Smokeless tobacco is presented as an alternative to smoking cigarettes, although smokeless tobacco has some benefits over smoking cigarettes, it also causes harm to the user. There are different forms of smokeless tobacco such as chewing tobacco that come in the forms of as Plug/Twist, Verb Use (consider revising). Snuff another form of smokeless tobacco composed of grounded tobacco leaves requires you to place it between the gums and cheeks, then spit out the juices or swallow if you please. The newest version called snus, in which you place them between the gum/cheek, but you do not have to spit out juices. Smokeless tobacco should not be used as a harm reduction strategy because it still causes health problems for the user such as oral cancers, heart diseases, and reproductive problems, while also being able to cause addition to the user (MayoClinic, 2009).
Smokeless tobacco and cigarettes both contain harmful chemicals, while smokeless tobacco contains a lower count. Although it contains less harmful chemicals, it still has chemicals that cause concern. Smokeless tobacco contains carcinogenic chemicals such as nitrosamines, which come in the form of nitrosonornicotine, NNK, and nicotine. Nicotine is the main additive chemical in cigarettes, but Passive Voice (consider revising) in smokeless tobacco (Goldberg, 2005). Nicotine is absorbed through the mouth directly to the bloodstream, where it will soon enter the brain. When smokeless tobacco users remove the tobacco from their mouth, it is still absorbed into the blood stream. Nicotine remains in the blood longer for users of smokeless tobacco vs. regular smokers (NCI, 2010). The user will suffer the same withdrawal symptoms of a regular smoker such as cravings, increased appetite, irritability, and depressed mood. Developing tolerance from the nicotine in smokeless tobacco can lead to the user leaving the tobacco in their mouths over night or swallowing the juices (MayoClinic, 2009). Even though smokeless tobacco contains fewer chemicals, it does not necessarily mean that the user will stop smoking (Goldberg, 2005).
Smokeless tobacco can cause oral problems for the user, such as Leukoplakia that creates white patches within the user’s mouth, which can soon turn into oral cancer. Oral cancers are cancers of the mouth, which can affect the throat and the voice box. Research shows that smokeless tobacco users are at a four times higher greater risk of developing oral cancer (NCI2, 2010). Smokeless tobacco can cause gum recession periodontitis, where the gums will recede and will not grow back. The periodontitis will leave the bony part of the teeth expose, while the smokeless tobacco can also cause gingivitis (Goldberg, 2005). Long-term users of smokeless tobacco, such as snuff can reach a point of 50 times greater risk of developing oral cancer (Cancer Prevention, 2008). The lesser oral effect of smokeless tobacco is bad breath, drooling, and tooth stains (NCI2, 2010).