Through With Chew Week 2010

In Local News on February 16, 2010 at 8:33 am

This week is Through With Chew Week, and Thursday is the Great American Spit Out, a national campaign to encourage users to spit out their tobacco once and for all. We’ve all heard that smoking causes lung disease, heart disease, and a variety of cancers. But many people incorrectly assume that smokeless tobacco products are less harmful because users aren’t breathing in smoke, and there’s no secondhand smoke to harm other people. And tobacco companies certainly aren’t doing anything to change those beliefs.

However, leading health care authorities in the U.S. and around the world – like the U.S. Surgeon General, U.S. National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Toxicology Program, and World Health Organization – have unequivocally stated that smokeless tobacco products are harmful to health.

Smokeless tobacco products contain a variety of toxins and carcinogens. According to the Center for Disease Control, oral tobacco use causes not only cancer of the mouth, throat, and digestive tract, but also gum and other oral diseases, heart disease, reproductive problems such as reduced sperm count, and nicotine addiction.

Tobacco companies continue to produce and market new smokeless tobacco products as “safer alternatives” to attract new users and keep smokers addicted. These include snus, which is spitless tobacco in a tiny pouch, and breath mint-like tablets marketed under a couple different brands. Many groups such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, FDA and Good Housekeeping have expressed concern that these products are targeted toward children because they are packaged and flavored like candy. Indiana Poison Control has reported several instances of children suffering nicotine poisoning from using these alternative products.

This Thursday, the Daviess County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition encourages you to improve your health and set a good example for your children. Call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free coaching and support to spit out tobacco for good.


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