What’s Worse – Smoking Cigarette or Chewing Tobacco?

June 26th, 2007 by | Category: Dental Care

We have discussed enough about smoking and how it harms our body. Today we will discuss about the addition of tobacco chewing. Chew tobacco is a common habit amongst women and men alike in some countries. They consider it much safer than smoking and there’s no risk of lung cancer. But in reality this is not the case. It has been time and gain scientifically proved that chewing tobacco is not a safe or a better alternative to smoking, and that it is as harmful to health as smoking.

Whether it is smoking cigarette or chewing tobacco both of them are an addiction and very difficult to quit. Both these contain nicotine. By chewing tobacco an individual’s tobacco intake is more than when he is smoking cigarette. Even a person addicted to snuff is causing himself/herself more harm by way of tobacco intake than a person who is smoking cigarette.

Let’s know what is `chewing tobacco’ and cigarettes made of. Chew tobacco is made of leafy tobacco, added to it are sugar, artificial flavorings and aromas/scents. Just like cigarette tobacco, chew tobacco also contains many different types of chemicals that are highly toxic for the body therefore harmful. Chemicals and compounds like nicotine, formaldehyde, polonium 210 –a radioactive chemical that’s a one of the nuclear waste, and various types of carcinogens – cancer-causing chemicals. A type of carcinogen called nitrosamines, present in tobacco is also found the maximum permitted for food. But in tobacco it’s percentage of thousands of times higher.

Chewing tobacco can give oral cancer. The risk of oral cancer or cancer of the mouth increases by as much as five times for tobacco chewers. Researchers also think there are a possibility of an increased risk of cancer of the nose, trachea, esophagus and liver. Inflammation of the gums and receding gums can also result from tobacco chewing. Chewing tobacco can also do harm to teeth by way of dental decay, specifically the root part of the tooth. It increases fourfold; this may be because of the sugar content in chew tobacco. Treatment for such type of decay is difficult and money and time consuming.
Chewing tobacco can also give rise to heart disease. Nicotine increases the heart rate, takes up blood pressure, changes levels of fat in the blood and all this together may cause heart disease. How early or late depends upon individual’s body mechanics and immune system.

Tobacco may sometimes contain heavy metals like Lead and Cadmium that are likely to harm even the unborn child. That is if a pregnant woman is in the habit of chewing tobacco.

If you or someone you know is addicted to tobacco chewing and you notice, mouth ulcers, white patches in the mouth, plaque inside the mouth, if one experiences pain or stiffness while talking, chewing, swallowing and eating. It’s time to visit doctor before it’s too late. Actually from the day you take to chewing tobacco you are late!





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