How Bad is Chewing Tobacco Really?

How Bad is Chewing Tobacco Really?

Whether you’re considering dipping or are currently battling through the struggles of addiction, you’re probably wondering what’s at stake. Just how bad is chewing tobacco really? Are those health warnings that come on tins of chew just there as a formality - or can smokeless tobacco actually kill you?

In this article, we’re going to take a look at all the evidence to find out exactly how bad chewing tobacco is for you. From decreased oral health to cancer, heart complications, and the overall problem of addiction - you’ll soon understand why more and more people are switching to Grinds. 

Our chewing tobacco alternatives can help you kick the habit for good if you’re already addicted. And if you’ve been thinking about trying dip to help you stay focused and alert, you can save yourself a world of hurt by sticking with our caffeine pouches instead. We’ll talk more about our solution later on. First - how bad is chewing tobacco for you, exactly?

How Bad is Chewing Tobacco Really?

Chances are, you know someone who has been chewing for years - and besides disgusting teeth and bad breath, they seem perfectly fine. This may lead you to assume that the consequences of a long-term chewing tobacco aren’t nearly as grave as people would have you believe. So - what’s the truth? How bad is chewing tobacco really?

Short Answer: Chewing Tobacco is Really Bad for You

If you came here simply to find an answer to the question - how bad is chewing tobacco for you - we’ll cut right to the chase. It’s really bad for you. When we say that smokeless tobacco kills people on a daily basis we’re not being dramatic - it’s fact. 

And you don’t just have to take our word for it. WebMD estimates that as many as 250,000 people lose their lives annually as a result of chewing tobacco addiction. And because this study was taken back in 2015, there’s no telling where the numbers lie today.

So - with that said, what makes chewing tobacco so bad for you? Below, we’ll highlight 6 of the reasons you should avoid dip at all costs if you haven’t started yet - or take on the challenge to quit dipping if you currently have an addiction. Let’s start with the most obvious problem: oral health complications.

It Wreaks Havoc on Your Oral Health 

When you picture someone who’s been dipping their whole life, you probably envision someone with yellow teeth (if they have any left in their mouth, that is) and a nasty, yellow-twinged tint around their mouth. If you get close enough to smell their breath it can leave you gasping for air.

This is an accurate depiction of anyone who’s developed a long-term dip addiction. And if you don’t quit, it’s the reality you’ll face in the near future.

But, nasty teeth and bad breath are just the beginning of oral health degradation for smokeless tobacco users. The symptoms become far more serious as the habit persists. For example, yellow teeth turn into decayed teeth from the high sugar content in smokeless tobacco products. This eventually leads to tooth loss.

And, the constant irritation from tobacco can cause inflammation in the gums, leading to gum disease. As this condition takes hold, the gumline recedes so far that the roots of your teeth are exposed. Not only does this make eating and drinking a seriously painful ordeal, but it can cause more teeth to fall out.

Other oral health concerns of a habitual dipper are oral infections, reduced sense of taste, and delayed healing in the mouth. And you’re probably wondering why we haven’t even mentioned the big C word yet. We’ll dedicate the entire next section to the numerous types of cancer - not just in your mouth, but the rest of your body - that can result from a smokeless tobacco addiction.

It Increases Your Risk for Numerous Types of Cancer

The link between tobacco and cancer is well documented. There is a risk of cancer no matter which form you use tobacco in - and that includes smokeless tobacco. There are quite a few different compounds in chew that can elevate your risk of certain cancers. These include nitrosamines, polonium-210, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, nickel, mercury, and more. 

First and foremost, let’s talk about leukoplakia - which are the small gray-white patches in your mouth where you actually place your dip. You will see these before you feel them, as they’re usually painless. That is, until they reach their final form - which is cancer.

And, the risk of cancer extends far beyond your mouth. Smokeless tobacco use has also been linked to an increased risk of esophageal cancer, which affects the tube that connects the throat to the stomach. 

Speaking of which, chew creates an elevated risk of stomach cancer as well - as trace amounts of those carcinogens we discussed above make their way into your gut. This can also create an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

All of this is to say that chewing is linked to cancer. For most users, it’s not a matter of if they’ll develop cancer - it’s a question of when they’ll develop cancer. Here is a quick summary of all the types of cancer smokeless tobacco has been linked to:

  • Oral cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Nasal cancer
  • Pharyngeal cancer

And if by some miracle the cancer doesn’t get you, the heart complications will…

It Leads to Problems With Heart Health

The only thing keeping you alive is your beating heart. And most people take steps to improve their heart health for this exact reason - eating the right foods, exercising regularly, keeping track of their heart health, etc.

But perhaps more important than what you do to improve your health is what you don’t do to damage your heart. Chewing tobacco is one of the many things that can compromise your heart health, leading to serious problems down the road.

Nicotine itself - the compound you’re really using chewing tobacco for - increases your blood pressure. This alone raises your risk for heart disease and stroke. And, chewing tobacco also minimizes the amount of oxygen that can reach your heart and other organs. Both of these factors - combined with the fact that chewing increases inflammation through the body as a whole - contribute to an elevated risk of heart problems.

But that’s not all - smokeless tobacco use has been linked to an increased risk of atherosclerosis. This is a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries and restricts blood flow. And to make matters worse, some studies have found that smokeless tobacco is linked to blood clots. 

