October 1, 2004
You Chew - You Lose!
In the building trades its easy to start using chew or spit tobacco. When you're on the job and need a cigarette a little pinch will satisfy the craving and keep your hands free for work. Spit may get you through the day if you're working at a refinery or school site where you're not supposed to smoke. Some people even use spit tobacco thinking that it is safer than smoking. Watching the baseball players with their big plugs of tobacco during the playoffs and World Series might convince us that winners chew. Nothing could be further from the truth.
- Spit and chew tobacco contain 28 cancer causing substances that contribute to cancers of the mouth, throat, cheek, gums, lips, tongue, esophagus, larynx, stomach and pancreas.
- Only 56% of people with mouth or throat cancer live more than 5 years.
- One average size pinch delivers the same amount of nicotine as 3-4 cigarettes.
- Two cans of snuff a week equals the same amount of nicotine inhaled by a pack-and-a-half a day smoker.
Plus, spit and chew tobacco deliver such a large amount of nicotine that it's very hard to quit.
No wonder most players who chew want to quit. In 1990, Major League Baseball issued a report on the hazards of chewing tobacco and initiated efforts to help players stay off or quit spit and chew tobacco. In 1993 minor league baseball banned the use of spit and chew throughout the minor leagues. Barry Bonds quit using tobacco in 1997 and has done just fine since then. Henry Aaron says, "When I see kids with these little cans in their back pockets and know what baseball has done to influence this, it makes me mad as hell."
Be a winner. Beat the spit/chew addiction.
Call The California Tobacco Chewers' Helpline
Source: Mayo Clinic, "Smokeless Tobacco, Addictive & Harmful," June 10, 2004