News and Events

DeSoto High School Encouraged Peers to “Skip the Dip” in Honor of 2018 Through with Chew Week and the Great American Spit-Out
February 22, 2018

Through With Chew Week (TWCW) is an educational campaign to decrease spit tobacco use and increase awareness of the negative health effects of using these products. The 2018 Through With Chew Week was observed February 18–24 (the third full week), and the Great American Spit Out was Thursday of TWCW, February 22, 2018.

DeSoto High School SWAT Club participated in TWCW by hosting an education booth in the cafeteria on Thursday, February 22nd. SWAT Youth educated peers about the negative effects of spit tobacco use, distributed print materials, and encouraged spit tobacco users to quit.

All tobacco products contain nicotine, which is very addictive substance. According to the Mayo Clinic, some spit tobacco products contain additives that increase the rate at which nicotine is absorbed into the body. If you look at the types of spit, chew and snuff sold in retail outlets, you will notice different products for the beginner; they are easily identified by their sweet, fruity flavors (apple, cherry, peach, etc.) and often come in easy-to-use pouches. Over time, the spit and snuff user graduates to products that contain more nicotine. Someone who has chewed for a long time uses a stronger product and uses it more frequently to receive the same effect.

DHS students gather round to hear about the dangers related to smokeless tobacco use.

Spit tobacco has long been associated with the DeSoto County lifestyle, which includes cowboy culture, rodeo and outdoor recreation. The tobacco industry heavily promotes its products to people who participate in those activities. “It was a tremendous pleasure to see our SWAT youth educating their peers and encouraging them to live a tobacco free life”. – Bruce Blanden, DHS SWAT Advisor.

Anyone who wants to quit tobacco is encouraged to use Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way, a set of free services to help tobacco users quit. These services are available at