Cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco products. Anti-smoking campaigns are mainly targeting cigarettes. But there are other tobacco products out there that are as bad or even worse. And when different products are combined together, the health effects can be disastrous. According to data from the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), use of cigarettes combined with other forms of tobacco, called polytobacco use, results in higher nicotine addiction and even increased risk tobacco-related health problems, such as stroke, heart disease, and tobacco-related cancers. In addition, using multiple forms of tobacco and nicotine products actually makes quitting more difficult.
According to Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Examples of these tobacco products are:
- Bidis, a South Asian cigarette wrapped in a leaf
- Kreteks, a cigarette made with tobacco, clove sand other flavors which is very popular in Asia
Statistics on polytobacco users are as follows:
- men (4.4 percent)
- single people (4.8 percent)
- young adults ages 18-24 years (5.7 percent)
- household incomes less than $35,000 (9.8 percent)
The report was based on a study that covered 13 states in the US. Some of the key findings of the study are:
- 1 in 4 adults in these states use at least one form of tobacco, such as cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco
- Use of any tobacco ranged from 18.4 percent in New Jersey to 35 percent in West Virginia.
- Use of any tobacco was higher among non-Hispanic whites (26.2 percent) and non-Hispanic blacks (24.4 percent) than among Hispanics (19.7 percent).
- Use of any tobacco was higher among members of an unmarried couple (36.3 percent), single (30.3 percent), or widowed/divorced (29.1 percent) than among married persons (21.2 percent).
- Use of any tobacco was higher among those who had less than a high school education (33.1 percent) when compared to those with some college or more (20.5 percent).
- Polytobacco use ranged from 1.0 percent in New Jersey to 3.7 percent in West Virginia.