Most Teenagers Who Use Smokeless Tobacco Are Smokers Too


A new research reveles that in the USA most teenagers who use smokeless tobacco products are smoking cigarettes too. These conclusions are not surprising but troubling.

Vince Willmore, vice president of communications at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization, says that today leading tobacco companies invest big money in developing newest smokeless tobacco products which attract children so that thay start using them and many of tem start smoking cigarettes.

According to the Federal Trade Commission data, from 1998 to 2011, marketing expenses for smokeless tobacco increased by 210% from $145.5 million to $451.7 million annually,

Snus, a smokeless tobacco product created in Sweden, was launched on the USA market in 2006; dissolvable tobacco products were introduced in 2008. These are less toxic products than traditional chewing tobacco because they contain less nitrosamines, and are commonly considered safe. However, health experts claim that these products may work as a gateway drug to use of conventional smokeless tobacco and to smoking cigarettes.

In order to to understand much better the prevalence of smokeless tobacco use among youth, Dr. Gregory Connolly of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston along with his peers analyzed data from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which included nearly 19,000 sixth- to 12th-graders from the USA.

The scientists found, 5.6% of teenagers reported using any type of smokeless tobacco. 5% used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip, just under 2% used snus and 0.3% used dissolvable products.

Among teenagers who were current smokeless tobacco users, almost 72% said thay are smoking cigarettes too, while almost 81% of teenagers who used only snus or dissolvables were also smoking cigarettes.

According to findings published in Pediatrics, only 40% of smokeless tobacco users said they had plans to quit using tobacco,

Scientists found higher current use of tobacco among teenagers than they expected.

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