Smokeless tobacco (snuff) is a finely ground or shredded tobacco that is sniffed through the nose or placed between the cheek and gum. Chewing tobacco is used by putting a wad of tobacco inside the cheek. Smokeless tobacco is widely used by young athletes to enhance performance because nicotine improves some aspects of physiology. However, smokeless tobacco has harmful health effects, including cardiovascular disorders, linked to nicotine physiological effects, mainly through catecholamine release. Nicotine decreases heart rate variability and the ventricular fibrillation threshold, and promotes the occurrence of various arrhythmias; it also impairs endothelial-dependent vasodilation and could therefore promote premature atherogenesis.
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