Healthy Living: Smokeless tobacco among teens on the rise, research shows

You don't hear much about smokeless tobacco anymore and you don't see it much either. That doesn't mean people aren't using it.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, more than 1,000 kids between the ages of 12 and 17 try smokeless tobacco for the first time every day. To read more about the smokeless tobacco findings, visit National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2016

Furthermore, the group says the rates of smokeless tobacco use are going up, despite the fact that cigarette smoking rates among teens have gone down in the last 20 years.

To combat the problem, and at the request of the Seattle Mariner's organization, King County Council passed a smokeless tobacco ban that went into effect on May 15th at all county sporting venues, including Safeco Field, Centurylink Field, and KeyArena.

Although there are no plans to ticket anyone caught using smokeless tobacco, Dr. Jon Ebbert with the Mayo Clinic is applauding the move calling it critically important.

He says, "The risk associated (with smokeless tobacco) are oral cancer, bladder cancer, stroke and heart attack."

In addition to the health risks, critics say some tobacco companies are marketing to kids through packaging and kid-friendly flavors of smokeless tobacco.

The age to legally purchase smokeless tobacco is 18-years-old, the same as cigarettes.  However, many states are looking to raise that age to 21.