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"Through with Chew Week" February 17-21, 2020

Clarion, Crawford and Venango County dental groups, community organizations, The NWPA Tobacco Control Program, YWCA Titusville, the PA Department of Health, and local Tobacco Resistance Unit (TRU) members are celebrating "Through With Chew Week" (TWC) this week, February 17–21, 2020, in order to call attention to the dangers of smokeless tobacco.  The Highlight of the week is the “Great American Spit-Out” (GASpO) on Thursday, February 20, and calls for all smokeless tobacco users to start a plan to quit.

In 2017, 6% or high school students in PA used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip on at least one day in the past 30 days according to truthinitiative.org, as compared to the national rate at 5.5%. TWC week and GASpO is designed to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco among young people and older adults.

A flyer campaign is currently underway for TWC. Corky’s Pizza in Pleasantville, and various pharmacies in Titusville, and Clarion are sending flyers out with every order. Community dentists will have flyers on display as an added incentive to tobacco cessation services already offered to patients. The flyers urge smokeless tobacco users to call the PA Free Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit pa.quitlogix.org.  Currently the PA Free Quitline is offering eight weeks of free nicotine patch, gum or lozenges to eligible callers.  These incentives are also available to eligible smokers and vapers who want to quit.

Youth groups will be urging the use of safe alternatives to their peers. Titusville Area High School Stand Tall-TRU members will be passing out gum to fellow students attached to cards warning of the dangers or using chew, and Titusville Middle School will be hosting a sunflower seed spitting contest facilitated by TMS Student Council-TRU members, NWPA Tobacco Control Program, and the Titusville YWCA. 

Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarettes, and as reported by the Center for Disease Control, can cause oral cancer, especially in the cheeks, gums, and throat. In addition, smokeless tobacco is highly addictive and can also lead to other oral problems, such as mouth sores, gum recession, tooth decay, bad breath, and permanent discoloration of teeth.

TWC week is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the NWPA Tobacco Control Program, the Crawford Health Improvement Coalition, TRUinpa.org, and YWCA Titusville.  For more information or for materials, please call, 814.758.1919.

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 THS students saying no to smokeless tobacco and chewing gum instead as part of Through with Chew Week! Titusville Area High School Stand Tall-TRU members will be passing out gum to fellow students attached to cards warning of the dangers or using chew.

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