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Tags cigarettes , safe , snuff , nasal

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Old 26th May 2006, 09:13 AM   #1
Dali's Ghost
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Nasal Snuff A safe alternative to cigarettes?

I am interested in hearing opinions from doctors who have treated nasal snuff users as patients or otherwise have experience with the long-term effects of nasal snuff.

I have found one academic paper that addresses the question.

Nasal snuff: historical review and health related aspects.
Author: Nikolay Sapundzhiev; Jochen Alfred Werner
Journal: Journal of Laryngology & Otology
Pub.: 2003-09
Volume: 117
Issue: 9
Pages: 686, 6p

To quote from the abstract:

Quote:
The health risks associated with [nasal snuff] are different to those attributed to smoking and oral wet snuff. The nicotine contained leads to dependency. Its resorption rate is similar to that of smoking, so it could be seen as an adequate substitutional therapy. The risk for cardiovascular diseases is lower, compared to that for smokers. Chronic abuse leads to morphological and functional changes in the nasal mucosa. Although it contains substances that are potentially carcinogenic, at present, there is no firm evidence, relating the use of nasal snuff to a higher incidence of head and neck or other malignancies.
I am interested in this because I quit smoking last year and Ive wanted a cigarette almost every day since then. I smoked for 14 years and that was the fourth time I quit. Each time was harder than the one before and Ill never smoke another cigarette again. If I start again, Im not sure Ill have the willpower to quit a fifth time. Recently, I was reminiscing about my youth with a friend and I remembered that I had used nasal snuff briefly when I was 19.

I bought some this week and tried it again. It is definitely different from cigarettes. When I started smoking after quitting previously, the first few cigarettes made me slightly nauseous. The nasal snuff burns like a mother-[rule 8] but the effect is very pleasant otherwise. There is just the relaxing nicotine buzz without the wheezing and sick feeling that a cigarette would give me. I have only tried it three times over the last couple days, but I can already feel the addiction kicking in again. I can stop now, though, without too much trouble.

So are the authors of that paper crazy? Should nasal snuff be avoided? Or is it a relatively safe alternative to cigarettes?
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Old 26th May 2006, 10:39 AM   #2
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No, it's not safe, no product containing nicotine is. There is a link between snuff and nasal cancer, but I believe it's still the subject of research, as snuff has not previously been popular enough to warrant clinical research funding. However, its popularity is set to rise with the UK smoking ban, as per this article from the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4942446.stm, so more research will be forthcoming.

It's very probably safer than smoking though, so if you must have a hit, that's your better bet.
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Old 26th May 2006, 03:35 PM   #3
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Stop now, then.
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Old 26th May 2006, 05:44 PM   #4
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tkingdoll: Is there a big outcry from smokers in the UK over the ban, or are they resigned to their fate?


Soapy Sam: The problem is that I don't want to quit. I really, really, reeeeeeeally like nicotine. I quit smoking because smoking will definitely kill you. And I feel a lot better since I quit. But I still want the nicotine almost all the time. I'm just not willing to sacrifice my health for it anymore.

I was hoping someone might have some more information on dry snuff. The studies I've found either don't take it into consideration, or speak of smokeless tobacco without making a distinction of different types of smokeless tobacco.

The study I quoted above claims to have surveyed the available papers and not found any convincing link between use of dry snuff and increased instances of cancer. They do say that there is definitely less risk of cardiovascular disease with snuff use. But they also admit that there are not many studies and not many people using dry snuff. So a lack of clinical evidence may not mean that it is actually relatively safe.

Oh well. I don't want to gamble with my long-term health so maybe I'll have to give up my nicotine dreams.
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Old 26th May 2006, 05:54 PM   #5
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No big outcry, there are people moaning about smokers' rights but they haven't found a way to reconcile them with non-smokers' rights, so it falls largely on deaf ears. Most of the smokers I know are comfortable with the ban, they realise that smoking is anti-social. The most realistic argument for the ban is that smokers are very much a minority in the UK - two-thirds of the population do not smoke so their rights must come first.

I expect to see a huge increase in snuff usage once the ban comes into effect.
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Old 26th May 2006, 06:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dali's Ghost View Post
Oh well. I don't want to gamble with my long-term health so maybe I'll have to give up my nicotine dreams.
You'll never get that monkey off your back (as my Dad puts it). Addiction is insidious. If snuff stops you from falling off the wagon, the associated health-risks are peanuts. OK, you might get nose-cancer, but at least you're building that risk from a low base. It's a greenfield site, so to speak. The lung site is more brownfield.

My displacement is a pipe. I know there are potential mouth cancers of deep horridity waiting in ambush, but at least my lungs are getting a rest.
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Old 26th May 2006, 08:16 PM   #7
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Why not try nicotine gum?
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Old 27th May 2006, 01:41 AM   #8
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There is a spot on the back of your hand called the anatomical snuff box which provides a natural place to dump out some dry-powdered tobacco, and easily and naturally raise it to your nostril for snorting.

And, since God put it on your body, He intended it to be used!

