News and Events

DeSoto Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Youth Recognize Through With Chew Week
February 26, 2022

This year, the annual Through With Chew Week was February 20-26, 2022. The objective of the campaign is to educate others about the dangers of smokeless tobacco.

Smokeless tobacco is still tobacco and not a safe alternative to smoking. It contains at least 28 cancer causing chemicals that can cause gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. Users of smokeless tobacco products have higher risks for tobacco-related diseases than non-tobacco users.

Many smokeless tobacco products come in flavors and packaging that appeal to young people. Candy and fruit flavors mask the bad taste of tobacco, making it easier for youth and teens to start using tobacco. With a new range of products and flavors on the market, there are more opportunities for young people to experiment with tobacco. Adolescent smokeless tobacco users are also more likely than nonusers to become adult cigarette smokers.

Studies have shown that young people are particularly influenced by tobacco use in sports. Professional baseball players, who have traditionally had high levels of smokeless tobacco use, serve as role models. While smokeless tobacco use has been banned in minor league baseball and in the NCAA since the early 1990s, it’s still allowed in the major leagues.

To help inspire change and education in our community the Students Working Against Tobacco youth from the Desoto Middle and High School set up a booth at the Desoto County ball fields to pass out information about smokeless tobacco. They educated those at the ball field about the negative effects of spit tobacco use, distributed print materials, and encouraged spit tobacco users to quit. The information was well received, and it was a great night spreading information about tobacco and connecting in our town!

For information on working on this issue in your community or to join SWAT, contact Lindsey Sager at