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NEWS | Feb. 22, 2022

The Great American Spit Out

By Minda Parsons 21st Medical Group Health Promotions

The Great American Spit Out is an annual day of awareness that brings to light the harmful effects and dangers of smokeless tobacco; and encourages users to quit tobacco products for at least 24 hours on Feb. 24, 2022.

The Great American Spit Out is a day of reflection offering users an opportunity to experience the benefits of quitting for a short time, in the effort to make quitting a permanent choice. The health benefits of quitting can quickly begin. Blood pressure and heart rate can decrease within just minutes of nicotine leaving the body.

Smokeless tobacco is absorbed through the tissues of the mouth or it can be swallowed, and in some cases, inhaled through the nose.

People may believe that smokeless tobacco is a healthier alternative to smoking when really it just trades one dangerous addiction for another. Smokeless tobacco can contain higher levels of nicotine and ultimately lead to addiction as easily as cigarettes. It is not a quick fix, nor is it a less harmful alternative to smoking.

Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco present the same risks in addition to gum disease, tooth decay, and cancer of the mouth, tongue, esophagus and pancreas.

It is never too late to quit smokeless tobacco.

For more resources on how to quit the use of tobacco products, contact Brooke Army Medical Center Health Promotions at 210-916-4626 or 210-916-7646, or at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center at 210-292-2003.