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Substance Abuse

Chewing Tobacco Leads To More Than 200,000 Deaths Worldwide

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Many players in professional baseball, including Major League Baseball (MLB), have long been engaged in the practice of chewing tobacco during games. However, a recent research reveals the impact of this practice on the health of players.

The study — a collaboration of Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh, with financial support from the Medical Research Council and Leeds City Council — revealed that use of smokeless tobacco led to more than 200,000 fatalities in 2010 alone. Direct causes of the deaths range from mouth cancers to cardiovascular diseases. Data for the study came from several surveys, including the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study.

Despite the alarming death rate caused by smokeless tobacco use, study co-author Dr. Kamran Siddiqi said that their findings may just be scratching the surface. “It is possible that these figures are underestimated and future studies may reveal that the impact is even bigger. We need a global effort to try and address and control smokeless tobacco,” according to Siddiqi as reported in a news item.

The research team believes that the current laws and regulations that have succeeded in reducing cigarette smoking need to translate to regulating smokeless tobacco as well. “There is a need to build on the insights obtained from efforts to reduce cigarette smoking and to investigate strategies to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco,” Siddiqi added.

The state of California announced a proposed bill that prohibits chewing tobacco in MLB games. The bill authored by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) was passed in June 2015, according to a news report.


Addiction Health & Wellness Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

New Study Shows Smokeless Tobacco Use in Youngsters

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Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org.

In some downright disgusting news, a new study out of the Harvard School of Public Health says about one in 20 American
kids are using chewing tobacco, snuff and other smokeless tobacco products.

Researchers gleaned the information by combing through the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which contains data from 18,000 kids from Grades 6-12. Slightly more than 5% had used some kind of smokeless tobacco product within the 30 days prior to the survey. Just over 72% had used cigarettes or cigars.

Researchers said peer pressure was likely the cause for the tobacco use and recommended more effective warning labels on tobacco products.

Substance Abuse

FDA on Dissolvable Tobacco

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A scientific advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its opinion on dissolvable tobacco products, via a report posted online prior to the Friday deadline required by law that gives the FDA the authority to regulate the industry.

The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee said that while dissolvable tobacco products had lower health risks when compared against smoking cigarettes, it also had the potential to increase the number of people who use tobacco.

These products are reportedly being eyed by tobacco companies as a possible answer to declining cigarette use due to tax hikes, increasing health concerns, smoking bans, and social stigma.

It is among the alternative tobacco products that companies are looking at for future sales growth. These products also include cigars, snuff, and chewing tobacco.

Dissolvable tobacco is described as finely-milled tobacco that is pressed into shapes, like tablets, that dissolve slowly in a user’s mouth. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is said to be test-marketing dissolvable tablets, strips, and a toothpick shape. These products carry the brands Camel Orbs, Camel Strips, and Camel Sticks, respectively, and are available in mint as well as other flavors. The orbs can last for 15 minutes. The strips, on the other hand, can dissolve in five minutes or less, while the sticks can last for 15 to 20 minutes.

Other products that are being marketed as well by other tobacco companies include wooden sticks coated with finely-milled tobacco under Phillip Morris USA’s Marlboro brand (still in the test-marketing phase), and tobacco lozenges in wintergreen, coffee, and tobacco flavors, from Star Scientific Inc.

Substance Abuse

Study: Smokeless Tobacco Can Help Save Smokers’ Lives

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Using smokeless tobacco products can help save the lives of smokers, according to a study conducted by a researcher from the University of Louisville.

The study indicated that substituting smokeless tobacco products can save smokers’ lives. The findings were the result of 20 years of research conducted by Brad Rodu, D.D.S., professor of medicine at the University of Louisville (U of L) School of Medicine and the Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center of U of L.

The research findings were presented by Rodu during the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on February 18. He said, “Quit or die: that’s been the brutal message delivered to 45 million American smokers, and it has helped contribute to 443,000 deaths per year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The truth, however, is that total nicotine and tobacco abstinence is unattainable and unnecessary for many smokers.”

Rodu found that replacing smoking products with e-cigarettes or spit-free smokeless tobacco is a safer alternative for smokers who are still unwilling or unable to give up their tobacco habit. Smokeless tobacco products, the feature shared further, continue to deliver nicotine without the other harmful effects of smoking tobacco products.

Rodu shared: “Nicotine is addictive, but it is not the cause of any smoking-related disease. Like caffeine, nicotine can be used safely by consumers.”

There is, however, controversy over Rodu’s findings, as those who opposed the use of nicotine delivery products claim that smokeless tobacco increases a user’s risk for developing oral cancer.

Health & Wellness

Smokeless Tobacco Just as Toxic as Ever

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New research has found at least 21 new carcinogens and toxins in smokeless tobacco. According to this research this means that a single pinch of the product equals just as much harmful exposure as five cigarettes, making the effects far worse for the snuff user. Smokeless tobacco use has been rising since the 80s, primarily from the common misperception that smokeless tobacco is less harmful than cigarettes because it is not inhaled. The reality is that there are at least twenty six cancer causing substances in smokeless tobacco and a very high risk of developing oral cancers as well.  One of the new toxins found in smokeless tobacco is PAH, an environmental contaminate that comes from the wood burned in the fire curing process that makes the tobacco into a snuff.  Smokeless tobacco use is rising again due to the production and advertising of products like Snuss which offer smokers an alternative to going outdoors or looking for a smoking area when they need nicotine.