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HHS HealthBeat (June 28, 2013)

Smokeless and sickness

HHS HealthBeat: A young man looks forward.

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Smokeless Tobacco

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates some middle and high school students are setting themselves up for an aggressive tobacco-related cancer without smoking. The analysis of 2011 national survey data found over 5 percent of those young people are using smokeless tobacco, such as snuff, chew and dipping tobacco – about the same as it was in 2000.

Gregory Connolly of the Harvard School of Public Health:

“We’re not seeing a decline in smokeless use, while we are seeing a decline in cigarette smoking among adolescents. As clinicians, we have to be concerned that these children are at risk of mouth cancer.”

He notes that half of people diagnosed with oral cancer are dead within five years.

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: June 28, 2013