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CSD of Oklahoma Promotes Smokeless Tobacco Messages During Great American Spit Out

Location: Tulsa, OK
Release date: 2/1/2010

Free coaching by phone/videophone, along with free nicotine patches or gum, helps smokeless tobacco users quit for good.

In Oklahoma, the use of smokeless, or spit tobacco, is a serious problem. CSD of Oklahoma is highlighting the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco during Through With Chew Week (Feb. 14-20) and at the annual Great American Spit Out on Feb. 18.

The important message is that “smokeless” tobacco doesn’t mean “harmless” tobacco. At the Great American Spit Out, CSD of Oklahoma encourages deaf and hard of hearing Oklahomans who use smokeless products to quit for at least one day. To assist smokeless tobacco users in quitting, CSD recommends calling the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline on videophone at (206) 494-9650, by TTY at (877) 777-6534 through the video relay service at (866) 748-2436.

“Smokeless tobacco may not receive the same kind of attention that cigarettes do, but that should not detract from the fact that it’s a harmful product that leads to nicotine addiction and causes cancer,” said Jimmy Mitchell, CSD of Oklahoma tobacco prevention specialist. “Calling it ‘cherry’ or ‘spice’ or ‘wintergreen’ only disguises the carcinogens like arsenic and formaldehyde that are inserted into the tobacco during the fermenting and aging process.”

Through With Chew Week is a national educational awareness week designed to get people talking about smokeless tobacco use and increase awareness of the negative health effects of using chew. Thursday, Feb. 18 is the Great American Spit Out, a day to help smokeless tobacco users kick the habit. Among Oklahoma adults, 5.4 percent, or about 130,000, currently use smokeless tobacco.

“If you really want to know the effects of smokeless tobacco products, ask your dentist. They know about the pre-cancerous lesions, gum disease and disfigurement or death from oral cancer,” said Mitchell. “In fact, The American Cancer Society reports that an estimated 80 percent of oral cancer is caused by tobacco use.”

CSD of Oklahoma was chosen by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust and awarded a five-year contract in order to reach out to underserved, key populations like the deaf and hard of hearing community and inform them about the dangers of using tobacco. For more information about CSD, go to www.c-s-d.org.

About CSD of Oklahoma — CSD of Oklahoma provides tobacco prevention programming and is a Special Populations grantee of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing Oklahomans and promoting smoke free environments, tobacco cessation and tobacco prevention. For more information about CSD of Oklahoma contact Jimmy Mitchell at  jmitchell@c-s-d.org,  (918) 894-5278 videophone, or go to Oklahoma Deaf Quit Web site at  www.okladeafquit.com.  

About the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline — The Helpline is funded by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline operates seven days a week. Services are available to Oklahomans who use tobacco products of any kind. Services are also available in Spanish by calling 1-800-793-1552 and for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing through Video Phone at 1-206-494-9650. For more information about the Helpline, go to:  www.ok.gov/tset/Programs/Helpline.html. For more information about quitting tobacco use go to: www.smokefree.gov.