Because saliva produced during the use of snus is often swallowed, it has been of importance to study the association between snus use and gastrointestinal diseases. The scientific literature comprises a descriptive study on the use of snus and general health, including heartburn and peptic ulcer, and a case-control study on the use of snus and risk of two different inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Important research results on Swedish snus:
- Use of Swedish snus does not increase the risk of peptic ulcer.
- Snus users have a significantly lower risk of heartburn than non-tobacco users.
- There is no increased risk of Crohn's disease or of ulcerative colitis for snus users, who have never smoked.
In a descriptive study comprising a large number of construction workers, who received health examinations during 1971-1974, Bolinder et al. (1992) found that snus users did not have any excess risk of peptic ulcer. They also noted that snus users seem to have somewhat lower risk of heartburn than non-tobacco users.
Inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases
Persson et al. (1993) studied the relationship between the use of tobacco and the risk of inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases. The study base comprised selected male patients from Stockholm, who had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis in 1980-1984 and matched controls. The results showed that snus use did not increase the risk of these two diseases. The authors found, however, a synergistic interaction between snus use and cigarette smoking in the sense that the risk of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis increase for those who used both snus and cigarettes.
Bolinder, G.M., Ahlborg, B.O., and Lindell, J.H. 1992. Use of smokeless tobacco: Blood pressure elevation and other health hazards found in a large-scale population survey. J. Int. Med. 232:327-334. Persson, P.-G., Hellers, G., and Ahlbom, A. 1993. Use of oral moist snuff and inflammatory bowel disease. Int. J. Epidem. 22: 1101-1103.