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I wanted to bring attention to the dangers of spit tobacco use. Often in today’s environment, we hear more about cigarette smoking, electronic cigarettes and vaping. However, in West Virginia, spit tobacco use remains a significant health disparity. Adult spit tobacco use in the U.S. is at 2.4%, but in West Virginia the adult spit tobacco use is at 8.3%.

Let us never forget that this product can cause mouth cancer; this product can cause gum disease and tooth loss; this product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes; and spit tobacco is addictive.

Over time, spit tobacco use has become part of our hunting, fishing and ATV culture in West Virginia.

Some traditions die hard in West Virginia, but you don’t have to. I encourage all spit tobacco users to reach out to the WV Tobacco Quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Dr. Donald Reed