The Great American Spit Out occurs in February of each year as a means to raise awareness of the dangers associated with smokeless tobacco. The next Great American Spit Out date is February 23, 2012!
Unfortunately, the myths concerning smokeless tobacco are still in existence, giving tobacco users a false hope.
The theme for 2012 is "Quit for a day or quit for good."
Some quit tips are:
Avoid triggers, situations that urge you to use tobacco.
Chew sugar-free gum or eat sunflower seeds as substitutes for tobacco.
Delay responding to an urge.
Get the facts
- Even though this form of tobacco is not smoked, the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco are potentially serious.
Smokeless tobacco increases the risk of oral cancer, which includes lip, tongue, cheeks, gums and the roof of the mouth.
Constant exposure to the tobacco juices causes cancer of the esophagus, pharynx, larynx, stomach, bladder and pancreas.
Gum recession, disease and tooth decay have also been associated with tobacco use.
Chewing smokeless tobacco contains 28 carcinogens (cancer-causing agents). The most harmful carcinogens are tobacco – specific nitrosamines. However, it is the nicotine in these products that cause the addiction. Nicotine absorption in smokeless tobacco products is 3 to 4 times that of smoking tobacco products and its slow absorption allows for a longer length of stay in the bloodstream.
Quit Tobacco—Make Everyone Proud (UCANQUIT2.org)
Take Dip Out of the Ballgame
Bobby Valentine, a former manager of the New York Mets speaks out about smokeless tobacco and the culture that it has on baseball. Imagine - if the baseball industry can change their culture than surely we can change also! New York Times article
Tobacco jeopardizes the military by reducing the overall performance of the Soldier.
Common concerns are military readiness, war fighting ability and overall work performance. To combat smokeless tobacco use, several organizations, to include the American Academy of Otolaryngologists, have developed similar campaigns such as “Through with Chew” in conjunction with the Great American Spit Out. “Through With Chew,” a one week smokeless awareness campaign, also occurs in February and has a website that provides a variety of additional tools that help with putting a stop to smokeless tobacco use.
If you or someone else that you know uses smokeless tobacco, here are a few steps to take either on the Great American Spit Out or as part of the quit plan:
· Contact your healthcare provider to let him/her know of your decision to quit. There are medications that can help, if necessary.
· Chew sugarless gum or have sugarless candy on hand for when you have an urge.
· Drink plenty of water and use a straw to help with the need to chew.
· Create your personalized “To Do Lists” for each day in advance or simply keep busy when you have an urge.
· Consider relaxation walks as part of your lunch time or work breaks.
· Have an emergency support plan in place. Make Everyone Proud, also known as UCANQUIT2, has counselors available via telephone with supporting resources online.
· Call a friend that will support your efforts of being tobacco free.
Plan to use The Great American Spit Out as the day that you say “no” to tobacco and “yes” to a healthier you.
Through with Chew
The 2012 Through with Chew WeekToolkit is available now.
MyLastDip My Last Dip is a web-based intervention program designed to help chewing tobacco users quit for good. Developed by researchers with over 30 years' experience in smokeless tobacco research, these programs are funded by a research grant from the National Cancer Institute (U. S. National Institutes of Health). FREE and available 24 hours a day.
Just for TEEN Chewers
Program Against Teen Chewing (PATCH)
Take the PATCH Project Quiz! Get knowledge about smokeless tobacco in a fun interactive way. Sponsored by the NIH, University of Arkansas College of Nursing, and the Arkansas Cancer Research Center
MyLastDip Chewers age 14-25 can join with other peers online and quit tobacco use together. FREE online services are available 24 hours a day.
More Smokeless Tobacco Cessation Information
American Cancer Society: Smokeless Tobacco
Learn about smokeless tobacco and get the tips to help users quit.
National Cancer Institute: Smokeless Tobacco and Cancer Fact Sheet
Factsheet on Smokeless Tobacco- provides brief answers to some of the most common questions regarding smokeless tobacco.
Mayo Clinic, Chewing tobacco: Not a risk-free alternative to cigarettes
Smokeless tobacco comes in many forms. Learn the different types of smokeless tobacco and the health risk associated with being a user.
DoD Quit Tobacco Make Everyone Proud Campaign (UCAN QUIT2)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: Smokeless Tobacco
DoD specific tobacco cessation initiative. Learn why "Smokeless tobacco is not harmless tobacco".
Excellent spit tobacco information from the federal government for healthcare providers and spit tobacco users (see links on website to A Guide for Quitting)
American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
Information about the risk of tobacco use in the development of oral cancer.