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Is chewing tobacco safer than smoking?


If you've shifted your preferences to chewing tobacco from smoking it, you are in for even greater risks of cancer.


A study published in Tobacco Control showed that men who gave up cigarettes for chewing tobacco or snuff still had higher death rates from lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke than men who quit smoking without taking up another form of tobacco. They also had higher death rates from these tobacco-related illnesses than men who never smoked.


Also, according to another study, people who use chewing tobacco expose themselves to even higher levels of a particular cancer-causing compound than tobacco smokers do. The researchers found that compared with cigarette smokers, adults who used chewing tobacco appeared to have greater exposure to a substance called NNK, one of the prime carcinogens in tobacco. In laboratory animals, NNK has been found to cause cancer of the lung, pancreas, liver and nasal mucosa.


Smoking cigarette and chewing tobacco are both 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.


Bottom line is: Chewing tobacco chewing is more harmful. This doesn’t mean smoking is a better than chewing tobacco, but rather that switching to spit tobacco isn't a good alternative to quitting smoking.

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