Snuff, Health and Nicotine pouches

Nicotine pouches

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All-clear for snuff! A study shows that snuff on its own does not pose a cancer risk!

  1. Background

In the mid-nineties the EU Commission ordered that all tobacco products should bear the warning “Causes cancer” or something similar. This naturally also applied to snuff. However, this caused a problem since the order was not made on the basis of any scientific evidence since there were practically no scientifically based studies which shows that snuff could actually cause any cancerous illness of the nose.


The EU authorities recognized this problem soon afterwards and replaced the incorrect warning with the current warning “This tobacco product may harm your health and cause dependence”. Nevertheless, the world market leader, Pöschl Tabak, commissioned an independent scientific report to provide final clarification of the facts from Prof. Dr. Eberhard Greiser, Director of the Bremer Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine. This step had also been recommended by the German Federal Ministry of Health in Berlin, the German Cancer Research Centre based in Heidelberg and the European Cancer Research Institute in Milan. One of the main aspects of the contract was that Pöschl Tabak would not be able to have any influence whatsoever on its results.


The main aim of the study was to find an answer to the question of whether certain lifestyles or factors at the workplace are more common with patients suffering from cancer of the nose (cancer of the nasal cavities and the rhinopharynx) than in the general populace. The study required to produce the report took several years to complete and was one of the most comprehensive studies in the world conducted into the possible causes of nasal cancer. For the purpose of the study the Bremer Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine questioned a total of 427 patients and their family members from various ears nose and throat clinics in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. Some 2,401 men not suffering from any type of nasal cancer and also resident in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg were chosen at random and also interviewed as the control group. To ensure that every possible scientific aspect was covered during the planning, completion and evaluation of the study, Prof. Greiser also convened a scientific board consisting of independent researchers. The members of this board were the following: • Prof. Dr. J. Chang-Claude (Chair), Director of AG Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg • Prof. Dr. K.-H. Jöckel, Director of the Institute for Medical Information Technology, Biometry and Epidemiology, University of Duisburg/Essen • Prof. Dr. U. John, Director of the Institute for Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Greifswald • Prof. Dr. H. Maier, Colonel in the Medical Corps, Head of the Ears, Nose and Throat Department, Federal Armed Forces Hospital, Ulm.


  1. Results of the study

Consumption of snuff alone does not pose any verifiable health risk. Only if it is combined with smoking tobacco does the health risk become palpable. Smoking is an extraordinarily high cancer-causing factor. The longer and more a smoker has smoked, the greater the risk of him of her contracting a nasal cancer. The fact that the dust from hardwood is not good for nasal health, above all for the para nasal sinuses, had already been discovered by a series of foreign researchers. This was expressly confirmed by the Southern German nasal cancer study. Some groups of professions, for example welders, are at greater risk of contracting nasal cancer. Solvents and the use of insecticides in the home can have similar harmful effects as smoking. Daily consumption of vegetables, fruit, salad or fruit juice can considerably reduce the risk of cancer. As has been known for some time, carcinogenic substances can be generated by grilling or roasting meat and sausages. These also pose a palpable risk of nasal cancer. Learn more about Nicotine pouches


  1. Summary

Although Pöschl Tabak financed this study but, as mentioned above, had contractually agreed to exert no influence whatsoever on its results, the company was nevertheless extremely satisfied with the results of the long term study. Managing Director Dr. Ernst Pöschl commented, “To date this is the first time that evidence has been produced to show that the consumption of snuff on its own does not increase the risk of nasal cancer. Snuff can therefore be described as a harmless tobacco product compared to many other tobacco products.”


Snuff and Nicotine

Snuff is a tobacco product and consequently contains nicotine. The studies conducted, in particular by the English researcher, Professor Russell, have ascertained that the transition time required by nicotine to be absorbed into the body by the inhalation of snuff is fairly short. Taken in small quantities, as in the case of snuff, it is a fact that nicotine has a stimulating effect on the human organism. This is nowadays regarded as a scientific fact. Only in the case of certain heart disorders, where care should be exerted in the use of all kinds of stimulants, should a doctor be consulted.


Snuff and condensates: false alarm

Since no combustion takes place when snuff is inhaled, the condensates known to be produced by smoking tobacco products do not apply here. Snuff is not smoked, so indulging in this habit does not disturb the neighbors. It is therefore the ideal alternative form of tobacco enjoyment, where smoking is prohibited or frowned upon. This probably explains why more and more people are discovering the appeal of smokeless tobacco enjoyment.


Snuff and sport

Since no condensates are produced, snuff is the ideal stimulant for all sportsmen and sportswomen. Many sportsmen use snuff because it keeps the nostrils free and has a refreshing effect even during the course of sporting activities.

New warning on snuff

“A clear head” with snuff.


In June 2003, Pöschl introduced a new, slightly moderated warning on all of its snuff products. Instead of the former “Tobacco damages your health. Causes cancer”, the warning now reads: “This tobacco-based product can be detrimental to your health and is addictive”. While the warnings on other tobacco-based products are made increasingly severe, this new EU warning merely highlights the possible dangers involved in excessive snuff consumption. This puts snuff on a fairly level pegging with other semi-luxury products such as wine or coffee. This long overdue change is seen by many snuff users as an acknowledgment of their social habit. After all, a pinch of snuff is an uncomplicated way to enjoy a feeling of refreshment and gives the user a truly “clear head” in between times. And they don?t even have to have a guilty conscience, since snuff is the smoke-free way of enjoying tobacco which is tolerated everywhere.



It can generally be claimed that, as far as the current state of literature and science goes, nasal snuff is an extremely low-risk tobacco product, which does not harm fellow humans in view of its non-polluting technique – since no combustion takes place. Snuff is the ideal alternative for anyone looking for tobacco indulgence without smoke. The ingredients of snuff are governed by the rigid German food regulations as well as continuous quality control measures.