As the leader of the Boy Scouts and coach several sports, Lower Franklin Township resident Todd Deihl sees himself as a role model for the children in their community.
Chewing tobacco does not fit into that image, he understood.
“The boy saw me out one night to chew and I knew then I had to leave,” said Deihl, 48, who began using smokeless tobacco at 18.
Deihl was so uncomfortable with his 30-year-old habit; he always tried to hide it from their children. When his son Lee was 13, he knew that he wanted to create the best example.
“This is a bad habit, you stick your dirty fingers into the jar, and then put them in his mouth,” said Deihl, who will go through the week, the two banks in their prime. “I tried to be clean and neat about it. I always brush your teeth after chewing, and I went to the dentist regularly, but let’s face, it’s dirty.”
While teens across the country heard and accepted “no smoking” message – smoking among teens has dropped by more than 45 percent since 1997 – they do not seem to equate the danger of nicotine and other toxins in smokeless tobacco.
About 20 percent of adolescents and 2 percent of teenage girls use smokeless tobacco, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Deihl said it is peer pressure, teen got it started using chewing tobacco and drug addiction kept him to do so. Although he remembers his mother warning him that he lost his teeth, or worse, Deihl said he always pushed the idea of harmful results are far from his mind. When his friends started losing teeth, it was a wake-up call.
“I think I was lucky, I did not have these problems, but I do not want them either,” said Deihl, who joined the class of smoking cessation in the Sadler Health Center in Carlisle last fall. Because he threw a few times before and relapsed, he came with a friend, so that the two can support each other in their weak moments.
“This is it. I do not want to do that. I have that thought”, Deihl said. “I want to tell the kids not to start, you cannot even pick up. Chew on a toothpick. Do not give in to peer pressure.”
Spreading the message that no tobacco is safe
“When people think of smoking, they think of lung cancer. Because they have not smoked a cigarette and inhaling, the children seem to think that it is safe to chew, but the same toxins are still getting into your system, but different, “said Shannon Mason, patient / community nurse educator and tobacco specialist with Pinnacle Health System in Harrisburg.
Smokeless tobacco includes chewing tobacco sold in pads that chew and spit, and snuff, which is freely available in soluble tablets or strips, or small pouches like tea bags.
Smokeless tobacco can cause cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach and pancreas. According to the CDC, about 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with mouth and throat cancer each year, and about 8,000 die.
Other consequences of smokeless tobacco include gum disease and receding gums, which can lead to tooth loss and heart palpitations, increased blood pressure and irregular heartbeat, which lead to an increased risk of heart attacks.
“There’s no such thing as a safe tobacco,” said Marguerite Ferrara, Deputy Director for Education at the Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center in York. She travels to schools throughout central Pennsylvania to talk about the dangers of tobacco.
Ferrara hears the same attitude all the time with a teenager: “How can it be bad for me, when I breathe?”
She said the large number of blood vessels in the mouth, which give access to the bloodstream, where the toxins take up residence. She speaks about gum disease, which result as a pack of tobacco is juicy against the gums. She is talking about cancer risk.
Visual warnings aid
It until it is released from the photos that start moaning.
“Children visually. You have to show them what is happening, and then all of them dirty,” said Ferrara. “I tell them:” Who would want to kiss that mouth? “
Ugly pictures are necessary to compensate for the positive media reports that children see all the time – “cool” in the baseball dugout chewing or teens in films that chew and spit, Mason.
Studies have shown that exposure to pro-tobacco marketing and media more than doubles the chances of children and young people from tobacco.
To be fair, some sports players accepted the latest posts; chewing tobacco is dangerous and switched to chewing and spitting out the seeds.
For those who want to chew unnoticed, there is an alternative to spit – small packets of tobacco made for sucking, which do not require spitting. Spitless tobacco is also packed in the little round cans to look like candy into thin strips similar to strips of fresh breath.
But this type of tobacco is no less dangerous.
“They are sold in the” fun “taste like grape and cherry. Message” You can take it to be used anywhere, “Mason said. This makes it easy for teens to hide their tobacco use from their parents, she said.
In college, spotless tobacco is becoming more popular among women, said Dawn Vioral, health education coordinator and a certified specialist in the treatment of tobacco Sadler.
“The cost of the minimum – $ 3 to $ 5 can be compared with the price of a pack of cigarettes by $ 5 to $ 8, so many are switching to smokeless tobacco. Additionally, coupons for new types of smokeless tobacco are more affordable than they are for cigarettes,” said she said.
Some young people are becoming dependent twice – for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. From 12 to 14 million Americans who use smokeless tobacco, a third of them under the age of 21 and more than half of them formed the habit before they were 13 years old, CDC reports.
“Smokeless tobacco is more powerful. A cord banks provide three to five times the amount of nicotine in one cigarette,” said Mason.
Experts are also concerned about the increasing use of electronic cigarette, a battery-powered device that delivers nicotine through vapor, not smoke. Long-term effects are still unknown.
“This is very attractive to young people,” Vioral said.” They use it in places where there is no smoking allowed. “