The Health Consequences of Smokeless Tobacco
Spit is a common tobacco product used amongst young people and athletes. Often flavored, these smokeless tobacco products are viewed as both tasty and appealing.
But the health consequences associated with this product are serious—just as serious as dangers associated with cigarettes.
It is imperative that people recognize these consequences.
What is Smokeless Tobacco?
Smokeless tobacco is often called spit tobacco because it is used in the mouth. Spit consists of tobacco, nicotine, sweeteners for flavor, abrasives, salts, and many other chemicals.
One form of spit tobacco is chew, a leafy form of the substance. Another is snuff, a powdery ground tobacco that can be sniffed or chewed.
One of the appealing elements of smokeless tobacco is the added flavors, including mint, licorice, or cherry flavors. Because of this, young children are attracted to this product, and some start using it as early as nine or ten years old.
Smokeless tobacco should never be perceived as a substitute for cigarettes. There are over 3,000 chemicals and 28 carcinogens found in spit tobacco. It is just as lethal to one’s health as inhaling a cigarette.
Consequences of Using Smokeless Tobacco
It is essential that people do not interpret the lack of smoke or the flavorful taste of spit as fun and harmless. There are several consequences to one’s health from using this product. Because there are over 3,000 chemicals found in smokeless tobacco, there are elevated risks of users developing throat or mouth cancer. Whitish sores may develop inside the mouth called leukoplakia.
Users’ heart rates are often elevated, as is their blood pressure, increasing their chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. The chemicals in the spit decrease the body’s circulation and oxygen levels, leading to increased lethargy and dizzy spells.
Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, and nicotine is extremely addictive. An addicted body is one that only seeks to satisfy its addiction.
Furthermore, users have a higher risk of developing tooth and gum disease due to the nature of this product’s use.
Reference: Health Concerns: Smokeless Tobacco [http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/body-corps/smokeless-sansfumee-eng.php]
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