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Safe Alternatives to Chewing Tobacco

Sonia Nair Jul 28, 2020
Often viewed as a safe alternative to smoking tobacco products, chewing tobacco too is not less dangerous. Here are some safer alternatives to chewing tobacco.
Whether it be cigarettes, snuff, chews, dips or hookah, tobacco is consumed across the world in many different forms. Did you know that chewing is one of the oldest methods of using tobacco?
A small amount of tobacco leaves (processed ones) is kept in between the gums and the cheek (on in between the teeth) for a very long time, so that it can be chewed and crushed inside the mouth to release the flavor. Even chewing tobacco is available in many different forms, like plug, loose leaves, pellets, etc.
Whatever may be the form, chewing tobacco, which is a type of smokeless tobacco, is also harmful. Off late, many are found to opt for chewing tobacco, as a safe alternative to smoking. This is only a misconception, as chewing can be more dangerous, as it is kept in the mouth for a very long time.
This results in a higher level of nicotine in blood and this nicotine level is retained for longer periods. Regular use of chewing tobacco may lead to cardiac problems, teeth and gum problems, oral diseases, certain forms of cancer (especially mouth and throat cancer), tooth erosion, tooth loss and bad breath. So, it is always better to stop its use.

Chewing Tobacco Alternatives

You can quit the habit of chewing tobacco in many different ways. You may either quit it all of a sudden or taper it off gradually. Once you decide to quit this habit, then it is always best to implement it from the very next moment. Discard the tobacco products you have and avoid going to friends who have this habit.
Initially, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms, like irritability, intense cravings, constipation, weight gain, cravings for sweets, etc. If you finding it difficult to cope with these symptoms, then you may opt for some safe alternatives to chewing tobacco.
These products can help you in quitting the habit, but make sure that you don't get addicted to these substitutes. Even though these alternatives may not be that harmful, it is not advisable to get addicted to anything.

Natural Products

You may opt for some natural and healthy alternatives to chewing tobacco, like, nuts, seeds, raisins and fruits (fresh or dried). It is better to use a combination of different items rather than sticking to one. You may use almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, apple slices and dried fruits. 
Fresh fruit slices without any added sweetener or flavorings are one of the best alternatives. If you like nuts or seeds, choose the unsalted types.

Chewing Gum

This is one of the commonly used materials for quitting tobacco. But, make sure to use sugar free types with no harmful additives. 'Big League chew' is one of the popular brands of chewing gum that was introduced for baseball players who wanted to quit chewing tobacco.
Unlike other types of chewing gum, 'Big League' comes in shredded form so that the user gets the feeling of shredded tobacco leaves. Though, it has a little sugar, this chewing gum can be given a try.

Herbal Products

Nowadays, you may find a lot of herbal alternatives too. These products are claimed to be highly useful, as they have the texture of chewing tobacco, but without any tobacco or nicotine content. 
Some of the herbs that are used in these herbal products include hawthorn, black walnut, mint, ginseng, angelica and red clover. These products too come in shredded forms. Even though these products are claimed to be safe, it is always advisable to use them as per the instructions of your doctor.
This is only a brief overview about some safer alternatives to chewing tobacco. So, it is always better to consult your doctor with regard to the safety of such products.
Apart from the earlier ones, there are various other products, like 'Jerky Chew', which is shredded beef jerky. This is also said to produce a feeling that is similar to chewing tobacco. Whatever product you use to quit chewing tobacco, you must have the determination and willpower for getting rid of the habit.