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This week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication by the CDC, found that the proportion of cigarette smokers who also use smokeless tobacco products — such as snuff and chew tobacco — ranged from 0.9 to 13.7 percent on a state-by-state analysis, according to data from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Puerto Rico and California had the lowest rates while Wyoming had the highest. According to American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown, “No tobacco product is safe to consume. The health hazards associated with tobacco use are well-documented and a recent American Heart...

While the amount of money that tobacco companies spent on advertising and promotional expenditures fell by 18 percent between 2006 and 2008, nationwide advertising of smokeless tobacco products actually increased by 55 percent during the same time period, according to a new Federal Trade Commission report. In fact, more smokeless tobacco ads may be encouraging smokers to switch from cigarettes to smoke-free alternatives. Unfortunately, however, due to a 2009 law giving the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco, companies are barred from truthfully informing smokers of the health benefits of getting off cigarettes by switching to...

ACSH applauds a new initiative in the city of Owensboro, Kentucky, that aims to save lives by promoting the use of smokeless tobacco as a less risky alternative to smoking.

The Switch and Quit program is directed by ACSH Advisor Dr. Brad Rodu, professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, and run by the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. (Dr. Rodu also authored ACSH s most recent update on tobacco harm reduction.) It will encourage smokers through print, billboard, radio, and other media to switch from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco or to other nicotine products that do not...

Many smokers are unable to quit smoking through complete nicotine and tobacco abstinence, and conventional quit-smoking programs generally present smokers with two unpleasant alternatives: quit or die.

A third approach to smoking cessation, tobacco harm reduction, involves the use of alternative sources of nicotine, including modern smokeless tobacco (ST) products. Switching from cigarette smoking to using ST reduces...

Yesterday at a hearing, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) called on Major League Baseball to ban the use of smokeless tobacco, saying that the free publicity for the product when players use it leads many teenagers to become addicted to nicotine.

“Certainly athletes are role models for children, and we would join Rep. Waxman and others in saying baseball players shouldn’t be using smokeless tobacco on television,” says ACSH’s Jeff Stier. “While we support the use of smokeless tobacco as a means of harm reduction for addicted smokers, we still want to discourage kids from getting addicted...

If two Senators have their way, baseball fans will no longer have to watch their favorite ball players spit in the dugout or field — at least not tobacco, that is. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) want the Major Leagues to ban smokeless tobacco based on a survey showing that the use of smokeless tobacco among high school boys has increased by 36 percent since 2003. "We now know conclusively that smokeless tobacco endangers the health of baseball players who use it, but it also affects millions of young people who watch baseball," the Senators wrote to baseball commissioner Bud Selig earlier this week.

While ACSH's Dr....

Stephen S. Hecht, Ph.D., co-director of the University of Minnesota s Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center, has issued the claim -- based on preliminary data he has yet to publish in a peer-reviewed journal -- that smokeless tobacco is worse than the standard nicotine replacement therapies as a smoking-cessation aid. His reason seems to be simply his (unsurprising) finding that use of smokeless tobacco leaves carcinogen traces in users' urine. But as ACSH has noted repeatedly, just because a substance is detected does not mean that it is necessarily present in very dangerous amounts.

But, as Dr. Hecht is probably well aware, no one has ever suggested that smokeless tobacco is...

A front-page article in today s Wall Street Journal reports, Confronted with the inexorable decline of cigarette sales, Reynolds is transforming itself into a company that also offers an array of smokeless alternatives -- including strips, lozenges, and snuff. Reynolds push into the products comes amid an intensifying debate among public-health professionals about how oral forms of tobacco should be regulated.

We have talked here a lot about smokeless tobacco, and for years we basically meant that to be synonymous with Swedish-style snus, says ACSH s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. What we re looking at now is a fuller spectrum of nicotine delivery...

If you vaguely recall hearing that smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco, etc.) is about as dangerous as cigarettes, you're hardly alone but it isn't true.

Smokeless tobacco is only about one sixtieth as likely to kill mainly through oral cancers as cigarettes. Cigarettes cause the premature death of about one third of their users and have a host of other ill effects. See ACSH's newly-revised book, Cigarettes: What the Warning Label Doesn't Tell You for more on the risks.

  • Nonetheless, officials of the European Union ban smokeless tobacco on a continent shrouded in cigarette smoke (except in Sweden, where smokeless is popular and smoking has declined).
  • The U.S. Surgeon...

The state of Tennessee, one of the largest growers of dark tobacco used in smokeless products such as Swedish snus, is seeing a comeback in smokeless tobacco use and is reaping the benefits. Beyond the financial gains, the increased use of smokeless alternatives to cigarettes offers great potential in terms of harm reduction. Many modern smokeless tobacco products, like snus, come in small packets that are placed between the cheek and gum line. The old types of “spit” and “chaw” may have more adverse health effects and are often viewed as aesthetically problematic.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross comments: “Smokeless tobacco...