Smokeless Tobacco Not Safer Than Smoking

Smokeless Tobacco Not Safer Than Smoking

Smokeless Tobacco Not Safer Than Smoking

The American Heart Association released a policy statement on Sept. 13 to address the additional risks and dangers of smokeless tobacco products. This products include a variety of tobacco based dry and moist snuff and chewing tobacco. Smokers may turn to the products assuming that they will help during the cessation process, but they tend to raise the risk of additional addiction and a return to smoking.

Smokeless tobacco products come with their own set of health risks, making them an equally dangerous habit. Several studies show a link between a higher risk of fatal strokes, fatal heart attacks, and various forms of cancer. The writers of the policy statement pointed out that no tobacco products are safe to consume, despite when smokeless tobacco products may claim.

Studies have shown that there is no link between smokeless tobacco use and a reduction in smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy, such as special gums or patches, are much safer and do not carry additional health risks like smokeless tobacco products do. Stricter smoke-free area laws are causing many smokers to turn to smokeless products to enjoy tobacco in areas like restaurants and bars. Unfortunately, these products are just as addictive. Regular use may lead to a double addiction to both smokeless products and cigarettes.

Smokeless tobacco has risen in popularity among young people, especially teenage boys, according to the association. Only recently, on June 22, did the Food and Drug Administration finally amend the Tobacco Control Act to prevent any and all tobacco products from being sold to any under 18 years of age. The American Heart Association is calling for scientists and politicians to understand and measure the risk caused by the “safer alternative” claims made by smokeless tobacco products. These claims may be misleading many smokers who are trying to quit for health reasons.


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