In just the past few years, the demand for smokeless tobacco
alternatives has soared. From having been a niche product only
available in some parts of the world, like Sweden, products like
snus have become available all over the world. And the demand
has risen sharply. What is the reason behind this rapid

According to a report published by Emergen Research, the total value of
the smokeless market reached $90 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach
$141.68 billion in 2032 There are several factors behind this, for example,
smoking is becoming banned in more and more markets and
environments. And it isn’t just that it is being banned by law, it is also that
when you smoke, the other people around you are smoking as well. But
with smokeless solutions, it is only the user who is affected.

Lower Health Risk

One of the primary factors driving this trend is undoubtedly the lower
health risks associated with smokeless tobacco. The growing awareness
about the negative impacts of smoking tobacco makes smokeless tobacco
a preferable alternative.

According to the US Government’s National Cancer Institute Report
“Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting”, tobacco
smoke contains many chemicals that are harmful to both the smokers
themselves and people nearby. It is crucial to understand, that even small
amounts of tobacco smoke can be harmful. Among the 250 known harmful
chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 69 can cause cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health
Organization, states that exposure to SHS (secondhand tobacco smoke) is
carcinogenic to humans. Secondhand smoke causes disease and
premature death in nonsmoking adults and children. Exposure to
secondhand smoke irritates the airways and has immediate harmful
effects on a person’s heart and blood vessels. The risk of cardiovascular
disease increases by approximately 25–30 percent due to exposure to
secondhand smoke.

Smokeless tobacco use means reduced health risks. In countries like
Sweden where smokeless tobacco products like snus is widespread, while
smoking is at record lows, tobacco-related illness and mortality is far
below most other comparable countries.

Smokeless tobacco as a smoking cessation aid

Nicotine can be a hard habit to kick. It is not just about the chemicals,
it is also the habits connected with smoking, like taking smoke breaks and
the act of lighting a cigarette. Nicotine-chewing gums and plasters have
proven to help many people quit smoking, but others are looking for new
ways to slowly and gradually decrease the use of nicotine. This is where
smokeless tobacco and nicotine pouches come in.

Numerous studies have examined the role of smokeless tobacco
(particularly snus) as an aid to succeed with smoking cessation. Switching
from smoking tobacco to smokeless alternatives such as snus delivers
immediate health benefits as it eliminates the hazards connected with the
burning of tobacco.

Switching to snus has proven to be an effective and efficacious method for
quitting smoking in Norway. Norwegian general health practitioners are
allowed to recommend snus as a smoking cessation aid and the chances
of smoking cessation are in general higher for those who use this
alternative tobacco product.

Another study conducted by researchers of the Norwegian Institute of
Public Health concludes that successful attempts to quit “were strongly
related to the use of snus,” further evidence demonstrating that snus
helps smokers quit. Snus has now replaced cigarette smoking as the most
prevalent form of daily tobacco use in the population, particularly among
young males.

Snus contributes to the steady decrease of lung cancer

Internationally, Sweden stands out as a harm reduction paradigm, thanks
in large part to the widespread adoption of Swedish snus and nicotine
pouches. This acknowledgment highlights the potential of smokeless
tobacco products to reduce the harm associated with traditional smoking

The CAN Report 2022 (in Swedish) discusses the use of tobacco in
Sweden, and included the following diagram which shows how the rate of
lung cancer is decreasing rapidly in the Swedish population following a
corresponding decrease in smoking. Of course, there are several other
factors which may impact this development like better work environments
and better protection. However, in countries where smoking tobacco is still
much more common, the rates of lung cancer are much higher than in Sweden.


By Arpi and Robert