Chew Week encourages users to quit product

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By Enterprise Staff

This week is “Through with Chew Week” an educational campaign that raises awareness about the dangers of using chew tobacco and encourages users to quit.  

Park County Health Department Tobacco Use Prevention Program wants to spread the message that “smokeless is not harmless” and the Montana Tobacco Quit Line is ready to help people quit and enjoy the gift of better health, a Park County Health Department Tobacco Use and Prevention Program press release said.

Smokeless tobacco is a dangerous form of nicotine addiction that puts Montanans at risk for cardiovascular disease, oral cancers. Smokeless tobacco is often falsely portrayed as a safer alternative to smoking, but the reality is that it’s deadly and addictive, the release said. It contains 28 cancer-causing substances, and users are 50 times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-users. An average “dip” of the most popular brands delivers the same amount of nicotine as smoking 3-4 cigarettes. This leads to a high level of nicotine addiction, which makes quitting very difficult.

Montana has one of the highest smokeless tobacco usage rates in the country, the release said. The 2013 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicates that 13.4 percent of Montana High Schoolers use smokeless tobacco, compared to 8.8 percent nationally.  

There are resources that are available to help those who would like to quit. The Montana Tobacco Quit Line, which  can help people quit any form of tobacco as well as electronic cigarettes.  

The Quit Line is a free, telephone-based service for all tobacco users that provides coaching, help with developing an individualized quit plan, an eight-week supply of nicotine replacement therapy including patch, gum or lozenges, and other quit medications at a greatly reduced cost.  The Quit Line is available every day from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669), or by enrolling at www.QuitNowMontana.com

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