Oral spit tobacco: Addiction, prevention and treatment

Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Herbert H. Severson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Scopus citations


The prevalence of smokeless tobacco is significant and reaches as high as 17% past month use in white males aged 18-25. Smokeless tobacco use is of concern because of the potential for addiction and the associated negative health consequences. This article reviews the basis for addiction to smokeless tobacco, examining the nicotine content in smokeless tobacco products, pharmacokinetics, psychoactive effects, tolerance, and withdrawal. It also explores the negative health consequences which include a number of oral pathologies and increased cardiovascular risk factors. Furthermore, it examines the factors associated with the initiation of smokeless tobacco use, and the current prevention programs that address these factors. Current smokeless tobacco treatment approaches are also discussed as well as predictors for abstinence. Finally, the future directions are discussed in light of the limited amount of research that has been conducted in the smokeless tobacco area, particularly related to prevention and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-44
Number of pages24
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1999

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