Latest marketing ploy of tobacco companies: switch to smokeless..

March 16, 2009 - With more cities and states regulating where a smoker can lite up, the tobacco companies are using this as a marketing strategy to get smokers to switch to smokeless tobacco, avoid the laws regarding smoking and still get a kick of nicotine. Often the perception is that smokeless is less harmful than smoking and even it is as harmful, the user is only affecting himself, instead of harming others around him from secondhand smoke.

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Smokeless tobacco comes in two forms: a ground or shredded tobacco called Snuff and loose leaf called Chewing Tobacco. Chewing tobacco is sold in loose leaf, twist and plug forms. Snuff comes in moist, dry and sachet forms. The most popular form of ST today is moist snuff which has the highest levels of nicotine. Smokeless manufacturers manipulate the pH level of their product because the higher the pH level, the more alkaline the tobacco which increases absorption.

Nicotine is absorbed more slowly, at a higher amount and stays in the blood system longer than smoking a cigarette. One average size pinch or pouch, held in the mouth for 30 minutes delivers the same nicotine as 3 - 4 cigarettes.

Not only is smokeless potentially more addictive than smoking due to the high nicotine levels but it is not safe. Smokeless tobacco has 28 different carcinogens which can cause: cancers of the lip, tongue, cheeks, gums, roof & floor of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, stomach. other health effects include:

* 40 to 60% will develop precancerous lesions in the mouth called leukoplakia, which 2 – 6% will transform into cancer.
* Other problems: gum disease, receding gums, bad breath, stained teeth, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, tooth decay, transient hypertension, musculoskeletal injuries.
* Approximately 50% of ST users swallow ST juice which can cause heartburn.
* Using spit tobacco increases your heart rate and blood pressure within a few minutes. This can cause a buzz or rush, but the rise in pulse and blood pressure places an extra stress on your heart.

When quitting smokeless tobacco, the same withdrawal symptoms is seen as with quitting cigarettes. Nicotine replacement products have not been shown to be effective when quitting but this is possibly due to receiving an under dose replacement due to the high nicotine content of smokeless and may need to use more nicotine replacement. For a 3 can a week user, a 21 mg. patch may not be enough to avoid withdrawals, where two - 21 mg. patches may provide relief.

Myths about Snus and smokeless tobacco, VJ Sleight. StopSmokingStayQuit, 2/24/2009.

Reference: Latest marketing ploy of tobacco companies: switch to smokeless to quit smoking, Latest marketing ploy of tobacco companies: switch to smokeless to quit smoking VJ Sleight , LA Smoking Examiner,