Smokeless Tobacco Side Effects. Healthwise, is smokeless tobacco safer than smoked tobacco? Is tobacco less dangerous to your body if you don’t smoke it and, instead, take it in through other ways? Is Ashton Kutcher — who was spotted by the paparazzi buying snuff — less likely to develop cancer if he uses snuff rather than cigarettes?
Apparently, smokeless tobacco is not safe at all. It can still give you cancer (oral, esophageal, and pancreatic). Smokeless tobacco can also cause heart disease, gum disease, and oral lesions such as leukoplakia.
Let this be a warning to those who mistakenly think that chewing or simply inhaling tobacco is not hazardous to their health.
There is no such thing as safe tobacco according to the National Cancer Institute. From cancer.gov:
There is no safe form of tobacco. At least 28 chemicals in smokeless tobacco have been found to cause cancer.
The most harmful chemicals in smokeless tobacco are tobacco-specific nitrosamines, which are formed during the growing, curing, fermenting, and aging of tobacco.
The level of tobacco-specific nitrosamines varies by product. Scientists have found that the nitrosamine level is directly related to the risk of cancer.
In addition to a variety of nitrosamines, other cancer-causing substances in smokeless tobacco include polonium–210 (a radioactive element found in tobacco fertilizer) and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (also known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).
If you think smokeless tobacco does not cause addiction, you should think again. Nicotine is highly addictive and anyone who takes it in — whether through smoking or other means — could be addicted to the substance.
Now, what are the smokeless tobacco side effects or serious health effects of smokeless tobacco that you should be mindful of?
Here’s a list we compiled from cdc.gov:
- Nicotine addiction
- Cancer in the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas. Smokeless tobacco has cancer-causing chemicals formed during the growing, curing, fermenting, and aging of tobacco.
- Oral disease such as gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. In addition, smokeless tobacco can cause white or gray patches inside the mouth (leukoplakia) that can lead to cancer.
- Reproductive risks. Smokeless tobacco during pregnancy can increase the risk for early delivery and stillbirth.
- Developmental Risks. The nicotine imbibed during pregnancy can affect a baby’s brain development before birth.
- Increased risk of death from heart disease and stroke.
- Smokeless tobacco can cause nicotine poisoning in children.
We hope that the above smokeless tobacco side effects and health risks will discourage you from partaking in this Copenhagen Snuff.
Smokeless Tobacco Side Effects: Is It Safe and Not Addictive? posted 6 October 2016. Latest update on 24 June 2022.