While cigarette smoking kills an estimated 443,000 people each year, thousands also suffer tobacco-related injuries from chewing tobacco, also called smokeless tobacco or "snuff".
Tobacco use remains the single most preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Smokeless tobacco may seem harmless because it has been used openly for decades by athletes, celebrities and others. People who have lost loved ones from mouth cancer or other cancers caused by chewing tobacco would strongly disagree.
The fact remains that smokeless tobacco and chewing tobacco are potentially deadly tobacco products.
Smokeless tobacco is so dangerous that federal law requires warnings on every package of chewing tobacco. The different warnings are direct about smoking and tobacco dangers.
Smokeless tobacco warnings include:
Like cigarettes, cigars, pipes and hookah water pipes, smokeless tobacco that is chewed or in snuff form is known to increase a user's risk for getting cancer.
Chewing tobacco contains 28 carcinogens known to cause cancer. The nicotine contained in chewing tobacco, like that in cigarettes and cigars, is potent enough to create an addictive, chemical dependency, even for people who have never used tobacco on a first-hand basis.
Chewing tobacco users can face life-threatening injuries that include:
Pregnant women who use smokeless tobacco increase their risks for preeclampsia, premature birth, and having a baby with a dangerously low birth weight.
The financial cost for treating tobacco-related injuries from non-cigarette tobacco products, and ongoing healthcare costs for treating related injuries and conditions are staggering. Tobacco-related illnesses like cancer can be fatal, and only get progressively worse over time.
The costs associated with getting treatment, medication, and chronic care can be an enormous financial burden for chewing tobacco users and their families.
Physical injury is only one aspect of tobacco-related traumas. The mental impact that chewing tobacco victims may experience from cancers caused by smokeless tobacco products can be significant.
Many states have sued tobacco companies over smokeless chewing tobacco usage, advertising, and health effects upon users.
If you use or have used smokeless or chewing tobacco products, you should contact an attorney near you to learn what rights you may have if your state has sued smokeless tobacco makers.
If you or a loved one experienced tobacco-related injuries from chewing tobacco or smokeless tobacco, you may be entitled to compensation for current and future expenses, as well as special legal damages.
It is very important that you contact an attorney to learn about how state smokeless tobacco lawsuits may help, or not help, you or your family if you or someone close to you became a smokeless tobacco user.
Some of the legal factors that an attorney can review with you include:
Scores of product liability, wrongful death, and personal injury lawsuits were filed by cigarette smokers and their families against tobacco companies over the last three decades.
If you or a loved one has suffered an illness or injury that might be caused from smokeless or chewing tobacco, you should first contact your doctor or other healthcare professional.
You should also contact an experienced attorney to discuss your legal options, and any potential rights to a legal remedy for any harm caused from the tobacco.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.