(Access to Coverage of Tobacco Treatment In Our Nation)
Shaping Policies | Improving Health
August 23, 2012 Dip, chew, snuff, and other types of smokeless tobacco are known to increase risk for oral cancer. Now new research in rats is zeroing in on exactly how this may occur. The findings were presented at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in Philadelphia. The newly identified cancer-causing culprit in these products is (S)-NNN. It is part of a larger family of chemicals called nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are also found in such foods as beer and bacon. They form naturally in the stomach when people eat foods containing high levels of nitrite. Nitrosamine levels in smokeless tobacco are far higher than in food, according to a prepared statement. Researchers fed rats a low dose of two forms of chemicals found in smokeless tobacco for 17 months. The doses were about equivalent to a person who used half a tin of smokeless tobacco every day for 30 years. (S)-NNN seemed to cause large numbers of oral and esophageal tumors in the rats, the study shows.
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