Smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco, “snuff”, and “spit” tobacco, is held in the mouth between the teeth and cheek. Users spit out a black, tar-like substance that forms when the tobacco combines with saliva. It is more addictive than smoking cigarettes because of how quickly it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the lining of the mouth.

Users of chewing tobacco suffer permanent gum and bone loss, unlike users of smoking tobacco who may recover from the damage after quitting. Smokeless tobacco is associated with professional sports but has increased in popularity, particularly among teenagers over recent years.

Side Effects

  • Nicotine addiction (chewing an average amount for 30 minutes is equal to smoking four cigarettes)
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste
  • Bad breath, stained teeth, recession of the gum line, and changes in the colour and texture of mouth tissue
  • Accumulation of tartar (calculus) and plaque
  • Ulcers, upset stomach and increased bowel activity
  • Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Longer recovery times from dental work
  • Increased heart rate

If you stop using smokeless tobacco products, you can dramatically reduce your chance of developing serious conditions and complications. Get help today!

To learn more, check out CDA’s Position Statement on Tobacco Products, Smoking Cannabis and Vaping.