Study finds smokers prefer Snus and Zonnic over Nicotine Gum

A study was just published comparing the effects of nicotine gum, snus (smokeless tobacco sachets) and Zonnic (new synthetic nicotine replacement sachets) for reducing smoking. The study by Drs Caldwell, Burgess and Crane was conducted with 63 cigarette smokers at University of Otago in New Zealand.

During the study, participants were allowed to use each product for 2 weeks each to reduce their cigarette smoking. The researchers also measure nicotine withdrawal symptoms, cravings for a cigarette, and side effects.

The smokers reduced their smoking by 33% while using nicotine gum, by 37% while using snus and by 42% while using Zonnic sachets. The smokers also had fewer cravings for a cigarette and side-effects while using snus and Zonnic than while using nicotine gum. Overall they said they preferred using snus and Zonnic to using nicotine gum. The researchers concluded that more studies are needed of snus and Zonnic as replacements for cigarette smoking.

This study was interesting in that it took place in a country where neither snus nor Zonnic (both developed in Sweden) are available. Since the time the study took place, the Zonnic manufacturer (Niconovum) has been purchased by the large US tobacco company, Reynolds American. Although not a smoking cessation study, and clearly not definitive, it does provide some evidence that some smokers outside of Scandanavia may prefer these new alternative products as a way to stop smoking.

Zonnic is the brand name for Niconovum’s range of nicotine-delivery products including a sachet or pouch product (like a little white tea-bag) used in this study, an oral spray product, and a gum product. The Zonnic products are currently on the market only in Scandanavian countries. You can find out more about these products at:

Snus (moist snuff tobacco) is now more widely used by Swedish men than cigarettes, and has recently been launched in other countries, including the United States.

You can access my previous blogs about snus by typing it into the “Search Health Experts” box on the right.

Caldwell B, Burgess C, Crane J. Randomized crossover trial of the acceptability of snus, nicotine gum, and Zonnic therapy for smoking reduction in heavy smokers. Nicotine & Tobacco Research..(available online Jan 11, 2010).
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About the Author

MA, MAppSci, PhD

Dr. Jonathan Foulds is an expert in the field of tobacco addiction.