No smoke, no harm, right? Wrong. Smokeless tobacco (e.g. dip, snuff, chew) is not a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes or cigars. Dipping can lead to nicotine addiction and dependence and it can cause cancer. In fact dip contains 28 cancer-causing agents. It causes leukoplakia or white patches in the mouth that can turn into cancer. No smoke, no harm,
Dip and chew can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth in places where the tobacco is held. Over time the sugar in spit and chewing tobacco causes decay in exposed tooth roots.
Visit the link below to read Rick Bender’s battle with his dipping addiction.
Any of us who have or continue to smoke or chew tobacco know it is harmful but have gone through many rationalizations about why we continue to do that which is certain to eventually lead to major health issues or death. I am no different and a perfect example of the fact that addiction to tobacco is not respectful of age, education or any of a myriad of other demographics. As I gradually recognized that sinus problems were increasing, breath smelled terrible, that others were occasionally complaining about the smoke, etc., the process of “quitting” began. I soon realized that there was a difference between “stopping” and “quitting” as packages of the favored brand were thrown out an automobile window only to stop at the next store to purchase another pack, commitments to never buy another pack would be made only to bum cigarettes from friends who smoked, vows to not smoke would be broken since any rational person “knew” the taste of a cold beer was enhanced by a smoke! Basically, I “stopped” smoking six or seven times for up to a few months but never “quit” until about two years later. After meeting my future wife and setting a wedding date, I told her one gift would be my stopping smoking. The night we married, I smoked one last cigarette and threw the remaining ones in the trunk of our automobile. The next morning, while putting suitcases into the trunk before departing on our honeymoon, I noticed the remaining cigarettes. I picked them up, put one in my mouth and lit it, taking one puff before throwing it down and throwing away the remaining cigarettes. That was December 28, 1975, and I have not touched a cigarette or any other type of tobacco since. I realized over time that what had been previously missing was a public commitment to stop smoking and an emotional reason that included not only my own health but that of my wife and future children. It has now been almost forty years since my last cigarette, and I no longer feel tempted to smoke even though I was a two-pack a day smoker for approximately ten years. I did consider and reject smoking a one-time cigar when each of my sons were born. When people ask what are the most significant events in my life, I list three: 1. Marrying my wonderful wife, 2. Having my two, wonderful sons, 3. Stopping smoking! Today’s world does nothing to help those attempting to stop. Ever present advertising indirectly implies that smoking is an addiction that cannot be stopped without the help of medication or other complex interventions. That may be true for many, and the available support is definitely something to consider. However, quitting smoking is ultimately a “do it yourself” endeavor and one you will never regret. Best wishes to all of you attempting to “get to the other side.”
Has your life been affected by cigarette smoking? Are you a former smoker? Did you quit for personal health reasons? How long did you smoke? Are you a current smoker? Do you know someone who died after years of smoking? We are always looking for new stories for our Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Blog. You NEVER know when your story could help someone else and encourage them to stop smoking. Send us your contact information below so we can tell YOUR story.