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Nicotine Tob Res. 2014 Apr;16(4):397-405. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntt161. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

Brief, instructional smokeless tobacco use among cigarette smokers who do not intend to quit: a pilot randomized clinical trial.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC;



Low-nitrosamine smokeless tobacco (SLT) may have efficacy for smoking reduction and cessation, but its public health impact depends on how smokers use it.


This pilot study explored brief, instructional low-nitrosamine SLT use among smokers unmotivated to quit. Participants (N = 57) were randomized to either a free 2-week supply of Camel Snus group or a no-supply group. Of those randomized to use Camel Snus, half were told to use it to cope with smoking restrictions (Snus to Cope), and the remaining half were advised to use it to reduce smoking (Snus to Reduce). Participants were assessed before, during, and immediately after the intervention.


Many Snus to Cope and Snus to Reduce participants reported daily use of Camel Snus, although the amount of use was low. Snus to Cope (18.4%) and Snus to Reduce (37.6%) participants reported a decline in number of cigarettes used per day, which was not reported by the control participants (p < .001). Intention to quit smoking and intention to quit all tobacco use (ps < .001) increased to a greater extent among Snus to Cope and Snus to Reduce participants than among control participants.


This study replicates previous work that shows that low-nitrosamine SLT use can lead to reduced smoking and increased intention to quit, and it adds direct evidence to suggest that the function of low-nitrosamine SLT use-either to cope with smoking restrictions or to reduce smoking-can have a differential impact on smoking behavior. Overall, the results highlight the importance of messaging and, more specifically, marketing of low-nitrosamine SLT to smokers.

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