Through with Chew Week! Lincoln County Health Department encourages area residents to quit smokeless tobacco

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Montana’s smokeless tobacco rates are twice as high as the national average for both male youth (13.8 percent) and male adults (14 percent). The week of February 17 through 23 is “Through with Chew Week,” and is an entire week dedicated to educating Montanans about the health risks of smokeless tobacco and the health benefits of quitting.

“Smokeless tobacco can cause cancer of the mouth, tongue, cheek, gum, esophagus and pancreas. It also causes gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. In fact, Montanan adults who use tobacco have 6 fewer teeth than Montana adults who have never used tobacco,” stated Amy Fantozzi, Lincoln County Public Health Education Specialist.

The Montana Tobacco Quit Line can help with quitting all forms of tobacco use, including smokeless tobacco. The Quit Line offers eight weeks of free nicotine patches, gum and lozenges, as well as free and reduced-cost prescription medications when you enroll. The quit rate for people who use smokeless tobacco and call the Quit Line is 50 percent, compared to 5 to 7 percent for those who try quitting alone.

The Montana Tobacco Quit Line also offers an American Indian call line that connects callers with American Indian coaches, and a special program for pregnant women who are looking to quit. All Quit Line programs deliver tailored services for each caller, creating the best opportunity for success.

Quitting tobacco can be the most important thing you do for your health. The Quit Line, along with FDA-approved cessation medications available through enrollment, is a proven-effective way to help people quit tobacco use successfully. Tobacco users who use the Montana Tobacco Quit Line are seven to 10 times more likely to quit than if they were to try alone.

To get started call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669), or visit the website at www.QuitNowMontana.com to enroll. American Indian callers can reach Native coaches directly by calling 1-855-372-0037.

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