Smokeless tobacco growing in popularity in Denmark

Young men in particular like to chew snus

The popularity of chewing snus, a smokeless tobacco powder sold either loose or in small moist pouches, is on the rise in Denmark, according to a new YouGov survey for Metroexpress.

The trends is particularly widespread among male youths.

Nearly one in five men aged between 18 and 29 admit they have tried snus in the past year, which corresponds to about 80,000 users.

And although the sale of snus to children is illegal in Denmark, the product is increasingly being used by pupils at public schools and high schools.

A national health survey carried out among teenagers in 2014 revealed that 6.7 percent of boys and 1.2 percent of girls used snus daily.

READ MORE: No smoke, no fire, but Denmark is taking heat because of EU snus ban

Health authorities, such as the Danish Cancer Society (Kræftens Bekæmpelse), argue there is a great need for prevention campaigns that inform the public about the health risk of chewing smokeless tobacco – just like the ones used in the case of cigarettes.

“Snus is carcinogenic. It can cause cancer of the pancreas, which has one of the worst prognoses,” Niels Kjær, a project manager for tobacco prevention programs at Kræftens Bekæmpelse, told Metroxpress.

“But the main problem is that people become addicted to nicotine and it can lead to them using other types of tobacco.”