I am reading Burket’s Oral Medicine, Chapter - 4 on ‘Ulcerative, Vesicular, And Bullous Lesions’.

Under Herpesvirus infections, the author has this to say:

Animal studies on hamster cheek pouches show an enhanced development of invasive squamous cell carcinoma when HSV1 infection is combined with topical snuff.

Tried to google that but couldn’t find a definite answer.

2 Answers 2


Topical products are applied directly to a part of the body, whereas other products are administered in other (more specific) ways. For example, oral products are used in or around the mouth.

Snuff is a smokeless tobacco made from ground or pulverised tobacco leaves. Snuff is dry and usually consumed via the nasal route (via the nose) by sniffing it. In the case presented, the snuff is used topically (in hamster cheek pouches), probably in the form of snus or dipping tobacco, both of which are wet powdered smokeless tobacco products.


I think it is a form of tobacco. Since the main etiology for squamous cell carcinoma is tobacco consumption.

Tobacco and alcohol are the two most important known risk factors for the development of oral cancer. Reference

Here is an article

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) may enhance the development of oral carcinoma in individuals who are already at increased risk of the disease because of tobacco consumption and cigarette smoking and so must be considered as a possible etiologic agent in oral cancer and precancer.

So yeah, the snuff should be a form of tobacco only.

Also interestingly I found that study which the Burket's is referring to- Hamster study

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