Discover why smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes
Some tobacco users mistakenly think that smokeless tobacco is safe to use because it doesn’t involve inhaling smoke. Don’t let this misconception fool you. Before you try smokeless tobacco as an alternative or because your friends are pressuring you, consider these facts about smokeless tobacco.
Smokeless tobacco devastates your mouth. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, smokeless tobacco can cause oral cancers that can be life threatening or cause serious facial scarring and deformities. According to the CDC, smokeless tobacco can contribute to leukoplakia. This is precancerous lesion in the mouth that cannot be scraped off.
Smokeless tobacco is addictive. This form of tobacco still contains nicotine, which is absorbed into your bloodstream. It’s just as habit forming as smoking cigarettes and is very difficult to quit if you become addicted.
Smokeless tobacco use is on the rise. Drugabuse.gov reported a 47% increase in the number of new smokeless tobacco users between 2002-2008. Teens report using smokeless tobacco as early as middle school.
Smokeless tobacco contains more nicotine than cigarettes. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that smokeless tobacco delivers 3-4 times more nicotine than a cigarette. The nicotine absorbed this way stays in the bloodstream longer.
Smokeless tobacco use can lead to cigarette use. According to the CDC, adolescents who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers.
Smokeless tobacco should not be used as a way to quit smoking. If you’re trying to quit smoking, talk to your doctor about healthy, safe ways to quit. Tobacco is never safe and using it is never recommended as a way to quit smoking.