March 10, 2009 -The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) asks persons aged 12 or older about their substance use, including their use of tobacco products. The questions on tobacco products focus on cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco (i.e., chewing tobacco and snuff). Respondents who used these substances are asked when they first used them.
This issue of The NSDUH Report examines smokeless tobacco use and its relationship to cigarette smoking among persons aged 12 or older. The first section presents information on trends in the use of smokeless tobacco using NSDUH data from 2002 to 2007. Unless otherwise noted, all other findings are annual averages based on data from the combined 2002 to 2007 surveys. Highlights:
More: Levels of Smokeless Tobacco Use Increase among Adolescent Males, Media Newswire, 3/9/2009.
Smokeless tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing agents and has been linked to oral cancer and increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases. Chewing tobacco leads to nicotine dependence, as does cigarette use. This report indicates that although rates of use remained stable between 2002 and 2007, there were increases among certain subpopulations—in particular, among adolescent males. Most smokeless tobacco users smoked cigarettes at some time in their lives, and most people who used both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco had used cigarettes first. It is important for current and former cigarette users to understand that smokeless tobacco use is not a healthy alternative to cigarette smoking.
Reference: Smokeless Tobacco Use, Initiation, and Relationship to Cigarette Smoking: 2002 to 2007, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 3/5/2009.