Through With Chew Week is Feb. 16-22, going tobacco-free

ARCADIA — It's not too late to start a New Year's resolution.

The week of Feb. 16-22 is Through With Chew Week. The Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto County is encouraging smokeless tobacco users to set a quit date. Each year, Through With Chew Week raises awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use (chew, dip and snus) and the effective tools available to quit.

“DeSoto County is a rural area which has long been associated with cowboy culture and outdoor recreation. Unfortunately, the tobacco industry heavily promotes its products among this demographic,” said Jodie DeLoach, Community Health advocate. “Smokeless tobacco is not harmless and can cause serious health problems. We want members of our community to know that Tobacco Free Florida has free tools and services to help them break the addiction.”

Smokeless tobacco is not harmless and can lead to nicotine addiction. Smokeless tobacco causes cancer of the mouth, esophagus and pancreas, as well as increased risk of death from heart disease or stroke. Smokeless tobacco can cause white or gray patches inside the mouth (leukoplakia) that can lead to cancer. It can also cause gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. 

To raise awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco, the Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto County will be hosting informational booths at various events within the community. Our Students Working Against Tobacco, or SWAT, clubs in DeSoto County will also raise awareness by educating on the harms associated with smokeless tobacco. These initiatives have been and will continue take place throughout the month.

Those looking to quit tobacco can create a personalized quit plan using Tobacco Free Florida’s free Quit Your Way tools and services. The Quit Your Way program offers free tools and services like Phone Quit, Group Quit and Web Quit, in addition to individual tools like text support, a Quit Guide and helpful emails. Free nicotine replacement therapy — nicotine patches, gum or lozenges — are available to tobacco users who are 18 or older, if medically appropriate.

For more information on quitting tobacco, call 877-822-6669, or visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway.

Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, visit www.floridahealth.gov.

Tobacco Free Florida

The department’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 234,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida's free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

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