Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Consumers not getting accurate information about smokeless tobacco

05.04.2005


Information on the internet about the health risks associated with the consumption of smokeless tobacco usually overstates the risk. This is the conclusion of research published today in the Open Access journal BMC Public Health, entitled "You might as well smoke; the misleading and harmful public message about smokeless tobacco". A study of 316 internet websites showed that most government, health advice, and advocacy websites suggested that smokeless tobacco use is as harmful as cigarette smoking, even though the risk is actually extremely small compared to that from smoking.



Carl V. Phillips, of the University of Texas School of Medicine Center for Clinical Research and Evidence Based Medicine and School of Public Health, and colleagues report that the public is unlikely to find accurate information on the comparative risks of smokeless tobacco and cigarettes, leading to misconceptions amongst consumers. Phillips notes, "smokers can dramatically cut their risks by switching to smokeless tobacco, a strategy called ’harm reduction’, but they have little chance of learning this. Similarly, authoritative organizations are telling smokeless tobacco users, in effect, ’you might as well smoke,’ a public health message that actually encourages people to switch to a much more dangerous product."

Phillips and colleagues conducted a systematic review of popular sources of information available on the internet, by looking at the content of websites that provide information about smokeless tobacco and health, found using a Google search. They found that of the 316 sites that were suitable for inclusion in the review, "almost every website had statements that played up the health risks from smokeless tobacco without caveat". Furthermore, "a large portion of websites directly stated or implied that the risks from smokeless tobacco and cigarettes are similar". The websites of organisations including the U.S. National Cancer Institute and other government agencies, the American Cancer Society, and several of the most popular health advice sites contained information that either explicitly or implicitly suggested that the risks of smokeless tobacco and cigarettes are comparable.


According to the authors, this association of the risks of smokeless tobacco and cigarette smoking may have important negative health implications. "Through these websites, smokers and policy makers are told there is no potential for harm reduction, an unethical message that is both false and harmful to people’s health", conclude the authors.

The harmful effects of cigarette smoking have been well researched and documented. Different tobacco products are associated with different levels of health risks, and smokeless tobacco (the most popular form of which in Europe and North America is moist snuff, held between the lip and gum) is substantially less harmful when compared with cigarettes. Estimates typically put the risk of dying from snuff use in the range of 1% or 2% of that from cigarette smoking, though some experts put the estimate at or near zero since snuff use has not been definitively linked to any fatal disease.

Juliette Savin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.biomedcentral.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>