SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A state report says that while cigarette sales have plunged, sales of smokeless tobacco products have surged in the past decade in California, with use among high school students especially leaving state public health officials concerned.
The report released Thursday by the Department of Public Health says the amount spent on smokeless tobacco products has nearly tripled in 10 years, from $77 million in 2001 to about $211 million in 2011.
Among high school students, smokeless tobacco use has increased from 3.1 percent of students in 2004 to 3.9 percent in 2010.
Chewing tobacco and snuff remain the main smokeless products sold in the state, but newer products like the small packets known as snus have seen an increase in popularity, promotion and availability.
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