People who use chewing tobacco or snuff are kidding themselves if they believe it’s safer than smoking tobacco, say researchers.
According to the National Cancer Institute,
Snuff, a finely ground or shredded tobacco, is packaged as dry, moist, or in sachets (tea bag–like pouches). Typically, the user places a pinch or dip between the cheek and gum. Chewing tobacco is available in loose leaf, plug (plug–firm and plug–moist), or twist forms, with the user putting a wad of tobacco inside the cheek. Smokeless tobacco is sometimes called “spit” or “spitting” tobacco because people spit out the tobacco juices and saliva that build up in the mouth.
Chewing tobacco is quite popular still in many areas, even some professional athletes use it while playing their sport. It’s marketed as “ smokeless tobacco,” which leads them to believe it’s safer. Whether it’s through effective advertising or just word of mouth, estimates suggest that use of smokeless tobacco has doubled over the past three decades.
Researchers presented finding of yet another study that say otherwise. Speaking at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Irina Stepanov, Ph.D., the lead researcher, explained that just one pinch of smokeless tobacco, specifically moist snuff, had as much dangerous chemicals inside as did five smoking cigarettes. It was known before this latest study that there were 28 chemicals in smokeless tobacco.
It has been long known that there’s an association between smokeless tobacco and oral cancers, but this newest research shows that there’s also a connection between this type of tobacco and pancreatic cancers.
If you’ve been thinking about quitting smokeless tobacco, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the NIH, offers this brochure: Spit Tobacco: A Guide for Quitting.