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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.


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.   Beginning with 2011 estimates, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods. Therefore, estimates from 2011 and forward can not be compared to estimates from previous years.

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
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 Thu, 05 August 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 23 Oct 2018 16:11:00 MDT