LABELLE, FL. -- The Hendry County Tobacco Free Partnership and the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida are raising awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco, like chew and dip, during “Through With Chew Week.” This public awareness campaign was created to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco among young people and help combat this deadly addiction. “Through With Chew Week” takes place Feb. 14-20.
To raise awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use, The Hendry County Tobacco Free Partnership and Hendry County SWAT Chapters will have a booth at Hendry County Fair in Clewiston. The Hendry County Fair takes place on February 12 to the 20th, 2016. The Partnership and SWAT members will be at the booth to provide information about “Through With Chew” week and 3 Ways to Quit.
Although youth cigarette smoking rates in Florida are at an all-time low, 9.8 percent of high school students in Hendry reported current use of smokeless tobacco products in 2014, according to the Florida Youth Tobacco Survey.
“Smokeless tobacco products contain harmful chemicals that are known to cause cancer,” said Shannon Hughes, Director of the Florida Department of Health’s Community Health Promotion. "Youth who use smokeless products are more likely to experiment with other types of tobacco. Studies have shown that adolescent boys who use smokeless tobacco have a higher risk of becoming cigarette smokers.”
At least 28 cancer-causing chemicals have been identified in smokeless tobacco. Smokeless tobacco users have an 80 percent higher risk of oral cancer and a 60 percent higher risk of esophageal cancer and pancreatic cancer compared to non-users.
Currently, there is no scientific or medical evidence that proves smokeless tobacco use is an effective method to help people quit smoking.