Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Increase in dangerous "dip" in Ridgewood

Chew. Chaw. Dip. Packing a lip. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't heard it from a number of reputable sources over the past few months, but it's a fact that the use of smokeless tobacco among Ridgewood youth -- primarily teen boys -- is rising dramatically. I'm told that athletes and non-athletes alike are using chewing tobacco at night, on weekends and even during the school day. It seems they think it's a "healthy" alternative to smoking. And it delivers a real buzz, without sneaking liquor from your parents cabinet or hiding from the cops in the woods.

Obviously it's easy to carry some dip in your pocket without anyone knowing. I'm not sure where the kids are buying it...probably older siblings are buying it for them?

If you've got teenage boys, please talk to them about this disgusting, dangerous and highly addictive activity. Smokeless tobacco is a leading cause of mouth and throat cancers. The kind of cancer that can result in the victim losing his tongue, jaw, cheeks, neck muscles...get the (gory) picture?

Below are some great website resources.

National Spit Tobacco Education Program

My Last Dip

Why Quit: Story of Gruen Von Behrens (sad, scary, shocking story to get kids' attention)

In my opinion, in many ways this is worse than teen drinking. No teen is walking around sipping vodka during the school day.

Has anybody else noticed this phenomenon growing?

Any ideas for how to stop it?


Anonymous said...

When I was in school, there was a poster in the hallway with "what would you look like if your skin looked like the inside of a smoker's lungs?" and a picture of a very disgusting looking woman covered in tar, cancerous blobs, etc. I have, and will never smoke anything - that poster made a huge impression on me.

As disgusting as these are, they are what is needed in the hallways at the middle and high schools. Kids don't always think in the long term at this age - and the most important thing is that, when they are given their first cigarette, etc, they remember how awful they really are. Kids at 17 aren't dying from emphysema - many kids don't see these things as really harmful, unfortunately.

Laurie said...

You're right...17 year olds don't get emphysema, but they do get mouth cancer. And there are some pretty scare pictures online of guys who've lost part of their jaw, etc., as a result. Anyone who has a teen boy...show him the pics. Google "Gruen Von Behrens." Maybe that will make an impression like that long ago poster did on you.