INTRODUCTION: This study aims to investigate the relationship between smokeless tobacco (maras powder) consumption and otorhinolaryngological symptoms.
METHODS: This descriptive study was carried out on 599 participants. The participants were divided into two groups. Of these, 299 (49.9%) patients aged over 18 years were the first group; they used smokeless tobacco for at least 5 years. The remaining patients comprised the second group, which included 300 (50.1%) healthy volunteers who did not use tobacco or its products and demonstrated some similarities with the first group. For the purpose of data collection, a questionnaire consisting of 45 questions was administered to the participants.
RESULTS: Cough, sputum, shortness of breath, dysphagia, snoring, and apnea-hypopnea were found to be significantly increased in smokeless tobacco users. The highest odds ratio (OR) found was for sputum at 2.615. Similarly, other oral cavity symptoms such as mouth tickling, dryness of throat, mouth sores, halitosis, taste disorders, and toothache were found to be significantly increased in smokeless tobacco users. It is noteworthy that halitosis was 9.4 times more prevalent among smokeless tobacco users than in the non-tobacco users. Sinonasal symptoms such as sneezing, headache, facial fullness, and anorexia were found to be significantly increased in smokeless tobacco users. However, there were no differences between the groups in terms of ear symptoms.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that the negative effects of smokeless tobacco consumption were particularly higher in the oral cavity, which in turn gave rise to a number of serious upper respiratory tract complaints.