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Smokeless tobacco

Smokeless tobacco products like snuff also cause cancer

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: smokeless tobacco, cancer, health news

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(NaturalNews) A recent study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology is urging tobacco manufacturers to reformulate a smokeless tobacco product called moist snuff. Researchers from Minnesota have found that the product contains high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are highly toxic, cancer-causing substances.

Used in between the lip and gum, moist snuff has grown in popularity over the years due to increased awareness about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Commonly thought to be a safer alternative to cigarettes, moist snuff is turning out to have its own slew of dangers. The PAHs found in moist snuff can lead to various cancers including oral, pancreatic, and esophageal. Precancerous oral lesions are typically the first symptoms to appear.

Twenty-three moist snuff products, including samples from the most popular brands, were examined by Irina Stepanov and her team from the University of Minnesota. As many as 28 different PAHs were discovered in the samples, nine of which are known carcinogens. These included naphthalene and chrysene.

Prior to this recent study, trace amounts of only one PAH had ever been found in a smokeless tobacco product. For this reason, the smokeless tobacco products have been marketed as a safer alternative for tobacco users concerned about the toxic effects of cigarettes.

Study researchers hope that the tobacco industry will take action to eliminate these harmful substances from their products. Since many people falsely assume that smokeless tobacco products are safe alternatives to cigarettes, experts insist that findings should be taken seriously by product manufacturers.

Comments by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

The problem with becoming addicted to nicotine is that you always need another hit in some form, and as this report indicates, many people have switched to "smokeless" tobacco products to avoid the carcinogens found in cigarette smoke. But in doing so, they've subjected themselves a different profile of carcinogens found in snuff products.

The tobacco industry, of course, has always tried to bamboozle consumers by claiming their products are safe. Cigarettes, remember, were promoted by doctors who said they boost memory and improve your teeth! Big Tobacco has a long history of taking dangerous products and marketing them as safe or even healthy.

The bottom line for all consumers is to avoid processed tobacco products, as they are highly carcinogenic regardless of their form.

In my opinion, it's probably safer to just smoke natural, unprocessed tobacco leaf than to chew processed tobacco snuff. There's a considerable amount of evidence to suggest that the really harmful substances in tobacco are added (or altered) by the tobacco companies during manufacturing.

Sources for this story include:

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