“Through With Chew Week” Emphasizes No “Safe” Tobacco Products

As the harmful effects of smoking continue to receive national attention, tobacco companies have shifted their focus to smokeless tobacco products, claiming them to be a “safe” alternative to smoking cigarettes and actively working to build new customers. “Through With Chew Week,” February 16-22, highlights the truth that there are no “safe” tobacco products.

“Smokeless tobacco is re-emerging as a dangerous threat to the collective health and wellness of Montanans,” said Nicole Bronec, reACT Youth Coordinator. “In the past, smokeless products were treated as a niche market for the tobacco industry. But with increased FDA oversight on cigarettes, the tobacco companies are escalating efforts to convince current smokers to adopt smokeless when using smoke free venues. In fact, research shows that people who are dual users, cigarettes and smokeless products, have an extremely difficult time in trying to quit either.”

This year, smokeless tobacco users are encouraged to quit during Through With Chew Week. Support to quit can come from friends and family, as well as from dentists and health care providers.

Local activities in Great Falls include a “Shoot Out Tobacco” contect, scheduled for Saturday, February 22, 2013 at halftime of the CMR vs. Billings West varsity boys basketball game (game starts at 4:30pm) at the CMR Fieldhouse. Students can participate in the event by paying $1 to the CMR Color Guard “Pop a Shot” with an added bonus of a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

The Montana Tobacco Quit Line, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) offers free support to all Montanans who are trying to quit using smokeless tobacco. This service offers free coaching by certified addiction counselors, free patches, gum, or lozenges, as well as discounts on prescription medications. To learn more about the Quit Line or other services offered by the CCHD Tobacco Use Prevention Program, click here.