Spit it out, throw away the can and get ready for the Great American Spit Out on February 19. Every one should know by now that smoking is bad for you, but using smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative. Cigarettes contain nicotine, a chemical that causes you to become addicted, but smokeless tobacco contains 3 to 4 times more nicotine than cigarettes, causing the addiction even tougher to kick. Let’s face it, whether you take a puff or a pinch, you are putting chemicals into your body that shouldn’t be there.
So why should you ditch the snuff, chewing tobacco and dip? Check the ingredients listed in smokeless tobacco by the US Smokeless Tobacco Company, and you will not find “carcinogens” listed, yet that is what researchers have found. In fact, there are “28 known carcinogens in smokeless tobacco,” and “tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA) are considered to be the most important due to the combination of abundance and strong carcinogenicity.” Two of the main carcinogenic compounds are NNK and KKK, but others include “N–nitrosamino acids, volatile N–nitrosamines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), volatile aldehydes, hydrazine, metals, and radioactive polonium.” And let’s not forget nicotine; you will absorb three to four times more in smokeless than from smoking.
Did you know most smokeless tobacco is sweetened to make it taste good? “The range of sugar contents for the pouch tobaccos tested was between 24 and 65 percent and for the plug tobaccos 13 to 50 percent.” And they need all that sugar to mask the taste of all the other ingredients such as formaldehyde, cadmium used in batteries, cyanide, arsenic, benzene, and lead.
You can get the same diseases from smokeless tobacco as you can from smoking including heart disease, heart attacks, and high blood pressure. If you have diabetes, smokeless can make controlling your numbers very difficult. And let’s not forget about cavities from all that sugar, gums that are receding, and sores in your mouth that don’t go away. And cancer. “Every year over 481,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed.” And oral cancer from using smokeless tobacco has bad survival rates; of those diagnosed, only about half will survive more than five years.” But if caught early, oral cancer can be highly curable. If you notice a sore in your mouth, waiting is not a good idea.
So, after all this information, are you ready to ditch smokeless? There is better stuff out there, like money in your pocket, more time with your family and less time running out to buy your fix and hiding it from them. There is also the peace of mind knowing you are on the path to better health and no longer the slave to tobacco.
There are also organizations out there waiting to help you 24/7. If you are a member of the military, UCanQuit2.org offers live chats with an expert coach. Use their “support locator” to find the number in your area. Killthecan.org is a site with former smokeless tobacco members helping other members become former users. Quitsmokless.org and TheQuit.org are two additional sites you may be interested in visiting on your journey to quitting smokeless. Our mention is not an endorsement of any site, but just a way to help you get started ditching the snuff for the better stuff in life.
Click HERE to learn why you should “Ditch the Snuff”, click HERE to read more about smokeless tobacco facts, and click the links throughout the story to learn more about the dangers of smokeless tobacco.