The risk factors for smokeless tobacco compared to cigarettes, and the American Cancer Society’s tacit acknowledgement in a recent paper that modern American smokeless products have minimal risk for cancer are discussed in this interview with UC San Francisco professor Kevin McGirr on the nationally syndicated Frankie Boyer Show for BizTalkRadio.
When asked about data showing a low risk factor for cancer in smokeless tobacco products, Professor McGirr offered the example of Sweden, “where they have used snus, a form of smokeless tobacco, for decades. We know that they have the lowest cancer rate of any particular nation around the globe, that’s probably the most robust data we’ve had.” Describing the rationale and growing appeal of using smokeless tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and snus as smoking cessation aids, Professor McGirr said, “Combustible tobacco kills. We’ve clearly seen this historically over many, many decades. Hundreds of thousands of people – about a half-million – [die] each year because of combustible tobacco use, so anything that we can do as a society and to help industry and the business community to move people away from combustible tobacco is an important step.”
Kevin McGirr is Clinical Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco; has taught in schools of medicine, social work and public health and was a Fulbright Scholar in Pondicherry India, 2013-2014. He has over forty years of experience in providing and managing behavioral health services; holds master’s degrees in public health, psychiatric nursing and ABD in public health. He has been involved in the training and development of harm reduction services and in particular utilizing Harm Reduction Tobacco interventions for persons with serious mental illness.
At the June 2017 Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw, Poland, Kevin McGirr was invited to present his recent qualitative investigation on the experience of tobacco interventions by persons with serious mental illness.