We often talk on this site about the dangers of smoking, but what about smokeless tobacco? Smokeless tobacco is any product that is held in the mouth. Nicotine, the addicting substance in tobacco, is absorbed through the lining of the mouth. Smokeless tobacco products may be perceived safer than cigarettes because it is not associated with lung cancer, but the truth is these products can cause serious harm. Smokeless tobacco increases a person’s risk for nicotine addiction, as well as oral diseases. These products are associated with an increased risk for oral cancer, pharyngeal cancer, laryngeal cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer (Ebbert, Elrashidi, & Stead, 2015).
Consider trying to quit if you are chewing tobacco or using other forms of smokeless tobacco. Create your own quit plan by tracking your triggers and developing support with the EX-community. The nicotine patch, gum, or lozenge are all effective options to help you quit smokeless, as well as smoked tobacco. In addition, hard candy, sunflower seeds, mints and gum are helpful when having urges to chew. You can also contact a tobacco treatment specialist if you are struggling to quit.
Ebbert, J.O., Elrashidi M.Y., & Stead L.F. (2015). Interventions for smokeless tobacco use cessation. Cochrane Database System Review Oct.26 (10). doi: 10.1002/14651858. CD004306.pub5