Smokeless Tobacco
What Gruen Von Behrens Wants You to Know About Spit Tobacco....
Like too many teenagers, Gruen Von Behrens first tried spit tobacco at age 13 to "fit in."  By age 17, he had been diagnosed with oral cancer.  Since then, he's had almost 30 disfiguring surgeries to save his life, including one surgery that removed half his neck muscles, lymph nodes, and half of his tongue.  Now, at age 25, he travels the country on behalf of the national Spit Tobacco Education Program (NSTEP) to tell young people just how "un-cool" spit tobacco really is.
"If I had known then what I know now, I never would have put a dip in my mouth.   Spit tobacco seemed harmless, but it has ruined my life," says Gruen.
Why did Gruen, along with so many others, think using spit tobacco would help him "fit in?"  The idea comes from the macho and rugged tobacco advertisements that try to make spit tobacco look like "the thing to do."   The tobacco companies try to "hook" young users by pushing sweet-flavored products that are more appealing and easy to use for beginners.  Don't you be fooled by the tobacco companies!
Gruen will be the first to tell you that just because it's smokeless tobacco, that doesn't mean it's harmless or less addictive.  Actually, the amount of nicotine in one dip or chew can be 1 to 5 times the amount found in one cigarette!
Do you know what's in that stuff?   Spit tobacco contains over 28 known cancer-causing agents.  Here are just a few:

Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)

Arsenic (rat poisoning)

Cyanide (gas chamber chemical)

Polonium-210 (nuclear waste)

We know that spit tobacco is bad news!   How?   Well, your body gives you signs:
Bad breath
Rotting teeth
Yellow or brown-stained teeth
Precancerous and cancerous lesions in the mouth
Gum disease
PowerPoint presentations on the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center include:
Spit Tobacco Deadliest Little Secret
No Chew Zone
Lose the Chew
Tobacco of Oral Cancer
The Awful Truth About Smokeless Tobacco
Through with Chew
Spit, Dip and Chew
Smokeless Tobacco - the Other Threat
What is Spit Tobacco?
Josh Hamilton 
Rangers outfielder, on why he quit using smokeless tobacco this winter:  
"You know it's bad when your three-year-old holds up a water bottle and asks if Daddy spit in this before she drinks."
Josh Hamilton

















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