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Chewing Tobacco (Smokeless Tobacco)

Chewing Tobacco (Smokeless Tobacco) Quick Overview

Patient Comments
  • Smokeless tobacco is sometimes known as chewing tobacco or spitting tobacco. It is held in the mouth between the cheeks and gums instead of being smoked.
  • Snuff and chewing tobacco are the main forms of smokeless tobacco. Snus is a form of finely ground snuff that originated in Norway and Sweden.
  • Snuff and chewing tobacco are commonly sold in tins or pouches under brand names like Copenhagen or Skoal.
  • Like smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco is associated with a number of health risks, including cancer.
  • Snuff and chewing tobacco contain at least 28 cancer-causing agents (carcinogens).
  • The main carcinogens in smokeless tobacco are called tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs).
  • Chewing tobacco and snuff contain nicotine, which causes addiction.
  • Although nicotine is absorbed more slowly from smokeless tobacco than from cigarettes, 3 to 4 times more nicotine is absorbed from smokeless tobacco than from a cigarette.
  • The nicotine from smokeless tobacco stays longer in the bloodstream than nicotine from a cigarette.
  • Smokeless tobacco is used worldwide in a number of different cultures.
  • Smokeless tobacco is not the same thing as e-cigarettes, which are designed to provide nicotine in vapor form without burning tobacco.
Last Reviewed 11/17/2017

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Chewing Tobacco (Smokeless Tobacco):

Chewing Tobacco - Experience

Please share your experience with chewing tobacco, for example, how long have you been using tobacco, have you tried to quit, etc.?

Chewing Tobacco - Health Risks

Have you suffered any complications from chewing tobacco?

Smokeless Tobacco - Reducing Tobacco Use

What steps have you taken to reduce your use of smokeless tobacco?

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