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Awareness campaigns against snuff's hazards sought.

A number of residents from African and Asian communities in the Kingdom use the snuff (Tombak), which is also called chewing tobacco, despite the health hazards. At the same time, there is a necessary need for increasing awareness campaigns to clear the snuff's risks that are described as more dangerous than smoking of cigarettes, according to anti-snuff advocates.

Many snuff or chewing tobacco users and vendors believe it is the least harmful to the health, in comparison to smoking cigarettes.

Many tobacco stores in the south of Jeddah sell snuff for SR 2. These stores are importing it from Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan and India. However, the Yemeni and Sudanese snuff widely circulates among the users in Saudi Arabia. Indian snuff is only favored among the Indian residents.

However, the elements of the snuff are unknown among the users. Despite of having toxic components as tobacco plant, animal waste, unknown components and spices which give a pleasing taste to its users.

The tobacco farms in the country of origin especially in Sudan produce harmful materials. People cannot go inside these farms for fears of getting lung diseases.

The owners of the farms rent specialized men for picking up the snuff when the harvest comes. Then they send the snuff to the mills for selling in the local and external markets after adding spices and other elements to the snuff.

According to snuff users, they put a small amount of snuff between the lips and gums, leaving for a brief period in the mouth. The majority of snuff users see it as a proper option to smoking and it circulates among all social categories.

"Many users ignore the materials and components of the snuff, in believing it is less dangerous than cigarettes and the most appropriate alternative for giving up smoking," a snuff user who requested anonymity told "Arab News." At the same time, doctors warn of risks to chewing tobacco, or snuff, users. The snuff contains on 28 carcinogen and it is the main cause of oral cancer, throat as well as the gum disease. The doctors confirmed it is more dangerous than cigarettes smoking.

Copyright: Arab News 2012 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Sep 22, 2012
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