MOORE HAVEN — Each year, Through With Chew Week raises awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use (chew, dip and snus) and the effective tools available to quit. This Through With Chew Week, Feb. 21-27, Glades County is encouraging smokeless tobacco users to set a quit date and use Tobacco Free Florida’s free and proven-effective resources to quit for good.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, quitting smokeless tobacco is more important than ever. Smokeless tobacco is harmful to health and highly addictive. The use of some types of smokeless tobacco products is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, and having heart disease increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Smokeless tobacco also contains harmful chemicals, such as a radioactive element called polonium-210 and harmful metals including arsenic and lead. Some of these chemicals are known to cause cancer. Apart from cancer, other oral health issues from smokeless tobacco include mouth sores, gum recession, tooth decay, and permanent discoloration of teeth.
“Smokeless tobacco poses serious health risks, however during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become an even greater public health concern,” said Teresa Coco. “Smokeless tobacco products such as chew, dip, and snus, induce salivation and trigger the urge to spit. The act of spitting can facilitate the spread of infectious diseases, potentially including COVID-19. We want our residents to know that Tobacco Free Florida has free tools and services to help them quit tobacco and improve their overall health.”
Those looking to quit tobacco can create a personalized quit plan using Tobacco Free Florida’s free Quit Your Way tools and services. The Quit Your Way program offers free tools and services like Phone Quit, Group Quit and Web Quit, in addition to individual tools like text support, a Quit Guide and helpful emails. Free nicotine replacement therapy – nicotine patches, gum or lozenges – are available to tobacco users who are 18 or older, if medically appropriate.
For more information on quitting tobacco, you can call 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (1-877-822-6669) or visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway.
About Tobacco Free Florida
The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 254,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida’s free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.