Other Tobacco Products

our attitudes toward tobacco have evolved, so has the tobacco industry. As the truth about cigarettes’ and smokeless tobacco’s severe health impacts have emerged, so too have new types of tobacco products.


These water pipes have become increasing popular, and there is a perception that hookah smoke is less harmful than cigarette or cigar smoke. 

Unfortunately, this is not true. Hookah smoke contains significant amounts of cancer-causing ingredients and has the same addictive properties. In fact, many hookah users will inhale even more toxic chemicals than cigarette smokers, as hookah sessions last longer and generate more secondhand smoke from multiple users. 

Additionally, as hookahs use charcoal or wood to burn tobacco, users are also inhaling toxins from the burning wood. 

Chew & Snuff

Chewing tobacco and snuff pose a significant health risk and are NOT a safer alternative to cigarettes. These products contain 28 cancer-causing chemicals. They can also contain more than twice the amount of nicotine as cigarettes, which can lead to an addiction that’s even more difficult to break. 

Chewing tobacco, or chew, is placed between the cheek and gum or teeth, and nicotine is absorbed through tissue in the mouth. It may also be referred to as “dip” or “spit,” as the user will spit out the tobacco juice.

Snuff is finely ground tobacco. Most users place it in their cheek or between their lip and gums. Nicotine is absorbed through the mouth and users spit out a mixture of saliva and tobacco juices. Snus (sounds like snoose) is a finely ground form of moist snuff that’s commonly packaged in small pouches. Even though it’s steam-heated, it still contains cancer-causing agents.

Harmful effects of chew and snuff include:
  • Cancer of the mouth, tongue, cheek, gums, throat, stomach and pancreas 
  • Increased risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke
  • Leukoplakia (white sores in the mouth that can become cancerous)
  • Receding gums (where gums slowly shrink from around the teeth) and gum disease (gingivitis)
  • Bone loss around the roots of the teeth, cavities and tooth decay

Dissolvable tobacco products are made to resemble breath mints and gum. They are sold in easy-to-conceal packages and are even flavored.  

Dissolvables are also generally the least expensive form of tobacco as they are not subject to the tobacco excise tax in Colorado. For all of these reasons, dissolvables are attractive products for children and are a pathway to other types of tobacco use. 

All dissolvable tobacco products have similar risks to traditional tobacco products, such as cancer and heart disease.

Little Cigars or Cigarillos

The sale of little cigars – or cigarillos – increased by 240 percent from 1997 to 2007. These products are smaller than regular cigars and often sold in packs of 20 similar to cigarettes. 

While cigarettes are wrapped in paper, little cigars are wrapped in tobacco leaves. Like their full-sized relatives, little cigars are associated with increased risk of cancer of the lungs, larynx, esophagus and mouth.

Unlike cigarettes, it is still legal to sell flavored little cigars, and these are frequently found in flavors such as grape, cherry, and bubble gum that appeal to youth.

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Tobacco Control Legal Consortium. “Regulatory Options for Little Cigars.” http://publichealthlawcenter.org/sites/default/files/pdf/tclc-fs-regulatory-options-little-cigars-2013.pdf
FDA Shuts Off Nicotine Water Spigot http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-514046.html
2008 and 2012 TABS Data
World Health Organization. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Volume 89: Smokeless Tobacco and Some Tobacco-Specific N-Nitrosamines.[PDF–3.18 MB] Lyon (France): World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2007.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General.Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.
FDA Warns of Health Risks Posed by E-Cigarettes. http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm173401.htm