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Smokeless Tobacco Use Widespread in Some States
Date:11/4/2010

THURSDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Many smokers in the United States and its territories also use smokeless tobacco products such as snuff and chew tobacco, a combination that makes quitting much more difficult, a new federal study shows.

Researchers analyzed data from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and found that the rate of smokers who also use smokeless tobacco ranged from 0.9 percent in Puerto Rico to 13.7 percent in Wyoming.

"The war against tobacco has taken on a new dimension as parts of the country report high rates of cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use among adults. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal disturbing trends in smoking prevalence as more individuals use multiple tobacco products to satisfy their nicotine addiction," American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said in a statement released Thursday. "No tobacco product is safe to consume. The health hazards associated with tobacco use are well-documented and a recent American Heart Association policy statement indicates smokeless tobacco products increase the risk of fatal heart attack, fatal stroke and certain cancers."

Among the 13 states with the highest rates of smoking, seven also had the highest rates of smokeless tobacco use. In these states -- Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia -- at least one of every nine men who smoked cigarettes also reported using smokeless tobacco. The rates in those states ranged from 11.8 percent in Kentucky to 20.8 percent in Arkansas.

The state with the highest rate of smokeless tobacco use among adult male smokers was Wyoming (23.4 percent).

Smokeless tobacco use was highest among men, young adults aged 18 to 24 and people with a high school education or less, according to the study. Smokeless tobacco use was highest in Wyoming (9.1 percent) and West Virginia (8.5 percent) and lowest in the U.S
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