Smokeless Tobacco (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- What is smokeless tobacco?
- What are the health risks of smokeless tobacco?
- Cancer risk
- Other health risks
- Is smokeless tobacco safer than cigarette smoking?
- What is being done to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco?
- What treatments are available to help people quit using smokeless tobacco?
- Smokeless Tobacco At A Glance
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What are the health risks of smokeless tobacco?
A number of significant health risks are associated with the use of smokeless tobacco.
Users of smokeless tobacco are at an increased risk (up to 50% according to the American Cancer Society) for certain types of cancer, most notably cancer of the oral cavity (including cancers of the cheek, gums, lips, tongue, and floor and roof of the mouth. Some studies have suggested a link between the use of smokeless tobacco and the development of pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, and stomach cancer.
Other health risks
- developing gum
diseases and gum recession (pulling away of the gum tissue from the teeth);
- leukoplakia (whitish patches inside the mouth that can become cancerous);
- abrasion (wearing down) of teeth,;
- staining of teeth;
- tooth loss.
All of the above have been linked to smokeless tobacco use.
Some studies have shown a link between an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart attacks and stroke) in users of smokeless tobacco, although these risks are not as great as those observed in smokers. Further research is needed to determine whether or not smokeless tobacco use presents a significant risk of heart disease and stroke.
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