Ohio Dental Association Continues Its Efforts To Discourage Tobacco Use
Millions of teens
across the nation use smokeless tobacco -- often referred to as spit, chew
or dip -- with the misconception that it is less dangerous and less
addictive than the tobacco used in cigarettes. The Ohio Dental Association
A recent report published in the Feb. 2007 "Tobacco Control" journal
cited conclusions from an ongoing American Cancer Society study which found
that people who switched from cigarettes to spit tobacco were twice as
likely to die from throat or mouth cancer then those who quit all tobacco
use. The study also found that tobacco, whether in cigarette or spit form,
contributes to health problems such as cardiovascular disease, high blood
pressure and bone loss.
"Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes, and
should be not considered a method of cessation," said H. Sam Fick, Ohio
Dental Association president. "The ODA promotes the continued education
about the potential risks and dangers of smokeless tobacco use through its
Operation TACTIC (Teens Against Chewing Tobacco in the Community) program".
The TACTIC program helps educate teens about the dangers of smokeless
tobacco, spring- boarding off of a story about an Ohio man who died at the
age of 31 after using smokeless tobacco since he was 13 years old. Topics
covered in the program include:
-- Receding gums, tooth decay, mouth sores, bleeding gums and bad breath
-- The increased risk of leukoplakia -- white spots in the tongue which
can be an early indicator of oral cancer
-- The increased risk of lip, throat, mouth, voice box, esophagus and
The program provides tools, materials and resources to create an
interactive and information learning experience for students and adults of
all ages. It also serves well as a diversion program for offenders of the
schools tobacco use policy.
"With the arrival of spring sports, the ODA encourages school districts
to fully enforce a no-tolerance policy for use of smokeless tobacco that is
as stringent as it is for cigarettes, drugs and other banned substances,"
Ohio Dental Association