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Smokeless but not danger-free


Smokeless tobacco products, which are now available locally, still pose a high risk of addiction and returning to smoking and should not be used as alternative to cigarettes, says the American Heart Association. In a policy statement published in the medical journal Circulation, lead writer and Department of Biobehavioral Health Science, University of Illinois professor Dr. Mariann Piano said “no tobacco product is safe to consume.” Instead, nicotine replacement therapy, in the form of nicotine gum or a nicotine-releasing skin patch, is a much safer alternative to smokeless tobacco products. “Scientists and policy makers need to assess the effect of ‘reduced risk’ messages related to smokeless tobacco use on public perception,” Dr. Piano warned. Smokeless tobacco products may refer to the following: chewing tobacco, snuff, tobacco gum, dissolvable tobacco, and tobacco water.

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