Chewing tobacco is not necessarily any better for one’s health than smoking it. Smokers who rely on smokeless tobacco as a better alternative to cigarettes or a stop-smoking aid may be shocked to find out the health ramifications. The smokeless tobacco boom is not all it seems at first glance, especially when it comes to public health.
Analyzing the Effects
Only a handful of studies have analyzed the heart effects of smokeless tobacco. The findings are not as strong as researchers expected. Studies did not find smoke-free tobacco products were strongly correlated with high blood pressure (a risk factor for heart disease). Smokeless tobacco users did show higher risks of 30% and 40% of the conditions compared with those who did not.
Doing No Favors
Nearly 8 million people get nicotine through smokeless tobacco, thinking by avoiding cigarettes and cigars they are doing their bodies a huge favor. Overall, users of smokeless tobacco have a lower risk of heart problems than smokers but smokeless tobacco users have increased risks of certain mouth and throat cancers which comes from absorbing toxic carcinogens. Smokeless tobacco contains the same chemical compounds, including nicotine, which is linked to heart disease in cigarettes. Free radicals are generated which promote inflammation and blood clots that stiffen heart arteries.
No Safe Alternative
The American Heart Association is taking the stance that no form of nicotine-containing tobacco is safe. While shifting around from cigarettes to smokeless products may lessen heart risk but it is not an effective way to quit smoking. In the United States, the American Heart Association notes since government enforced bans on smoking in public and passage of laws, tobacco manufacturers have targeted users of smokeless tobacco and even try to increase profits by getting people hooked on both types of tobacco. The addictiveness of smokeless products is concerning and people who moved from smokeless tobacco products sometimes take the leap into smoking regular tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars, among others.
The risk sare enough to prompt researchers to advise against depending on smokeless tobacco products as either an alternative to smoking or a way to quit. It is not able to be said one way or the other if it is a safer alternative. The only truly safe alternative is to give it up altogether or not start using.
Cypress Lakes provides a space for you to work on addiction and recovery. If you are struggling with addiction to nicotine, smokeless tobacco, or other substances, we are here to help. Give us a call to find out how we can support your recovery journey. 877-938-1577