Chapter 8
  1. Freedom from Substance Abuse

198. Snuff Out Smokeless Tobacco

Regardless of whether you smoke it, chew it, or just place it between your cheek and gums, all forms of tobacco are hazardous to your health. “Snuff” and chewing tobacco were once considered safe alternatives to cigarettes. They’re not. People who use smokeless tobacco absorb nicotine through the mucous membrane of the mouth. Nicotine absorbed in this way is no less addictive than nicotine inhaled from cigarettes. People who pack tobacco in their mouths or chew it run a high risk of cancer of the mouth and a precancerous condition called leukoplakia (a whitish, wrinkling of the mouth lining, with thickening of the area that comes in contact with the tobacco).

The best way to avoid these risks, of course, is to never use smokeless tobacco. But if you already use it, here are some suggestions to help you give it up.

  1. Ignore the appeals of sports figures who promote smokeless tobacco in advertisements.

  2. Use substitutes like gum, mints, or toothpicks.

  3. Distract yourself with other activities.

  4. Reward yourself each day you don’t chew tobacco.