March 22, 2019

Almost as if it were a right of passage, most men can tell you what their first chewing tobacco experience was like. Growing up as most red-blooded American young men do - playing baseball, hunting and fishing, or simply reveling in adolescence - chewing tobacco has a skill for finding its way into the eager and naive lips and gums of young men. We’re singling out men for good reason - 2012 data showed that 7.1% of adult men (eight million) use chewing tobacco in one form or another, whereas only one-half of one percent of women in America use chewing tobacco.[1]

We won’t insult you by thinking you don’t already know chewing tobacco and nicotine are bad for you, or pretend that we are the first ones to try to convince you to stop. Our place is simply to remind you that you work far too hard to diminish your life with some pretty ugly problems that can occur from the use of chewing tobacco.

Can you get mouth, tongue, cheek, and gum cancer from chewing tobacco? No secret here, you most certainly can. How about cancer in the esophagus from swallowed spit that contains the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette along with 30 other chemicals known to cause cancer? Yup, it doesn’t take a doctor to figure out that this is a pretty common place for cancer to show up. What about pancreatic cancer? Absolutely.[2] You’ll have to take this one from us since only 10 to 20 percent of the 50,000 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year have a form that is operable. The remaining are left simply with ways to manage pain and time. [3]

I’m sure you’re no stranger to the pictures of people with missing lower jaws, rotting gums and teeth, or cheek skin that was transplanted from other areas of their body to repair damage done by the use of chewing tobacco. We all tell ourselves things to avoid the realities we don’t want to confront - like “I may chew tobacco, but at least it is healthier than smoking cigarettes.” The truth of the matter is that chewing tobacco products usually release more nicotine into the body than smoking, and there are some pretty concerning areas of study right now looking at nicotines hormonal effects, particularly related to erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, and infertility. [4] [5] [6]

Modern technology and innovation have ushered in healthier alternatives to smoking and chewing tobacco. One such product which has received a lot of attention in recent year by Major League Baseball is Grinds Coffee Pouches. A healthier and energy stimulating alternative is achieved by placing a pouch that is filled with coffee grinds in place of chewing tobacco between your teeth and gums. While they may not offer the same addictive nicotine fix as the products of our grandfathers, what they do offer is a way to take control of our health, time to enjoy the fruits of our labor, and far better breath.



[1] Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings - [2] American Cancer Society: Health Risks of Smokeless Tobacco - [3] MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute. Blog: Inside Cancer - https:// [4] Truth Initiative: 3 ways tobacco use impacts your sex life - [5] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health - [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health -