Heart Group Slams Smokeless Tobacco Products

We have written that although smokeless tobacco users have long believed that <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">snuff and chewing tobacco are safer than smoking cigarettes, a prior study revealed some disturbing findings regarding the alternative tobacco products. Now, according to Bloomberg Business News, these products have been deemed unsafe according to a policy statement released yesterday by the American Heart Association (AHA).

“No tobacco product is safe to consume,” said Mariann Piano—a professor in the biobehavioral health science department at the University of Illinois in Chicago and the statement’s lead writer—in the AHA news release, wrote Bloomberg Business News.

The statement, which was published online in the journal Circulation, warned that smokeless tobacco products are not only addictive, they could also increase the likelihood of “fatal stroke and certain cancers,” wrote Bloomberg Business News.

According to Science Daily previously, although smokeless tobacco products do not burn, thus not producing inhalable smoke, just one pinch exposes the user to the same amount of a group of dangerous chemicals as the smoke from five cigarettes. One pinch is the equivalent of one portion.

The study on which those findings were based looked at health concerns beyond what is already known about nitrosamines and nicotine, said Science Daily, and researched polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in smokeless tobacco. The findings were reported at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

According to scientists involved in the research, the study’s findings add to existing scientific knowledge that smokeless tobacco products contain two-dozen other carcinogens that cause cancers of the mouth and pancreas, reported Science Daily.

“This study once again clearly shows us that smokeless tobacco is not safe,” said Irina Stepanov, Ph.D., who led the research team and is a chemist with Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, quoted Science Daily in an earlier report. “Our finding places snuff on the same list of major sources of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as smoking cigarettes,” Stepanov added.

Science Daily explained that PAHs are common environmental contaminants created during incomplete burning of wood, coal, fat in meat, and organic matter. For instance, PAHs form, when meats are grilled. “The feeling of safety among some smokeless users is wrong,” said Stepanov. “A total of 28 carcinogens were identified in smokeless tobacco even before our study. Continued exposure to these over a period of time can lead to cancer. Now we have found even more carcinogens in snuff,” reported Science Daily.

The study also found that not only does smokeless tobacco increase the risk of cancer, it can lead to nicotine addiction. Of note, given the rise in smokeless tobacco use and related advertising, said Science Daily, which noted that, according to some estimates, moist snuff use has doubled since the 1980s.

Last year we wrote that nicotine-containing tobacco replacement products might be linked to mouth and throat cancers, citing a then-emerging study.

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