Smokeless tobacco (i.e. chewing tobacco) might not give you lung cancer, but it is a terrible activity for your lungs nonetheless.
New research from the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research details how smokeless tobacco could give users a bacterial infection, causing inflammation in their lungs.
Becasuse smokeless tobacco products, which include snuff and chewing tobacco, are held in the mouth, or sinuses, they make fertile breeding grounds for bacteria, and their extended proximity to a person’s mucus membranes means that the bacteria has an easy path into the body.
It doesn’t end there. Study co-author Steven Foley said in a press release that some bacteria can produce chemicals that increase the risk of lung cancer or diarrhea and vomiting anyway.
This new study joins existing research that shows smokeless tobacco products causing gingivitis, and the two forms of Staphylococcus in this study have previously been linked to heart valve infection. There’s almost no part of you that’s safe.
So it seems that tobacco is deadly, whatever form you choose to deliver it into your body. Burn it, chew it, sniff it up–they’ll all kill you in the end.