Chewing Tobacco Rates Up in Washington - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Chewing Tobacco Rates Up in Washington

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Smoking rates continue to go down in Washington State. But, the number of people chewing tobacco continues to hold steady.

15% of Washington State 12th graders chew tobacco. The national average is 8%. The rate of people chewing that live outside of urban areas has jumped to 16%.

Health officials say that many people believe that chewing is safer than smoking. But they say that the amount of nicotine absorbed when chewing is 3 or 4 times the amount delivered by a cigarette. They say that people that use spit tobacco are 50% more likely to get oral cancer than non-users.

Health officials recommend that if you want to quit you should: decrease your use before your quit date, write down why you're quitting, and replace chew with something else, like gum, or sunflower seeds.

Call 1-877--270-STOP for the Washington State Tobacco Quit Line..