Stuff About Snuff
Snuff is a form of smokeless tobacco and the most common variety of snuff is designed to be inhaled into the nose. Snuff is made from ground or pulverised tobacco and is sometimes blended with flavourings that change its scent.
After being sniffed or inhaled into the nose, the scent and flavours of snuff tobacco linger in the nasal cavity. Nicotine is absorbed into the body through the mucous membrane along with other chemicals.
Because snuff isn’t burned like the tobacco in cigarettes, there are some who believe that it is a safe alternative. But while snuff does lack tar and some of the hazardous chemicals created when tobacco is combusted for smoking, it still carries health risks.
Snuff is linked to a variety of illnesses including high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. Snuff has also been associated with increased risk of premature birth and stillbirth in pregnant women.
Types Of Snuff
There are two main types of snuff; dry and moist. Dry snuff is inhaled into the nasal cavity while moist snuff is placed between the lips or cheek and gum with nicotine being absorbed through the lining of the nose or mouth.
The process of making and using snuff originated in the Americas and became popular in Europe around four hundred years ago. Snuff tobacco is manufactured differently to regular tobacco, undergoing special blending and maturing over months or even years.
Snuff is available in unscented varieties, but most snuff tobacco has flavourings added to alter the scent and taste. These additional flavourings include coffee, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, bourbon and whisky as well as many more.
Dry snuff is made from ground or pulverised tobacco, often blended with flavourings. Snuff is used by inhaling a pinch of tobacco into the nose where the scent lingers in the nasal cavity. Nicotine from the inhaled tobacco is absorbed into the body through the mucous membrane.
The most common form of moist snuff is dipping tobacco. This smokeless tobacco product is known by many names including dip, chew, fresh leaf and chaw. Dipping tobacco is made up of ground or pulverised tobacco that has usually been fermented and is used by placing a pinch of tobacco between the lower lip and gum.
Snuff is another form of moist snuff. Originating in Sweden, snuff is placed between the upper lip and gum. Unlike dipping tobacco, snuff is pasteurized instead of fermented and generally doesn’t require spitting.
Snuff And Health Risks
While some of the health risks that come with using snuff tobacco are different to smoking, they are still serious dangers. Because snuff isn’t inhaled into the lungs, there is less risk of lung disease and there is no risk of second hand smoke. However, in addition to being highly addictive, snuff increases the chances of developing high blood pressure and heart disease which can lead to a stroke or even death.
Using snuff during pregnancy increases the chances of premature birth and still birth as well as other reproductive problems.
In addition to staining teeth and causing tooth decay, snuff tobacco can also lead to leukoplakia. Leukoplakia takes the form of grey-white patches in the mouth that can develop into cancer over time. Usually painless, these patches are sometimes mistaken for sores.
There has not been a lot of research into the long term effects of using snuff. This means there is a limited amount of information on how snuff is linked to cancer, especially compared to cigarettes. While there is strong evidence to show that moist snuff causes cancer, there is currently less information about dry snuff.
As snuff isn’t burned like the tobacco used in cigarettes, cigars and pipes, it doesn’t produce some of the cancerous chemicals that are only created when tobacco is burned. However, while there are many dangerous substances released when tobacco is burned, there are plenty of other chemicals in snuff that are still linked to causing cancer.
One of the most dangerous chemicals in snuff tobacco are TSNA, or tobacco-specific nitrosamines. Two of these TSNA chemicals are classified as Group 1 carcinogens, meaning they’ve been proven to cause cancer in humans.
As well as TSNA, snuff tobacco contains a number of other carcinogenic chemicals known to cause cancer. These harmful chemicals have been linked with pancreatic, oral and esophageal cancer as well as cancer of the nose and sinus.
And In Conclusion
Dry and moist snuff both contain high levels of nicotine, the same addictive chemical that makes it so difficult to quit smoking.
When dry snuff is inhaled into the nose or moist snuff placed inside the mouth, nicotine is absorbed through the mucous membrane of the nasal or oral cavities. This means that the high levels of nicotine in snuff tobacco quickly enter the body making snuff highly addictive.
Some of the harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke are only created when tobacco is burned, which means that snuff usually contains less dangerous substances. While snuff might lack some of the dangers associated with smoking, it still carries a variety of health risks. Combining these health problems with addictive nicotine makes snuff a dangerous alternative to cigarettes.
There is a big difference between being less harmful than cigarettes and being safe. The health risks associated with snuff including high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, stroke and death. Snuff still increases the chance of disease and death for anyone using it as well as the risk of premature births and stillbirths in pregnant women.
Contrary to the popular misconception, snuff tobacco is not safe and harmless. While it may carry less risks than cigarettes in some regards, snuff users still face increased risk of gum and tooth decay as well as cancer, heart disease and more.
There are a lot of risks associated with using snuff as a nicotine replacement therapy to help quit smoking. In addition to the health risks, the high levels of nicotine in snuff tobacco can make it just as addictive as cigarettes.