Quitting Chew

Tobacco Free Nebraska
Public Health

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

​​​​​​​​​​You control the can. The can doesn't control you. Quitting smokeless tobacco is something you can do. The Nebraska Tobacco Quitline can help you quit.

Our experienced quit coaches are available 24/7 and have helped thousands of people kick their tobacco use and are ready to help you. ​

The Nebraska Tobacco Quitline is here to help you quit all types of tobacco, including chew.

  • Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669), visit QuitNow.ne.gov, or text QUITNOW to 333888.
  • Spanish-speaking Nebraska residents can call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (335-3569) or text DÉJELOYA to 333888.

​Smokeless Tobacco - What's the bottom line?

Using smokeless products can cause serious health problems. It is not a safe alternative to smoking. Protect your health: If you don't use them, don't start. If you do use them, quit. Learn more about the health risks of using smokeless tobacco below.

What is smokeless tobacco?

Smokeless tobacco is known by many names​:

  • Chew - loose leaf, plug or twist and may come in flavors
  • Snuff - moist, dry or in packets
  • Dissolvables - lozenges, sticks, stips or orbs

​Smokeless tobacco:

  • Is not burned
  • Includes tobacco that can be sucked or chewed
  • Can be spit or swallowed, depending on the product
  • Can be spitless, depending on the product
  • Contains nicotine and is addictive
  • May appeal to youth because it comes in flavors such as cinnamon, berry, vanilla, and apple

Additional research is needed to examine long-term effects of newer smokeless tobacco products, such as dissolvables and U.S. snus.

What are the health effects of using smokeless tobacco?

Smokeless tobacco is associated with many health problems. Using smokeless tobacco:
  • Can lead to nicotine addiction
  • Causes cancer of the mouth, esophagus (the passage that connects the throat to the stomach), and pancreas (a gland that helps with digestion and maintaining proper blood sugar levels)
  • Is associated with diseases of the mouth
  • Can increase risks for early delivery and stillbirth when used during pregnancy
  • Can cause nicotine poisoning in children
  • May increase the risk of death from heart disease and stroke
  • Can cause white or gray patches inside the mouth (leukoplakia) that can lead to cancer
  • Can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.

What is in smokeless tobacco?

  • Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive.
  • Many smokeless tobacco products contain cancer-causing c​​​hemica​​ls.​
    • The most harmful chemicals are tobacco-specific nitrosamines, which form during the growing, curing, fermenting, and aging of tobacco. The amount of these chemicals varies by product.
    • The higher the levels of these chemicals, the greater the risk for cancer.
    • Other chemicals found in tobacco can also cause cancer. These include:
      • A radioactive element (polonium-210) found in tobacco fertilizer
      • Chemicals formed when tobacco is cured with heat (polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons—also known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)
      • Harmful metals (arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, nickel, mercury)
  • Smokeless tobacco causes cancer of the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas.

What are the risks of smokeless tobacco for youth, young adults and pregnant women?

  • Using smokeless toba​cco during pregnancy​ can increase the risk of early delivery and stillbirth.
  • Nicotine in smokeless tobacco products that are used during pregnancy can affect how a baby's brain develops before birth.
  • Smokeless tobacco can cause nicotine poisoning in children.
  • Because young people who use smokeless tobacco can become addicted to nicotine, they may be more likely to also become cigarette smokers.


Healthcare Providers

Are you a healthcare professional looking for resources to help a patient quit? Check out our Healthcare Provider page.



Tobacco Free Nebraska
Department of Health & Human Services
​TFN Phone Number
​(402) 471-2101
Quitline Toll-Free Number
1-800-784-8669 / 1-855-335-3569
TFN Fax Number
(402) 328-6287
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 95026, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5026