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Sugar in Chewing Tobacco?

icon By: Kurt - Medicine Simply Put

I first heard about this on my favorite show, The Biggest Loser.  The doctor said that a guy was diabetic and the major cause was the sugar in the chewing tobacco he used.  Sugar in chewing tobacco?  It is not natural to the tobacco leaf so it was added by the companies to  give the chewing tobacco a better taste so people wouldn’t have to spit but could just swallow the juice produced.

I was stunned.  I’d never heard of such a thing.  So I went to my clinic, and read a couple studies they did.  Found out it was true.  That depending on the brand and how much one chews.  It could be from 3 tsp to 16 tablespoons of sugar (if one chews up an entire can of the stuff).  Plug tobacco was better at 12 teaspoons of sugar added per plug.

They said they had a man with 300 blood sugar reading who they got to quit chewing tobacco got his sugars down to 160 instead just by eliminating the chew and being placed on nicotine patches.  That is remarkable.  All this time and I never suspected they would put sugar in tobacco.  Not only do we have to worry about oral cancer and  high blood pressure we also now have to worry about diabetes.

I am still shaking my head over this new fact I found out about.  You can be sure I’ll be quizzing my diabetic patients on whether they chew tobacco or not.

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