Tobacco is a resource that our country has depended on for many decades, over that time there have been discussion about how it is healthy and studies that have been conducted showing how it’s harmful. To this day it hasn’t changed people’s perspective about it and hasn’t stopped them from buying it. Growing up in the south where tobacco was the main resource I have always wondered if certain types of tobacco cause different types of harm due to their complexion. In this case, I will discuss the different harms moist snuff tobacco causes vs tobacco in cigarettes.
Chewing tobacco has been around for years and we closely associate it to baseball and areas in the southern region of the country. Cigarettes on the other hand have been around for much longer and are associated worldwide. Chewing tobacco comes in a few different forms, but the two most popular are pouches and either long or fine cut. When smokeless tobacco was compared to cigarettes researchers have said that they both contain the same amount of nicotine content, the only difference is how it was delivered. In this article, according to Johnathan Foulds smokeless tobacco was considered to be 90 percent less harmful than a cigarette. He also commented on how both products can still cause mouth cancer and how smokeless tobacco recedes the gums, but had no evidence of this because of the fact that we don’t truly know what goes into these products and how they are being produced. Oral pathologist, Brad Rodu added some more interesting points to this subject. According to Rodu, smokeless tobacco users had a much lower chance of mouth cancer than someone who smokes, he also added that using smokeless tobacco was one way of helping an addicted smoker quit.
Another article compared the health risks of chewing tobacco versus smoking and how it wasn’t true that it helped cure your smoking addiction. According the Parade article, people that have been convinced that smokeless tobacco is less dangerous for you and will help “kick” your addiction have been misled. They followed up by providing some information to support their claim, noting that smokeless tobacco still contains about 28 cancer causing substances and about 30,000 chemicals. They added that the sugar in smokeless tobacco was a factor in tooth decay and your gums are more likely to decay as well due to the chemicals.
A study done by the committee of Human Resources at the University of California, San Francisco studied 10 men, ages 24 to 61, that had or have a smoking addiction for a total of 5 days at their study center. The morning after a night without food or tobacco the study began by studying the participants in four different scenarios. The first was smoking cigarettes of the participant’s choice for a total of 9 minutes with a puff every 45 seconds. A normal amount of oral snuff was then placed in their mouths for 30 minutes and the washed out. The participants then selected a dose of chewing tobacco they felt comfortable with and chewed the brand they preferred which was disposed of at their convenience. Nicotine gum was then chewed (2 pieces) for two hours while blood pressure and heart rate were monitored. The results looked closely at the nicotine input levels and all the results followed one same pattern in that, the nicotine levels decreased as time pasted which is expected. Cigarettes held the highest input level followed by smokeless tobacco and then nicotine gum and the younger group of subject came out to have the highest rise in nicotine levels. Heart rate was a factor in this study finding that cigarettes and chewing tobacco had the highest bpm (36 and 35), oral tobacco was slightly lower (29), and nicotine gum came in the lowest (19). The study also found that the heart rate was at its peak in all four categories within the first 30 minutes of use, both heart rate and blood pressure were almost back too normal by the end of the session in all categories.I do not believe that smokeless tobacco can cure your smoking addiction although it has a lower nicotine input. Smokeless tobacco and cigarettes may as well be considered similar in context to the chemicals found in them based on the history of harms they do to your body. The chart I discovered in the study got me thinking about how cigarettes are more commonly addictive than smokeless tobacco based on their nicotine inputs. When I saw the comparison between all four categories I realized how the misleading topic of smokeless tobacco helping you “kick” your smoking addiction could have arose based on the level of nicotine input in the gum. Since the nicotine input in the gum is supposed to adhere to the addiction the reason so many people struggle with it is because the gum input is so low and they figured that smokeless tobacco has more nicotine in it but still cancels out the smoking portion of the addiction.
Benowitz, Neal. “Nicotine Absorption and Cardiovascular Effects with Smokeless Tobacco Use: Comparison with Cigarettes and Nicotine Gum.” Wiley Online Library. N.p., 28 July 1998. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.
Quraishi, Fatima. “Smokeless Tobacco: No Chewing, No Spitting, and Fewer Cancer-Causing Chemicals?” ABC News. ABC News Network, 21 June 2006. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.
Parade. “The Risks: Chewing Tobacco vs. Cigarettes.” Parade. N.p., 25 July 2007. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.