Many smokers believe that chewing tobacco is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. This simply is not the case! In fact, smokeless tobacco can cause serious health concerns.
Smokeless tobacco comes in many forms and goes by many names: dip, snuff, or simply chewing tobacco. Use of these products usually involves sucking or chewing on shredded or loose tobacco leaves, sometimes flavored, for a prolonged period. There are even products that emulate a dissolvable candy-like consistency which are made of compressed powder.
SMOKELESS TOBACCO RISKS
Whichever form a tobacco takes, the dangers of using or consuming them is very real. According to a 2007 study by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, there are upwards of 28 cancer-causing chemicals in smokeless tobacco that are known to cause cancer. And these products are habit-forming just like any other tobacco product that contains nicotine. Using them will increase your risk for many serious diseases including but not limited to: cancer (especially oral and esophageal), gum and heart disease, cavities, and pre-cancerous mouth lesions.
At the end of the day, long-term use of smokeless tobacco can cause serious health issues. These products really take a toll on both your oral and overall health. They put a strain on your immune system and make it less capable of warding off infection and disease.
There are many resources that are available today for those that desire to quit. The National Cancer Institute offers information, support (local and online), and tools to help smokers and smokeless tobacco users. They offer live online chat with cessation counselors Monday through Friday and even have a smartphone app available to help people who are serious about quitting. Taking a look at the website smoker.gov or calling the toll-free line at 1-877-44U-QUIT for additional tools can provide further assistance in your pursuit of breaking the hold of tobacco.