Lars Erik Rutqvist, Professor of Oncology, Senior Consultant and former Head of the Department of Oncology, Huddinge University Hospital & Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, has been appointed Vice President, Scientific Affairs within the Swedish Match Group.
Professor Lars Erik Rutqvist has a long and solid experience of both clinical and epidemiological cancer research. He stands behind several of the scientific papers published about Swedish oral snuff (snus), eg. one of the world's most extensive epidemiological papers on risk factors of cancer in the head and neck, "Smoking tobacco, oral snuff and alcohol in the etiology of carcinoma of the head and neck". The paper was published in the well-reputed American scientific journal Cancer in 1998. The result showed an increased risk for cancer with cigarette smoking, particularly in combination with alcohol consumption, however, no increased risk was found for the use of Swedish snus. Furthermore, Professor Rutqvist has published more than 150 papers in international scientific journals.
"Through my work within Swedish cancer care, I have seen the harm smoking can lead to, and I have also come to understand the positive aspects of smokeless alternatives, for example snus, as an alternative for those who cannot or do not wish to give up their tobacco consumption", says Lars Erik Rutqvist. "Cigarette smoking presents an important and growing health problem in the world. This must be met by active measures to limit unhealthy activities. In this respect, Swedish Match can make a positive contribution. It is an exciting challenge to contribute to this development. No other single effort for public health is more important than to induce people to refrain from cigarettes and I will continue to work for this, only now from a new position with a broader perspective", says Lars Erik Rutqvist.
Sweden has a unique consumption pattern in the tobacco area. A considerably lower proportion of Swedish men smoke daily compared with other European countries, but the total tobacco consumption is about the same. The difference is spelled s-n-u-s. A consequence of the Swedish consumption pattern is that among Swedish men there is a lower incidence of tobacco related cancer than in other countries. This fact, often referred to as "the Swedish Experience", has attracted increased interest in public health circles and among scientists worldwide. Given this, Swedish Match has a need to engage further medical expertise to the Company.
"Through the extensive research that Professor Rutqvist has accomplished during his close to 30-year career, he possesses the competence that we need in order to initiate, analyse, document and comment on research on snus as an alternative to cigarettes", says Sven Hindrikes, President and CEO of Swedish Match. "We need to increase the medical competence within the Company in order to continue to effectively influence the development towards a more pragmatic societal attitude in Sweden, in the EU, but also in other parts of the world, as well as to assist in the development of other smokeless alternatives", concludes Sven Hindrikes.
For further information, please contact:
Bo Aulin, Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel Office +46 8 658 03 64, Mobile +46 70 558 03 64
Lars Erik Rutqvist, Vice President, Scientific Affairs Mobile +46 76 878 84 98
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Swedish Match has a broad range of market-leading brands in tobacco niche product areas as well as matches and lighters. The Group's global operations generated sales of 13,311MSEK for the twelve month period ending December 31, 2005. Swedish Match shares are listed on Stockholmsbörsen (SWMA). ____________
Swedish Match AB (publ), SE-118 85 Stockholm Visiting address: Rosenlundsgatan 36, Telephone: + 46 8 658 02 00 Corporate Identity Number: 556015-0756 www.swedishmatch.com ____________
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