Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco is far more addictive than cigarettes are.
The tobacco industry uses a graduation process to create addiction to smokeless tobacco using starter products that are low in nicotine and that have a candy-like taste.
In fact, the strongest brand, Copenhagen, underlines this point by using the phrase, " Sooner or Later " in their advertising.
One tin of smokeless tobacco equals the amount of nicotine in four packs of cigarettes. This cheaper high adds to its appeal to young people.
After using smokeless tobacco for a few weeks, the user's lips and gums begin to crack, bleed, wrinkle and develop sores and white spots.
Habitual use of smokeless tobacco can lead to oral cancer and this can occur faster than cancers caused by smoking cigarettes.
Oral cancers caused by smokeless tobacco use can lead to grotesque facial disfigurations and death.
Smokeless tobacco use numbs taste buds so that food doesn't taste or smell as good.
Smokeless tobacco stains teeth, wears off enamel, leads to gum recession and causes bad breathe.
11.8 % of New Hampshire high school students used smokeless tobacco and 5.7 % used it on school property during the past 30 days.
Use of smokeless tobacco among youth is a growing problem. 67 % of children begin use before the age of 12. It is also becoming popular amongst teenage girls.
Among college athletes, 60 % of male baseball players, 40 % of football players and 9 % of female softball players use smokeless tobacco.
 NH Department of Education, Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), 1995.  US Department of Health and Human Services, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon GeneraL Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health, 1994
Prepared by the NH Department of Health & Human Services, Tobacco Prevention Program. For more information, call 800-852-3345, x6891 or 603 271-6891.