(Fargo, ND)– Fargo Cass Public Health (FCPH) is encouraging residents to ditch the dip and stop using smokeless tobacco during “Through With Chew” week, Feb. 20-26. Additionally, smokeless tobacco users are encouraged to make The Great American Spit Out, February 24, their designated quit date. Setting a quit date greatly improves a smoker’s chances of success.
“Quitting without smoking now reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, birth defects and even death,” said Annabel DuFault, tobacco prevention coordinator at FCPH. “Our goal during ‘Through With Chew Week’ is two-fold: to educate the community about the dangers of smokeless tobacco and to provide those who want to quit smoking with the resources and support to do so successfully.”
In 2020, nearly 11% of adult males in North Dakota reported using smokeless tobacco in the past 30 days. Adult and school-aged men currently use more than six times more smokeless tobacco than women. Chewing tobacco is not a safe alternative to other forms of tobacco and has many negative health effects. On average, chews deliver a higher dose of nicotine than cigarettes, which makes the product highly addictive. Smokeless tobacco contains at least 28 dangerous chemicals that cause cancer of the mouth, esophagus and pancreas. Additionally, smokeless tobacco can cause gum disease, heart disease, and mouth sores. Tobacco products like chewing pose a threat to your health, and “Through with Chew Week” is a great opportunity to take action against tobacco use, the leading cause of preventable death and disease in North Dakota.
Officials say the most effective way to quit smoking is to make a quit plan. FCPH provides resources and support for those ready to quit. In addition, the national smoking cessation program, NDQuits, offers free support and coaching through phone and web programs.
To learn more about local tobacco prevention and cessation efforts, call 701.241.8576. For more help quitting smoking without tobacco, visit their website.