Snus is key to lowering tobacco-related death rates, says Swedish health expert

In a recent commentary piece titled "Snus: A Lifesaver in Sweden – And Beyond," Dr Lars Ramström sheds light on the impactful role of snus in significantly reducing tobacco-related fatalities in Sweden. Highlighting Sweden's potential to become the first European Union country to achieve a smoking rate below 5%, a benchmark set by the World Health Organization for being 'smoke-free,' Dr Ramström emphasises the importance of alternative smoking products. Snus, a less harmful tobacco product, has been instrumental in this achievement.

Dr Ramström's analysis compares mortality rates in Sweden with those in countries where snus is less available, revealing that snus has saved approximately 4,000 lives annually among Swedish men. This finding underscores the necessity for health authorities to clearly differentiate the risks associated with cigarettes and snus. Misleading perceptions about snus's dangers may hinder the shift away from cigarette smoking.

Supporting Dr Ramström's insights, research from Smoke-Free Sweden illustrates Sweden's lower cancer incidence and mortality rates compared to its European neighbours—41% and 38% lower, respectively. The "Saving Lives Like Sweden" report by Smoke-Free Sweden proposes that adopting Sweden's approach to tobacco harm reduction could potentially save 2.9 million lives across the EU. This evidence suggests that by promoting safer alternatives like snus, we could pave the way for a healthier future for millions of smokers worldwide.

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