Switching to smokeless tobacco saves lives.
That’s the chief finding of a new University of Louisville study that found smokers can greatly reduce their risk of disease and death by replacing smoking products with e-cigarettes or newer spit-free smokeless tobacco.
Lead researcher Brad Rodu presented the study findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, saying they were based on two decades of research.
“Quit or die: That’s been the brutal message delivered to 45 million American smokers, and it has helped contribute to 443,000 deaths per year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Rodu said in a statement. “The truth, however, is that total nicotine and tobacco abstinence is unattainable and unnecessary for many smokers.”
Rodu’s research has found smokeless products are much safer for smokers who are unable or unwilling to give up tobacco entirely because they deliver nicotine without the harmful effect of smoking.
While no tobacco product is completely safe, smokeless products have been shown to be 98 percent safer than cigarettes, he said. The Royal College of Physicians reported in 2002 that smokeless tobacco is up to 1,000 times less hazardous than smoking.