News and Events

Smokeless Tobacco Use in Florida is Low, But Consistent
January 22, 2018

STUART, Fla. – The QuitDoc Foundation and the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida Program are raising awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco – like chew and dip, during Through With Chew Week. This public awareness campaign was created to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco among young people and help combat this deadly addiction. This year’s Through With Chew Week takes place Feb. 18-24.

To raise awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use, the QuitDoc Foundation and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Martin County, along with the local SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) Clubs, will be hosting a booth at the Martin County Fair. There, students and volunteers will spread the word about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use and the benefits of going tobacco free.  The Martin County Fair went Tobacco Free in 2016.

Although smokeless tobacco use is low, the rate has fluctuated and disproportionately affects certain areas:

“While we are proud that youth smokeless use is at an all-time low, the number of adult Floridians using smokeless tobacco is still an issue,” said Dr. Kellie O’Dare, Tobacco Free Florida Bureau Chief. "We want to remind smokeless tobacco users that our cessation services are for everyone – not just smokers.”

At least 28 cancer-causing chemicals have been identified in smokeless tobacco. Smokeless tobacco users have an 80 percent higher risk of oral cancer and a 60 percent higher risk of esophageal cancer and pancreatic cancer compared to non-users.

There is no scientific or medical evidence that proves smokeless tobacco use is an effective method to help people quit smoking. Floridians who want to quit any form of tobacco have access to the state’s free and proven-effective resources. For more information, please visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway.

About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

About Tobacco Free Florida
The department’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 159,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida's free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016.

Horn, Kimberly . Cutting Tobacco’s Rural Roots. American Lung Assocation , www.lung.org/assets/documents/research/cutting-tobaccos-rural-roots.pdf.

World Health Organization. Smokeless Tobacco and Some Tobacco-Specific N-Nitrosamines International Agency for Research on Cancer Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans Vol. 89. Lyon, (France): World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2007 [accessed 2015 Feb 10].

Boffetta, P, et al., “Smokeless tobacco and cancer,” The Lancet 9:667-675, 2008.