Sally Wagoner R.N., TTS, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Tobacco Treatment Specialist returns to provide some tips for snuffing out an unhealthy practice.
(The headline's ours- Ed.)
Kick the Can for the Great American Spit Out 2018.
By Sally Wagoner, RN, TTS, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, Tobacco Treatment Specialist
Want to quit the spit? Be through with chew? Thursday, February 22 is National Great American Spit Out 2018, which encourages people to stop using smokeless tobacco.
Smokeless tobacco (dip or chew) is highly addictive and can cause cancer of the mouth, throat, stomach, and pancreas. It can also cause painful gum disease, cavities and tooth loss.
Each can of chew has about the same amount of nicotine as four packs of cigarettes. So if you dip a half can each day, you are getting the same nicotine as a two pack a day smoker.
Dipping is not safer than smoking tobacco. The cancer causing poisons in the tobacco are still getting into your body, but more by swallowing the toxins than breathing them in. The addiction rate of dip and chew is as much as smoking, and may occur even quicker because the amount of nicotine per use is greater, and is absorbed more efficiently through saliva.
Rural youth and adults have higher rates of using chew than in other areas. Youth are often given their first dip by adults who chew – even by sports coaches! Professional baseball has banned tobacco from their stadiums (nearly half in 2017), and new Major League Baseball players are banned from using chew, dip or snuff through new contracts.
You can quit the can! Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and District Health Department #10 have free programs to help you quit for good. For more information please contact the following:
Sally Wagoner, RN, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial – Call: 231.924.7589. Text: 231.519.9471
Karen Ripke, TTS, District 10 Health Department – Call: 231.305.8659. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org