Snus, an oral smokeless tobacco product commonly positioned behind the upper lip in loose form or portioned sachets, finds its primary usage in Sweden and Norway. This review aims to explore the documented effects of snus usage concerning specific health outcomes, including lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, oral cancer, and non-neoplastic oral disease.

Furthermore, the review evaluates the harm reduction potential of snus as a cigarette alternative by comparing snus and cigarette prevalence and the reported incidence of tobacco-related ailments across European Union nations. Scientific literature generally suggests that snus use isn’t a significant risk factor for developing lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, pancreatic cancer, or oral cancer.

While studies on snus use and diabetes have indicated a potential association with increased risk, particularly with high consumption (defined as four or more cans per week), overall findings remain inconclusive. Snus use is linked to non-neoplastic oral mucosal lesions, which reportedly heal rapidly upon cessation of use.

According to the most recent Eurobarometer data from 2017, Sweden exhibited the lowest prevalence of daily cigarette use in the European Union, standing at 5%, while daily “oral tobacco” use was reported at 20%. Data published by the World Health Organization in 2018 revealed that Sweden had the lowest rates of tobacco-related mortality and male lung cancer incidence in Europe.

Overall, prevalence statistics and epidemiological evidence suggest that snus usage presents significant harm reduction benefits, evident in Sweden’s comparatively lower levels of tobacco-related diseases compared to the rest of Europe. Available scientific data, including long-term population studies by independent bodies, underscores that the health risks associated with snus are notably lower than those linked to cigarette smoking.

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