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

. Virgin Islands (0.8 percent) and California (1.3 percent).

Smoking rates were highest in Kentucky (25.6 percent), West Virginia (25.6 percent) and Oklahoma (25.5 percent), and lowest in Utah (9.8 percent), California (12.9 percent), and Washington (14.9 percent).

The findings are published in the Nov. 5 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in this country and unfortunately smokers are also using smokeless tobacco," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in an agency news release.

"If you smoke, quitting is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. Use of smokeless tobacco may keep some people from quitting tobacco altogether. We need to intensify our anti-tobacco efforts to help people quit using all forms of tobacco," he added.

"These new numbers are concerning. But progress is possible," Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, said in the news release. "We need to fully put into practice effective strategies such as strong state laws that protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke, higher tobacco prices, aggressive ad campaigns that show the human impact of tobacco use, and well-funded tobacco control programs, while stepping up our work to help people quit using all forms of tobacco."

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about smokeless tobacco.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release; Nov. 4, 2010; Nov. 4, 2010, statement, American Heart Association; Nov. 5, 2010, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report


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