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HHS HealthBeat (August 19, 2013)

Smokeless teens

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

It’s bad for a teen to smoke, but smokeless is no good, either. Smokeless tobacco – things like dip, snuff and dissolvable – are also cancer-causers. And a study indicates about 1 in 20 middle school or high school students use smokeless. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health saw that in national survey data.

The scientists also saw the power of peer pressure. Researcher Constantine Vardavas:

“Adolescents who had a friend that used smokeless tobacco were 10 times more likely to use smokeless tobacco themselves.”

For comparison, teens with a family member who used smokeless were only 3 times more likely to use it.

Nearly all of the smokeless users reported it’s easy to get the stuff.

The study in the journal Pediatrics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

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

Take the Next Step
The Facts on Smokeless Tobacco

Last revised: August 19, 2013