031011 tobacco
Tobacco companies market products such as electronic cigarettes, fruit-flavored products, lozenges and pouches in attractive, modern packaging. Legislators have recommended cutting state tobacco-prevention funding, while advocates say that the programs counter marketing aimed at teenagers. Photo by ELIZA WILEY/Helena Independent Record

Adult males are needed for a Spit Tobacco Use Study in Ravalli County.

Lyndsay Stover has worked with Tobacco Free Ravalli for four years.

“Basically, this study is to collect information on the perceptions of smokeless tobacco use in rural areas,” Stover said. “It’s a look at how tobacco users organize their thoughts when using tobacco.”

Stover said the research is gathering information.

“It’s an interview where I’m asking question about cultural and social ideas of smokeless tobacco use,” Stover said. “I’m also asking about attitudes towards smokeless tobacco use and quitting, and the impact of marketing and advertising on smokeless tobacco users.”

Stover said the interview is completely confidential and that all information will be destroyed as soon as the project ends.

“People think this research is about talking them into quitting, but that’s not the reason for the study,” Stover said. “It is a look at how tobacco affects the everyday life of people. It is an insight as to why they use tobacco.”

Stover will interview participants in person or over the phone for about an hour. Eligible participants are male, over the age of 18, a resident of Ravalli County and a current smokeless tobacco user. Participants will be given a $10 stipend for participating.

“There is no risk to the participants in the study,” Stover said. “The huge benefit is they would be playing an instrumental role in research that’s important to public health issues. There has not been a lot of studies on smokeless tobacco in rural areas, but there is a need for it. Tobacco companies often use Montana as a backdrop. Tobacco companies prey on country lifestyle, country living, rural areas, rodeo and anything like that.”

Stover obtained her undergraduate degree from Buffalo State College in New York in criminal justice and cultural anthropology. Currently, she is an anthropology major focusing on cultural and medical anthropology at the University of Montana.

To participate in this research study contact, Stover at (406) 375-6573 or e-mail her at Lyndsay.stover@gmail.com by Feb. 10.

Reach reporter Michelle McConnaha at 363-3300 or michelle.mcconnaha@ravallirepublic.com.