Special Programs





Learn: Smokeless Tobacco, the Safer Route?

Most people seem to think smokeless tobacco (snuff, snus, or chewing tobacco) is safer to use since you are not exposed to smoke, the carcinogens, the tar, etc. We hate to break it to you, but you’re actually causing major damage to your entire body by using smokeless tobacco.

Most smokeless tobacco products have some of the highest nicotine content available, with levels of 23 to 26 milligrams per can! Nicotine is the addictive ingredient your brain gets hooked on, and keeps you coming back for more. When chewing or using other smokeless tobacco products, you are exposing yourself to as much nicotine as a half a pack of cigarettes.

Not worried about the nicotine and enjoy the buzz you get when using it? Well, instead think about the ingredients your mouth and body are exposed to. In most smokeless tobacco products, ingredients such as, formaldehyde, cadmium, lead, nitrosamines, arsenic and cyanide can be found. These ingredients are also known as embalming fluid, car battery fluid, nerve poison and cancer causing substances. All of these ingredients can lead to gum disease, tooth decay or tooth loss, heart disease or stroke. You expose your entire body to these risky substances when using smokeless tobacco through your mouth tissue, where it goes directly into your blood stream.

It doesn’t take long before you can develop white or gray patches (leukoplakia) which may be the beginning signs of oral cancer. If this occurs, you can stop using tobacco and the patches may go away. If not, you should see a doctor.

Ready to quit? Your care team is here to help you.

For more info on Tobacco Cessation courses offered at Naval Medical Center San Diego please contact Health & Wellness at (619) 532-6846​​