FDA launches campaign against smokeless tobacco

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is mounting a campaign to discourage teenagers from using smokeless tobacco.


The anti-smokeless tobacco campaign will target white, male teenagers in rural areas, who are more likely than teenagers in urban areas to use products such as dip, chew and snus. The television ads will run in 35 rural markets around the country.

The FDA estimates that nearly one-third of white, male teenagers are at risk of using smokeless tobacco products.

"Smokeless tobacco use is culturally ingrained in many rural communities,” the FDA wrote in a press release. "For many, it has become a rite of passage, with these teenagers seeing smokeless tobacco used by role models, such as fathers, grandfathers, older brothers."

Smokeless tobacco is known to cause cancer, gum disease, tooth loss and nicotine addiction, the FDA notes.