The more you know about smokeless tobacco, the more you’ll understand the risks.
Smokeless tobacco is tobacco that’s not burned. It’s also known as chewing tobacco, oral tobacco, spit or spitting tobacco, dip, chew, and snuff.
Most people chew or suck (dip) the tobacco in their mouth and spit out the tobacco juices that build up. There’s also “spitless” smokeless tobacco.
There are two main types:
Yes. Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, which is addictive. People who use smokeless tobacco and people who smoke have similar levels of nicotine in their blood.
With smokeless tobacco, nicotine is absorbed through the mouth and gets into the blood. Then it goes to the brain.
Even after people take tobacco out of their mouths, nicotine is still being absorbed into their blood. Research shows that nicotine stays in the blood longer for people who use smokeless tobacco than for smokers.
Yes. Smokeless tobacco has high levels of chemicals and other substances that can cause cancer. People who use smokeless tobacco have a high risk of mouth and throat cancer.
People who use smokeless tobacco have more dental problems than people who smoke or people who don’t use tobacco products. The sugar in smokeless tobacco can cause decay and painful mouth sores. Dip and chew can cause people’s gums to pull away from their teeth. This leads to loose teeth. Smokeless tobacco can also cause leathery white patches that can turn into cancer.
Smokeless tobacco is expensive. The cost adds up. Each can of dip costs an average of $3. Someone who uses two cans a week could spend about $300 a year. Using a can per day could cost almost $1,100 a year.
Chewing tobacco costs about $2 a pouch. Someone who uses a pouch every day could spend over $700 a year.
Quitting smokeless tobacco is a lot like quitting smoking, but it’s also a little different. Get tips to quit smokeless tobacco.