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Quit Tobacco - Smokeless Tobacco (ST) Facts


Sniff and Spit Tobacco

Chewing tobacco and snuff are the two types of smokeless tobacco.

Chewing tobacco is sold in loose leaf, twist and plug forms. Snuff comes as moist and dry in sachets. Snuff is the most popular forms of Smokeless Tobacco today.


Of the estimated 10 million users of ST, 3 million are under the age of 21.

Almost 25% of young users start at 6th grade and almost 75% start at 9th grade. In 1970, young males ages between 17-19 used ST the least of any age group. Today, usage by males of these ages is the highest of any age group.

More than 3% of adult American males and less than 1% of females use ST.

Among youth, in grades between 9-12, 8% use ST at least once a month and 2-3% use daily.

Risks of Smokeless Tobacco Use

Spit tobacco is not a safe substitute for smoking. It can cause oral cancers and lead to addiction.

ST is also associated with cancers of the esophagus, larynx and stomach and an increased risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.

40-60% of ST users exhibit leukoplakia as precancerous with a malignant transformation rate of 2-6%. Other oral side effects of ST include gingival recession, staining of teeth, loss of taste and bad breath.

Chewing tobacco users have an increase in dental caries due to the higher sugar content in this ST product.

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