Press Release

February 23, 2012


State Health Department Encourages Smokeless Tobacco Users to “Ditch the Dip for a Day”

Join the “Great American Spit Out” today

CHICAGO – Many smokeless tobacco users don’t think they can quit for good, but what about for one day? The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today urges smokeless tobacco users to join the Great American Spit Out and “Ditch the Dip for a Day.”

Many terms are used to describe smokeless tobacco, such as “oral,” “chewing snuff,” and “spit”. All forms of smokeless tobacco are addictive and contain chemicals known to cause cancer and a long list of other health problems. With 28 cancer-causing chemicals in smokeless tobacco, regular users are at risk for mouth cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smokeless tobacco use is primarily initiated and established in adolescence. In the 2010 Illinois Youth Tobacco Survey, 3.4 percent of middle school students and nearly 8 percent of high school students in Illinois use smokeless tobacco products with most of its users being young men.

“Regular smokeless tobacco use comes with significant health problems, including erectile dysfunction in men under age 40 and oral cancer,” said IDPH Acting Director Dr. Arthur Kohrman. “We encourage all smokeless tobacco users to join the Great American Spit Out today in hopes that it will lead to utilizing resources to help you quit for good.”

Among the resources in Illinois to help users “Ditch the Dip” is the Illinois Tobacco Quitline (1-866-QUIT-YES). IDPH sponsors this free helpline where trained staffers known as “Quit Coaches” are available to callers 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. “Quit Coaches” create free, personalized quit plans and provide educational materials and referrals to local resources.

The Illinois Tobacco Quitline also offers a full-time Spanish-speaking interpreter, and the capability to speak to clients in more than 150 languages through an interpretation service. IDPH has smokeless tobacco booklets available in English, Vietnamese, Polish, Khmer, and Chinese. A TTY telecommunication device also allows communication with deaf and hard of hearing clients.

For more information, please visit or the Illinois Department of Public Health website at

idph online home
idph online home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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