Effect of snuff on nasal mucosa.


PURPOSE The inhalation of nasal snuff (powdered tobacco) is a common addiction in the Indian subcontinent. In the western world, there is a resurgence of interest in nasal snuff because it does have the morbidity associated with smoked tobacco. Very few studies have reported the long-term effects of snuff on nasal mucosa. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of long-term use of snuff on the nasal mucosa. MATERIALS AND METHODS We conducted a retrospective study on 29 snuff users. We investigated the reasons for initiation of this particular form of addiction along with the clinical signs and symptoms of long-term snuff usage. At the time of the study, all patients complained of one or more nasal symptoms. Nasal obstruction and nasal discharge taken together were reported by 62.5% of patients. Gross mucosal edema of the septum and turbinates was the main finding on nasal examination. The absolute eosinophil count and total serum immunoglobulin E were elevated in 62.5% and 66.7% of patients, respectively. On skin prick test, 41% of patients reacted positively to snuff and 25% to tobacco. Histopathologic examination of the turbinates (16 patients) showed squamous metaplasia, capillary proliferation, capillary and venous dilatation, inflammatory cell reaction, subepithelial edema, and fibrosis. CONCLUSIONS Much has been written about the advantages of nasal snuff over products that deliver tobacco smoke. Our study shows that snuff users, after long-term abuse, develop a form of chronic rhinitis, as a consequence of which they develop blocked and stuffy noses. We conclude that nasal snuff is not a suitable substitute for smoked tobacco because it does not avoid ill health.

Cite this paper

@article{Sreedharan2005EffectOS, title={Effect of snuff on nasal mucosa.}, author={Suja S Sreedharan and Mulki Panduranga Kamath and Urmila Niranjan Khadilkar and Mahesh Chandra Hegde and Rajeev Kumar and Ravikumar Raju Mudunuri and Satish Chandra Tripuraneni}, journal={American journal of otolaryngology}, year={2005}, volume={26 3}, pages={151-6} }