Want minty breath? Chew something… minty!
Do you have some dip? Do you want to pack a lip? These are some questions I hear on Fridays and Saturdays. What may be commonly labeled “chew” is properly named snuff or smokeless tobacco. It is placed between the cheek and gum and it releases nicotine. Among my circle of friends, I see that snuff use is up among university students. As the Campus Coordinator for Leave the Pack Behind, I want to take a minute to explore and debunk what it means to “chew” tobacco.
FACT 1: There is a general increase in snuff use.
FACT 2: Snuff contains abrasives that scratch the mouth, salt that contributes to abnormal blood pressure and various cancer-causing ingredients. Other chemicals include lead, arsenic and cyanide.
FACT 3: Snuff affects oral hygiene: it causes gum recession, periodontal disease, and cavities – and our McMaster dental plan will not be enough to cover all of these issues.
MYTH 1: Snuff can be an effective alternative tobacco product to help quit smoking. — A study conducted by Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education showed that alternative tobacco products do not promote cessation.
MYTH 2: Chewing is safer than smoking. — This depends on what is in your snuff. Some products have toxicities that are risky.
DID YOU KNOW…
…one tin of snuff contains the same amount of nicotine as 60 cigarettes? People who use smokeless tobacco have been shown to go through the same withdrawal symptoms as cigarette smokers when they quit.
- Trends in the use of smokeless tobacco in United States, 2000-2010.
- Oral health risks of tobacco use and effects of cessation.
- Alternative tobacco product use and smoking cessation: a national study.
- The complexity of ‘harm reduction’ with smokeless tobacco as an approach to tobacco control in low-income and middle-income countries.
- Pharmacological interventions for the treatment of smokeless tobacco use.
- Government of Saskatchewan
- University of Iowa Health Care
- Leave the Pack Behind