Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
WASHINGTON It is bad for teens to take up smoking because of ill effects it has on health, but young people should be taught smokeless tobacco is not good for them either.
Smokeless tobacco is a form of tobacco that is not burned. Smokeless tobacco, known as snuff, chewing tobacco, oral tobacco, spit or spitting tobacco, causes cancer and other diseases. Smokeless tobacco is known to cause oral cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
A recent study indicates one in 20 middle school or high school students use smokeless tobacco products. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health saw that in national survey data.
The scientists also saw the power of peer pressure.
“Adolescents who had a friend that used smokeless tobacco were 10 times more likely to use smokeless tobacco themselves,”
commented Researcher Constantine Vardavas.
For comparison, teens with a family member who used smokeless tobacco were only 3 times more likely to use it.
Nearly all of the smokeless users reported it's easy to get the stuff.
Unfortunately, smokeless tobacco is addictive because it contains nicotine. Studies reveal users of smokeless tobacco and those who smoke cigarettes have comparable levels of nicotine in the blood. In users of smokeless tobacco, nicotine is absorbed through the mouth tissues directly into the blood, where it goes to the brain. Even after the tobacco is removed from the mouth, nicotine continues to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Also, the nicotine stays in the blood longer for users of smokeless tobacco than for smokers
Smokeless tobacco is not a safe substitute for cigarettes.
posted August 20, 2013 7:57 am edt