Smokeless tobacco come in three primary forms. These include chewing tobacco, dip, and snuff. Chewing tobacco is generally not moist or ground, but are loose-leaf and must be crushed with the teeth in order to unlock the juice and flavor.
Dip (moist snuff) on the other hand, is usually moist and ground, and can be placed between the lip and gum where its flavor is consistently released. Dry snuff is pulverized tobacco that is inhaled directly through the nasal cavity. At one time it was believed that these methods of consuming tobacco or its properties was safer than smoking. This was found to be incorrect.
The Perceived Benefits of Smokeless Tobacco Over Cigarettes
The belief that smokeless tobacco was safer than smoking cigarettes was founded on the notion that the dangers of tobacco products rested in the burning of the substance alone. Many of the dangers of smoking cigarettes do, in fact, rest in the exposure to carbon monoxide, as well as the other 7,000 toxic chemicals tobacco produces when lit. However, burning tobacco is not the only place dangers lie. According to the National Cancer Institute, a minimum of 28 chemicals found in smokeless tobacco are known to cause cancer. One of these chemicals is polonium–210, which is a radioactive element that is most commonly found in fertilizers for tobacco.
Why do Some People Choose Smokeless Tobacco?
Individuals choose smokeless tobacco over traditional cigarettes for numerous reasons. Some find smokeless tobacco more accessible in places where smoking is prohibited. Others may partake in activities or work in areas where holding a cigarette is not a viable option. Working near volatile chemicals is an example of a workplace where smoking would be prohibited. Some professional athletes, farm hands, and ranchers are also widely known to take up smokeless tobacco. In these workplace situations, smokeless tobacco is the preferred choice of some individuals. However, the negative health effects are just as severe.
The Effects of Smokeless Tobacco
The adverse effects of smokeless tobacco are severe and numerous. According to the National Library of Medicine, using smokeless tobacco can lead to cancer of the mouth, tongue, and throat; esophageal cancer; tooth and root decay; the gums may begin to fall away from the teeth; white patches or sores that are red in color, which are common among those who chew tobacco or dip, may also become cancerous. These are but a few of the negative health effects of smokeless tobacco.
Heart disease, stroke, heart attack, increased blood pressure and heart rate also accompany the ill effects of smokeless tobacco. These effects also include addiction. Severe nicotine addiction makes quitting even more difficult, which continues to increase the risks of health complications over time.
As many have failed to understand the dangers of partaking in smokeless tobacco, so have many succumb to disease, illness, and death. However, through education and support, you or someone you love can quit for good. There are numerous smoking cessation aids available, and many can be obtained without a prescription. You can also talk with your doctor to see what may work best for you.
Read more about smokeless tobacco addiction and treatment here: Smokeless Tobacco Addiction
For more motivation to quit smoking once and for all, visit The Real Cost of Smoking.
Read more about the effects cigarette smoke has on the human body at The Effects of Smoking.
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