A Highly Toxic, and addictive Drug Nicotine is a drug that occurs naturally in all forms of tobacco. Studies have shown that the body becomes physically and psychologically addicted to nicotine. Smokeless tobacco delivers a powerful dose of nicotine directly to the bloodstream. The level of nicotine in a smokeless tobacco user's blood can be even higher than that of a cigarette smoker. By itself, chewing tobacco has a bitter flavor. To make it more appealing, manufacturers add sugar and salt to the mix, as well as a gritty substance (which wears away tooth enamel) and nitrosamines (a known cancer-causing agent). To date, 28 cancer-causing substances have been identified in smokeless tobacco.

* Persistent bad breath If lesions develop, sometimes simply quitting the smokeless tobacco habit will eliminate the lesions. But if the lesions are long-standing, surgical removal is often necessary. Biopsy (microscopic examination of a tissue sample) is a must for all tobacco-related lesions to make an accurate diagnosis and ensure that no cancer cells are present.