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Tobacco Free Florida encourages communities to skip the dip during Through With Chew Week

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Tobacco Free Florida

This Through With Chew Week, Feb. 18-24, Tobacco Free Florida and Florida Department of Health Madison are encouraging smokeless tobacco users to set a quit date and create a personalized quit plan using Tobacco Free Florida's free Quit Your Way tools and services. Through With Chew Week raises awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use (chew, dip and snus) and the many effective resources available to quit.

"This Through With Chew Week, Talk to your kids about the dangers of smokeless tobacco,"  Says Leila Rykard, Human Services Program Specialist.

Smokeless tobacco is not harmless and can lead to nicotine addiction. According to Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts and Figures, 2010.

Smokeless tobacco causes cancer of the mouth, throat and pancreas, as well as increased risk of death from heart disease or stroke. In fact, smokeless tobacco users have an 80 percent higher risk of oral cancer and a 60 percent higher risk of esophageal cancer and pancreatic cancer compared to non-users.

Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) youth will be raising Through With Chew Week Awareness on February 18th – 20th during the 2019 North Florida Livestock Show and Sale.   

While smokeless tobacco use among Florida youth (11-17) has decreased throughout the years, many rural communities have significantly higher prevalence rates. The current youth smokeless tobacco rates in some of Florida's rural areas two to four times higher than the state average, according to Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS), Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, 2018.

Per the 2018 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey data, 5.4 percent of Madison County Youth Ages 11-17 currently use smokeless tobacco. This is a decrease from 6.8 percent in 2016, but remains higher than the 1.7 percent state rate.

Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services for Floridians looking to quit any form of tobacco, including smokeless. Those looking to quit can call 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (1-877-822-6669) or visit

About the Florida Department of Health:

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit

About Tobacco Free Florida:

The department's Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida's tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 212,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida's free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs.

To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida's Quit Your Way services, visit or follow the campaign on Facebook at or on Twitter at

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