Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nicotine Delivery and Satisfaction: Snus is Superior

In a small, but impressive, clinical study just published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Drs. Erik Lunell and Margareta Curvall demonstrate that snus is a superior substitute for delivering satisfying nicotine doses to smokers (abstract here). Dr. Curvall is a scientist employed by Swedish Match.

Lunell and Curvall recruited 15 smokers (9 men, 6 women) who had never used snus or nicotine gum to use two snus 1-gram snus products (in packets) and 4-milligram nicotine gum during three visits to a clinic in Helsingborg, Sweden. The subjects abstained from smoking for 12 hours the night before each visit.

The researchers measured the amount of nicotine in the used products and found that a higher proportion was extracted from the gum than from the snus products. This is understandable, because the gum was chewed, while the snus was simply placed under the upper lip. Nevertheless, blood nicotine levels from snus were higher after 30 minutes than those from the gum, and the increases were also faster for snus. The snus products took less time than the gum to deliver the maximum nicotine level (37 versus 46 minutes), but the differences were not statistically significant.

The most important finding was that the snus products had higher subjective scores than the gum for overall “product strength” (also referred to as “head rush”, “buzz” or “hit”). This means that the snus products were more enjoyable than the gum, even though all products reduced the craving or urge to smoke to about the same extent. Another interesting finding is that snus resulted in significantly less mouth and throat burn than the gum five minutes after use.

Lunell and Curvall concluded “that Swedish snus produces a higher maximum blood nicotine concentration, in shorter time and with a quicker onset of ‘head rush’ in smokers na├»ve to snus, compared with the 4 mg [nicotine] chewing gum in spite of a smaller ingested dose…The quicker onset of ‘head rush’ and supposedly higher satisfaction from snus may partly explain the widespread use of snus in Sweden in attempts to stop smoking.”

This study is additional proof that smokeless satisfies smokers.

1 comment:

Tim Haigh said...

Snus is the only thing that has stopped me from Smoking cigarettes. I am from the UK so I am subject to the EU ban on the sale of Snus outside of Sweden. Recently they now stopped all internet sales in the EU. I now have to physically fly to Sweden to get my life saving tobacco. I really do not want to go back to smoking.