Sunday, August 19, 2007

In God's Great Supper, Granpa Patrick - first seen as a teenager in The Homecoming & in mid-life in Ties That Bind - is using chewing tobacco and spits, almost hitting Richard. I googled it, and the first two pages of results were all about the health dangers of chewing tobacco. (Terry Francona is a current 'chewer' and he always looks pretty disgusting with that wad in his cheeks. Spit it out & chew some gum or something else!) This content is from the University of Minnesota, Division of Periodontology. "ST companies sponsor rock concerts, rodeos, auto racing and tractor pulls," is a telling quote and serves to reinforce some stereotypes. I tried it once in high school at a camp, lasted about 1 minute before I spit it out gaging. 1% of American females us ST. Never seen it, maybe need to meet an old lady with a spittoon to break the stereotype. I like how ST can stand for Smokeless Tobacco or Spit Tobacco. Versatile acronym. How's your spitting technique, Jeff!?!

Smokeless Tobacco Facts

Types of Smokeless (Spit) Tobacco:

The two types of smokeless tobacco (ST) are chewing tobacco and snuff. Chewing tobacco is sold in loose leaf, twist and plug forms. Snuff comes in moist, dry and sachet forms. The most popular form of ST today is moist snuff.

Prevalence of the estimated 10 million users of ST, 3 million are under the age of 21. Almost 25% of young users start by the 6th grade, and almost 75% start by the 9th grade. In 1970, young males ages 17-19 used ST the least of any age group. Today, usage by males of these ages is the highest of any age group. More than 5% of adult American males, and 1% of females, use ST. Among US youth in grades 9-12, 10-20% use ST at least once a month and 2-3% use daily.

Tobacco Industry Advertising and Promotion:

The tobacco industry has targeted male adolescents with its aggressive advertising. Ads associate ST with rodeos, rock stars, and sports heroes. ST companies sponsor rock concerts, rodeos, auto racing and tractor pulls.

Risks of Smokeless Tobacco Use:

Spit tobacco is not a safe substitute for smoking. It can cause oral cancers and lead to addiction.The major carcinogens in ST are nitrosamines, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and radioactive and metallic compounds. The nitrosamine content of ST exceeds beyond 1000X the nitrosamine content allowed by the FDA in products like beer and bacon. ST is also associated with cancers of the esophagus, larynx, and stomach, and an increased risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.40-60% of ST users exhibit leukolakia in the area where the quid is held, usually within a few months of beginning regular use. Leukoplakia is regarded as precancerous with a malignant transformation rate of 2-6%. Other oral side effects of ST include gingival recession, staining of teeth, loss of taste, and bad breath. Chewing tobacco users have an increase in dental caries due to the higher sugar content in this ST product.ST is dangerous...but Smoking is 2x more likely to cause oral cancer than smokeless tobacco.

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