Most patients recognize the health risks associated with smoking, but few know the risks of smokeless tobacco. Chewing tobacco and snuff are just as dangerous to your health as smoking cigarettes. Compared to cigarettes, chewing tobacco and snuff contain "considerably more" nicotine than cigarettes (1).

Smokeless tobacco’s 30 carcinogens cause major health risks (2). In fact, chewing tobacco causes slight abrasions in the tissue, absorbing more carcinogens. According to the International Association for Dental Research,at a recent symposium on smokeless tobacco, it was stated that snuff dipping was a significant factor associated with cancer of the cheek, gum, and pharynx (3).

While the use of smokeless tobacco steadily decreased in the general population over the past 15 years, the use of snuff is up by 15% (4). The biggest increase in the use of smokeless tobaccos, including snuff, is among young people, mainly teenage boys (5).

If you use smokeless tobacco in any form, then quit. The risk of cancer is a serious health concern. Even after quitting, talk with us about screenings for oral cancer on a regular basis. We can take full x-rays of your mouth and jaws to detect any unusual growths. Constant, regular check-ups increase your chance of spotting any possible cancerous growths.

[1] "Making it Official: U.S. Government Closer to Listing Smokeless Tobacco as Carcinogen", ADA News, April 20, 1998, Vol. 29, No.8. 
[2] Ibid. 
[3] International Association for Dental Research, Notes from symposium on the use of chewing tobacco. 
[4] "Smokeless Tobacco an Oral Health Risk,” Dentistry Today, May 1998, Vol. 17, No. 5. 
[5] Ibid.


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