Posts Tagged “Smokeless Tobacco”

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Samples of smokeless tobacco

Apparently yes, according to a new study – e-cigarettes too.

Substituting smokeless tobacco products can save smokers’ lives, and there is a scientific foundation that proves it.

That is the message Brad Rodu, D.D.S., professor of medicine at the University of Louisville (UofL) School of Medicine and the Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction at UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Feb. 18. Rodu spoke at the session, “Harm Reduction: Policy Change to Reduce the Global Toll of Smoking-Related Disease.”

“Quit or die: That’s been the brutal message delivered to 45 million American smokers, and it has helped contribute to 443,000 deaths per year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Rodu said. “The truth, however, is that total nicotine and tobacco abstinence is unattainable and unnecessary for many smokers.”

There is one interesting part of the study.

“Nicotine is addictive, but it is not the cause of any smoking-related disease. Like caffeine, nicotine can be used safely by consumers,” Rodu said.

And, the evidence?

Decades of epidemiologic research bear out Rodu’s findings. While no tobacco product is completely safe, smokeless products have been shown to be 98 percent safer than cigarettes. In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Physicians reported in 2002 that smokeless tobacco is up to 1,000 times less hazardous than smoking, and in 2007, further urged world governments to seriously consider instituting tobacco harm reduction strategies as a means to save lives.

To see the proof of what tobacco harm reduction can do, look to Sweden, Rodu said. “Over the past 50 years, Swedish men have had Europe’s highest per capita consumption of smokeless tobacco as well as Europe’s lowest cigarette use. During the same time, they also have the lowest rate of lung cancer than men in any other European country.”

While I would not recommend my patients to start smokeless tobacco or e-cigarettes, the evidence is there that if they cannot quit using smoking cessation programs at least recommend that they switch to another nicotine delivery system.

Rodu is well aware of the controversy his research findings generate. Opponents of any use of nicotine delivery products maintain that smokeless tobacco puts the user at great risk for oral cancer, a position not supported by research.

“The risk of mouth cancer among smokeless tobacco users is extremely low — certainly lower than the risk of smoking-related diseases among smokers,” he said. “The annual mortality rate among long-term dry snuff users is 12 deaths per 100,000 and the rate among users of more popular snus, moist snuff and chewing tobacco is much lower. For perspective, the death rate among automobile users is 11 per 100,000 according to a 2009 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Compare those to the rate among smokers: more than 600 deaths per 100,000 every year.”

“The data clearly show that smokeless tobacco users have, at most, about the same risk of dying from mouth cancer as automobile users have of dying in a car wreck.”

In summary, as far as far as death is concerned: cigarettes (smoked tobacco)> smokeless tobacco> e-cigarettes> or = car wreck.

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+++++ Update +++++

Good news!

Tony Gwynn is recovering after surgery and hopes to resume his coaching duties at San Diego State soon.

Surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from Tony Gwynn’s cheek was declared a success on Wednesday and the question for Thursday, especially with his San Diego State team set to open its season without its coach, is when will that signature smile return to the Aztecs’ dugout?

Gwynn, 51, underwent the surgery at the University of California-San Diego’s Thornton Hospital and his doctors released a statement that they believed the cancer had not spread. The tumor represented a recurrence of a cancer that was initially operated on in August 2010. This time, doctors said that to go deep enough, they would have to remove Gwynn’s facial nerve and replace it with another from his body, which meant it could take up to 18 months for Gwynn’s face to regain full function. He is hopeful, however, of returning to work in about a month.

After his surgery, Gwynn told Tom Friend of ESPN.com that he is ahead of schedule already. “Last time, I couldn’t lift my eye or close my mouth,” he said. “This time, my eye can close, my mouth can close. I feel good. I’m talking better than I did last time.”

San Diego Padres’ Tony Gwynn
Tony Gwynn had 3,141 base hits and a .338 career batting average over his 20-year career with the Padres.

What a shame, but a word to the wise.

Tony Gwynn, the Hall of Fame outfielder who 18 months ago blamed smokeless tobacco for a malignant growth inside his right cheek, was in his 13th hour of surgery Tuesday evening to remove a new cancerous tumor in the same spot.

According to Gwynn’s wife, Alicia, doctors do not believe the cancer has spread outside of Gwynn’s salivary gland. But she expects to know more after Tuesday’s intricate surgery, in which she said five doctors would likely perform a nerve graft to preserve Gwynn’s facial functions. The operation began at approximately 9:15 a.m. PT, and, as of 11 p.m. PT, the 51-year-old Gwynn was still in the operating room.

Tony told them to take [the malignant tumor] all out,” Alicia Gwynn said Tuesday morning. “They said they may need to remove the facial nerve — they might have to go a lot deeper. But he just told them to take it out. And if they do remove the facial nerve, they’ll replace it with a nerve from his shoulder or his leg.

Please don’t use smokeless tobacco and if you do QUIT.

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San Diego Padres’ Tony Gwynn
Tony Gwynn had 3,141 base hits and a .338 career batting average over his 20-year career with the Padres.

What a shame, but a word to the wise.

Tony Gwynn, the Hall of Fame outfielder who 18 months ago blamed smokeless tobacco for a malignant growth inside his right cheek, was in his 13th hour of surgery Tuesday evening to remove a new cancerous tumor in the same spot.

According to Gwynn’s wife, Alicia, doctors do not believe the cancer has spread outside of Gwynn’s salivary gland. But she expects to know more after Tuesday’s intricate surgery, in which she said five doctors would likely perform a nerve graft to preserve Gwynn’s facial functions. The operation began at approximately 9:15 a.m. PT, and, as of 11 p.m. PT, the 51-year-old Gwynn was still in the operating room.

Tony told them to take [the malignant tumor] all out,” Alicia Gwynn said Tuesday morning. “They said they may need to remove the facial nerve — they might have to go a lot deeper. But he just told them to take it out. And if they do remove the facial nerve, they’ll replace it with a nerve from his shoulder or his leg.

Please don’t use smokeless tobacco and if you do QUIT.

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Red Sox manager Terry Francona was among the most visible users of smokeless tobacco

Well, this is a start and those that sought a complete ban do not live in the real world.
Baseball’s new labor deal will limit the use of smokeless tobacco by players, but not ban it during games, as some public health groups had sought.

A baseball union summary obtained by The Associated Press says that players have agreed not to carry tobacco packages and tins in their back pockets or use tobacco during pregame or postgame interviews, and at team functions.

But it falls short of the call by some advocates, including members of Congress, who argued that a ban on chewing tobacco and dip during games was needed to protect impressionable kids watching on TV.

“Our members understand that this is a dangerous product, there are serious risks associated with using it,” union head Michael Weiner told The Associated Press. “Our players felt strongly that those were appropriate measures to take but that banning its use on the field was not appropriate under the circumstances.”

The players union has also agreed to join forces with the Partnership at DrugFree.org to create a nationwide public service announcement campaign. In addition, several players have agreed to a public outreach campaign, including Curtis Granderson, Jeremy Guthrie and C.J. Wilson. The union will start a Tobacco Cessation Center for its players, and players will be provided with training on how to give up the habit.

Let’s hope this is a logical step in beginning an outright ban of smokeless tobacco for Major League baseball players. In the minor baseball leagues, smokeless tobacoo has been banned since 1993.

The handwriting is on the wall for baseball’s elite players – QUIT – for better health!

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says smokeless tobacco can cause cancer, oral health problems and nicotine addiction, and stresses it is not a safe alternative to smoking. Despite the risks, the CDC’s most recent survey found that in 2009, 15 percent of high school boys used smokeless tobacco — a more than one-third increase over 2003.

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