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Health Indicator Report of Tobacco Use - Youth Smokeless Tobacco Prevalence

Nicotine exposure in any form among youth and young adults can disrupt growth of brain circuits that control attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction to other drugs (e.g., cocaine and methamphetamine.) Effects of nicotine exposure on youth brain development can be long-lasting, and can include lower impulse control and mood disorders. Smokeless tobacco products such as snuff, chew, and dip pose health risks such as nicotine addiction, oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, and may increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The US Surgeon General states that smokeless tobacco represents a significant health risk and is not a safe substitute for smoking cigarettes. The use of smokeless tobacco products is significantly higher among males than females, especially among males who live in rural areas.

Youth Smokeless Tobacco Use Prevalence by Urban and Rural Counties, New Mexico, 2017

Smokeless tobacco use is significantly higher among youth from rural counties than among youth from metropolitan or small metro counties.
Smokeless tobacco use is significantly higher among youth from rural counties than among youth from metropolitan or small metro counties.


Urban/rural-level YRRS estimates come from the larger NM sample dataset, while state-level YRRS estimates come from the smaller CDC sample.

Data Source

New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department.


A current smokeless tobacco user is defined as a youth in grades 9-12 in a NM public school who reports having used chew, snuff, or dip on one or more days in the past month


Number of youth reporting use of chew, snuff or dip on one or more days in the past month


Total number of youth participating in the YRRS

Healthy People Objective: TU-2.3, Reduce tobacco use by adolescents: Smokeless tobacco products (past month)

U.S. Target: 6.9 percent

What Is Being Done?

The QUIT NOW and DEJELO YA (Spanish) Cessation Services offered by the New Mexico Department of Health are available to users of any type of tobacco product, including smokeless products such as snuff, snus, and dip tobacco. Phone- and web-based quit coaching and free nicotine replacement medications are available by registering at 1-800-QUIT NOW, 1-855-DEJELO YA, or or

Evidence-based Practices

Addressing tobacco use is best done through a coordinated effort to establish tobacco-free policies and social norms, to promote and assist tobacco users to quit, and to prevent initiation of tobacco use. This comprehensive approach combines educational, clinical, regulatory, economic, and social strategies. Research has documented strong or sufficient evidence in the use of the following strategies: - Increasing the unit price of tobacco products - Restricting minors' access to tobacco products; restricting the time, place, and manner in which tobacco is marketed and sold - Strategic, culturally appropriate, and high impact health communication messages (mass media), including paid TV, radio, billboard, print, and web-based advertising at state and local levels - Ensuring that all patients seen in the health care system are screened for tobacco use, receive brief interventions to help them quit, and are offered more intensive counseling and low- or no-cost cessation medications; providing insurance coverage of tobacco use treatment; phone- and web-based cessation services are effective and can reach large numbers of tobacco users; - Passage of laws and policies in a comprehensive tobacco control effort to protect the public from secondhand exposure - Focusing tobacco prevention and cessation interventions on populations at greatest risk in an effort to reduce tobacco-related health disparities Sources: CDC. Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs - 2014 ( The Guide to Community Preventive Services: Tobacco Use - 2010 (

Available Services

Current services include a free telephone helpline (1-800-QUIT NOW), with a personalized quitting plan, a trained quitting coach, multiple calls per enrollee, and quit coaching translation available in 200 languages. Web-based cessation services are also available ( stand-alone or in combination with the telephone helpline. The telephone helpline is also available in Spanish (1-855 DEJELO YA), and the Spanish web-based services are available at Additional services include free nicotine patches or gum and text-messaging support.
Page Content Updated On 10/23/2018, Published on 10/23/2018
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Fri, 28 January 2022 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 23 Oct 2018 16:10:27 MDT