The Great American Spit Out 2013 hopes to get smokeless tobacco users to spit it out for 24-hours, and hopefully for good. Like the name implies, smokeless tobacco isn’t burned, it is put directly into your mouth. Big Tobacco makes products like chew, dip, snuff, and snus look fun and easy, and they come in a wide range of flavors. Their marketing says you can be anywhere and still enjoy your tobacco. But they fail to tell you about the 28 cancer causing ingredients in their products. All carry serious health dangers.
Since smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, it is addictive. It also contains cancer-causing “tobacco-specific nitrosamines” which can cause cancers of the pancreas, esophagus, stomach, pharynx, larynx, and oral cavity (tongue, lips, gums, cheek, throat and mouth). You can’t take nitrosamines out of tobacco as they are formed during the growing, curing, fermenting and aging process. If the nitrosamines don’t scare you, the other ingredients should.
Ingredients such as formaldehyde, nickle, arsenic, acetaldehyde, ethyl carbamate, and angelica lactone are in smokeless tobacco. Hydrazine, used in rocket fuel, causes seizures, comas, and cancer. You will also find a once popular vanilla substitute called coumarin in your smokeless tobacco. It has been banned by the FDA since 1954 when someone noticed tumor formation. Uranium-235 and Polonium-210, both used in the nuclear industry, are also ingredients in smokeless tobacco.
The sweeteners used in smokeless tobacco can cause multiple problems for your mouth such as tooth decay and gum recession. Particles in the tobacco scratches the enamel of your teeth, contributing to cavities. Over time the sweeteners and irritants cause your gums to recede leading to gum disease which can destroy the soft tissues and bone, causing you to lose your teeth.
It’s time to spit it out for good. There are groups and organizations willing to help you get your life back from tobacco. Here are just a few:
National Cancer Institute 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848)
TobaccoFreeFlorida.com or 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (1-877-822-6669)