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Spit Tobacco

Chapter: Is Spit Tobacco Safer than Smoking?

Absolutely not. Some wrongly believe that spit tobacco is safer than smoking cigarettes. But spit tobacco is more addictive because it contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes and can be harder to quit than cigarettes. One can of snuff delivers as much nicotine as 80 cigarettes.


About 440,000 Americans die every year from various types of tobacco use. The majority of these deaths are from oral cancer. Other cancers caused by tobacco include cancer of the pancreas, nasal cavity, urinary tract, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, intestines and the stomach. Long-term spit tobacco users have a much greater risk of developing oral cancer than non-users, and spit tobacco users are more likely to become cigarette smokers.


Research has revealed an increase in middle-school and high-school students using spit tobacco. Almost 10 percent of high-school students report using spit tobacco. Many boys begin to use spit tobacco when they become involved in sports, particularly baseball, thinking it will improve their performance. Yet scientific evidence shows this is false.
Reviewed: January 2012