Norwegian health campaign warns about dangers of snus use during pregnancy

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Norwegian health campaign warns about dangers of snus use during pregnancy

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A young woman putting snus in her mouth at a baby shower party. The scene is part of a video clip that will air on television and on social media platforms to warn about the health risks associated with snus use during pregnancy. (Image: Screenshot/DTI)
Dental Tribune International

By Dental Tribune International

Tue. 31 May 2016

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OSLO, Norway: The Norwegian Directorate of Health has launched a new campaign to inform the public about the risks associated with snus use during pregnancy. As with smoking cigarettes, the use of the smokeless tobacco can affect the health of the baby and result in a low birth weight, premature birth and even stillbirth. In addition, snus can cause mouth sores and dental cavities and generally raises the risk of several diseases, including oral cancer, pancreatic cancer and oesophageal cancer.

In Norway, there has been a sharp increase in smokeless tobacco use among young women in the past decade. According to the health directorate, 13 per cent of women aged 16–24 use snus daily, while another 5 per cent in the age group use the tobacco occasionally. Should these women become pregnant in the future, regular snus use—as with every habit—can be hard to stop, the health authorities said.

Directorate of Health Division Director Linda Granlund stated that the body advises women to quit snus use even before falling pregnant and not to resume the habit. The officials further stated that dentists can play a key role in educating the public about the risks associated with snus, as data shows that most women in this age group regularly go for dental check-ups.

The campaign, which was launched last week, addresses both health professionals and the public via various channels. Among other initiatives, a specially produced video clip, titled “Baby shower”, will air on television and on social media platforms.

In addition, various health experts came together to discuss the topic in a seminar on 26 May. A live stream of the event can be accessed at helsedirektoratet.no/konferanser/fagseminar-snus-i-svangerskap until 26 July.

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