Don't Use Chewing Tobacco

By: Patrick Dean



  • Smokeless tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing agents (carcinogens).
  • Smokeless tobacco is a known cause of human cancer; it increases the risk of developing cancer of the oral cavity.

Oral Health

  • Smokeless tobacco is also strongly associated with leukemia—a precancerous lesion of the soft tissue in the mouth that consists of a white patch or plaque that cannot be scraped off.
  • Smokeless tobacco is associated with recession of the gums, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Reproductive Health

  • Smokeless tobacco use during pregnancy increases the risks for Precambrian (i.e., a condition that may include high blood pressure, fluid retention, and swelling), premature birth, and low birth weight.
  • Smokeless tobacco use by men causes reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm cells.

Nicotine Addiction

  • Smokeless tobacco use can lead to nicotine addiction and dependence.
  • Adolescents who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers.

This information is from


DANGER SIGNS - If you use smokeless tobacco, or have in the past, you should be on the lookout for some of these early signs of oral cancer:

* A sore that does not heal
* A lump or white patch
* A prolonged sore throat
* Difficulty in chewing
* Restricted movement of the tongue or jaws
* A feeling of something in the throat


Percentage of Adults Who Were Current Smokeless Tobacco Users in 2009

3.5% of all adults (aged 18 years and older)

  • 7.0% of men
  • 0.3% of women
  • 1.0% of African Americans
  • 5.7% of American Indian/Alaska Natives*
  • 0.5% of Asian Americans
  • 1.1% of Hispanics
  • 4.5% of whites

Percentage of High School Students who were Current Smokeless Tobacco Users in 2009

  • 6.1% of all high school students
  • 11.0% of males
  • 1.5% of females
  • 1.8% of African Americans
  • 1.5% of Asians
  • 4.6% of Hispanics
  • 7.5% of whites

Percentage of Middle School Students who were Current Smokeless Tobacco Users in 2009

  • 2.6% of all middle school students
  • 4.1% of males
  • 1.2% of females
  • 1.7% of African Americans
  • 2.0% of Asians
  • 3.4% of Hispanics
  • 2.8% of Whites

These stats came from

Real Life

Sean Marsee died at age 19 from using chewing tobacco. He was diagnosed with oral cancer and had battled it for ten months before cancer won. He was an outstanding track star who had won 28 medals in the 400 meter relay as an anchor. He had to have the left side of his jawbone, tongue, and more things removed so that he could try to stay alive. On February 25th, he won his final race and an hour later, he died from oral cancer.