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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2004 > Florida 10-Year-Old Wins NSTEP Slogan Contest

Florida 10-Year-Old Wins NSTEP Slogan Contest

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (August 2004) – Kai Calder, a 10-year-old Little Leaguer from Delray Beach, Fla., understands that using spit tobacco is a losing game. His slogan, “Spit Tobacco…an Automatic Strikeout!” is the winner of Oral Health America’s 2004 National Spit Tobacco Education Program (NSTEP) Little League slogan contest. He beat out 700 other contestants to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2004 Little League Baseball World Series in August, where he will be honored for his winning slogan.

Unfortunately, not all children know that spit tobacco use is harmful to your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 14.8 percent of all boys in U.S. high schools – and 1.9 percent of all girls – currently use spit tobacco products. Oral Health America (OHA) and its innovative education program, NSTEP, have joined forces with Little League International to work in all areas of the Little League community to spread the word that spit tobacco use can cause oral disease, and even cancer. The slogan contest is just one component of a year-long campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of spit tobacco use.

“This partnership with Little League International is a major step for NSTEP,” said Robert Klaus, president and CEO of Oral Health America. “OHA is honored to have the opportunity to teach so many Little Leaguers just how dangerous spit tobacco really is.”

The culmination of the year-long partnership is the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Aug. 20-29. During this week, representatives from OHA and NSTEP will talk to Little League players and fans about the dangers of spit tobacco and its influence on their total health.

NSTEP’s spit tobacco message will also be highly visible during the Little League Baseball World Series through a series of advertisements, signage, and other materials which include a public service announcement featuring Arizona Diamondbacks player Luis Gonzalez. OHA/NSTEP will also be distributing toothbrushes donated by Sunstar Butler to emphasize the importance of oral health to people of all ages.

Funded in part by Sunstar Butler and the Academy of Sports Dentistry, NSTEP works with Little League International, Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), Minor League Baseball, the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS), to educate Americans on the dangers of spit tobacco, an addictive substance that can cause oral cancer.