweden still kept its position as world leader in per capita consumption of moist snuff. Following a major advertising campaign snuff consumption began rising again in the late 1960s. The Swedish Tobacco Company claims that Swedish snuff is a 'less harmful' alternative to cigarettes. Swedish epidemiological studies indicate that there is a cancer risk from snuff-dipping, but it is low compared with smoking. Accordingly, the STC claims to "do a good job replacing cigarettes with snuff". However, an analysis of the trends in tobacco usage patterns in Sweden during the last few decades does not support this claim. The marketing of moist snuff has not primarily attracted older smokers who would seek help in order to stop smoking, but young people. The use of snuff is no prerequisite and no guarantee for a decrease of smoking. On the contrary, taking up snuff must be seen as an introduction to the tobacco habit and possibly a first step towards taking up cigarettes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Sweden
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / adverse effects*