Facts and Figures

Debunking Common Dip Myths: 5 Health Risks of Chewing Tobacco

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Photo Credit: lburgan – Pixabay

As the new year picks up, resolutions are tested as many seek to do away with harmful behaviors, like smoking tobacco products. Quitting tobacco has proven to be a tough challenge for smokers everywhere due to the product’s highly addictive nature and severe withdrawal symptoms. Intense cravings, anxiousness, and nausea are all common side effects of the detoxification process, causing many to look toward other methods to satiate cravings.

To combat addiction, many have turned to equally-harmful chewing tobacco to satisfy cravings without understanding the highly addictive nature of smokeless products. One can of chewing tobacco contains more than two times the amount of nicotine that an average pack of cigarettes has, making them equally—if not more—harmful than smoking products. Toxic chemicals are just as prevalent in smokeless and put users at high-risk for various cancers and health complications.

Tobacco-users looking to quit should contact their primary healthcare provider to gain safe, helpful cessation tips and tricks. Uninsured individuals can shop for health insurance plans from AHiX Marketplace before scheduling an appointment with their general practitioner to ensure the right plan for their specific needs.

Health risks associated with chewing tobacco

Numerous dangerous chewing tobacco myths fool smokers into usage by promising a healthier, less-addictive substance. However, smokeless products carry many of the same smoking-related risks.

Causes various cancers

A common misconception around chewing tobacco products is they decrease the risk of cancer. In reality, smokeless products contain more than twenty-eight toxic chemicals that increase numerous cancers at the same rate as cigarettes. Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA)—which increase the risk of cancer diagnosis— exist in all forms of tobacco ingestion and wreak havoc on the immune systems and overall health.

Mouth, tongue, cheek, and gum cancer are all extremely common among tobacco users—regardless of the ingestion method.

Induces mouth complications

Both cigarettes and chewing tobacco create detrimental, expensive mouth and teeth complications for users. Smokeless products often produce high leukoplakia rates—a gray-white infectious patch on the mouth’s interior walls. These spots are challenging, sometimes impossible to remove, and often grow cancerous overtime. Alongside possible cancer-risks, chewing tobacco products cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum break-down, resulting in painful, irreversible consequences.

Highly addictive

Although a common line-of-thinking, chewing tobacco products are not a suitable replacement for smokers looking to quit. In reality, non-smoking tobacco ingestion methods contain equal—sometimes higher—nicotine levels and are highly addictive, easy to abuse, and often overused. Typically, people use chewing products more frequently throughout the day, as they are easier to conceal than traditional cigarettes.

Withdrawal symptoms for recovering addicts are the same for smokers and chewers alike. Uncontrolled appetite, dizzying mood irregularities, and intense bouts of nausea are all possible regardless of the ingestion method.

Increase risk of heart disease and stroke

Just as a pack of smokes increases health complications, chewing products cause multiple adverse symptoms for avid users. Increased heart rate and blood pressure are typical ailments nicotine-users experience regularly. Both symptoms increase heart disease and stroke risk, making continued tobacco use hazardous and potentially fatal.

Potentially poison unassuming children

Among the many risks posed to tobacco consumers, a separate set of risks exist for those with little ones around. Often, smokeless nicotine and tobacco forms resemble candy or snack packaging, making it an easy target for unknowing children.

Although challenging, quitting tobacco products is not impossible—especially with adequate support and resources. Start your journey today, and see what a tobacco-free life has to offer.

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