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METROHEALTH
Monday, October 16, 2006 METRO 17

SNUFF IT WITH THE SMOKING BAN LOOMING, JOHN HIGGINSON SNIFFS OUT THE NICOTINE ALTERNATIVES THAT ADDICTS ARE TURNING TO

What’s all the snus about?


ast week, it was announced that next year’s ban on

L smoking in bars and clubs could even stretch to the


streets outside in London’s West End. While the ban
is the perfect excuse to kick the habit, a recent survey by
Boots The Chemists found that only 18 per cent of smokers
were considering quitting before it comes into play. Will
smokers be forced to look for their stimulant hit elsewhere?
We look at some other, equally controversial, options.

he 20th century was the premises instead of cigarettes

T golden age of smoking. It and, for a while, a lot more


was cool. It was sexy. It
was cheap. It was sociable. It
people are going to experiment
as they look for alternatives
stimulated conversation. You to smoking.’
could do it at work and at the Anti-smoking group Ash say
cinema – you could even do it they would prefer smokers
while on a plane. And then a turned to other options if they
little thing called lung cancer cannot quit the cigs.
came along and spoiled the ‘There is no completely safe
party. But it’s no surprise we tobacco but around 80 per cent
all got hooked – according to of the health risks associated
experts at the Royal College of with the drug come from
Physicians, cigarettes are as inhaling the smoke,’ says Ash
addictive as heroin and research manager Amanda
cocaine. Sandford. ‘Bronchitis, chronic
So will next year’s ban see obtrusive pulmonary disease,
carbon monoxide poisoning Golden age: The days of
smokers shun cold doorways
and, of course, lung cancer all smoking being sexy, cool
in favour of getting their and sociably acceptable
stimulant kick elsewhere? come from inhaling smoke.’
are numbered
According to Graeme In an attempt to
T Steel, who set up offset smoking’s While snus was tarnished with
snuff appreciation negative health the same brush, there is little
society Snuff Box – image, one company evidence that it is carcinogenic
The Nasal Snuff – ‘Vit C’ – has come and it is believed that the way it
Club in 2001, they up with the idea of is processed – steamed rather
will. enriching cigarettes than toasted – makes it better for
‘Ten years ago, with vitamins. you.
snuff was dying out But Sandford is not Despite the EU ban, snus is
in the UK,’ says Steel convinced. ‘Smoking still legal in Sweden and
of the ground tobacco reduces the amount Norway. And Sweden, where an
that is pinched of vitamins in your estimated one in three men use
between the thumb Swedish snus user body,’ she said. ‘This snus, has the lowest rate of
and forefinger and is a gimmick but tobacco-related deaths in
sniffed into the nostrils. ‘It has there is a danger that people Europe. In comparison, tobacco-
been both an upper-class and will think these cigarettes are related deaths among Swedish
working-class pursuit: miners good for you. They are not.’ women, who rarely use snus, is
and those working in situations the fifth highest in Europe. As a
where a lit cigarette could be Banned in the EU result, calls are getting louder
dangerous have long enjoyed One of the least dangerous for the ban to be lifted to help
snuff. But it was largely ways of taking tobacco, reduce cigarette smoking.
shunned in favour of cigarettes, according to Sandford and ‘We would welcome a new
cigars or pipes. Now, with the many experts, has been report by an independent body
increasing limits on where and banned in the EU. into the possibility of lifting the
when you can smoke, snuff has Snus is moist, steamed ban on snus,’ says Sandford.
come into its own, especially tobacco that is rolled into a ‘The risks from using
among cigarette smokers.’ rough ball or wrapped in smokeless tobacco are
individual small pouches considerably less than any
Snuff’s enough (like a teabag) and put sort of smoked tobacco but
At Segar & Snuff Parlour, in between the gum and lip. we would obviously prefer
London’s Covent Garden, there It was banned in the EU in that people did not use
has been an annual rise in snuff 1992 after the World Health tobacco in any form. There
sales of about ten per cent since Organisation concluded that is no safe form.’
2000. most oral tobacco products,
■ Do you want to quit
‘We are expecting a further such as chewing tobacco smoking? Call
increase when the ban comes and tobacco-filled betel 0800 002 200
into place,’ said Segar & Snuff leaves, popular in India, for your nearest
manager Robert Good. ‘Snuff is were carcinogenic help group.
likely to be sold in licensed (cancer causing). www.ash.org.uk

OTHER SMOKING ALTERNATIVES


■ Patches are intended to help ■ NicoShot was released brown teeth and gums, ulcers
wean smokers off cigarettes but last year in the US and and increase your risk of
some users have become should be available in mouth cancer.
addicted to them and experience Britain soon. It is a bottle of ■ Betel leaves have mild
vivid dreams when wearing them. beer with 3mg of nicotine in medicinal qualities and have
There are a few cases in which it. Three cans are the been chewed in Asia for
nicotine addicts who failed to equivalent of smoking one thousands of years. Chewed
follow doctor’s orders died from pack of cigarettes. between the cheek and
heart failure after applying ■ Chewing tobacco is gums, they blacken your
multiple patches and then the oldest way of taking teeth and increase your risk
smoking and consuming alcohol. tobacco but it will give you of mouth cancer.

Edited by LISA SCOTT health@ukmetro.co.uk