CHICAGO, Illinois--Oral Health America’s NSTEP (National Spit Tobacco Education Program) has announced the winner of its annual slogan contest.The organization encourages young baseball and softball players to talk to their coaches and parents about tobacco addiction and the health risks of tobacco use. Since 1994, NSTEP has been dedicated to breaking the link between tobacco and America’s pastime.This year’s slogan contest winner is Eli Kruse, a 12-year-old Little League baseball player with the Woodstock, Ill., Little League. His submission, “Be a hitter, not a spitter--don’t chew tobacco!” sends a message that tobacco has no place at the ballpark. "In addition to being thrilled and proud of Eli’s slogan, we are equally delighted that the contest provided an opportunity for our family to discuss the harms of tobacco," said Eli’s parents, Herb and Jen Kruse. Eli’s slogan is featured on a pin designed by NSTEP that will be distributed Aug. 20 to 29, 2010, at the Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. Eli receives a monetary award, a trip to the event with his family, and an on-field award ceremony at the World Series.According to the 2009 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, about 9% of high school students used smokeless tobacco in the past 30 days. The 2009 Monitoring the Future study from the University of Michigan found that 80% of 10th graders disapprove of people using spit tobacco regularly.Oral Health America’s NSTEP is celebrating its ninth year in partnership with Little League International to educate families about the risks of smokeless tobacco use, including oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, and nicotine addiction. During the 10-Day Little League Baseball World Series, NSTEP provides tobacco and health education to tens of thousands of young baseball and softball players and their families. To find out more, visit www.oralhealthamerica.org. NSTEP’s presence at the Little League Baseball World Series is made possible with support from Delta Dental of California at www.deltadentalins.com. To read more about Oral Health America, go to Oral Health America.To comment on this topic, go to community.pennwelldentalgroup.com/.