The Truth About Smokeless Tobacco: Does It Cause Cancer?
What's The Difference?
Both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco are harmful right? That is what we are all lead to believe! As I am not advocating tobacco, I want to clear the air about smokeless tobacco. I would like to mainly focus on smokeless tobacco in this article. However, I need to also compare it to cigarettes. Because cigarettes are cancer sticks. We all know that. There is scientific evidence that proves that cigarettes lead to lung cancer. Smoking causes roughly 4 million deaths per year, globally. It is also the number one cause of lung cancer, and makes up to 90% of cancer deaths. People who smoke are 15 to 30 times more likely to have cancer than those who do not. These cancers include: mouth and throat, esophagus, stomach, kidney, liver, colon, rectum, pancreas, trachea. Along with smoking, is secondhand smoking, this effects 2 out of 5 non-smokers and makes up 7,300 deaths of people who have never smoked.
Can you guess how many cancers have been linked to smokeless tobacco? None.
That's right! There is no scientific evidence that smokeless tobacco cause mouth cancer. None, what-so-ever! This is proven in a research by the American Cancer Society, who have been after the smokeless tobacco company for decades. Once they did the research they found the hard truth. They discovered 17 risk factors linked to 660,000 cases of cancer. Smokeless tobacco was not one of the 17 risk factors. However, smoking was number one, followed by obesity and hepatitis. After 30 years of trying to take down the tobacco industry, the American Cancer Society backed off. Without any evidence that smokeless tobacco causes cancer, they couldn't fight it any longer! All the American Cancer Society can do is exaggerate and misinform the public about the risks of tobacco.
If there is no link to cancer, then why are there the big warning labels on the can? The warning labels state, "This product is not a safe alternative for smoking" and "This product can cause mouth cancer". Once you do the research, it is obvious that the labels are there to scare you. Smoking is the number one risk for cancer. How is smokeless tobacco not a safe alternative for the number one cancer risk? Because these labels are a bunch of lies! There is no link to cancer with smokeless tobacco. Cigarettes, remember the number one cancer risk, doesn't even have warning labels on their products. This is because smokeless tobacco is becoming more popular and the sales for cigarettes are dropping. So if they put the warning labels on dip to scare you, then you'll buy cigarettes which don't have the warning labels. It is all a scare tactic.
The truth about cancer and tobacco products is simple once you know the facts. There are chemicals in both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. The difference being one is burned and the other is not. When cigarettes are burning, they are burning these harmful chemicals which are cancer causing. Then the smoker inhales these harmful chemicals right into their lungs.
Dipping or chewing on the other hand, does not burn these harmful chemicals and we do not inhale them into our bodies. I have heard before that there is fiberglass in dip, which is how it gets into your bloodstream. This is the most brainless stuff, I have ever heard in my life. There is no fiberglass in smokeless tobacco! However, this is exactly why people are lead to believe smokeless tobacco is so bad for you.
People will also make the argument that nicotine is the cancer causing agent. Also, false information. Nicotine is not any more dangerous than coffee. It is addictive, yes. However, so is caffeine. Coffee also has more carcinogens than smokeless tobacco. Where are the warning labels on coffee?
Formaldehyde is another argument made. This is a naturally causing compound, it is found in apples. Do apples cause cancer?
Another fear is leukoplakia, which is common is dippers and chewers. All this is is some extra skin, white plaque, on the gum. This is claimed to be precancerous. This is false, as it will heal and go away. This is not a sign of cancer. It is just some irritation in the mouth.
Well, what about the mouth cancer? You might be shocked to find out that alcohol is one of the major risk factors in mouth cancer. Not dipping or chewing. Number one on the list is no surprise, smoking. Which is linked to 90% of mouth cancer cases. Although mouth cancer is very rare, there is no link to smokeless tobacco.
The Center of Cancer and Disease claims that it cannot account for death counts from smokeless tobacco. They have the data to release, however they do not. This is likely due to the very low numbers that would result. The U.S. government has sponsored a research that revealed there are zero deaths related to cancer in those who dip or chew.
There is no scientific evidence that supports the claims that smokeless tobacco causes cancer, however there is plenty to support cigarettes causing cancer. Because cigarettes have to burn to get the pleasure, it also releases harmful chemicals into your body. You do not get these harmful chemicals with dip or chew because there is no burning involved.
I am not advocating to go out and start using smokeless tobacco. However, the people need to know that it is not any more dangerous than coffee. It is an addictive relief, just as caffeine is to some. There is no link to cancer. There is no valid proof available to make the claim that there are long term health effect with smokeless tobacco.