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Facts & Stats on Chewing Tobacco

  • Chewing tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking.
  • Nationally, an estimated 3 percent of adults -- 8.9 million -- chew tobacco. Smokeless tobacco use is much more common among men (six percent) than women (0.3 percent).
  • Approximately 100,000 Wisconsin residents chew tobacco.
  • In Wisconsin, 14 percent of high school males and two percent of high school females chew it.
  • Nationally, seven percent of high school students chew tobacco. It’s more common among male (11 percent) than female high school students (2 percent). Also, an estimated 3 percent of middle school students chew tobacco.
  • During 2001, the five largest tobacco manufacturers spent $236.7 million on smokeless tobacco advertising and promotion.
  • Research has demonstrated that counseling is effective in assisting chew/spit/smokeless tobacco users to quit, including counseling from a quit line. As a result, the US Public Health Service recommends counseling to help smokeless tobacco users to quit.
  • The US Public Health Service does not recommend medication to help people quit chew/spit/smokeless tobacco. This is because of a lack of consistent research showing that medication is helpful for quitting smokeless tobacco use.
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