The overwhelming cause of mouth and throat cancers is tobacco use. Accordingly, the best way to prevent such a cancer from developing is to not use tobacco in any form. Many people do not realize that all tobacco products – cigarettes, cigars, chew, or plug tobacco/ snuff – contain some carcinogens (cancer-causing properties) and will increase the risk for developing cancer. Even cigars, which many consider safer than cigarettes because the smoke is not inhaled, increase one’s risk of lip and mouth cancer as much as 10 times and can cause tooth or jawbone loss and periodontal diseases.
Some attribute the steady increases in the incidence of mouth cancer to an increase in the use of “smokeless” tobacco products like chew, or plug tobacco/snuff. While smoking cessation and public safety health awareness programs in recent years have fueled a decline in overall cigarette smoking, many former smokers merely switched to smokeless products believing they are less harmful. But switching only shifts the cancer risk from the lungs to the mouth, where 90% of all cancers occur as a result of tobacco use.