Join the Great American Spit Out on Feb. 25

CLARION Armstrong, Indiana and Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission is encouraging tobacco users to commit or recommit to healthy, smoke-free lives by participating in the Tobacco Resistance Unit's annual Great American Spit Out event on Feb. 25.

Unfortunately, the myths concerning smokeless tobacco still exist, giving tobacco users a false hope. This is a great time to step up to the challenge of quitting smokeless tobacco. Stay dip-free for 24 hours and get started on a tobacco-free future.

Smokeless tobacco contains 28 carcinogens (cancer-causing agents). The most harmful carcinogens are tobacco and specific nitrosamines.

However, it is the nicotine in these products that cause the addiction. Nicotine absorption in smokeless tobacco products is three to four times that of smoking tobacco products and its slow absorption allows for a longer length of stay in the bloodstream.

Tobacco (cigarettes, smokeless, and vaporized) is included in drugs first and most commonly abused by youth.

The higher prevalence and earlier initiation of use makes monitoring these drugs useful when monitoring at-risk students for progression from experimentation to social use to addiction to these and other substances.

According to the PAYS data in 2019, tobacco, including cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, was the second most commonly used drug among adolescents.

Because these drugs generally have more social acceptability, the use may normalize the larger idea of drug use as acceptable. Another potential risk is their use may "prime" the brain for addiction to other substances.

For assistance quitting tobacco use, contact Clarion County Tobacco Programs Coordinator Paula Di Gregory at (814) 758-1919 or email her at Paula@DiGregory.onmicrosoft.com.

For local resources that can assist with the quitting process, contact Cenclear at (814) 226-4171 or Armstrong, Indiana and Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission at (814) 226-6350.

The following are other resources and their websites or phone numbers that can assist with the quitting process:

4American Cancer Society at http://http://www.cancer.org/Become an Ex: or www.becomeanex.org;

4Kill the can at http://www.killthecan.org;

4Tobacco quit line at (800) 784-8669.