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Smokeless Tobacco (Spit Tobacco)

Smokeless Tobacco (Spit Tobacco)

Smokeless tobacco, or spit tobacco, is also known as chewing tobacco, dip, chew, and snuff. Most people chew or suck (dip) the tobacco in their mouth and spit out the tobacco juices that build up. Despite the claims of tobacco companies, spit tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking. Smokeless/Spit tobacco contain over 3,000 chemicals which include:

  • Formaldehyde, found in embalming fluid
  • Acetone, found in paint stripper
  • Arsenic, a potent poison
  • Ammonia, found in toilet bowl cleaner
  • Polonium-210, found in nuclear waste
  • Nicotine, an insecticide
    • Smokeless tobacco contains roughly 144 milligrams of nicotine, which is equivalent to about four packs of cigarettes (80 cigarettes)
  • Cadmium, which is used in car batteries
  • Nickel, a known carcinogen (cancer causing agent)

Health Effects of Smokeless/Spit Tobacco

Short-Term Health Effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Sores on cheek, gums, and tongue
  • Cavities/stained teeth
  • Dizziness/nausea
  • Gingivitis
  • Ruined sense of taste and smell

Long-Term Health Effects:

  • Leukoplakia (mouth disease characterized by white patches and oral lesions on cheek, gum, and/or tongue)
  • Various cancers (mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, stomach, and pancreatic)
    • Smokeless tobacco users are 4-6 times more likely to develop oral cancer compared to non-users.
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Tooth and bone loss