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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Combustible and Smokeless Tobacco Use Among High School Athletes — United States, 2001–2013.

Friday, September 11, 2015  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Israel T. Agaku, Tushar Singh, Sherry Everett Jones, Brian A. King, Ahmed Jamal, Linda Neff, Ralph S. Caraballo.
Combustible and Smokeless Tobacco Use Among High School Athletes — United States, 2001–2013. 
MMWR Weekly Report. September 4, 2015 / 64(34);935-939

Tobacco-free policies that prohibit all tobacco use by players, coaches, referees, and fans on school campuses and at all public recreational facilities–including stadiums, parks, and school gymnasiums—might help make smokeless tobacco use less socially acceptable and reduce its use among student athletes. Current use of combustible tobacco products, including cigarettes and cigars, dropped dramatically from 2001 to 2013 among high school students nationwide (31.5 percent to 19.5 percent), while current use of smokeless tobacco remained unchanged among non-athletes (5.9 percent) and increased among athletes (10 percent to 11.1 percent). Compared to non-athletes, athletes were more likely to use smokeless tobacco, but less likely to use combustible tobacco. Athletes might be more likely to use certain tobacco products, such as smokeless tobacco, if they perceive them to be harmless; however, smokeless tobacco use is not safe, and is associated with increased risk of pancreatic, esophageal, and oral cancers. Continued implementation of proven interventions is critical to reducing all forms of tobacco use among youth, including increasing tobacco product prices, warning about the dangers of tobacco use, and increasing access to tobacco cessation resources.

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