Smokeless Tobacco Aim of Great American Spit Out

Military service members who use smokeless tobacco are encouraged to Ditch the Snuff for Better Stuff for the Great American Spit Out Feb. 19. Quit Tobacco — wants military members to ban together and quit tobacco for 24 hours. "Smokeless tobacco is not harmless," said Paul Fitzpatrick, program director for Quit Tobacco – "In fact, smokeless tobacco contains three to four times more nicotine than cigarettes." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that approximately 75 percent of all mouth, lip, tongue, throat, nose and larynx cancers are due to smokeless tobacco use. And like cigarette smokers, smokeless tobacco users are at an increased risk for death from heart disease and stroke. According to the National Institutes of Health, holding an average-size dip in your mouth for 30 minutes gives you as much nicotine as smoking three cigarettes. A two-can-a-week snuff dipper gets as much nicotine as a pack and a half-a-day smoker. Smokeless tobacco is also expensive. A can of dip costs an average of $3. A two-can-a-week habit costs approximately $300 per year. A can-a-day habit costs nearly $1,100 per year. According to the American Dental Association, some of the side effects from using smokeless tobacco include gum disease that can lead to tooth loss; tissue and bone loss around the roots of the teeth; scratching and wearing down of teeth; stained and discolored teeth; and bad breath. Quitting is the only way to decrease your risk of these and other tobacco-related health problems, according to the ADA. For more information on smokeless tobacco and other issues, visit For more resources to help smokeless tobacco users quit, please visit © American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.