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Friday, February 20, 2015

FDA Considers Snus Pouches

English: General Snus (portion)
It is fair to say that there is nothing healthy about tobacco, whether one is smoking it or chewing the harmful substance. Different types of cancer have been tied to tobacco in every form, most commonly lung, mouth, and throat cancers.

One of the more recent forms of tobacco use is what known as ‘snus’ pouches, a form of chewing tobacco which comes in tea bag like pouches which users place between their lips and gums. One of the makers of ‘snus’ pouches is asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to re-certify their product as being a “modified risk,” the Associated Press reports.

The company, Swedish Match, argues that while their product is addictive, it is less harmful than smoking. On top of that, Swedish Match, which has sold snus in the United States since 2007, wants to be able to remove one of the required health warning labels about oral cancer.

While there are a number of public health experts who condemn any type of tobacco use arguing there is no safe way to use tobacco; some say lower-risk alternatives like smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes improve public health by discouraging the smoking of regular cigarettes. The makers of tobacco products, according to the article, are searching out new ways of increasing profits, as cigarette sales continue to decline due to increased taxes, health concerns, smoking bans and social stigma.

The FDA has announced that it will consider the requests at a two-day Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee meeting in April. The FDA usually follows its committees’ recommendations, according to the AP.

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