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Smoking and Tobacco

Number of smokeless tobacco users

12/01/2005

Question:

How many users of smokeless tobacco are there in the U.S.?

Answer:

According to 2002 data from the US Centers for Disease Control, (as cited by the American Cancer Society), about 3.5% of people 18 years and older (6.7% of men and 0.5% of women) were current users of chewing tobacco or snuff:

"Rates among young people, however, are higher. According to the CDC's 2004 National Youth Tobacco Survey, about 5.9% of high school students and 2.9% of middle school students reported using spit tobacco at least once in the 30 days before the survey. Regardless of race, male students were more likely to use spit tobacco than female students.

Certain factors appear to influence whether young people will use tobacco or not. They include:

In 2003, more than 1 in 3 major league baseball players used spit tobacco, primarily moist snuff. Athletes are also the largest marketing source for spit tobacco, and are often seen on TV using it during a game. They exert considerable influence as negative role models for youth.

According to a 1998 US Surgeon General's Report, the use of chewing tobacco or snuff tobacco among men is highest among American Indians, Alaska Natives, and whites. In women, the use is highest among American Indians, Alaska Natives, and African Americans."

Two good websites to refer to are the American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org and the Centers for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov.

For more information:

Go to the Smoking and Tobacco health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Kathy Vesha, RN, BSN, MA
Formerly:
Kick It!
The James
The Ohio State University