Tobacco users urged to quit the spit

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Through With Chew Week begins Friday. During this week the Alabama Department of Public Health encourages users to give up smokeless tobacco.

Through With Chew Week is an annual education campaign aimed at decreasing spit tobacco use and increasing awareness of the negative health effects of using smokeless products. The American Academy of Otolaryngology began the event in 1989.

According to ADPH, the 2016 Alabama Adult Tobacco Survey and the 2016 Alabama Youth Tobacco Survey showed that 8.1 percent of Alabama adults and 9.3 percent of Alabama teens reported using smokeless tobacco products in the past 30 days.

Smokeless tobacco is more addictive than cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, due to its, on average, higher dose of nicotine.

"Smokeless is not harmless," said Jabari Sullen, Alabama Tobacco Quitline director. "Its use can cause oral, esophageal and pancreatic cancers, and lead to tooth loss and gum recession."

The Alabama Tobacco Quitline is a resource users can use to help be Through With Chew. The organization offers free and individualized coaching services every day of the week from 6 a.m. to midnight, with up to eight weeks of free nicotine patches to those medically eligible.

To be Through With The Chew during this year's event, or anytime this year, call the Quitline at 1-800-784-8669 or visit the Quitline Alabama website.

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