Many people prefer to chew tobacco instead of smoking it. Chewing tobacco dates back to late 19 century and it is known to be the most ancient way of consuming leaves of tobacco.
So, does chewing tobacco make it a less dangerous option then smoking? Alternatively, if you choose to chew or smoke, are you prone to the same level of diseases and risk?
The distinction between smoking and dipping
Smoking or chewing any tobacco substance is hazardous to the health of the body. The only distinctive reason in here is that if you choose to chew it, others do not succumb to passive smoking because of it. Hence, if you are opting to dip snuff as an alternative to smoking you are solely harming yourself.
Hazards to the body
Tobacco is composed of many cancer causing and mutagenic agents along with high levels of nicotine. No matter what your choice of consumption is, these substances are always there and they would enter in your body regardless.
The risk of oral cancer runs the highest with chew and snuff products. Mastication of tobacco within your oral cavity, which includes your gums, teeth, cheeks, throat and tongue are all prone to developing cancer. This cancer can rapidly spread to the adjoining areas in the oral cavity making it a situation that can be cumbersome. Moreover, pancreatic and lung cancers can hail from the practice of dipping.
Nicotine is known to be very addictive in nature and this is what hooks any chewer to consume more. Nicotine tends to increase blood pressure and heart rate. It is said to block blood vessels paving way to heart attacks and stroke.
As per the findings of a study, it was found out that a smoker who is less than 40 years of age is 5 times more prone to having heart attacks. In addition, chronic pulmonary disease, emphysema, atherosclerosis and peripheral vascular diseases are all linked to excessive nicotine consumption.
When you opt to chew tobacco, you also augment the threat to acquire various infections. Some of these include common cold, HIV, pneumococcal disease, chronic bronchitis and other related pulmonary and respiratory diseases.
Hazards to the reproductive health in women
Infant deaths have also been related to chewing and smoking. Newborns who surrender to sudden deaths have been known to have elements of the aforementioned diseases and traces of nicotine in lungs. Nicotine enters the bloodstream of infants via breast milk of their mothers who are either in the habit of chewing or smoking.
Chewing or dipping has adverse consequences on the reproductive health of a person. It cuts down on the sperm count in men while it reduces birth weights amongst pregnant women.
Composition and effects of tobacco
There are many traditional stories attached to the use and effects of tobacco. First, it is a complete myth that chewed tobacco has to be necessarily spit out. Many new companies out there have devised ways claiming that the chewed product needs not to be thrown out. Though it is less of a messy option, but its danger to health are still present.
Not many people are aware of the fact that unlike smoking, some snuff has large amounts of sugar in it. Sweeteners are added to improve the taste because tobacco, in its elemental forms is very bitter. Consequently, these extraordinary amounts of sugar intake lead to diseases of gums so much so that the gums tend to lose their retaining power for teeth. The disease is commonly referred to as periodontal disease.
The periodontal disease is a severe condition in which gums apart from losing their retentive ability also start receding. There is a lot of exposure towards dentin and empty pockets develop due to the gap between gums and teeth giving house for bacteria to grow. In addition, dentin that is exposed is more vulnerable towards hot and cold sensations along with tooth decay. This is all because of the increased production of sulfur compounds in your oral cavity.
Common sense affirms that the longer you go on chewing tobacco, the higher is the possibility of you developing bad breath. The fact that you are encouraging the growth of bacteria and gum diseases, bad breath is only a small consequence of this whole dilemma.
Smokeless tobacco has abrasives. These abrasives stem from ingredients contained in the tobacco leaves. You can only imagine the effects of abrasive constituents in your mouth. It wears and tears the sensitive and fleshy surfaces in the oral cavity and the protective layers of your teeth. Now when this happens, nicotine attains a more direct access and seeps directly in your blood capillaries. Some of this damage starts to reverse as soon as you stop chewing tobacco.
Though one may find it hard to believe, smokeless tobacco also has high proportions of salt in it. This is one another disastrous factor for it can have negative consequences for your kidney and bladder and of course, blood pressure as well.
Research has proven that tobacco can have elements of cyanide in it. Cyanide is known as the quickest way to cause death especially if the proportion is high. Similarly, lead in tobacco once dipped, can quickly penetrate in your bloodstream. It can be quite hazardous because lead has multitude of targets in our body. It can damage the nervous system, cardiovascular system and kidneys. It can also make your immune system weak making your body more susceptible from attacks of diseases.