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Open Access Short report

Trends in smokeless tobacco use in the us workforce: 1987-2005

Noella A Dietz1*, David J Lee1, Lora E Fleming2, William G LeBlanc2, Kathryn E McCollister2, Kristopher L Arheart2, Evelyn P Davila2 and Alberto J Caban-Martinez2

Author Affiliations

1 University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, 1120 NW 14 Street, 15 Floor C202, Miami, Florida 33136, USA

2 University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, 1120 NW 14 Street, 10 Floor, Miami, Florida 33136, USA

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Tobacco Induced Diseases 2011, 9:6  doi:10.1186/1617-9625-9-6

Published: 1 June 2011

Abstract

The primary aim was to examine whether increasing workplace smoking restrictions have led to an increase in smokeless tobacco use among US workers. Smokeless tobacco exposure increases the risk of oral cavity, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers, and stroke. The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use decreased from 1987-2000, except among men 25-44. While smokeless tobacco use has declined in the general population, it may be that the prevalence of smokeless tobacco use has increased among workers due to workplace smoking restrictions, which have been shown to have increased over the years. Using the most current nationally representative National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data, we examined whether increasing workplace smoking restrictions have led to an increase in smokeless tobacco use among US workers (n = 125,838). There were no significant changes in smokeless tobacco use prevalence from 1987-2005 (pooled prevalence = 3.53%); rates also were lower in smoke free workplaces. Worker groups with high rates of smokeless tobacco use included farm workers (10.51%) and blue collar workers (7.26%). Results indicate that smokeless tobacco prevention strategies targeting particular worker groups are warranted.