Dr. Brad Rodu: American Dental Assocation Smokeless Tobacco Accusations
Dr. Brad Rodu is a medical professor at the University of Louisville, writer of the Tobacco Truth Blog, and tobacco harm reduction expert. The American Dental Association has drawn his criticism in the past for publishing brochures with false statements about smokeless tobacco. Now it appears, they may have changed their tune.
Dr. Rodu reports that the new mouth and throat cancer brochure now correctly attributes these cancers to “…most often in people who smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipes and drink heavily (30 drinks or more per week).” A newer version of the smokeless tobacco brochure also makes no mention of mouth cancer, which given the incredibly low risk is a huge improvement.
However, while the ADA has released more accurate information, they still let a few head scratchers slip. Dr. Rodu dispenses with them in quick succession:
1.) “One can of smokeless tobacco has as much nicotine as 60 cigarettes or three packs.” Dr. Rodu compares this claim to alcohol consumption, while liquor is more potent than beer, you can achieve the same effect with different amounts. The user regulates their own consumption. In fact, smokers and smokeless users attain nearly the same peak nicotine levels, regardless of which method they choose.
2.) “Smokeless tobacco … has over 3,000 chemicals, including 28 cancer-causing substances.” He notes that while this may be true, he feels that this claim is pointless. There are foods and consumables we use everyday that contain carcinogens. The question is, are the amounts we consume enough to be harmful? Dr. Rodu believes these claims are scare tactics.
3.) “People may think that smokeless means harmless, but nothing could be further from the truth.” Credible tobacco harm reduction advocates are not making this claim, yet it’s thrown around constantly. Any tobacco product has the potential to harm you, but some are reduced risk alternatives. Still, I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard of this one.
Check out the full blog post here. Fantastic work Dr. Rodu, keep it up!