February 27, 2007
Media Release

Who loves a good chew?

 
Not to Kids! Coalition launches the, "LostJaw!" campaign and exposes the facts of smokeless tobacco to high school students
 
NEWMARKET The Not to Kids Coalition, a network of 27 Ontario public health units is launching a new smokeless tobacco awareness campaign.  The NTK! Exposing the Facts of Smokeless Tobacco LostJaw! campaign is a month long campaign targeting high-school students across the province. The campaign is designed to increase awareness in youth about the health risks associated with smokeless tobacco and the marketing tactics the tobacco industry uses to attract youth to their product.
 
The LostJaw! campaign is funded by Health Canada and consists of a variety of educational materials.  An innovative component of the campaign is the creation of the LostJaw! Web site (www.lostjaw.ca). Here youth can find the information they need to make healthy informed choices about smokeless tobacco. Media are invited to attend the provincial launch of this important initiative.
 

WHEN:   Thursday, March 1, 2007
    11:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m.
 
WHERE:   Richmond Green Secondary School (Cafeteria)
    1 William F. Bell Parkway
    Richmond Hill
 
WHAT:   Provincial media launch of the LostJaw! campaign
 
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY:  Following short speeches from the Not to Kids! Coalition chair and Youth Action Alliance (YAA) peer leaders, students will crush a large scale mock can of chew tobacco. There will also be an opportunity for the media to view the LostJaw! campaign Web site.
 
York Region Health Services is a partner in the Not to Kids Coalition, created to keep kids smoke-free.  For more information on Not to Kids, visit www.ntk.ca
 
For more information on this or other health-related topics, please contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 (toll free) or visit www.york.ca

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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, York Region Health Services
 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours cell (905) 716-2717
 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca
 
Backgrounder
Click here to view a campaign poster
Who loves a good chew?
 
Not to Kids! Coalition launches the, "LostJaw!" campaign and exposes the facts of smokeless tobacco
 
NEWMARKET The vision for Not To Kids! (NTK) Coalition is one in which we have communities where youth and adult smoking rates are reduced and smoke-free communities are the norm.  The Not to Kids Coalition is a network of 27 public health units in Ontario whose goal is to create a healthy, tobacco-free generation.  The coalition aims to contribute to an ongoing reduction in the number of youth who use tobacco products and to reduce youth access to tobacco from all sources.  The Web site for NTK! can be viewed at www.ntk.ca
 
Not to Kids! has now evolved to a multi-component, multi-disciplinary program that aims to decrease youth access to tobacco utilizing a variety of strategies that target the community-at-large, parents, youth, school administrators and tobacco retailers.  These strategies include media advocacy, policy development within schools, community and retailer education, and community mobilization. Coalition members co-ordinate the Not to Kids! programs with other tobacco use prevention programs and services. 
 
The NTK! Coalition is embarking on a new campaign to address smokeless tobacco and youth; LostJaw!
 
The overall goal of the LostJaw! campaign is to increase awareness among youth of the health hazards of smokeless tobacco and the tobacco industry marketing strategies used to promote its use to youth.   Smokeless tobacco consists of tobacco that is chewed, inhaled or sucked on rather than smoked.
 
Campaign Objectives

 To increase awareness among youth 13-18 years old about the health hazards of smokeless tobacco
 To increase awareness among youth 13- 18 years old about tobacco industry marketing strategies used to promote smokeless tobacco to youth
 
Smokeless tobacco facts, health effects and industry marketing
 Among youth 15-19 years old, surveys conducted by Not to Kids!, identified that use of chew tobacco grew from 1.7 per cent in 2003 to 11.6 per cent in 2005 among youth who smoke cigarettes
  "Smokeless tobacco" is a term coined by the tobacco industry to erroneously imply that it is harmless and therefore a safe alternative to cigarettes.
 Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarettes and is addictive
 Smokeless tobacco contains more than 3,000 chemicals, including at least 28 that cause cancers
 The concentrations of carcinogens in smokeless tobacco products are much higher than in cigarettes
 One pinch of smokeless tobacco held in the mouth for 30 minutes releases as much nicotine as smoking three to four cigarettes
 The health consequences of using smokeless tobacco include: permanent gum recession, mouth sores, precancerous lesions in the mouth, and cancers of the mouth and throat.
 Smokeless tobacco users are more susceptible to heart disease, hypertension and ulcers
 Those who use chew tobacco may experience stained teeth, gum disease, drooling and bad breath
 Prolonged use of smokeless tobacco can also include hairy tongue, lost jaw and dip lip
 The tobacco industry has initiated aggressive marketing campaigns to introduce "cool" brands and "fun" flavours of chew tobacco to appeal to youth
 Warning labels on smokeless tobacco containers are a fraction of the size and detail of warning labels on cigarette packaging
 Warning labels on smokeless tobacco must include one of four standard warning messages, as well as including lead, nicotine and nitrosamines as harmful additives
 Smokeless tobacco, like cigarettes, cannot be sold to youth under the age of 19 in Ontario
 
In January 2007, Youthography, one of Canada's leading youth marketing agencies, conducted an online survey for the NTK! Coalition of 2,977 young Ontarians between the ages of 15 and 19 about the usage, perceptions and attitudes of smokeless tobacco.  Below are some of the findings:
 
 18 per cent report seeing more people using smokeless tobacco
 One in three know friends that have used smokeless tobacco
 82 per cent are not aware of any smokeless tobacco advertising
 Over half do not feel in any way targeted by the tobacco industry  with smokeless tobacco products
 14 per cent have tried smokeless tobacco at least once in their lifetime
 About one in five that have ever tried smokeless tobacco become current smokeless tobacco users
 The majority of current smokeless tobacco users are male
 About one in five current smokeless tobacco users believe that smokeless tobacco is a safe alternative to cigarette smoking
 
For more information on this or other health-related topics, please contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 (toll free) or visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, York Region Health Services
 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours cell (905) 716-2717
 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca