A new study shows Norwegian men tend to replace cigarettes with snus when quitting smoking.
The study, published in the Nicotine & Tobacco Research journal, showed that not only snus is the most preferred method to quit smoking, but also the most effective.
The team of scientists, led by Karl Erik Lund of the Norwegian Institute of Alcohol and Drug Research, found that relapse cases in snus consumers were three times less than the ones of smokers using nicotine gum to help them quit.
Lund’s belief is that snus, which is illegal in the EU but legal in Norway, Sweden and the US, is so popular because "the nicotine dose is almost the same as for cigarettes," and because it "tastes of tobacco and thus has a sensory effect that medicinal nicotine products perhaps lack," reports Reason Magazine.
But snus is not the most effective product to quit smoking available on the market, according to the survey.
Its efficiency was significantly surpassed by the drug Varenicline. Varenicline was found to be almost two times more effective than snus, but less popular as it carries an US Food and Drug Administration warning.
Individuals that use snus are very likely to continue using it as a nicotine substitute, but the negative effects of snus are significantly less harmful than those of cigarettes, according to the inquiry.
The study was based on a survey conducted amongst 7170 Norwegian men aged between 20 and 50 years old, out of which 1775 were former smokers, and 1808 were current smokers.