be good to yourself...


Should I switch from smoking to smokeless (chewing) tobacco?

It would be a very poor trade-off to use smokeless tobacco as a replacement for smoking. For one thing, it's pretty disgusting to watch someone chewing - and spitting out the tobacco juice. And though the risk of developing lung cancer and emphysema may be lowered, chewing has its own set of horrors.

David Drupp ([email protected]) writes:

"I have been asked to explain why smokeless tobacco is not a safe substitute for smokers who want to quit.

"First of all my wife works for an oral surgeon, and she is my main drive, along with my 2 young sons, to quit this nasty habit.

"She has told me of this one guy who had to have his entire jawbone removed and had hip bone taken to replace it. This was a direct result of smokeless tobacco wreaking havoc and causing cancer that had gotten to the bone. This guy, early 30s (who I would love to meet myself) has to wear a face shield with pins in his neck area to hold the hip bone replacement in place until it bonds and starts to grow. If that isn't bad enough to not start this habit then what is. This is not the only case they had on smokeless tobacco users -I can only imagine how many people have it and don't know. I am one of the lucky ones who had access to the warning signs but most don't. I started when I was 15 years old playing baseball and am now 29 years old married almost 10 years with 2 kids. I am damn lucky I didn't have anything happen to me. The absolute clincher was when a 24 year old came in to have a biopsy on his lip and found out he had cancer. 24 years old - think about it!!!

"For those who must chew - please do not put the chew in the same place every time you chew. This is what causes the breakdown of the lip. It first turns white - leukoplakia is the term - which is a pre-cancerous sign. Then is may get hardened and change color - IF you have any of these signs - GO GET CHECKED!!

"I never put it in the same spot twice and had as many as 6 areas I used so I wouldn't get the bad spots on my lips. I am not condoning chewing but IF you must and are reading this - move it around until you have the courage to quit."