This study explored the factors associated with female smokeless tobacco (ST) use and examined gender differences in factors related to use. Interviews were conducted either in person or by telephone with 51 female and 59 male users from the Pacific Northwest. The interview included both quantitative and qualitative items assessing personal, social, and substance use variables. Male and female users were found to be similar in a variety of areas, such as reasons for initiating use, use of ST in response to different mood states, and high rates of experimentation with other drugs. However, female users reported using ST for weight control more extensively, identified a greater influence by other female users, and reported fewer friends knowing about their use. Male users reported using ST more often during sports activities and in the workplace than did female users, and were almost three times more likely to be highly addicted to ST. The implications of the study for the development of prevention and cessation programs are discussed.

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