Barb Parnell and Liz Morgan: Through with chew

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— In Colorado, 7.3 percent of adult men use chew tobacco on a daily basis, compared to the national rate of 6 percent. Chew tobacco use rates can vary dramatically according to where you live, and some areas of Southeast and Southwest Colorado can have rates of adult men who chew as high as 20 percent. Among high school-age boys in Colorado, about 12.4 percent use chew tobacco, whereas the national rate is about 10 percent.

Feb. 15 to 21 is being recognized by the Visiting Nurse Association as "Through With Chew Week." It is a national health promotion event designed to educate the public on the harms of chew tobacco. The overall public health goal is to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco among young people.

Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarettes, as some young people think, and it is even more habit-forming because it contains a higher concentration of nicotine than cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco can cause oral cancer, especially in the cheeks, gums and throat. In addition, smokeless tobacco is addicting. The use of smokeless tobacco also can lead to other oral problems such as mouth sores, gum recession, tooth decay, bad breath and permanent discoloration of teeth.

For more free information about smokeless tobacco and help to quit using these products, call 800-QUIT-NOW or the VNA at 875-1882.

Make today your quit day.

Barb Parnell and Liz Morgan

Community health educators, Visiting Nurse Association

Comments

Martha D Young 5 years, 10 months ago

Thanks to Barb and Liz for reminding us of the dangers of chewing tobacco. Can you post some photos of the mouths of chew users? Photos would underscore your statements. The addictive power of tobacco is incredible.

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upstream 5 years, 10 months ago

and please be sure to include some photos of women. chewing tobacco has become more and more popular with rural gals as well as guys. what a horribly addictive drug- i know folks who have stopped a lot of other drugs but never managed to give up the tobacco. here's to all your hard work!

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