Volume 2: No. 2, April 2005
ORIGINAL RESEARCH: FEATURED
ABSTRACT FROM THE 19TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CHRONIC DISEASE
PREVENTION AND CONTROL
Conducting a Successful “Through With Chew” Week
Sylvia Bagdonas, Niki Mueller, Amy Russian
Suggested citation for this article: Bagdonas S, Mueller N, Russian A.
Conducting a successful “Through with Chew” Week
[abstract]. Prev Chronic Dis [serial online] 2005 Apr
[date cited]. Available from: URL: http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2005/
Track: Communications and Technology
An idea of the American
Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, “Through With Chew” Week is an educational campaign
designed to prevent and reduce the use of chew/spit tobacco, a type of tobacco
use that has not received as much attention as cigarette smoking. The state of Wyoming successfully conducted
a “Through With Chew” Week (including a Great American Spit Out Day) in February 2003. The statewide program
targeted Wyoming’s small and rural population, which has a
disproportionately high chew-tobacco-use rate — the second
highest in the nation (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance
System [BRFSS], Adult Tobacco Survey [ATS], 2003).
The component aims of the program were the following: 1) to educate the public about
the extent of chew-tobacco use in Wyoming and its costly health
implications for all citizens; 2) to conduct surveys to establish baseline data
on current levels of prevention and intervention; 3) to partner with health care
providers to promote quitting; 4) to counteradvertise the tobacco industry; and
5) to determine adaptations
necessary for American Indian populations. Wyoming’s
comprehensive statewide plan included tool kits, media kits, and
“quit spit” kits for use by local program managers.
Extensive media coverage included newspaper and pizza-box ads,
television coverage, and presentations by Gruen Von Behrens, a
25-year-old man severely marred by oral cancer. Additional
“guerrilla” advertising was conducted in
barbershops, rodeos, fairgrounds, little league fields, bowling
alleys, agriculture shops, and publications.
Follow-up surveys to Tobacco-Free Wyoming Communities and the
dental community indicated that dental office interventions increased by 58%,
and response volumes to Wyoming’s Quitline and QuitNet from chew tobacco users
“Through With Chew” campaign, including lessons learned and
tangible tools for success, can be replicated easily in other
states and communities.
Corresponding Author: Sylvia Bagdonas, MA, Tobacco Program
Consultant, Wyoming Department of Health, Substance Abuse
Division, 6101 Yellowstone Ave, Suite 220, Cheyenne, WY 82002. Telephone: 307-777-3690. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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