PDES and partners in Alaska recently published an article in Addictive Behaviors on trends in dual cigarette and smokeless tobacco (SLT) use over time among Alaskan males. The tobacco industry has promoted the use of SLT to smokers as a substitution for cigarettes when smoking is not possible, and some smokers are using SLT this way. However, few publications have examined recent trends in dual cigarette and SLT use (dual use) over time in the U.S.
We found that the prevalence of current SLT use remained unchanged between 1996 and 2008 among former and never smokers, but almost doubled among current smokers. In addition, between 2004 and 2008, cigarette consumption remained steady among current smokers who did not use SLT, but significantly decreased among dual users. Our findings suggest that male smokers in Alaska are increasingly likely to use SLT, but do not appear to be switching to SLT use exclusively. We recommend that other state tobacco control programs examine trends in dual use to confirm our findings, and for programs to continue encouraging cessation of all tobacco products.