U.S. endorses tobacco pouches as less risky than cigarettes

smokeless tobacco
This image provided by Swedish Match in 2019 shows the company's "General Snus" pouched smokeless tobacco product. On Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration endorsed the tobacco pouches as less harmful than cigarettes, a first-ever decision that could open the door to more lower-risk options for U.S. smokers. (Swedish Match via AP)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the first time, U.S. health regulators have endorsed a type of smokeless tobacco as a less harmful alternative to smoking.

Under Tuesday’s decision, Swedish Match will be able to advertise that its tobacco pouches carry a lower risk of cancer, bronchitis and other diseases than cigarettes.

It’s the first time the Food and Drug Administration has endorsed a tobacco product as a way to reduce the deadly impact of smoking.

Swedish Match has sold its tobacco pouches in the U.S. for more than a decade.