Swedes name snus as best way to quit smoking

Swedes who want to quit smoking succeed most often with snus, according to a new survey from Demoskop.

Smoking is one of the most difficult habits to ditch. According to a 2015 study by the American Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 70 percent of smokers in the US have tried to quit, but only seven percent managed to stop for six to twelve months.

There are several methods to quit smoking, including presctiption nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), chewing gum, exercising, or eating candy. But according to a new Swedish survey by Demoskop, Swedes consider snus the the most effective way to quit.

The survey is based on 3,295 interviews in Sweden, and was commissioned by Swedish Match. Results show that 24 percent of all respondents who quit smoking did so using snus. Only 15 percent managed to quit with nicotine replacement, and only 11 percent by chewing gum.

Snus helps people quit smoking

“Snus helps smokers quit and we’ve known that for a long time,” says Patrik Strömer, head of the Association of Swedish Snus Manufacturers.

“As far as I know, this is the first survey to compare all these available methods, and it turns out that snus works best.”

The survey also shows that snus is seen as an gateway out of smoking, rather than a gateway into smoking. Only three percent of current snus users surveyed believe snus leads to smoking, while 85 percent see it as a way to quit.

Tobacco policy based on harm reduction

The remaining survey participants also largely agree that snus doesn’t lead to smoking. Of those who have never used snus, only 15 percent think it can lead to smoking, and of those who have quit snus uff, only 11 percent believe see it as a gateway into smoking.

“According to the Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden), 5,200 people die every year in Sweden from smoking-related diseases. That’s more all the deaths from traffic accidents, drugs, and suicides put together,” says Strömer.

“Everyone knows it’s smoking that kills, while snus isn’t listed anywhere as a cause of death. So if we want a tobacco policy that can help lower that number, policymakers should include harm reduction as they update Sweden’s current ANDT-strategy,” he adds.