Six Myths About Smokeless Tobacco
To get users to feel more comfortable and safer about using smokeless tobacco, many myths have been developed and disseminated over the years. These myths can make you believe that you won’t be affected by the negative consequences of using tobacco as long as you take “preventative measures” or use a particular type or form of tobacco. This is all baloney, and we are here to bust those myths.
Myth #1: Since it is not smoked, smokeless tobacco is not dangerous for your health
Any form of tobacco is bad for you. The tobacco in smokeless tobacco products still contains nicotine (which is the addictive substance in tobacco) and includes other chemicals as well. It can cause tooth loss, tooth decay, bad breath, receding gums, and oral disease. Just like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco causes harm to your oral health.
Myth #2: It’s safer than cigarettes
Many people use smokeless tobacco to try to quit smoking. However, each time you chew tobacco, you get more nicotine delivered to your system than smoking a cigarette does (because most of the nicotine from cigarettes goes up in smoke). In one chew or dip, you can get up to five times the amount of nicotine in one cigarette.
Myth #3: Some forms of smokeless tobacco are safer than others
There is dissolvable tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, twists, and plugs. But tobacco is tobacco, regardless of its form. All types of tobacco cause the same health issues, and there’s no form of it that is safer than the other. Chewing tobacco can be as addictive as smoking because the nicotine it contains gets absorbed through the pores in the mouth.
Myth #4: Good dental hygiene reduces the risk of tobacco-related disease
You may have heard that using mouthwash and brushing teeth reduces the risk of oral disease from smokeless tobacco. The Wisconsin Dental Association says that there’s little truth in that because the chemicals from chewing tobacco can alter your gum tissue cells. Mouthwash, flossing and brushing only affect the surface.
Myth #5: You’re not at risk for cancers
The chemicals from any form of tobacco cause long-lasting inflammation in the body. That, in turn, leads to various chronic diseases – cancer, as well as heart disease, emphysema, and bronchitis. Smokeless tobacco products contain about 4,000 other chemicals, and about 30 of them have linked to cancer. Those chemicals come from tobacco-specific nitrosamines, which form when the tobacco plant grows and is aged, as well as from the fertilizer producers use to grow tobacco.
Myth #6: Only men and older people use smokeless tobacco
The majority (about 90%) of smokeless tobacco users in the U.S. are male, but a considerable number of women also use these products. Women experience more trouble when trying to quit smokeless tobacco. They are also less successful with abstinence programs compared to men. As for the age of users, the American Cancer Society reports that almost half of users started using smokeless tobacco when they were 18 or younger.
Quitting smokeless tobacco is a hard thing to do, and the most important thing to succeeding is in choosing the right alternative from the start. TeaZa tobacco-free pouches are very practical because they’re about the same shape and size as smokeless tobacco pouches. That makes them a natural fit to replace the craving of chewers and dippers. TeaZa products are a healthy alternative to energy supplements as well, as they deliver increased focus, mental alertness, and energy without the side-effects of traditional energy supplements.
Ready to Quit Chewing Tobacco?
If you’re ready to quit chewing tobacco, check out our resources to quit chewing tobacco!