Smokeless Tobacco and Snus: The Current Evidence for Health Risks




June 2007

Type of Report

OTRU Update


Smokeless tobacco provides nicotine to users through absorption across the membranes of the mouth or nose. Two main forms of smokeless tobacco are used in North America: chewing tobacco and oral snuff. Over two dozen cancer-causing agents have been identified in traditional smokeless tobacco. While health risks for smokeless tobacco are lower than for cigarettes, use of smokeless tobacco has a number of serious health consequences. This Update reviews current evidence about the health effects of smokeless tobacco and snus products.