The Dangers of Smokeless Tobacco

chewing-tobaccoBeing married to a baseball fan, I get plenty of opportunities to watch the televised games. I enjoy the sport, but I am disappointed by the number of players using smokeless tobacco during the game. The telltale circle of the can in their back pocket, the wad in their cheek, and the frequent spitting are impossible to miss.

The April 15th edition of The Seattle Times printed an article by Meg Tirrell of Bloomberg News (MLB asked to chew on tobacco ban). It detailed efforts by Rep. Henry Waxman to encourage Major League Baseball and the players’ union to end the on field use of smokeless tobacco.

I don’t know whether or not Congress should be involved, but I do know the dangers posed by smokeless tobacco. The article reports that nine out of every ten people who dies from mouth and throat cancers used tobacco. And tobacco products are linked to higher rates of gum disease, one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss.

I have seen firsthand the injury to oral tissue caused by smokeless tobacco and I strongly urge anyone using it to try to kick the habit. If you have trouble stopping, consult your physician to see what medical help is available to you.

— Linda Billingsley RDH