Ask the Doctor: Swallowing of Snuff Is Not Healthy
DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My son chews tobacco.
That’s bad enough, but he also swallows the juice.
He has a wonderful wife and two teenage boys.
We have tried to talk to him, but to no avail.
We hope you print something to state the consequences of this habit that will scare him into quitting. - M.B.
ANSWER: I’ll do my scary best.
Chewing tobacco and snuff are called smokeless tobacco.
Snuff is finely ground tobacco placed between the lip and gums or snuffed into the nose.
Chewing tobacco is more coarsely ground and is tucked between the gum and cheek.
More than 2,000 chemicals are in tobacco and its juices.
Your son absorbs them through the lining of his mouth.
Swallowing the juice (yuck!) allows more chemicals to be absorbed in his stomach and digestive tract.
His blood levels of nicotine are high.
He puts himself in danger of cancer of the mouth and throat and tongue.
He’s eroding his teeth.
High blood nicotine levels lead to artery hardening and heart disease.
He’s not subjecting his lungs to cigarette smoke, so he doesn’t run the risk of lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - one good point.
Smokeless tobacco in any form is not a great idea.