Swedish Match urges caution about snus-diabetes finding

    In response to a study linking snus to diabetes, Swedish Match issued the following statement:

    “Today, a scientific study was published that has gotten media attention. The study, Smokeless tobacco (snus) is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes: results from five pooled cohorts, says that snus consumption [increases the risk] for diabetes (type 2).

    The study says that among those who consumed fewer than five cans of snus per week there was no increased risk, but among those who consumed five-six cans per week there was an increased risk of 40 percent, a risk that increased to 70 percent with a consumption level of seven cans or more per week.

    “The collective scientific documentation regarding snus and diabetes shows that there are six recently published studies that [don’t] show an increased risk, but in this one study, there is an increased risk for those using more than five cans of snus each week.

    “The latter study is based on material from the county of Västerbotten, and it is unclear why that particular study [differs] from all the rest in its conclusions. It is possible that the difference exists because [the study] hasn’t [adjusted] for other known factors, such as food consumption, lifestyle habits and obesity.

    ‘When six studies say one thing and there comes a seventh saying something different, I think that you should be cautious in drawing any conclusions,’ says, Lars-Erik Rutqvist, head of scientific affairs, Swedish Match.”

    ‘The only study that shows a correlation is from Västerbotten and it only represents one cohort (group of people), and I would leave open for the possibility that there may be other explanations to diabetes than consumption of snus. This study does not change [my] or Swedish Match’s current assessment of the collected scientific research which has been done on this subject.’”