Smokeless tobacco products – Mayo Clinic

Smokeless tobacco products and solutions

Chewing tobacco and other varieties of smokeless tobacco are more hazardous and addictive than you might feel.

By Mayo Clinic Team

Chewing tobacco and other smokeless tobacco products and solutions are typically promoted as safer than cigarettes because they usually are not joined to lung cancer.

Having said that, these products and solutions have some of the similar threats as cigarettes. And smokeless tobacco has other threats as effectively. There are no harmless tobacco products and solutions.

What is smokeless tobacco?

Smokeless tobacco products and solutions consist of tobacco which is chewed, sucked or sniffed, fairly than smoked. Nicotine is absorbed by means of the tissues of the mouth and in some instances swallowed.

A lot of types of smokeless tobacco products and solutions are employed around the globe. In the U.S., the most well-known include chewing tobacco, snuff, snus and dissolvable tobacco products and solutions.

Chewing tobacco

Chewing tobacco is marketed as unfastened leaves, braided leaves (referred to as a twist) and compressed leaves (referred to as a plug). It could be flavored. Chewing tobacco is put amongst the cheek and gum. The saliva that builds up in the mouth is either spit out or swallowed. Chewing tobacco is also referred to as chew, spitting tobacco or spit.


Snuff is finely floor tobacco that could be dry or moist. It is packaged in tins or pouches. It could be flavored. A pinch of snuff is put alongside the gumline, either behind the lip or amongst the gum and cheek. Utilizing snuff is also referred to as dipping. Dry snuff can be snorted.


Snus (pronounced snoos) is a form of moist snuff that originated in Sweden. It is marketed unfastened or in pouches. Snus is pasteurized to kill microbes that can develop cancer-creating chemical substances. Some evidence implies that snus consumers usually are not at as great a threat as cigarette consumers are for mouth cancer, coronary heart sickness, stroke, lung cancer and other lung difficulties.

Dissolvable tobacco

Dissolvable tobacco products and solutions are powdered tobacco pressed into styles, this kind of as tablets, sticks or strips. Some incorporate sweeteners or flavoring and could appear like sweet. The pressed tobacco is chewed or held in the mouth until it dissolves. These products and solutions are not the similar as the nicotine lozenges employed to assist individuals stop smoking.

Overall health threats of smokeless tobacco

Smokeless tobacco products and solutions might expose individuals to lower ranges of hazardous chemical substances than tobacco smoke, but that doesn’t suggest these products and solutions are a harmless different to smoking.

Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, which can direct to addiction, and dozens of chemical substances that can trigger cancer.

Overall health difficulties associated to smokeless tobacco include the next:

  • Habit. Nicotine is the chemical that makes tobacco addictive. Investigation implies that individuals who use smokeless tobacco get as much or more nicotine into their bodies as individuals who smoke cigarettes. Just as with smoking, withdrawal from smokeless tobacco can trigger powerful cravings, irritability and depressed mood.
  • Cancer. The use of chewing tobacco and other smokeless tobacco products and solutions will increase the threat of cancer of the mouth, throat and pancreas. Smokeless tobacco also will increase the threat of building little white patches in your mouth referred to as leukoplakia (bathroom-koh-Enjoy-important-uh). These patches are precancerous — which means that they have the possible to flip into cancer.
  • Heart sickness. Some varieties of smokeless tobacco enhance your coronary heart rate and blood force. Lengthy-term use of smokeless tobacco will increase your threat of dying of coronary heart sickness and stroke.
  • Dental sickness. The sugar and irritants in smokeless tobacco products and solutions can trigger cavities, abrasion of tooth, tooth staining, bad breath, gum sickness, receding gums, bone reduction around roots and tooth reduction.
  • Pregnancy threat. Utilizing smokeless tobacco during pregnancy will increase the threat of stillbirth, reduced delivery pounds and coronary heart rate variability in infants.
  • Poisoning threat. The sweet-like appearance and flavors of some smokeless tobacco products and solutions make them interesting to youngsters. Taking in these products and solutions can trigger nicotine poisoning. Nicotine poisoning in youngsters could trigger nausea, vomiting, weak spot, convulsions, unresponsiveness, hassle respiration and even loss of life.

Quitting tobacco

Brands could indicate that smokeless tobacco will assist you stop smoking, but this has not been proved. Simply because of the wellness threats, smokeless tobacco products and solutions usually are not a superior different to stop smoking.

If you use chewing tobacco or other varieties of smokeless tobacco, take into account solutions to assist you stop. Your health care provider can be a great resource and can assist you create a stop approach.

Means made for smoking cessation could assist you halt using smokeless tobacco. The next interventions have been observed most helpful in investigation about quitting chewing tobacco and other smokeless products and solutions:

  • Behavioral interventions — this kind of as phone expert services, self-assist supplies and counseling — can provide you with assist and assist you create coping skills.
  • Nicotine alternative treatment using the patch, gum or lozenges can assist cut down cravings for tobacco products and solutions.
  • Medicine. Two non-nicotine prescription prescription drugs are accepted to assist cut down nicotine withdrawal signs and symptoms.

In the U.S. you can call the Countrywide Cancer Institute’s phone stop line: Connect with 877-44U-Stop (877-448-7848). Or you can find your state’s stop line by contacting 800-Stop-NOW (800-784-8669).