The built project was funded by the California’s Tobacco Tax Fund (Proposition 99) from 1999-2007, and in that time, developed numerous resources about cessation and prevention of tobacco use by construction and blue collar workers.  Many of these materials are still available in hard copy through the Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California (TECC):  (search for “union”).

We are pleased to have received funding from Pfizer to update the website and select materials.  Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

July 2003

Have a dip! It's easy to do if you're a construction worker. When both hands are needed for work it's an easy way to satisfy that nicotine "urge." Almost everyone else on the job chews. One tobacco company claims that chewing tobacco is healthier than smoking.

That is just another example of what Big Tobacco will say to get you hooked on their products. Chewing tobacco is at least as addictive as cigarettes. People who use chew are four times more likely to get oral cancer than those who don't. Chewing tobacco is not only considered a primary risk factor for cancer of the mouth and throat but is linked to cancer of the esophagus, pancreas and urinary bladder…not to mention the dental problems.

Smokeless tobacco is composed of 28 chemicals known to cause cancer. These include:

Benzo(a)pyrene - which is also found in coal tar pitch and asphalt.

Formaldehyde - which is part of the resin used in particle board and foam insulation.

Cadmium - used in non-corrosive metal coatings and paints.

Nickel - used in stainless steel and other metal alloys.

Polonium 210 - a naturally occurring radioactive element.

Tobacco-specific Nitrosamines - found only in tobacco, these are some of the most potent carcinogens known.

No wonder Surgeon General Richard Carmona said, "I cannot conclude that the use of any tobacco product is a safer alternative to smoking." Carmona further warned against "trading one carcinogen for another." Cigarette smoke contains 48 cancer-causing chemicals. There are 28 cancer-causing chemicals in smokeless tobacco. Does that make it less harmful?

If you chew and want to quit

Call the California Smokers Helpline


Source: National Cancer Institute Monograph 2, Smokeless Tobacco or Health, 1992