Keeping your ticker ticking should be reason enough to say no to dip - but we’re just getting started. Let’s talk about how it affects your stomach health next.

It Has Adverse Effects on Stomach Health

We recently wrote an entire article discussing the chewing tobacco effects on stomach health because they’re so vast. We encourage you to read it to gain a more clear understanding of what this habit does to your stomach - but we’ll summarize the key points below.

For one, getting chewing tobacco in your stomach can make you feel sick to your stomach - if you’ve accidentally swallowed dip spit before you know what we’re talking about. 

But dip making you sick isn’t the only way it has adverse effects on your stomach health. It can contribute to digestive problems like indigestion, bloating, and constipation - all caused by the irritants and chemicals found in tobacco. 

Chewing tobacco can also irritate the lining of your stomach, creating an elevated risk of ulcers. You don’t want to deal with these painful sores - trust us. A similar condition caused by chewing condition is gastritis - which is another form of inflammation in the stomach lining. It presents itself in symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Another stomach condition that chewing tobacco users should be prepared to face is GERD - or gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is a condition in which stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation. You may know it more for its symptoms: heartburn, chest pain, etc.

And we’ve already touched on the risk of stomach cancer earlier - so now, we’ll move onto the effect chew has on your lung health.

It Takes a Toll on Lung Health

In looking at chewing tobacco compared to cigarettes, you may assume that the latter is the consumption method that takes a toll on your lung health. 

And it’s true - smoking destroys your lungs. We’re not here to deny that. We’re here to tell you that chewing tobacco can take a serious toll on lung health as well. In fact, we recently wrote a complete guide on this topic to explain what a serious problem it is.

Beyond the risk of lung cancer, chewing tobacco can lead to COPD, which is short for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This is a group of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Each of these can contribute to breathing difficulties, coughing, and other nasty symptoms.

What’s more, you’re at an elevated risk for lung infections with a chewing tobacco addiction. That’s because chewing tobacco can weaken the immune system, contributing to a heightened risk of respiratory infections like pneumonia and bronchitis.

And beyond the scary conditions, chewing simply reduces your lung function. You’ll have a hard time breathing when performing simple tasks like walking up a flight of stairs or crossing the street. You may find it hard to participate in activities you used to love - like working out or playing sports. 

It Will Take Hold of Your Life in the Form of Addiction

On top of all the physical complications and health risks that come with chewing tobacco, you’ll develop an addiction to the substance.

What exactly does addiction do to you, though, besides make it harder and harder to avoid all the conditions we’ve described above? For one, it slowly but surely drains your bank account. Run the numbers on how much your chewing tobacco habit costs you a year and it’ll give you a bit of extra incentive to quit.

Addiction to chewing tobacco can also contribute to fatigue, headaches, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, lack of appetite, and more. These symptoms can create other issues in your life with the people that matter most to you. An addiction can strain relationships, lead to problems at work, and more.

We know what you’re thinking…is it possible to not get addicted to nicotine? Nope - it’s inevitable. How many dips it takes to get addicted obviously varies from person to person, but many individuals are hooked at their first dip.

As you may already realize, addiction can seem impossible to overcome. But it’s not - and we can help you beat nicotine addiction. But before we talk about that, let’s wrap up this conversation by touching on a few final reasons chewing tobacco is bad for you. 

Other Reasons Chewing Tobacco is Bad For You

Pregnant women are at an elevated risk of experiencing complications if they chew during their pregnancy. Some of these complications include increased risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, stillbirth, and birth defects. 

And, nicotine can take a toll on your appearance as well. Studies have linked nicotine and hair loss along with nicotine and acne.

All things considered, chewing tobacco is bad. Really bad. So with all that said, let’s talk about how you can make your habit a thing of the past.

So, Chewing Tobacco is Really Bad…What’s the Alternative?

So, how bad is chewing tobacco really? We hope that the picture we painted above gives you a view of just how awful this habit is. If you haven’t already started dipping, great - avoid it like the plague.

But what if you’re already addicted? How can you free yourself from the shackles of nicotine addiction and get your life back on track? That’s where Grinds comes in. We’ve created a dip alternative to help you face this challenge head-on and successfully defeat addiction.

Instead of nicotine, our pouches contain an all-natural energy source in the form of caffeine. This way, you still get an authentic dipping experience to help you keep cravings at bay and avoid some of the dreaded chewing tobacco withdrawal symptoms - like fatigue, irritability, anxiety, etc. In fact, people use our soliton to improve performance in work or fitness!

And don’t get us started on the taste…we have the best flavors. Period. There is something for everyone in our catalog - from basics like wintergreen or spearmint to coffee flavors, fruit flavors, candy flavors - you name it, we’ve got it. We’ve also got the resources you need to help you kick your nicotine addiction to the curb. You can learn how to stop chewing tobacco in our blog. 

Closing Thoughts on How Bad Chewing Tobacco is For You

So, how bad is chewing tobacco really? The answer should be clear now that we’ve illustrated all the ways in which this little habit can destroy your life. It’s awful for you. But you probably already knew that in the back of your mind - you just came here to get a better understanding of exactly what’s at stake.

And now that you are fully aware of the complications that come with a chewing tobacco addiction, it’s time to head over to Grinds and bite the bullet. We’ve created 100% nicotine & tobacco-free chew that will have you free from the grips of addiction in no time. Just grab a few tins and read our article on the best way to quit dipping - and start your journey today!