Washington (AFP)

US authorities announced Tuesday that it has authorized a Swedish manufacturer to promote snus as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes, a first for this tobacco to be sucked which remains banned in the European Union, except in Sweden.

The snus, a bag of tobacco that is placed in the mouth, in contact with the gum, is authorized for sale since 2015 in the United States, but the manufacturer, Swedish Match, had until now not the right to claim that his products, sold under the "General" brand, were less risky than smoking.

But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal agency that has authority to regulate the tobacco market, concluded, after reviewing the record and studies provided by the manufacturer, that snus posed a lower risk of oral cancer. or lung, cardiovascular disease and other diseases associated with smoking.

In addition, there is no evidence in the literature that youth or non-smokers learned snus.

This is the first time the FDA has granted permission for a tobacco product to claim risk reduction under a 2009 law.

This is the same process that electronic cigarette manufacturers are expected to be under fire from regulators because of the growing popularity of vaping among young Americans, and because of an epidemic of vaping-related lung disease that has cost lives to at least 33 people.

The FDA has announced its intention to ban flavored vapors, unless manufacturers prove they are less risky than cigarettes, not only at the individual level but at the level of society, ie they do not attract young people and people who do not smoke at the start.

"While we allow these specific tobacco products for modified risks, it is important for the general public to understand that all tobacco products, including these, are at risk." Anyone who does not currently use a tobacco product , especially young people, must continue to avoid them, "said FDA Acting Director Ned Sharpless.

© 2019 AFP