Use of snuff, chewing tobacco, and cigarettes among adolescents in a tobacco-producing area

Addict Behav. 1990;15(6):517-30. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(90)90052-y.


This study describes the prevalence and patterns of smokeless tobacco and cigarette use among adolescents with a specific focus on those living in a high tobacco production area. The subjects were 582 male and 485 female students in grades 7 through 12, with 54% living in a rural (nonmetro) area and the remainder living in an urban (metro) area. Self-reports of tobacco usage were validated using biochemical tests. High smokeless tobacco usage rates were found among nonmetro males--90% had tried one or more smokeless tobacco products and 33% had used at least one of the products in the last 6 days. Students' tobacco usage increased dramatically as the degree of personal involvement in raising tobacco increased. Of senior high boys who had household involvement in tobacco, 100% had tried snuff and 42% had used it in the last 6 days; 80% had tried cigarettes and 53% had used them in the last 6 days. Some other results were: (1) use of snuff was more popular than chewing tobacco, (2) the average grade for initiation to tobacco was the fourth grade for nonmetro students and the fifth grade for metro students, and (3) a large number of male smokeless users also reported cigarette use. Students from tobacco-raising households are at high risk for tobacco use. Future research should focus on effective prevention methods for high-risk students.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kentucky / epidemiology
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Social Environment
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco* / growth & development
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / supply & distribution*