Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announces the State’s first observance of Through With Chew Week, February 15th through February 21st. DHHS’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) and Oral Health Program are joining together to encourage people all over the State to participate and to support those trying to quit chew tobacco during The Great American Spit Out, Thursday, February 19, 2009.
Through With Chew is a national initiative, celebrated in roughly half of the United States. The TPCP and Oral Health program are collaborating for the event as a preventative effort in response to the recent 70% increase in the use of spit tobacco by NH’s youth.
“The misconception is that using chew or spit tobacco is less harmful than smoking,” says DHHS Director of Public Health Dr. José Montero. “The fact is that chewing tobacco causes cancer, contributes to tooth loss, and in some instances, is more addictive than cigarette tobacco.”
To recognize Through With Chew Week many schools, local dental offices and public oral health programs around the state are hosting free screenings for oral cancer, targeting youth and people who currently use chew tobacco. Select pizza parlors in the State are helping to raise awareness about the harmful effects of chew tobacco by distributing flyers on the day of The Great American Spit Out.
To find out about events or screenings in your area, contact your local community coalition. For a list of coalitions go to www.trytostopnh.org or contact the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program at 1-800-852-3345 ext. 6684. For help with quitting tobacco use call 1-800-Try-To-STOP (1-800-879-8678) or logon to www.trytostopnh.org. For more information about Through With Chew Week visit www.throughwithchew.com