Smokeless tobacco use among American college students

J Am Coll Health. 1989 Sep;38(2):81-5. doi: 10.1080/07448481.1989.9938420.


This study sought to delineate patterns of smokeless tobacco use among college students in the United States. A national sample (N = 5,894) of approximately equal numbers of men and women from 72 colleges and universities participated in the study. Eight percent of the college students in the Northeast used smokeless tobacco, whereas 15% in the South Central United States were using it. Seventeen percent of the American Indian, 14% of Mexican-American, 12% of white, and 4% of black students reported they had dipped or chewed. Smokeless tobacco users were more likely to have family and friends who also used smokeless tobacco. Almost two thirds (63%) of current users plan to continue to dip or chew. More than half (57%) the users consumed less than two cans or pouches per week. Smokeless tobacco is a serious problem in American colleges and universities. Unless prevention and cessation efforts target this group, the problem will continue to increase and ultimately could result in an oral cancer epidemic.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Students*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology
  • Tobacco*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless*
  • United States
  • Universities*