10:03 AM

Smokeless Tobacco – YOU’RE OUT!

Images of opening day should be of cheering fans, baseball diamonds, baseball caps and crisp new uniforms, and NOT containers of smokeless tobacco anywhere near the dugout. Smokeless tobacco in all its forms -- chewing, plug, twist, snus, snuff, dissolvable -- is a dangerous (and dirty) habit that I hope will no longer be glorified on baseball fields – professional or neighborhood. This year Congress is putting pressure on Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB players association chief Michael Weiner to ban smokeless tobacco all together this baseball season. I can’t agree more. We do not want impressionable children and teens to see their sports heroes using smokeless tobacco and get the wrong message about the dangers. Make no mistake about it, smokeless tobacco is dangerous.

  • Smokeless tobacco contains higher quantities of nicotine than most cigarettes. And it increases the likelihood that the person using it will become a smoker.1

  • It shocked me to learn that according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) 4% of boys in middle school and 20% of high school boys use smokeless tobacco. Half of them will likely develop pre-cancerous white patches in their mouths. ·

  • Smokeless tobacco products, just like cigarettes, contain at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals. And the sugar that is often added to enhance the flavor increases the risk for tooth decay.2 ·

  • Smokeless tobacco is known to cause cancers of the mouth, lip, tongue and pancreas. Users may also be at risk for cancer of the voice box, esophagus, colon and bladder, if they swallow toxins in the juice.2

April isn’t just the time that baseball comes back in full swing; it’s also Oral Cancer Awareness Month. That makes this a great time to remind you that oral cancer affects males and females, adults and kids. And even if you are not a smoker, make sure your dentist does an oral cancer exam [pulls and twists your tongue] at every visit.

Please share these facts with the teens and youth in your life. And I’d be curious to know what they think about smokeless tobacco and keeping it out of baseball? Check out the facts: