Slogan contest educates young baseball players about dangers of tobacco use

Aug. 18, 2008
Nine-year-old contestant wins trip to Little League Baseball World Series.

CHICAGO, Illinois--The National Spit Tobacco Education Program has announced the winner of its annual slogan contest, and encouraged young baseball players to talk to their coaches and parents about tobacco addiction and the health risks of using tobacco products.

This year's slogan contest winner is Joe Reck, a nine-year-old Little League Baseball player with the Walnut Creek Little League from Windsor Heights, Iowa. Reck's submission, "Take tobacco out of your lineup!" sends a clear message that tobacco has no place in the ballpark.

"We are so proud of Joe for winning the contest and speaking up against tobacco use," said his parents, Michael and Kristi Reck.

Health risks also addressed include spit and smokeless tobacco.

Reck's slogan is being featured on a baseball pin designed by NSTEP for distribution at the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa., from August 15-26. Reeck wins a monetary award, a trip to the event with one of his parents, and an on-field award ceremony.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, about 8 percent of high school students (and 13 percent of high school males) have used smokeless tobacco in the past 30 days.

The 2007 Monitoring the Future study from the University of Michigan found that more than 80 percent of eighth and 10th graders disapprove of people using spit tobacco regularly.

Throughout the year, Oral Health America's NSTEP works with Little League International to educate families about the risks of spit tobacco use, including oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, and nicotine addiction.

During the 10-day Little League Baseball World Series, NSTEP will provide tobacco and health education to tens of thousands of young baseball players and their families.

To find out more, visit Oral Health America.

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