In Charlotte County, using smokeless tobacco has become a hit especially among teens. This is the reason why more and more kids are not minding the dangerous and unhealthy effects of tobacco use as the number of nicotine dependents continue to increase.
Smokeless tobacco comes in two forms: the snuff and chewing tobacco. Chewing tobacco are shredded, twisted, and bricked tobacco leaves while the snuff is fine-grain tobacco contained in teabag-like pouches. Snuff is consumed by pinching or dipping the bags between the lower lip and gums while the chewing type is usually kept between the cheek and gum.
A recent survey shows that teens use smokeless tobacco for up to six times a day. According to the 2010 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, there are now 13.1% of high school students in Charlotte admitting to smokeless tobacco use at least once in the last 30 days.
Teens often think that because the tobacco is only chewed or allowed to sit in one’s mouth, it becomes safer than actually smoking it as they do cigarettes. Yet the same nicotine effect happens when they suck on the tobacco juices allowing nicotine to enter the bloodstream through the tissues in their mouth. There’s no need to even swallow the tobacco since it already takes effect just by staying in one’s mouth.
Principal Ron Schuyler from The Academy in Port Charlotte admitted that they don’t usually have any idea who is using smokeless tobacco. He says that teens can easily conceal their use of the substance to avoid being reprimanded.
“If any person is addicted to nicotine, they want to get that nicotine fix, and this way, they can get that fix with less chance of having any school discipline”