When you hear Spit It Out, you may think, what? But don’t be so shocked, there are still too many Americans opting for smokeless tobacco causing harm to their health. The Great American Spit Out is an annual event held on February 22nd that aims to raise awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use, and it seems to be working. Smokeless tobacco, including products like chew and dip, poses serious health risks to individuals and can have detrimental effects on their overall well-being. Smokeless tobacco numbers seem to be stable for the last few years according to the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC), however other dangerous habits like vaping have entered the game. To highlight the “dangers” of smokeless tobacco, here’s a DANGER outline of why it is so harmful and the repercussions it has on our health.

D – Dental Issues: Smokeless tobacco use can lead to various dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Even with great dental hygiene, all tobacco products pose a threat to dental health.

A – Addiction: Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, a highly addictive substance that can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

N – Cancer Risk: The use of smokeless tobacco increases the risk of developing oral, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers. From lip and tongue cancers to non-curable pancreatic cancers, the threats of smokeless tobacco are deep. More info at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/oral-cancer-and-tobacco

G – Gum Recession: Smokeless tobacco can cause gum recession, leading to exposed tooth roots, shifting in teeth, and increased sensitivity. Recession in the gums is permanent and if too advanced can require surgical repair and gum grafting which is extremely painful.

E – Elevated Blood Pressure: The nicotine in smokeless tobacco can elevate blood pressure levels, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Heart Disease is still the leading cause of death for Vermonters.

R – Respiratory Issues: Smokeless tobacco use can contribute to respiratory problems such as chronic bronchitis and asthma exacerbation. Don’t consider smokeless tobacco a lung-safe drug, it still has harmful effects on your respiratory health.

The repercussions of smokeless tobacco on our health are significant and underscore the importance of raising awareness about its dangerous effects. In Vermont, like many other states, there are resources available for individuals who want to quit using smokeless tobacco. Vermonters can seek support from local health departments, community organizations, or healthcare providers for assistance in quitting smokeless tobacco use. Check out: www.802quits.org  for how Vermonters have access to support in becoming nicotine-free today! These resources may include counseling services, cessation programs, and access to nicotine replacement therapies. You can also call Jen at 802-334-3208 for information on our Smoking Cessation Resources at North Country Hospital. Let’s see if we can make Vermont as tobacco-free as we can be! Join the rest of the country today and SPIT IT OUT!


Mary Hoadley

Director Of The Wellness Center