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, 64 (34), 935-9

Combustible and Smokeless Tobacco Use Among High School Athletes - United States, 2001-2013

Combustible and Smokeless Tobacco Use Among High School Athletes - United States, 2001-2013

Israel T Agaku et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep.

Abstract

Athletes are not a typical at-risk group for smoking combustible tobacco products, because they are generally health conscious and desire to remain fit and optimize athletic performance (1). In contrast, smokeless tobacco use historically has been associated with certain sports, such as baseball (2). Athletes might be more likely to use certain tobacco products, such as smokeless tobacco, if they perceive them to be harmless (3); however, smokeless tobacco use is not safe and is associated with increased risk for pancreatic, esophageal, and oral cancers (4). Tobacco use among youth athletes is of particular concern, because most adult tobacco users first try tobacco before age 18 years (5). To examine prevalence and trends in current (≥1 day during the past 30 days) use of combustible tobacco (cigarettes, cigars) and smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip [moist snuff]) products among athlete and nonathlete high school students, CDC analyzed data from the 2001–2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. Current use of any tobacco (combustible or smokeless tobacco) significantly declined from 33.9% in 2001 to 22.4% in 2013; however, current smokeless tobacco use significantly increased from 10.0% to 11.1% among athletes, and did not change (5.9%) among nonathletes. Furthermore, in 2013, compared with nonathletes, athletes had significantly higher odds of being current smokeless tobacco users (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.77, p<0.05), but significantly lower odds of being current combustible tobacco users (AOR = 0.80, p<0.05). These findings suggest that opportunities exist for development of stronger tobacco control and prevention measures targeting youth athletes regarding the health risks associated with all forms of tobacco use.

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