SUNDERLAND manager Lee Johnson has warned of the dangers of snus – revealing how a player of his got gum cancer from using it.
Originating in Sweden, snus is a highly addictive smokeless tobacco product which comes in the form of a “teabag” and is put under the top lip.
SunSport revealed in August how snus – which is banned from sale in the UK despite possession not being illegal – has become rife in football in the past decade.
And Johnson revealed how he’s had players “begging doctors and nurses” for it.
He said: “I see how many players are actually on it – you could probably go to maybe a third or half of the dressing room.
“I think they are uneducated on the negatives towards it.
“Sometimes players can have three or four cigarettes at one time.
“It gives you that sort of buzz, and the worry for me is it is so highly addictive.
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“I’ve had a player that picked up gum cancer from it.
“I have had players who are so highly addicted that they are in hospital overnight with something else, maybe an operation, and are begging the doctors and nurses to get them a tub – or otherwise they say they are going to run out of bed and get (it) themselves when they have just had a knee operation.”
Johnson has the Black Cats flying in second place in League One having arrived last December after leaving Bristol City.
And he is worried about what the lasting impact of repeated snus use could be on players.
You will find that some players have two or three snus sachets under their lip
He added: “You are messing with the balance of the body and mind, which is the biggest thing for me in terms of development.
“You will find that some players have two or three snus sachets under their lip, but then they are taking caffeine tablets, so it is giving themselves that calming effect.
“They are then going into a game trying to lift themselves and are therefore taking caffeine tablets or Red Bull to try to get the boost.
“(With) so many spikes in the body, sort of balance if you like, I don’t believe it is conducive to top performance, but more important it is not conducive to the player being healthy for a long period of time.
“It is nicotine going into the body and an awful lot of it.
“It is so highly addictive that it comes to the forefront of our minds which then becomes dangerous.”
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