Smokeless Tobacco (Chew/Spit Tobacco)
Did you know that smokeless tobacco is very harmful to your health? Don’t let the term “smokeless” mislead you. There are over 3,000 chemicals in smokeless tobacco, including 28 that are known to cause cancer1,4! Smokeless tobacco also contains abrasives that function to scratch the soft tissues of the mouth allowing nicotine and other chemicals to directly enter the bloodstream2.
Did you know that 8 to 10 dips of smokeless tobacco is equivalent to 30 to 40 cigarettes in nicotine content2? One tin of snuff is the same amount of nicotine found in 60 cigarettes2 !This makes smokeless tobacco extremely addictive.
Want information on quitting? See our Want to Quit page for quitting tips.
Also, note that the tobacco industry is strongly targeting youth with smokeless tobacco by adding sugars, yummy flavours, and fun packaging2. Don’t be a victim! Visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/youth-jeunes/scoop-primeur/indust-eng.php for more awareness on how tobacco marketing is making us sick!
Forms of Smokless Tobacco
Chew can be found in loose leaf form that comes in little pouches; in compressed brick form called plug; or, in a twisted rope form that is called twist3.
Snuff is a dry or moist powder available in tea-bag pouches or small tins. It is placed between the bottom lip and lower gum3,2.
Health Risks of Smokeless Tobacco2
Mouth Cancer – 50% higher chance of developing mouth cancer (half of all oral cancer victims die within 5 years!)
40-50 % of users develop leukoplakia -- white leathery patches that can develop into cancer
Throat Cancer – cancers of the voice box and esophagus
Heart Disease – heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure
Dental Disease – stained teeth, tooth decay, receding gums, gum disease, bad breath, black hairy tongue, cavities
Stomach problems – ulcers, stomach upset, increased bowel activity, and stomach cancer
Loss of Taste and Smell
Other Physical Changes – fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness, and decreased physical performance
WebPage References1 Government of Saskatchewan, http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/smokless-tobacco-ingredients Date Accessed Oct 16, 2007
2 Lost Jaw, http://www.lostjaw.ca/ Date accessed Oct 17, 2007 3
The Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca/
Date accessed: Oct 11, 2007 [L’association pulmonaire http://www.poumon.ca/home-accueil_f.php