SHASTA COUNTYThe Tobacco Education Coalition encourages you to be “Through with Chew” February 12 -16.  More than 60 local dental offices have FREE Quit Kits to support your efforts to quit smokeless tobacco for a day, a week, or for good.

“Chew has many of the same negative effects on our bodies as cigarettes,” according to Dr.Charles Cooley, DDS,MS. “People who chew tobacco are at an increased risk for oral, esophageal (food tube) and pancreatic cancers, heart attack and stroke. We are up against tobacco companies that spend millions to develop new smokeless and spitless tobacco products to further entice tobacco users.”

Smokeless tobacco can contain up to 28 cancer-causing agents, heavy metals like lead and mercury, and can lead to nicotine dependence.

Shasta County has a tobacco chew rate of 5.6% compared to California’s average of 3.9%.

“Newer spitless flavored products are marketed aggressively to younger users as a safer alternative; however, this is not true,” said Manuel Meza, Community Education Specialist with Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency, Tobacco Program. According to the American Cancer Society “Because chewing tobacco can cause nicotine addiction, it can lead to smoking and using other forms of tobacco use.”

Making the decision to be “Through with Chew” is not something Shasta County residents have to do on their own. The California Smoker’s Helpline 1-800-NO BUTTS is ready to help you with FREE telephone counseling and self-help materials.

For more information about local resources and support, or for a FREE “Quit Kit,” contact your local dentist,  call Manuel Meza at (530) 229-8467, or