8 Things You Can Do to Prevent Your Kids From Using Chewing Tobacco


8 Things You Can Do to Prevent Your Kids From Using Chewing Tobacco

Bill Tuttle was a major league baseball player who lost his battle with oral cancer in 1998 after a five-year struggle with the disease. A good friend and contemporary of Joe Garagiola, Bill endured five surgeries that resulted in his inability to speak or swallow and left him severely disfigured.

As a follow up to an earlier blog about tobacco associated oral cancer among professional athletes, here are 8 steps developed by the Oral Cancer Foundation you can take to discourage your kids from ever starting with “spit tobacco”.

  1.       Talk to them.

Parents who talk to their children are more likely to have a positive effect in influencing their behavior.

  1.       Make Your Feelings Clear

Let children know how you feel about their behavior with respect to tobacco usage.

  1.       Help Children Decode Ads

Many tobacco ads and products appeal to an increasingly younger audience. Help kids understand the truth of these ads.

  1.       Give Them a Reality Check

Let children know that most people don’t use tobacco products, including spit tobacco, and that it’s not the cool thing to do.

  1.       Emphasize Health.

Children are notoriously unconcerned about health. (Remember those days!). Educate them as to the serious health consequences of tobacco use.

  1.       Emphasize Addiction.

Some people feel that nicotine is as addictive as heroin! The advent of e-cigarettes and “vape-pens” only makes the problem worse. The younger children are when they start experimenting with tobacco, the more likely they are to suffer severe consequences.

  1.       Don’t Use Spit Tobacco Yourself.

“Do what I say and not what I do” is not an option here. The same applies to your daily oral hygiene practices.

  1.       Impose Consequences.

Children need to know that there will be consequences for unacceptable behavior, including the use of tobacco products. No exceptions!


Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me or the office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA, today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!