Traditional Smoking (not using snus) Heightens Risk of Diabetes
Men who smoke cigarettes are at a higher risk of contracting diabetes. In contrast, there is no existing evidence that will prove that the use of snus (moist snus, in particular) increases risk of getting afflicted with diabetes.
Following are the results of a study that involved the collaborative efforts of Lulea and Umea University, and Sunderby Hospital. The study was headed by Associate Prof. Mats Eliasson, was published in the Journal of Internal Medicine’s August issue. It was co-authored by Kjell Asplund, Salmir Nasic, and Brad Rodu.
In Sweden, around 250,000 people have type 2 diabetes, which is known as age-related diabetes. There are various causes of the condition. These include obesity, physical inactivity, and heredity, or any combination of these factors.
Results of recent studies, however, have indicated that smoking and psychosocial stress are underlying factors as well. Because snus is quite common in the northern parts of Sweden, and snus users have as much exposure to nicotine as traditional cigarette smokers, proponents of the research explored the possibility that snus increases type 2 diabetes risks as well.
For the MONICA study done in Northern Sweden, 3,384 males aged between 25 and 74 years old were studied. A little over half of the respondents were examined again after 9 years.
The incidence of diabetes was found to have practically doubled among cigarette smokers. However, it was noted that there was no such increase among users of snus.
During the follow-up examination, it was shown that smokers had quadrupled the risk of acquiring diabetes. Ex-smokers showed a tripled risk. No one was observed to have developed diabetes among snus users. The risk differences could not be attributed to alcohol consumption, physical activity, or different levels of abdominal fat.
Results of the study supported the earlier MONICA group studies that showed no increases of risks of having a heart attack among users of snus, compared to traditional smokers that showed significantly higher risks.
These excerpts are taken from Effect of Smokeless Tobacco on Smoking & Public Health in Sweden.
The manufacture and storage of snus are done in a way that triggers it to bring forth lower amounts of some of the most harmful chemicals that other tobacco products bring, though snus can bring high nicotine doses. While snus may be dependence-forming, it does not seem to cause respiratory ailments or cancer.
The use of snus may trigger a slight increase in risks of contracting cardiovascular diseases. It may likewise be harmful to unborn fetuses, although these known risks are still lower than risks associated with cigarette smoking.
In Sweden, a bigger decrease in daily smoking has been noted among male smokers compared to females who smoke daily. In males the drop is from a high of 40% back in 1976 to only 15% in 2002. On the other hand, women smokers registered a drop to 20% in 2002 from 34% in 1976. A big chunk of former male smokers who used snus when they quit smoking was noted (30 %.)
Over the same period of time, incidences of myocardial infarction and lung cancer also saw significant drops. The rate of decrease was faster among Swedish males compared to women, whose incidence rate remained at low levels, much lower when compared with women from other developed nations with a long tobacco use history.
Conclusions: The easy access and availability of snus in Sweden seems to have played a big role in the remarkably low smoking rates among Swedish males by giving them a better alternative that is a considerably less harmful type of nicotine dependence.
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