Smokeless Tobacco

The American Cancer Society reports that over 12 million people use some form of smokeless tobacco also known as chewing tabacco.  Over the last decade the largest increase  has been among the 8-17 year old age group. The tobacco industry has taken advantage of this increase by exploiting the image that athletes have on our young athletes and children. They are sponsoring sporting events such as professional rodeos, women's tennis, monster truck rallies, and car racing events, not to mention the association of baseball players with smokeless tobacco.
        • Dental caries
        • Periodontal (gum) effects.
        • Oral cavity soft tissue alterations.
        • Leucoplakia (White potentially pre-cancerous patches in the mouth).
        • Cancer of the oral pharynx (throat) and oral cavity.
        • Addiction to nicotine.
        • Hemodynamic (blood) alterations due to the sugar content leading to increased blood sugar levels.
The highly addictive properties of nicotine has been recorded throughout the medical/dental literature. Nicotine has been reported as more addictive then Heroine. The direct association of smokeless tobacco and cancer is well documented. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that tobacco snuff contains the organic carcinogen nitrosonornicotine (NNN) which readily produces malignant tumors of the trachea, esophagus, liver, and oral cavity. Statistics show that 15%-20% of all adolescent men currently use smokeless tobacco. About half have precancerous lesions in their mouth and the chances of getting oral cancer is 400% greater than nonusers.
Precancerous lesion
Cancerous lesion
According to a study by Edwards, Glover, and Schroeder in 1987, on the effects of smokeless tobacco on heart rate and neuromuscular reactivity in athletes, show that there is no evidence that smokeless tobacco gives athletes a competitive edge in reaction time, movement time, and total response. In fact they showed a reduction in overall stamina due to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

Health professionals are actively trying to help patients realize that smokeless tobacco is NOT a safe alternative to smoking. Nicotine addiction is not easy to break. One method suggested is the use of a placebo, or oral substitute, such as chewing gum. However this does not simulate the texture, feel, and taste of smokeless tobacco. Mint Snuff TM was developed for just this purpose.

Mint Snuff TM is simply mint leaves packaged in small round tins designed to mimic snuff cans. The product contains no sugar and no nicotine and effectively imitates smokeless tobacco. This may prove to be successful in cessation programs along with nicotine gum and transdermal patches.

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