Snus and public health: a US perspective

As snus is a uniquely Swedish product with a long and rich tradition in the country, it is only natural that the debate over snus in Sweden has taken on a uniquely Swedish perspective. 

It is all the more interesting, then, to take a look at how snus is discussed in other countries, not least in the USA, where snus was made legal as recently as 2015.

In an interview with the Swedish newspaper Göteborgs-Posten, the American researcher Brad Rodu points out that snus is still relatively unknown in the USA, which has had other smoke-free tobacco products called “moist snuff” or “dipping tobacco”.

“Swedish snus has traditionally had different flavours than the American moist snuff and also a different production method,” he explained.

According to Rodu, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, many Americans continue to believe that all tobacco products are equally dangerous, with this misconception spread by US health authorities.

He told the newspaper that he admired what he called “The Swedish Experience“, which has led to the risk of a man dying from a tobacco-related illness being lower than in any other European country, despite the fact that tobacco consumption is at a comparable level.

“If men in all EU countries had smoked to the same extent as Swedish men, almost 300,000 deaths could have been avoided every year,” he told the newspaper.