Smokeless tobacco a statewide hit

California has increase in snuff and chew sales, new products on way

California has seen a rise in the sale of smokeless tobacco products like snuff and chew, which pose health risks similar to those of cigarette use.

According to a report released by the state Department of Public Health, Californians spent $211 million on non-cigarette tobacco products in 2011, up from $77 million in 2001, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Among high-school students, smokeless tobacco use has increased from 3.1 percent of students in 2004 to 3.9 percent of students in 2010. Meanwhile, the tobacco industry spent $444 million on advertising for non-cigarette tobacco in 2010 and products have become more readily available—among tobacco retail outlets, those offering snus (a small packet of tobacco placed under the lip) have jumped from less than 1 percent in 2008 to almost 40 percent in 2011.

New, dissolvable tobacco products that come in orb and strip form have become more popular in other states and are expected to be sold in California soon.

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