Short and Long Term Effects of Chewing Tabacco

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Chewing tobacco, snuff or plugs are products that have enjoyed fairly widespread use for decades. They have never achieved the massive popularity of cigarettes, but many people use them as an alternative to smoking. As we examine the health risks involved with chewing tobacco, we will see that it is definitely not a safer choice and shares many similar health risks as smoking does.

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Short and Long Term Effects of Chewing Tobacco Chewing tobacco, snuff or plugs are products that have enjoyed fairly widespread use for decades. They have never achieved the massive popularity of cigarettes, but many people use them as an alternative to smoking. As we examine the health risks involved with chewing tobacco, we will see that it is definitely not a safer choice and shares many similar health risks as smoking does.

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Short-Term Effects It doesn’t take very long for chewing tobacco to start to have negative side effects. Because it injects nicotine directly into the bloodstream through the mouth, it starts the addiction process right away. Some people will become severely addicted after just a few uses, while others will be more resistant. But eventually, any user will suffer addiction to the nicotine within the tobacco.

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Nicotine is an integral part of tobacco, and while it can be separated from the plant, it is usually left in to help turn consumers into loyal customers. Chewing tobacco also causes many other immediate symptoms. These include bad breath, gingivitis, staining of teeth, mouth sores (extremely common), cavities and mouth ulcers. Those who use tobacco can quickly say goodbye to beautiful smiles and the full use of their mouth. Parts of their mouths will become extremely sore and tender,and it may make it difficult for them to eat certain foods.

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Chewing tobacco also erodes their senses of taste and smell. Its overpowering effects essentially dull these senses and make it more difficult for users to enjoy the foods they eat. Chewing tobacco may also cause nausea and dizziness after a single use. This can lead to decreased athletic ability, as users will no longer be able to function as they used to and push themselves as hard as they used to without feeling sick. They may also experience higher blood pressure that leads to many long-term health problems.

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Long-Term Effects Some of the short-term effects develop into more serious long-term ones. Heart disease, cardiac arrest and other similar conditions can be caused by high blood pressure. The decreased athletic ability of many users can cause them to be at risk for diabetes, even if the disease was not previously in their family. The primary long-term effects of chewing tobacco include increased risk for several different kinds of cancers, particularly oral cancers. Despite some popular belief to the contrary, not all carcinogens are caused by burning chemicals.

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These cancers can affect all parts of the body which accommodate the chewing tobacco. That includes the mouth, gums, throat, larynx, pancreas and stomach, among others. The entire digestive system can be subject to high cancer risk when chewing tobacco is involved, and the longer the person uses chewing tobacco the greater their risk for one or more of these cancers is. The short-term effects of gingivitis, bad breath and other oral problems lead to eventual tooth decay and tooth loss. The gums may also decay through continual chewing tobacco use. Many people who use this product have very little of their original teeth intact and may be missing entire sections of teeth over time.

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Leukoplakia is a condition characterized by lesions or open sores on the cheeks. There may also be tender, white patches on the mouth and cheeks. This condition is caused by chewing tobacco, and it becomes more severe after continued use. In some cases, the sores may become holes in the cheeks, and the skin of the cheeks may open up completely. The sores can also appear on the tongue or gum, causing extreme pain during eating, brushing of teeth and talking.

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Those who use chewing tobacco usually let the wad or plug sit on the inside of their cheek. If they use the same spot every time, it will quickly become a problem area, developing massive sores and tenderness and making it very difficult to use that part of the mouth. There are some treatments for some of these long-term effects, but they usually involve replacing parts of the mouth or throat with false parts. Continued tobacco use may create a hole in the throat, which will make it impossible for the user to speak properly. This hole can be fitted with a speaking system which allows the user to be able to enjoy a semblance of speech once more.

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Missing and decayed teeth may also be replaced with false teeth or dentures. After some time, very little of the user’s oral and digestive systems is still comprised of their original parts. 1 2 3 4

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