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5.6 Percent of Teens use Smokeless Tobacco

8/5/2013 For Release: August 5, 2013
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A new study tracking the popularity of smokeless tobacco products among U.S. adolescents found the majority of teens who use these products also smoke cigarettes, countering the idea that novel smokeless tobacco products can help reduce the health problems associated with tobacco use. The study “Use of Conventional and Novel Smokeless Tobacco Products AmongU.S. Adolescents,” published in the September 2013 Pediatrics (published online Aug. 5), found 5.6 percent of students in grades 6 through 12 use a form of smokeless tobacco. Among all students, 5 percent used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip; 1.9 percent used snus, and 0.3 percent used dissolvable tobacco products. Most teens who used smokeless tobacco products used conventional smokeless tobacco products such as snuff, chewing or dipping tobacco products (64 percent), compared to 9 percent who used only novel products like snus or dissolvable tobacco products, and 26 percent who used both. About 72 percent of students who used smokeless tobacco products smoked cigarettes at the same time. Only 40 percent expressed an intent to quit all tobacco use. Students who used smokeless tobacco products were more likely to perceive tobacco as less harmful. The study authors conclude that the findings point to a need to stronger health warnings on smokeless tobacco products and other interventions to prevent adolescent use of all tobacco products. 

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.


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