Fans of smokeless tobacco may be trading in their cigarettes. But they’re still blowing smoke about cigarette replacements. They say going smokeless is safer than lighting up. Health experts disagree. They insist there are no safe forms of tobacco. The website tobaccoharmreduction.org lists the main reasons for going smokeless. Here are a few of those reasons followed by opposing views from leading health experts.
Smokeless tobacco is not a major health risk.
Experts say: There are at least 28 chemicals in smokeless tobacco that cause cancer. Smokeless tobacco has been linked to esophageal, oral and pancreatic cancers. Other serious health risks include:
- Higher risk of mouth or nasal cancer.
- Gum problems, tooth wear and cavities.
- Higher risk of heart disease
Smokeless tobacco helps people quit smoking. Experts say: There is no proof that smokeless products help smokers quit.5 Studies have found mixed results or none at all. Using smokeless products to quit also sets you up for new health problems.
Smokeless tobacco is not as addictive as smoking cigarettes. Experts say: All tobacco products are addictive. Smokeless tobacco users and smokers show similar levels of nicotine in their blood. When using smokeless tobacco, nicotine goes right into the blood. Once there, it stays longer.
Ways to quit
Quitting tobacco is difficult, especially if you’re on your own. There are a lot of ways to quit smoking and resources to help. Here are a few tips to get started:
- Ask for help from family members, friends and coworkers.
- Talk to your doctor about therapy or medications.
Join a program. You’ll have a much better chance of success.
And, we can help, too. Check out our health and wellness resources at empireblue.com.