Cigarette use has been slowly declining in the US. But many alternatives have gained popularity. The alternative products of tobacco and nicotine delivery are:
- Smoke-Free Tobacco
These come in different shapes, sizes and flavors. They are often marketed as relatively safe. However, alternative tobacco products contain chemicals and potentially harmful toxins. These can cause serious health problems, including cancer. Because of these risks, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has started in 2016 with the regulation of these products.
If you smoke or use these products, talk to your doctor. Discover ways to stop:
Electronic cigarettes are also called e-cigarettes or Vapor cigarettes. These are devices that work with a battery. Some e-cigarettes will look like traditional cigarettes. Other devices such as tank systems do not look like cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes do not burn tobacco. Instead, they have cartridges filled with nicotine and other chemicals (like PG and VG). Liquid chemicals turn into Vapor that a person inhales. Electronic cigarettes can contain harmful substances. But the types or concentrations of chemicals that a person is exposed to vary depending on the brand, the type of device, and how it is used. Since 2006, e-cigarettes have been available in the United States. As a result, research on their health risks is limited.
It is important to remember that the FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking. Doctors and the FDA recommend evidence-based methods to quit smoking. Learn about the options available to stop smoking.
Smokeless tobacco products contain mixtures of tobacco. They have many names. And they fall into several categories.
This is tobacco in the following ways:
- Lots of leaves
- Leaves compressed, commonly known as plugs
- Leaves braided to look like a rope commonly called twist
Chewing tobacco is between the cheek and the chewing gum. Usually, the person spits the tobacco juices. But experienced users can swallow some juices.
Snuff is finely ground tobacco. It comes in dry or wet forms. Sometimes it is packed in prefabricated bags. People usually smell or swallow dry snuff. On the contrary, people give wet tobacco between the gum and the lip or the cheek. Then it is slowly absorbed.
Snus is a tobacco product from Sweden. Typically, wet tobacco powder is packaged in a bag. People put it on the cheek for absorption. The bag is not suitable for swallowing. It should be discarded after use. Tobacco companies often sell snus to people who smoke cigarettes because it is allowed in smoke-free areas. Public health advocates fear that snus will undermine efforts to reduce tobacco use. Laws currently prohibit smoking in certain public places. But the ability to use snus can promote the continued use of tobacco.
Soluble Tobacco is a powder that is compressed. It looks like a little candy that dissolves in your mouth.
The Dangers of Smokeless Tobacco Products
Prolonged use of smokeless tobacco products contributes to serious health problems such as cancer and heart disease. Some smokeless tobacco products contain 3 to 4 times more nicotine than cigarettes. And these products contain substances that increase the risk of oral and or pharyngeal cancer. Chewing tobacco can cause white spots called leukoplakia. They appear on the gums, tongue or lining of the mouth. Most of them are not cancerous, but some show early signs of cancer. Oral cancer often occurs near leukoplakia. Smokeless tobacco products also cause dental problems and contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. Many people claim that these products are less harmful than smoking and can help stop smoking. But these alternatives are not evidence-based methods to quit smoking and do not have the support of the FDA.