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Use of smokeless tobacco in a group of professional baseball players


This paper describes the smokeless tobacco use practices and oral health problems of members of a minor league professional baseball team. Seventeen of 25 ballplayers reported current use of smokeless tobacco. Gingival recession and lesions in the oral mucosa were more common in smokeless tobacco users than nonusers. Reported use of smokeless tobacco was greater during baseball season than in the off-season. Of the 19 current and past users, 15 reported first using smokeless tobacco after entering professional baseball. To discourage the use of smokeless tobacco by professional athletes, teams should stop accepting free samples and do a better job educating players about health consequences associated with use.

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Correspondence to K. Michael Cummings.

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Cummings, K.M., Michalek, A.M., Carl, W. et al. Use of smokeless tobacco in a group of professional baseball players. J Behav Med 12, 559–567 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00844825

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Key words

  • smokeless tobacco
  • oral health
  • saliva cotinine