CDC: Smokeless tobacco rise in Arkansas youth - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

CDC: Smokeless tobacco rise in Arkansas youth

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - According to the Centers for Disease Control, Arkansas ranks second in the nation for smokeless tobacco use among youth.

Dr. Shane Speights with St. Bernards said rumors on chewing tobacco can be misleading.

"Teens and even adults that use smokeless tobacco think it's a lot safer than actually smoking a cigarette or a cigar," he said. "There might not be a risk of lung cancer with smokeless tobacco, but there is a much higher chance of oral pharyngeal cancer."

Chris Mabe said he's been chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes since he was 13-years-old. It's been mostly cigarettes for him but he's turned to chewing tobacco in an effort to kick the smoking habit.

"I've slowed down on smoking cigarettes and every once in awhile I'll choose chewing tobacco," he said.

Dr. Speights recommends a different approach that cuts the tobacco use all together.

"Choose a nicorette gum or some type of nicotine patch," Speights said. "There are also good prescription medications now."

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