Smoking has been implicated in a number of conditions and malignancies including emphysema, lung cancer and the different forms of oral cancer. While the best recourse for individuals who are dependent on tobacco and nicotine is to kick the habit, some people do not have the willpower required to do just that. However, with smokeless tobacco being advertised as not carcinogenic and chewing tobacco accepted in a number of societies, smokers are thinking that they can switch the mode of how they consume tobacco and everything would be fine. But is that really the case? Could you really stave off oral cancer just because you’re puffing on smokeless tobacco rather than the ordinary cigarette?

In a study which was participated in on by individuals of South Asian origin, around 80 percent of the respondents were not sure as to the real harmful effects of both using smokeless cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Around 17 percent of the respondents have indicated that they use smokeless tobacco while 22 percent of the participants are puffing the normal tobacco. Moreover, 29 percent of the respondents are saying that they think that smoking is more harmful than using smokeless tobacco while 49 percent of the participants are saying that they do not know which of the two is more harmful.

Ordinary Tobacco vs Smokeless Tobacco

In reality, smokeless tobacco is actually just as deleterious as smoking tobacco in the traditional manner. While smokeless tobacco may no longer contain the same carcinogen which is implicated in ordinary tobacco, the former also contains areca nut, a substance which is already proven to be a carcinogen. The main difference between smokeless tobacco and the normal variety has to do with fact that the areca nut does not burn the same way that tobacco does. On the other hand, this ingredient can actually be chewed or inhaled through the nose and will elicit the same effect as smoking ordinary tobacco.

Oral Cancer Among South Asians

South Asians have some of the highest prevalence rates for oral cancer as compared to people of other races. The incidence of mouth cancer is higher among female South Asians as compared to their male counterparts. Regardless of the high incidence rates for oral cancer about South Asians, only 10 percent of the respondents have asked their dentists to screen them for oral cancer. When it comes to beating cancer, the disease must be diagnosed early making screening procedures a must for individuals who are at high risk of having oral cancer.

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