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Indiana Tobacco Quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW

Quitline > Chew and Spit Chew and Spit

Spit tobacco (a.k.a. smokeless tobacco, dip, snuff, chew, and chewing tobacco) contains more than 3,000 ingredients that can cause serious health problems. Users can suffer from periodontal (gum) disease, cavities (tooth decay), leukoplakia (white patches and oral lesions which can lead to oral cancer), and are at greater risk for oral, throat, stomach and pancreatic cancer.

A 2008 study from the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that smokeless tobacco users have an 80 percent higher risk of developing oral cancer and a 60 percent higher risk of developing pancreatic and esophageal cancer.

1 can of Skoal = 4 packs of cigarettes

The nicotine content in a can of dip or snuff is approximately 144 milligrams, which is equal to about 80 cigarettes. With regular use of chew or spit, levels of nicotine accumulate in the body and you are exposed to the effects of nicotine 24 hours-a-day. Nicotine addiction is a serious physiological health issue that drives users to continue using, despite considerable risks (such as cancer), and makes spit tobacco a very difficult habit to quit.

Tobacco manufacturers are increasingly marketing new smokeless tobacco products as a way to lure new tobacco users and entice smokers to switch to products. These new items, such as pouches, strips, sticks, tablets and lozenges, are not a safe alternative to smoking, despite how they may be perceived.

Quitting the use of tobacco (nicotine) can be harder than quitting use of heroin or cocaine. Are you addicted to chew or spit tobacco? The Indiana Quitline knows how difficult it is to quit. We are here to help, just call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669). We'll tailor an approach to your specific needs.

For more information about the hazards of smokeless tobacco products and how to quit, visit these sites:

American Academy of Family Physicians

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Smokeless Tobacco

Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation – Smokeless Tobacco Fact Sheet

National Spit Tobacco Education Program

Through with Chew – Wyoming state program