Success in Sweden doesn't transfer to U.S., study finds
THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Cultural factors appear to influence whether smokeless tobacco can help smokers quit cigarettes, contends a new study.
In Sweden, many smokers try to quit smoking by using snus, a form of moist, powdered tobacco that's placed under the lip. In Sweden, snus is more popular among male smokers, and Swedish men have higher smoking cessation rates than women.
Some people have suggested that public health officials in the United States and other countries should promote smokeless tobacco as a way to help smokers quit cigarettes.
However, University of California, San Diego, researchers examined data collected from more than 15,000 people in the United States and found that smokeless tobacco does not increase American smokers' quit rates.
"With an ongoing tobacco control effort, men in the U.S. seem to be quitting smoking at higher rates than men in Sweden. And U.S. women are quitting at the same rate, unlike their counterparts in Sweden," study author Shu-Hong Zhu, a professor of family and preventive medicine in the UCSD School of Medicine, said in a university news release.
The study found that:
"Many public health officials and scientists have cautioned that the Swedish results may be unique to Sweden," Zhu said. "This research confirms that."
The study was published online in the journal Tobacco Control.
The American Cancer Society offers a guide to quitting smoking.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: University of California, San Diego, news release, Jan. 26, 2009
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