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Jefferson County, CO - Jefferson County Public Health and the Tobacco-Free Jeffco Alliance are encouraging people who use smokeless tobacco to quit for a day or better yet, quit for life. The Great American Spit Out (GASpO) is an annual one-day challenge that takes place during the Through with Chew national effort. This year’s GASpO is on February 23rd and is an opportunity for people who use smokeless tobacco to practice being tobacco-free for one day. Taking the tobacco-free challenge can provide enough encouragement to help people make the commitment to quit for good.
Smokeless tobacco is tobacco that is not burned and is also known as chewing tobacco, snuff, dip, spit tobacco, Snus, dissolvable tobacco, and nasal snuff. As early as 1986, the advisory committee to the Surgeon General reported that the use of smokeless tobacco “is not a safe substitute for smoking cigarettes”. The National Cancer Institute’s fact sheet on smokeless tobacco notes that all tobacco products contain nicotine, a highly addictive ingredient and that there is no safe form of tobacco. At least 28 chemicals in smokeless tobacco have been found to cause cancer, as well as a number of non-cancerous oral conditions. Commemorating the Great American Spit Out also offers an opportunity for schools and communities to draw attention to the importance of keeping kids 100% tobacco-free. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note in a Morbidity and Mortality Report that adolescents who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to grow up to become adult smokers. Keeping youth from picking up the habit is critical in reducing the harmful effects of tobacco in our communities. Colorado law and Jeffco Public Schools’ Tobacco-Free Schools Policy prohibit the use of all tobacco products including smokeless, e-cigarettes, and dissolvable forms of tobacco. In addition, Breathe Easy (BE) Team students in Jefferson County work in their schools and communities year-round to reduce tobacco's toll through education, outreach, and advocacy. According to the American Cancer Society, people who plan their quit day in advance DOUBLE the odds of staying tobacco-free for life. If you want to take the tobacco-free challenge, there are steps to help you prepare and increase your chances of success in quitting for the day or quitting for life. Resources: • Colorado offers numerous resources to help you quit smoking or quit using other tobacco products. Visit www.tobaccofreeco.org to learn more or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). • Consider using a web-based cessation program such as www.mylastdip.com, www.chewfree.com, or www.coquitmobile.com. • You may also visit the Ready to Quit page on the Tobacco-Free Jeffco website for a list of additional resources to help you quit. • If you work with youth, youth athletes, or sports teams, this resource list may help. To learn more about smokeless tobacco: • Explore helpful fact sheets from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. • See theNational Cancer Institute’s factsheet on smokeless tobacco. • View a short video from the CDC showing the many tactics used by the tobacco industry to entice young and old to use this deadly product. • Watch the story of Sean Marsee, a young man who died at the age of 19 from cancer caused by smokeless tobacco. Jefferson County Public Health continues to work toward reducing the toll of tobacco in our communities through sustainable solutions to the problem of tobacco use and exposure. To learn more about current initiatives and how to get involved, please visit www.tobaccofreeJeffco.com, email tobaccofree@Jeffco.us, or call 303-275-7555.
February 14, 2014
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