Get negative effects
Smokeless tobacco includes tobacco, but it has few or none of the negative health effects of cigarettes. On the contrary, snuff is the most widely used and clinically proven most effective means to stop smoking. Everyone knows someone who has quit smoking by using snus. A committee of experts who work on behalf of the EU Health Authority in 2008 concluded that the Swedish public health is improved because many smokers have quit using smokeless tobacco.
Cancer Registry warns: Avoid tobacco - also reversed.
Grimsrud argues that the WHO Cancer Research (IARC) has concluded that smokeless tobacco and cancer. This is a gross oversimplification. IARC has concluded that its smokeless tobacco as a whole must be regarded as carcinogenic. This category includes many different products, from products that are almost as harmful as cigarettes in one end of the scale to snuff on the other end. IARC report from 2009 is based primarily on research on African and Indian products which have health effects that look more like cigarettes than smokeless tobacco.
It Grimsrud not mention is that WHO has compared the health effects of smokeless tobacco with nicotine medicines. Swedish snus produced by industry standard GothiaTek have lower levels of unwanted items (nitrosamines and bone pyrene) than the limits WHO recommends for smokeless tobacco.
At one point, Grimsrud absolutely right. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not pry. They should stay away from anything that contains nicotine, also drugs.
Prevention of cancer
Over the years I was head of cancer registry in Stockholm (part of the Swedish Cancer Registry) was the highest goal of the work to prevent cancer and thus contribute to a better public health. It does not seem like Grimsrud share that view. He mentions not at all public health in their statements. Thus he avoids discussing potential snuff in order to prevent both cancer and cardiovascular disease among smokers.
We must have an active debate about the health effects of products Norwegians use. Should the debate be an intentional effect it must be based on facts. It is not Grimstad statements in Aftenposten.
Lars Erik Rutqvist Professor, cancer specialist and scientific advisor to Swedish Match AB