Is Smokeless Tobacco Harmless?


Definitely not.

Not because you do not inhale or swallow anything, there is automatically no danger associated with it. Smokeless tobacco, also called chewing tobacco, comes as loose leaves or fine grains in pouches which users put inside the mouth and let it sit there for a while before they suck the tobacco juices and spit whenever saliva builds up. You do not have to swallow the leaves or the grains for tobacco to be inside your system; the chewing and sucking of juices would be enough.

effects of smokeless tobaccoThe effects of chewing tobacco range from the immediate, less scary ones to the long-term, more frightening conditions. Someone who has been chewing tobacco may soon enough develop discoloration of the teeth and persistent bad breath. Also, about 70% of those who chew tobacco suffer from mouth sores.

More serious effects are bleeding gums, falling out of teeth, elevated high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and oral cancer. Oral cancer can affect the lips, the tongue, the floor of the mouth, the roof of the mouth, the cheeks, or the gums.

To quit this harmful habit, one must see a doctor to ask for the options available. It is important to be surrounded by family and close friends as one takes this challenging process. Possible strategies to break the practice are using nicotine patches or nicotine gums; chewing healthier substitutes like dried fruits, beef jerky, raisins, shredded coconut or sugarless gums; and getting busy with other activities like playing sports or involving in group exercises or group studies.

Pass it on. Help a friend or a loved one.
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