Smokeless tobacco is better known as spit tobacco, chewing tobacco, chew, and dip.
Users put tobacco leaves into their mouth and suck on them instead of smoking them
Smokeless tobacco comes as either snuff or chewing tobacco:
Snuff is finer-grain tobacco that sometimes comes in pouches
that look like teabags.
Chewing tobacco is larger-grain tobacco leaves that are twisted
or shredded and come loose in paper packets or small cans.
Smokeless tobacco users place snuff or chewing tobacco between their inner cheek
and gums on the lower part of their jaw and suck on the tobacco juices. Users spit
often because the saliva builds up while tobacco is in their mouths. This sucking
and chewing allows nicotine to get into the bloodstream through the gums, without
the need to swallow the tobacco juices.
Why Do People Use Smokeless Tobacco?
Smokeless tobacco has been around for hundreds of years. It became more popular
in the U.S. when baseball players in the 1970s began using it, thinking it was a safer
alternative to smoking.
is in all forms of tobacco. This chemical is so addictive that nicotine
addiction often starts after the first use. People addicted to nicotine need more
of it to get the same feeling as the first time. Many people still believe that smokeless
tobacco is a safer alternative to smoking, but this isn't true. Using smokeless tobacco
is as dangerous as smoking cigarettes, and can cause serious damage to the body.
Why Is Smokeless Tobacco Dangerous?
Serious health risks of smokeless tobacco include:
cracked/bleeding lips and gums
receding gums, which can eventually make teeth fall out
Oral cancer (cancer of the mouth) is the cancer most often linked to smokeless
tobacco use. But users also can get cancer in the stomach, the throat, and the bladder
because the chemicals from the tobacco get into their digestive
systems through their spit.
In the most severe cases, problems caused by smokeless tobacco can lead to permanent
disfigurement, such as the loss of teeth and even bones in the face.
Smokeless tobacco also causes bad breath, yellowish-brown stains on the teeth,
and mouth sores in most users.
How Do I Quit Smokeless Tobacco?
If you use smokeless tobacco, these tips can help you quit:
Use nicotine gum or a nicotine patch, but only after talking to your doctor about
which would work best for you.
Distract yourself with healthier activities. Try lifting weights, shooting baskets,
swimming, biking, and other sports.
Talk to friends and family for support.
Try these substitutes for smokeless tobacco while trying to quit:
tobacco-free mint leaf snuff
Quitting is hard, and using smokeless tobacco while trying to quit is common. But
don't give up. Your chances of quitting get better each time you try!