Commenting on the latest MMRW, Doctors Lounge echoes other reports in raising concerns that the growing number of smokers also using smokeless tobacco could result in consumers having a harder time quitting altogether.
“The war against tobacco has taken on a new dimension as parts of the country report high rates of cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use among adults. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal disturbing trends in smoking prevalence as more individuals use multiple tobacco products to satisfy their nicotine addiction,” American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said in a statement released Thursday. “No tobacco product is safe to consume. The health hazards associated with tobacco use are well-documented and a recent American Heart Association policy statement indicates smokeless tobacco products increase the risk of fatal heart attack, fatal stroke and certain cancers.”
Leaving aside the American Heart Association already being firmly opposed to harm reduction, there is another way of looking at this.
This could in fact be a snapshot of a transitional period in which smokers in ever greater numbers are switching over to smokeless tobacco. Usually the transition is one over time and in some cases the switch will happen in people that were not even intending to switch. They experiment with smokeless simply to either avoid smelling of smoke or to be able to use nicotine in a non smoking area and find with the freedom from some of the immediate health effects or from the ostracization that can accompany having a cigarette, end up using smokeless even when they could have a cigarette instead.
-Paul L. Bergen