Slogan Contest Educates Young Baseball and Softball Players About the Dangers of Tobacco Use
Twelve-year-old Contestant Won Trip to Little League Baseball World Series
The National Spit Tobacco Education Program (NSTEP) announced the winner of its annual slogan contest, and encouraged young baseball and softball players to talk to their coaches and parents about tobacco addiction and the health risks of using tobacco products, including spit and smokeless tobacco.
This year’s slogan contest winner is Eli Kruse, a 12-year-old Little League Baseball player in the Woodstock (Ill.) Little League, whose submission, “Be a hitter, not a spitter - don’t chew tobacco!” sends a clear message that tobacco has no place in the ballpark.
"In addition to being thrilled and proud of Eli’s slogan, we are equally delighted that the contest provided an opportunity for our family to discuss the harms of tobacco," said Eli’s parents, Herb & Jen Kruse.
Eli’s slogan is featured on a pin designed by NSTEP that was distributed at the Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. Eli received a monetary award, a trip to the event with his family, and an on-field award ceremony.
According to the 2009 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk BehaviorSurveillance, about nine percent of high school students used smokeless tobacco in the past 30 days. The 2009 Monitoring the Future study from the University of Michigan found that 80 percent of 10th graders disapprove of people using spit tobacco regularly.
Oral Health America’s NSTEP works with Little League International to educate families about the risks of spit tobacco use, including oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, and nicotine addiction. During the 10-day Little League Baseball World Series, NSTEP provided tobacco and health education to tens of thousands of young baseball and softball players and their families.
Oral Health America is connecting communities with resources to increase access to care, education and advocacy for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable. To find out more, visit www.oralhealthamerica.org and www.nstep.org. NSTEP’s presence at the Little League Baseball World Series is made possible with support from Delta Dental of California (www.deltadentalins.com).