National Spit Tobacco Education Program and Little League Baseball aim to educate youth about spit tobacco

June 6, 2014
Oral Health America's National Spit Tobacco Program (NSTEP) has teamed up with Little League Baseball for a slogan contest that aims to educate youth about the dangers of using spit tobacco. The winning player will receive a trip to the Little League Baseball World Series, a $500 cash prize, and a $500 donation to the player's Little League organization.
Today, Oral Health America (OHA) is pleased to announce its 13th annual National Spit Tobacco Program (NSTEP®) slogan contest. NSTEP has teamed up with Little League® Baseball and Softball for the contest, which calls on players between the ages of eight and 14 to create a compelling 10-word phrase describing the dangers of spit tobacco for a chance to win a trip to the Little League Baseball World Series.

50 years have passed since the publication of the Surgeon General’s Smoking & Health report. That report marked a major step forward toward reducing the adverse impact of tobacco use. Still, anywhere from 10 to 16 million Americans put their health at risk by using spit tobacco products each year, and 46 percent of new users are under 18 when they first try it.

Tobacco use is linked to cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, and pancreas. Together, NSTEP and Little League are educating families about the specific risks of spit tobacco use including oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth decay.

“Little League always has and always will have the utmost concern for the health and wellbeing of all children,” said Stephen D. Keener, President and CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball. “This is why we are proud to assist in promoting Oral Health America’s NSTEP Slogan Contest to make sure all young children understand the risks associated with using smokeless tobacco.” The program seeks to continue to create conversations around the dangers of tobacco and to help those who currently chew to quit.

“This contest provides an opportunity to remind Little League athletes about the dangers and contribute to the conversation about the danger of smoking tobacco and the growing array of smokeless products that can result in long-term nicotine dependence,” said Beth Truett, President and CEO of Oral Health America. “We are continually amazed and extremely proud of the creativity 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-expenses-paid trip to the Little League Baseball World Series in 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 about the contest, please visit oralhealthamerica.org/programs/nstep.