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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2006 > “Take a clue…Don’t do the chew!”

“Take a clue…Don’t do the chew!”

Williamsport, Pa – Jack Kirby, a Little Leaguer from Darien, Conn., understands that using spit tobacco is a losing game. His slogan, “Take a clue…Don’t do the chew!” is the winner of Oral Health America’s 2006 National Spit Tobacco Education Program (NSTEP) Slogan Contest. Jack will be recognized during the 2006 Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa., Aug. 18-27.

Unlike Jack, not all children and their parents know that spit or “smokeless” tobacco is an addictive substance that can cause cancer and other health problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13.6 percent of high school boys – and 2.2 percent of high school girls – currently use spit tobacco products. Oral Health America’s NSTEP joins forces with Little League International to spread the word that spit tobacco is not harmless. The slogan contest is just one component of a year-long campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of spit tobacco use among players and parents.

“Tobacco companies routinely target young people with advertisements and messages about spit and smokeless products,” said Robert Klaus, president and chief executive officer of Oral Health America. “We are here to take the fun out of tobacco advertising, and show families what oral cancer really looks like.”

The culmination of the year-long partnership is the Little League Baseball World Series. Throughout the 10-day event, NSTEP staff talks to Little League players and fans about spit tobacco’s impact on overall health. NSTEP will also be visible during the World Series through advertisements, signage, and other materials.

Funded in part by Sunstar Butler, Pa., Department of Health, and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSTEP works with Little League International to educate Americans about the health risks of spit tobacco use, which include oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, and nicotine addiction.

Oral Health America is the nation’s premier independent advocacy organization dedicated to improving oral health. To find out more, log on to: www.oralhealthamerica.org and www.nstep.org.