Tobacco Prevention | VideoSarahbeth Ackerman | 2/22/2013
First District Health says chewing tobacco is harder to kick than smoking cigarettes.
"The reason being, is they have that constant level of nicotine in their mouth, at all times. And, it`s important for them to realize that," said Bonnie Riely, Tobacco Cessation Coordinator.
One tin of chewing tobacco is equivalent to three packs of cigarettes. This means, that the addiction is that much harder to break. And having that nicotine laying on top of your gums for an extended period of time can cause dangerous and lasting effects.
"They have a risk of leukoplakia, which is cancer of the mouth. They have a risk of their teeth coming away from their gums and their blood pressure can go up. It`s not just the smokers who deal with that," said Riely.
Under the new state law, smoking in public places was prohibited, but that did not include tobacco, except when you see "tobacco free" signs.
Those signs mean you cannot chew or smoke in those places. According to Riely, they are still able to chew in smoke free settings. And that`s not stopping chewing tobacco users.
For anyone who wants a nicotine free lifestyle, First District Health offers a free Kick Start program every last Thursday of the month.