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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Weight gain and incident obesity among male snus users

Jenny Hansson1, Maria Rosaria Galanti1, Cecilia Magnusson1 and Maria-Pia Hergens12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden

2 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:371  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-371

Published: 23 May 2011



Snus is a moist smokeless tobacco product which has recently reached beyond its original market of Scandinavia. Snus is now being increasingly used in both the United States and South Africa. The effect of snus use on weight is unknown. This study has therefore investigated the relationship between the use of snus, weight gain (≥5%) and the incidence of obesity (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2).


The study participants (n = 9,954 males living in Stockholm County, Sweden) were recruited in 2002 and reassessed in 2007. Tobacco use was categorized according to information obtained in both the baseline and follow-up surveys. Outcomes were assessed by comparing self-reported weight and body mass index between the baseline and follow-up surveys.


Stable current snus use (according to both surveys), compared to never having used any kind of tobacco, seemed to be associated with both weight gain (odds ratio = 1.31, 95% confidence interval: 1.04-1.65) and incident obesity (odds ratio = 1.93, 95% confidence interval: 1.13-3.30) after adjustment for age, baseline weight, alcohol consumption, physical activity, education, consumption of fruit and berries, and the frequency of having breakfast. No associations with incident obesity or weight gain were seen for stable former users of snus (according to both surveys) or among men who quit or began using snus during follow-up.


These data suggest that the use of snus is moderately associated with weight gain and incident obesity among men.