July 02, 2014
Though rates of cigarette smoking in America continue to decline, smokeless tobacco use remains popular, especially among young men — and with potentially dangerous health consequences.
A recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that the use of smokeless tobacco among workers in the U.S. has held steady since 2005 – with rates of smokeless tobacco use being highest among males ages 25 – 44.
“In recent years there have been declines in cigarette smoking, but there’s really other tobacco products making up a large proportion of tobacco use in certain populations,” Brian King, scientific advisor at the CDC’s office of smoking and health, and lead author of the study, told FoxNews.com.
The dangers of smokeless tobacco use recently entered the national spotlight after the death of baseball hall-of-fame player Tony Gwynn, who died of salivary gland cancer after spending years dipping tobacco on the field.
According to the CDC, more than 30,000 people in the U.S are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. And every year, over 8,000 die of the disease, which has only a 50 percent five-year survival rate. A 2008 study from the World Health Organization indicated that smokeless tobacco users have an 80 percent greater chance of developing oral cancer than a non-user.