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Missoula City-County Health Department: Health Promotion
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Missoula City-County Health Department: Health Promotion

Missoula City-County Health Department: Health Promotion

Spit tobacco myths


#1 - Spit tobacco is NOT a healthier substitute for cigarettes.

Spit tobacco contains nicotine and at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals. Its use can cause oral cancer, tooth and gum disease, cardiovascular disease and nicotine dependency.

#2 - Spit tobacco IS addictive.

Chew tobacco contains nicotine which is one of the most powerfully addictive drugs know. Holding a pinch of snuff in your mouth for 30 minutes delivers as much nicotine as smoking 3-4 cigarettes.

#3 - Health effects from spit tobacco ARE serious and can occur within 5 year.

Spit tobacco users are up to 50 times more likely to get oral cancers than non-users. These cancers can form within 5 years of regular use and can spread quickly to other parts of the body. They are difficult to treat and often require extensive and disfiguring surgery.

#4 - Spit tobacco use is growing.

Teenage boys are the number one target of smokeless tobacco companies, which spent more than $238 million in 2001 marketing their deadly products.

#5 - Spit tobacco use DOES lead to smoking.

Kids using smokeless tobacco are 2 1/2 times more likely to take up smoking than kids who don't use. A study funded by the National Cancer Institute found that 60% of 7th and 9th graders who use spit tobacco, but who had never smoked, went on to become smokers when they were followed up 2 years later.

Montana's Tobacco Quit Line can help smokeless tobacco users "kick the can",  1-800-784-8669


Return to Tobacco Free Missoula County home page



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