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A Survey of Microbes in a Selection of Moist Snuff Smokeless Tobacco Products

Principal Investigator: Steven Foley / Norma Duncan

Funding Mechanism: JV

ID number: C12034

Award Date: 8/6/2012

Institution: National Center for Toxicological Research

Tobacco products may be contaminated with microorganisms that could be detrimental to human health. Smokeless tobacco users may be at particular risk, since these products are consumed orally. Furthermore, some smokeless tobacco manufacturing processes involve extra fermentation and high-temperature aging processes, which encourage bacterial growth. The few studies that address tobacco product microorganisms and their byproducts indicate the likely existence of bacterial pathogens in smokeless tobacco products. In this study, investigators will analyze a diverse collection of moist snuff products in order to develop a microbiological characterization of these products. Study aims are: (1) to define the microbiological risks associated with smokeless tobacco product use; and (2) to collect baseline microbiological data that could inform tobacco product manufacturing changes. The data generated by this study may help elucidate the risks associated with microorganisms in smokeless tobacco products and may provide data to inform science-based policies and regulations.

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