Archives Categories

Health Hazards of Chew Tobacco: What You Need to Know

February 26, 2018

Here at Hillcrest, we want our clients and community to be informed with the truth around products affecting our health. Many people believe chew tobacco to be a safer alternative to smoking, but the reality of smokeless tobacco is far from that. Understanding what chew tobacco is and the potential health risks it poses is important in order to be a conscious consumer of goods affecting your health. Read on to get in the know.

What It Is

Chew tobacco is a type of smokeless tobacco that may come as loose leaves, plugs or twists of dried tobacco

It is often flavored and has chemical additives to reduce the harshness of the tobacco

Other kinds of smokeless tobacco include snuff, dip, snus and dissolvable tobacco products

For use, it is chewed or placed between the cheek and gum or teeth

This allows for nicotine to be absorbed by the tissues in the person’s mouth.[1]

Health Risks

Chew tobacco causes increased risk of oral, esophageal, stomach and pancreatic cancer

It increases the risk of leukoplakia  – lesions in the mouth or other body areas that have a high risk of becoming cancerous tissue
Chew tobacco is responsible for 50% of oral cancers[1]
It can caused cracking and bleeding lips and gums, recedes the gums and causes gum disease
Chew tobacco is also know to stain teeth, and cause tooth decay and loss
Chew tobacco contains nitrosamines – the most harmful cancer-causing substance in tobacco[2]

It also contains formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, arsenic, benzopyrene, nickel and cadmium[3] – all known carcinogens

Chew tobacco increases heart rate and blood pressure

This can lead to heart attacks and brain damage from a stroke[1]
While smokeless tobacco may appear to be safer than smoking, it is important to know that there is no form of safe tobacco. However, it is NEVER too late to quit tobacco and turn your health around. The human body is an amazing thing with incredible healing capabilities. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit for information on quitting tobacco.