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Health Indicator Report of Tobacco Use - Adult Smokeless Tobacco Prevalence

Smokeless tobacco products such as snuff, chew, snus, 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 products represent a significant health risk and are not a safe substitute for smoking cigarettes. The use of smokeless tobacco is significantly higher among males than females, both in New Mexico and in the U.S.

Adult Smokeless Tobacco Use Prevalence by County, New Mexico, 2014-2016 (Combined)


Smokeless tobacco includes chewing tobacco, snuff, or snus. Snus (Swedish for snuff) is a moist smokeless tobacco, usually sold in small pouches that are placed under the lip against the gum.   **Percentages based on fewer than 50 completed surveys are not shown because they do not meet the DOH standard for data release. The following counties did not meet the DOH small numbers rule in the combined 2014-2016 dataset: DeBaca, Guadalupe and Harding. The county-level BRFSS data used for this indicator were weighted to be representative of the New Mexico Health Region populations. Had the data been weighted to be representative of each county population, the results would likely have been different.

Data Source

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with New Mexico Department of Health, Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau.

Data Interpretation Issues

Data for this indicator report are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Mexico adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone ownership. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters. Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area. Lastly and importantly, these changes mean that the data from years prior to 2011 are not directly comparable to data from 2011 and beyond. Please see the [ BRFSS Method Change Factsheet]. The "missing" and "don't know" responses are removed before calculating a percentage.


Current smokeless tobacco users are defined as people age 18 or older who currently use chew tobacco, snuff, or snus every day or some days.


Number of adults who report currently using chewing tobacco, snuff, or snus every day or some days


Total number adults participating in the NM BRFSS

Healthy People Objective: Reduce tobacco use by adults: Smokeless tobacco products

U.S. Target: 0.3 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 08/03/2017, Published on 08/30/2017
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 Thu, 19 October 2017 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Wed, 30 Aug 2017 13:41:13 MDT