Quitting Tobacco - Stop Oral Cancers

Posted by MRINAL AGRAWAL on July 4th, 2019

Chewing Tobacco & its by-products is many centuries old in the Indian subcontinent. The two main forms of Tobaco abuse are chewing & smoking

India is the second largest consumer of Tobacco in the world. It is also the third largest producer of tobacco.
The prevalence of overall tobacco abuse among males in India is 47% and among females is 22%.

Data show that, in India more than 35% of adult population consumes tobacco in one form or another, of this roughly 55% use only smokeless tobacco; 30% of these are only smokers while 15%  users of both smoking and smokeless tobacco. Over 250 million of Indian population above the age 15 uses some form of tobacco. Smoked tobacco (cigarattes or Beedis) abuse is seen more in men compared to women who are more likely to use chewed tobacco.In India beedis are smoked more than cigarettes.

More than 4,000 different types of toxic chemicals are found in tobacco & tobacco smoke. Over 60 of these chemicals have been classified as carcinogens (cancer causing agents) by International Agency on Research in Cancer (IARC). The main chemical found in tobacco is 'nicotine', which is primarily responsible for tobacco addiction. It is a highly addictive chemical. Its usage over a long period of time can make a person physically and psychologically dependent on Nicotine.

Tobacco abuse affects almost every major organ in the body, causing a great deal of morbidity and many a times an untimely death. Nearly 45% of all cancers among males in India and 17% among females in India are directly attributable to tobacco abuse.

Quitting Chewing Tobacco

The research on methods to quit chewing tobacco products is relatively limited, and the effectiveness of strategies for quitting it is also not as well understood as strategies to quit smoking Tobacco. Nonetheless, guidelines for smoking cessation may be beneficial.


Human interventions that have been found most effective in quitting chewing tobacco and other smokeless products include the following.

  • Nicotine replacement therapy

    - Using nicotine chewing gum or lozenges, a nicotine replacement that is also absorbed through the lining of the mouth, can help reduce the cravings for tobacco products. Even nicotine patch therapy will work in the same manner.
  • Varenicline

    - It is a non-nicotine prescription medication which can help in reducing nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It does so by mimicking how nicotine functions in human body.
  • Behavioral interventions

     — A psychiatric facility can use self-help materials, counseling or professional advices, this can provide an addict with needed support and helps them develop coping mechanisms.


Quitting Smoking Tobacco

Quitting Smoking tobacco is the most researched thing because of its predominant use globally. Quitting is not easy. An addict may have short-term side effects such as weight gain, irritability & anxiety. Some people give several tries before they succeed.

The most common techniques used for quitting smoking include those used in chewing tobacco as mentioned above as well as following:

  • e-cigarettes

For certain cases nicotine patches don’t work. There e-cigarettes are definitely worth a try. A recent study found e-cigarettes to be almost twice as effective at helping smokers quit. “e-cigarettes provide that behavioural component, which other medications for stopping smoking can't" says Dr Rakesh Thaper, an eminent Dentist in India

We hope that this article will put some more light on the ways to quit any kind of tobacco abuse, to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of oral cancer

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Joined: June 29th, 2019
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