Concurrent use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco is common, but little is known regarding the association of smokeless tobacco use with cigarette smoking cessation. Dual users may have lower cigarette consumption levels, which may also play a role in smoking cessation.
The 2010–2011 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey included 26,760 current cigarette smokers, of which 675 concurrently used smokeless tobacco. We compared characteristics of the most recent cigarette smoking quit attempt of the past year between dual users and exclusive smokers, using multivariate regression.
Dual users (45%) were more likely than exclusive smokers (37%) to have made a cigarette smoking quit attempt during the previous year (p < 0.01), even after adjusting for demographic differences and cigarette dependence levels (ORadj 1.33, 95% CI 1.15–1.53). Half (48%) of dual users who made a quit attempt tried to quit “by switching to smokeless tobacco”. However, once in a quit attempt, dual users relapsed more quickly than exclusive smokers (Cox regression HRadj 1.13, 95% CI 1.02–1.26). There was no difference in 30-day abstinence rates on the most recent quit attempt (ORadj 1.09, 95% CI 0.88–1.37). For both groups, the best predictor of past 30-day abstinence was cigarette consumption level.
Current cigarette smokers who also use smokeless tobacco are more likely to have tried to quit, but relapse more quickly than exclusive smokers, and are not more likely to have attained 30 day smoking cessation. Prospective studies at the population level are needed.