The conclusion? Cigarettes satisfy a smoker's cravings more effectively than these other products because they contain less nicotine than cigarettes! (Notice they did not use Swedish snus. How would the participants have responded to one of the new extra-strong snuses?)
Mr. Ress then attacks the Swedish phenomenon. First citing Lars-Erik Rutqvist, VP of Scientific Affairs at Swedish Match, who says "If you are a smoker, there is nothing that compares with a cigarette."
Then Mr. Ress says that the Swedish snus phenomenon is reduced to the possibility that "an entire generation" of Swedes switched to snus during WWII because of lack of cigarettes, and that the tradition existed before then anyway, according to "some American tobacco-control advocates."
So that means that, because of a war Sweden did not participate in, there were no cigarettes. Indeed, if what the study says is true, Swedes would have gone head-first into a post-war smoking frenzy. Certainly, in the sixties and seventies, cigarettes were quite popular in Scandinavia, with a giant Danish company supplying most of Nordic Europe. The Swedes enjoyed strong American Blends of their own as well. But the cigarettes were taxed, and taxed in the nineties. Snus was not, and...
That is not the point of the article. Mr. Ress has clearly underlined PMUSA's near-term strategy towards snus:
1. We do not want our smokers to quit by using snus
2. Sticks per man per day are decreasing, as is pricing power. Snus will fill in the gap.
3. The Swedish experience, while admirable, is based on local cultural differences. An anomaly. It must always be presented as something which can't happen here.
4. Snus, while it cannot help you quit, is a tasty and fun way to get your nic when you can't smoke.
5. PMUSA will fight snus's consideration as a 'reduced exposure' product by the FDA
The article wraps with a PMUSA spokesman refusing to comment on the study, but praising reduced exposure products as a key element of FDA oversight.
Mr. Ress does cite the success of snus as a smoking alternative in Sweden. But, clearly, the message to US Smokers is: You are not Swedish. You can't do it. Nothing will help.