UofL study shows misperception of risk from smokeless tobacco


    LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Faculty at the University of Louisville overestimate the health risks of smokeless tobacco (ST), with most placing it at the same risk level as cigarettes.

    Survey results from nearly 600 faculty members showed that 97 percent of respondents considered cigarettes as high risk for several health domains — general health, heart attack/stroke, all cancer and oral cancer. The majority of survey-takers also perceived smokeless tobacco as high risk, with 80-percent of respondents believing it has equal or higher risk than smoking for oral cancer. Faculty at the UofL Health Sciences Center had somewhat more accurate risk perceptions than faculty on the university’s Belknap campus. However, both groups overestimated the risks, particularly for oral cancer.

    Julie Heflin
    Julie oversees digital content for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She began her UofL career on the Health Sciences Center campus in 2007. Prior to this, Julie was a journalist with WFPL (Louisville Public Media), and occasionally filed reports for National Public Radio.