For the past 50 years, cigarette smoking has steadily declined in the US. However, people are smoking other forms of tobacco in record numbers. In this podcast, Darryl Konter discusses the increasing use of non-cigarette forms of smoked tobacco. Created: 8/2/2012 by MMWR.
Date Released: 8/2/2012. Series Name: A Cup of Health with CDC.
A CUP OF HEALTH WITH CDC
No Good Alternatives to Cigarettes
Consumption of Cigarettes and Combustible Tobacco — United States, 2000–2011
Recorded: July 31, 2012; posted: August 2, 2012
[Announcer] This program is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and
[Dr. Gaynes] Welcome to A Cup of Health with CDC, a weekly feature of the MMWR,
the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. I’m your host, Dr. Robert Gaynes.
For the past 50 years, cigarette smoking has steadily declined in the US.
However, people are smoking other forms of tobacco in record numbers.
Darryl Konter is with CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. He’s joining us today
to discuss the increasing use of non-cigarette forms of smoked tobacco. Welcome
to the show, Darryl.
[Darryl Konter] Thanks. It’s good to be here with you.
[Darryl Konter] Darryl, while cigarette use is decreasing, what other types of
tobacco use are increasing?
[Darryl Konter] Our study found use of pipe tobacco was up almost 500 percent
from 2000 to 2011, and large cigar use was up 233 percent in the same period.
Overall, use of all types of smokable tobacco products, other than cigarettes,
was up 123 percent.
[Darryl Konter] Why are people turning to alternative forms of tobacco in such
[Darryl Konter] We think the biggest reason is price. Because pipe tobacco is
federally taxed at a much lower rate than cigarettes, smokers have been buying
pipe tobacco at stores that offer high speed rolling machines. These machines
can roll a carton of cigarettes in about four minutes. So, effectively, they
produce cigarettes at a big discount. Another reason is that many of the
products labeled ‘large cigars’ under the FDA classification system are actually
similar in size and shape to cigarettes and because they’re classified as
cigars, they’re exempt from the FDA restrictions on flavorings in cigarettes. So
many of these products are especially appealing to youth and young adults.
[Darryl Konter] Are these types of tobacco safer than cigarettes?
[Darryl Konter] Absolutely not. The Surgeon General has concluded that smoking
any form of tobacco causes your lungs, blood vessels, and other delicate tissues
to become inflamed and damaged. Over time, this damage will lead to disease. And
let’s be clear, any of these products that are smoked like cigarettes are just
as addictive as cigarettes.
[Darryl Konter] Darryl, what strategies can you offer our listeners to quit all
forms of tobacco use?
[Darryl Konter] Set a quit date and tell your family and friends you’re quitting
so they can support you. Get cigarettes and all other tobacco products out of
your house, along with ashtrays, lighters, and other smoking accessories. Also,
talk to your doctor or health care provider.
[Darryl Konter] Where can listeners get more information about strategies for
quitting tobacco use?
[Darryl Konter] They can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to the website smokefree.gov
to get free help, including additional strategies that will help you quit
[Darryl Konter] Thanks, Darryl. I’ve been talking today with CDC’s Darryl Konter
about the increase in use of other smoked tobacco.
Pipe tobacco and cigarette –like cigars contain the same toxic chemicals that
are found in cigarettes, which can lead to cancer, heart disease, and other
smoking-related illnesses. Parents, teachers, and other mentors should talk with
young people about the dangers of all forms of tobacco use.
Until next time, be well. This is Dr. Robert Gaynes for A Cup of Health with
[Announcer] For the most accurate health information, visit www.cdc.gov or call