Be “Through with Chew”

Through with Chew Week is February 21-24, and the Cascade City-County Health Department (CCHD) is encouraging individuals who use smokeless tobacco to join with people across the nation to quit dipping and give themselves the gift of health. Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarettes and it puts Montanans at risk of cardiovascular disease, oral cancers, diabetes and severe periodontal damage.

Through with Chew Week 2012 is designed to raise awareness about the variety of dangerous nicotine-containing products the tobacco industry is marketing, to educate people on the resources available to help them quit and to let people and communities speak out about pathways to health. The statewide campaign  is sponsored by the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program (MTUPP) and Cascade City-County Health Department. Local activities will include live demonstrations of the chemical makeup in chewing tobacco and peer to peer education by reACT youth. This is scheduled for Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 11:00am to 12:30pm at the Great Falls High School commons area and Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 11:00am to 12:30pm at the CMR High School commons area.

“No matter if it’s from one of these new products, cigars, snuff or old-fashioned chewing tobacco, nicotine is a highly addictive, dangerous drug,” says Teddy Nault, Tobacco Use Prevention Specialist. “We want parents, teachers, administrators and coaches to make sure that kids understand that chewing tobacco, and the alternative oral tobacco products that cigarette companies keep producing, are dangerous and unacceptable choices. Through with Chew is all about community members helping each other to get healthy and stop giving their money to tobacco companies in exchange for disease.”

It is important that people know there is help out there if they want to quit using spit tobacco or any tobacco product. For the month of February, the Montana Tobacco Quit Line, a free telephone-based service, if offereing four weeks of free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges, discount medication and, most importantly, expert counseling from trained tobacco addiction specialists. To contact the Quit Line, dial 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

For more information on CCHD’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program, click here.