We work hard to provide for the ones we love. On Valentines Day we express that love with hearts. But, if you are chewing tobacco that heart may not be healthy. Tobacco contains nicotine. Nicotine's effects on the heart are dramatic. If you chew tobacco you are taking in more than three times the nicotine of a smoker. The amount of nicotine in the blood remains at twice that of a smoker even two hours after use. How does nicotine affect the heart?
Ø Your heart beat increases while your blood veins become constricted creating high blood pressure.
Ø The proportion of "good" cholesterol (HDL) to "bad" cholesterol (LDL) is decreased leading to high cholesterol and the accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels.
Ø The chemistry of the blood is changed so it has an increased tendency to clot.
Because of the curing process chewing tobacco has high levels of sodium, which contributes to high blood pressure. All of this is bad news for the heart. Tobacco use puts you at a higher risk for heart disease, strokes, and other circulatory problems. If you have a family history of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, or are overweight your risk is even higher.
And tobacco companies want you to believe that chew is a safe alternative to smoking! There is no safe way to use tobacco!
If you chew tobacco, your loved ones may be concerned about your mouth (gum disease, cancers of the mouth, tongue and digestive tract). But that heart you give them may be a ticking time bomb.
If you use chewing tobacco and want to quit
Call 1-800-844-CHEW (2439)
Source: National Institutes of Health, Monograph 2,Smokeless Tobacco or Health, 1992
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