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Through With Chew Week

February 18, 2016

More than 5 of every 100 high school students (5.5%) in the United States use smokeless tobacco (2014). The public awareness campaign  “Through With Chew Week” is designed to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco among young people and is celebrated February 15-20.

Local youth chapters Iowa Students for Tobacco Education and Prevention (ISTEP) are planning activities at their schools to promote awareness.iSTEP 2016 2 Youth chapters in Dubuque, totaling more than 160 students, at Jefferson Middle School, Y CLUB, Beckman Catholic, Cascade Junior/Senior High School, Western Dubuque High school are planning activities such as announcements, posters, magnets, buttons, lunch challenges, and messages about oral health. Find out more about becoming part of one of the groups or starting your own chapter at your school.

“Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarettes, as some young people believe, and it is even more habit forming because it contains a higher concentration of nicotine than cigarettes, it is up to youth to take a stand against unhealthy habits” Youth President of Western Dubuque SADD youth group.iSTEP 2016

Smokeless tobacco can cause oral cancer, especially in the cheeks, gums, and throat. In addition, smokeless tobacco is addicting.  A nurse at Dubuque Visiting Nurse Association stated, “The use of smokeless tobacco can also lead to other oral problems, such as mouth sores, gum recession, tooth decay, bad breath, and permanent discoloration of teeth. Oral health and regular screenings are important to overall health.”

Through With Chew Week is sponsored by the Dubuque Wellness Coalition and Hillcrest Tobacco Prevention with support from Dubuque County Board of Health. For more information or for materials, please call 563-583-6431 Ext 225

– Vicki Gassman, Community Health Education Manager, Hillcrest Family Services