Smokeless tobacco, called chewing tobacco is just as addictive as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. People who have a chewing tobacco addiction have just as hard a time as quitting as a smoker. Why? Chewing tobacco has Nicotine, among other things in it that cause the user to become addicted. In fact holding some chew in your mouth for thirty minutes is the same as smoking three cigarettes. Triple the amount of Nicotine in cigarettes.
It is true chewing smokeless tobacco won’t cause lung cancer, but it does cause cancer of the mouth. Not only that, but it stains the teeth and fouls the breath. It also causes bone and gum loss in the mouth. Not only that, but the teeth can loosen and be lost over time. If that isn’t bad enough chewing tobacco causes sore gums, gum recession and eats into the inner lips. These sores can turn into cancer after a time.
Cancer of the mouth is bad enough, but it goes further. Cancer of the throat and voice box can be treated, but surgery will leave you disfigured. Then there is Pancreatic and Stomach Cancer.
Smokeless tobacco affects the blood pressure. If the user has high blood pressure it can be elevated by using tobacco. High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks. Not only the blood pressure affected, but ulcers can form if the juice is accidentally swallowed.
We have discussed what chewing tobacco does to the body. Why would anyone even start with dipping or chewing in the first place? Young people may do it because their friends, parent, or favorite sports figure does. They may think chewing isn’t as bad as smoking. Some children start as early as nine years old. This can lead to life time addiction.
Men or women may dip or chew for “feel good” reasons. It does affect the mood to create a calming effect.
Perhaps they have stress in their lives and feel chewing will relax them and relieve the pressure. It would compare to a smoker having cigarettes or some one being addicted to alcohol.
Chewing tobacco causes problems socially too. It is very disgusting to see some one spit on the side walk or in the parking lot. Spitting out the car window is gross too. Let’s face it, the stuff stinks, is unsightly and nasty to see in spittoons or cups.
There are many reasons to quit. Is quitting going to be easy? It would take some work, just as quitting drug use would. Nicotine patches are one way to try to beat the addiction. These would be the same ones used for quitting smoking. They are worn on the skin for a number of weeks to replace the nicotine from the tobacco.
Nicotine gum is chewed thus putting something in the mouth instead of tobacco. The nicotine gum has to be chewed for thirty minutes to replace the nicotine in the tobacco. Or there is fake “chew”, spearmint leaves that resemble tobacco that will help replace the feeling of having something in your mouth instead of tobacco.
Nasal spray which contains nicotine can be helpful. Other ways to replace the need to chew can be chewing sugarless gum, eating jerky, or sucking on hard candy. (I am suggesting sugarless gum or candy to help protect the teeth.) With the damage cause by smokeless tobacco why add sugar to the mix?
Once you stop using the tobacco your body will go through go through a period of discomfort due to withdrawal. Weighing the risks involved with using tobacco would be worth it to kick the habit.