Cheers,
Dave

ETA: Of course, Nic patches can also help.
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Last edited by CaveDave; 27th May 2006 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 27th May 2006, 02:12 AM   #9
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I don't have any published data but anecdotal evidence from snuff users and chewing tobacco users (who are still quite common in India) seems to indicate a signficant risk of nose/mouth cancers.
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Old 27th May 2006, 02:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dali's Ghost View Post
I have only tried it three times over the last couple days, but I can already feel the addiction kicking in again. I can stop now, though, without too much trouble.
I think you might be contradicting yourself there. I have heard my mother say this too many times...
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Old 27th May 2006, 04:41 AM   #11
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A search using Google found this:- Oral use of smokeless tobacco

Quote:
Nasal snuff use is now relatively rare. Consequently, it is difficult to observe its effects in large enough populations over long enough time periods for consistent health data to emerge.
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Old 27th May 2006, 09:03 AM   #12
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As someone who has "snuffed" more than a little in his lifetime, may I offer the following observations:

- Only use snuff if you are an inveterate attention seeker
- You will get an unbelievable rush
- your mucus will be very odd indeed
- you will sneeze like a very sneezy thing indeed

Have you considered chewing tobacco instead ?
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Old 27th May 2006, 11:29 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
No, it's not safe, no product containing nicotine is.
Untrue, except in the general sense that nothing is safe. Nicotine is quite a good drug, and it has been approved for sale in gum and patches in the US.

Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Have you considered chewing tobacco instead ?
Unfortunately, it's associated fairly strongly with mouth and jaw cancers.
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Old 27th May 2006, 01:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Cecil View Post
Why not try nicotine gum?
I've never tried the nicotine gum. It's expensive, and I've talked to a few people who didn't like it. They said it I also talked to one guy who quit smoking with it and ended up chewing the gum all day every day.


I've tried chewing tobacco a few times in my life and didn't like it each time. it's just not for me.


Originally Posted by burrahobbit View Post
I don't have any published data but anecdotal evidence from snuff users and chewing tobacco users (who are still quite common in India) seems to indicate a signficant risk of nose/mouth cancers.
I wonder if that would be true for American and European snuff? The authors of the paper write about African snuff and say it is definitely carcinogenic because it contains charred aloe stems in addition to the tobacco. They also talk about the doctor's report from 1761 that is mentioned in the link that rjh01 posted. They contend that the account is not reliable because the composition of the snuff available at that time cannot be known. It might have had a carcinogenic ingredient that is not in modern snuff.

They also claim that nicotine by itself does not cause cancer. But there are several other chemicals in tobacco that are potentially carcinogenic which arise from the curing process. They claim, though, that there is no clinical evidence that snuff causes cancer. But they also point out that there are not enough studies on the effects of nasal snuff. For instance, cadmium is present in tobacco and is absorbed into the body from cigarette smoking, but there is no study on the effect of cadmium absorption in smokeless tobacco users.

I haven't touched it for two days, now. I really don't want to risk a tumor growing right in the middle of my head. I just wish there was a clearer answer to the question of the safety of snuff.
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Old 27th May 2006, 02:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by epepke View Post
Unfortunately, it's associated fairly strongly with mouth and jaw cancers.
Can you point me to studies that say that? I lived in Sweden for a few years and used snus, their chewing tobacco, periodically. The locals said no links to cancer have been found. The Swedish are extremely safety-conscious and I would believe them to have done thorough research.

Snus does introduce some problems, of course. First, it's ugly to have some dark stuff between your gums (the loose snus is especially horrid as it breaks off in small pieces and spreads). Second, it blackens teeth. Third, it can cause a recession in the gum tissue.
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Old 27th May 2006, 02:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Kaarjuus View Post
Can you point me to studies that say that? I lived in Sweden for a few years and used snus, their chewing tobacco, periodically. The locals said no links to cancer have been found. The Swedish are extremely safety-conscious and I would believe them to have done thorough research.

Snus does introduce some problems, of course. First, it's ugly to have some dark stuff between your gums (the loose snus is especially horrid as it breaks off in small pieces and spreads). Second, it blackens teeth. Third, it can cause a recession in the gum tissue.
Isn't Snus illegal?

ETA: I just checked, and it's banned in many EU countries.
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Old 27th May 2006, 02:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
Isn't Snus illegal?

ETA: I just checked, and it's banned in many EU countries.
Yes, for some asinine reason it is banned in most European countries. I heard it used to be legal in Iceland and was banned there as well a few years back. It seems to be legal in Russia, as I discovered it on sale there when I visited 2 years ago.
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Old 27th May 2006, 02:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Kaarjuus View Post
Yes, for some asinine reason it is banned in most European countries. I heard it used to be legal in Iceland and was banned there as well a few years back. It seems to be legal in Russia, as I discovered it on sale there when I visited 2 years ago.
Interesting article on it here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3758939.stm
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Old 28th May 2006, 04:28 AM   #19
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Tobacco pouches for buccal absorption were removed from the UK market many years ago.

The advertised brand at that time was Skoal Bandits

http://www.publications.parliament.u...30i/sp0133.htm


Please see also thew following

http://www.worthit.org/facts/moresmokeless.asp

And from the BMJ

http://tc.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/abstract/8/4/387

and from a peridontal perspective

http://www.dent.ucla.edu/ftp/pic/vis...cco/page1.html

http://www.emedicine.com/ent/byname/...-carcinoma.htm

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