Slogan contest aims to educate youth about tobacco use

National Spit Tobacco Education Program challenges Little League athletes to create health dialogue.

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CHICAGO, Illinois--Oral Health America has announced the 12th Annual NSTEP (National Spit Tobacco Program) Slogan Contest.

Teaming up with Little League Baseball and Softball, the program calls on players ages 8-14 to create a 10-word phrase describing the dangers of spit tobacco for a chance to win a trip to the Little League Baseball World Series.

Each year, anywhere from 10 to 16 million Americans put their health at risk by using spit tobacco products. Tobacco use is linked to cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, and pancreas. Together, NSTEP and Little League educate families about the risks of spit tobacco use. This includes oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, and nicotine addiction.

“Little League always has and always will have the utmost concern for the health and well-being of all children,” said Stephen D. Keener, president and CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball.

“This is why we are proud to partner with Oral Health America in promoting the NSTEP Slogan Contest to make sure all young children understand the risks associated with using smokeless tobacco.”

In 2012, NSTEP joined a coalition of organizations in limiting the use of smokeless tobacco products in Major League ballparks. The program seeks to continue to create conversations around the dangers of tobacco and help those who currently chew to quit.

“This contest provides an opportunity for Little League athletes to create a dialogue about the harms of tobacco use on and off the field,” said Beth Truett, president and CEO of Oral Health America.

“We are truly amazed and extremely proud of the creative and passion these children bring in promoting a tobacco-free lifestyle amongst their peers.”

The participant with the most creative slogan will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., and a $500 cash prize.

Plus, Oral Health America will also make a $500 donation to the player’s Little League organization.

For more information, visit www.oralhealthamerica.org/programs/nstep.

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