244888 Is snus the same as dip? Smokers' perceptions of new smokeless tobacco products

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sareh Bahreinifar, MPH , Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Nicolas M. Sheon, PhD , Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Pamela Ling, MD, MPH , Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Background: Since 2006, leading US cigarette companies have marketed new snus (smokeless tobacco) products as line extensions of popular cigarette brands. These efforts include direct mail marketing to smokers. We examined smokers' reactions to this advertising and perceptions of the snus products. Methods: Focus groups (n=65 participants) were conducted in San Francisco and Los Angeles in July 2010 with smokers on tobacco company mailing lists. Analyses of both video and transcripts identified common themes in open-ended discussions of new snus products. Results: Most participants were aware that snus was supposed to be “different” from traditional chewing tobacco, but unclear about why. Smokers were willing to try snus, but identified themselves as smokers; for some, using snus reinforced their preference for smoking. Snus's major benefit was dealing with smokefree environments and avoiding the social stigma of secondhand smoke. Smokers were skeptical of snus as harm-reduction. Most tried snus after receiving free samples, and most who tried it found it “weird” or “disgusting” and not interested in continuing. Conclusions: Smokers repeated some early snus advertising messages emphasizing differences from traditional smokeless tobacco, and use in smokefree environments. Most smokers who tried snus found it unappealing and made them miss smoking. These findings may be useful for message development to discourage the uptake of snus by new tobacco users and smokers trying to quit.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe smoker’s perceptions of the new smokeless tobacco advertisements and identify what messages appear to resonate with them 2. Discuss how smokers differentiate between snus and smoking, and snus and other smokeless tobacco products 3. Explain two reasons that have motivated smokers to try new smokeless tobacco products, and two reasons why they hesitate to try them

Keywords: Tobacco, Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have my Masters in Public Health (MPH) and have had the training and experience in tobacco control research and education.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.