News and Events

Dixie County Dental Offices Highlight "Through With Chew Week"
February 22, 2020

Dental providers and medical offices in Dixie County participated in Through With Chew Week which is a national observation highlighting the problems with smokeless tobacco products, or dip. The Tobacco Free Partnership wanted to focus on dental offices to raise awareness among patients that smokeless tobacco is not harmless. This outreach also created a strong partnership with local dental providers who used the opportunity to educate their patients, or patients parents, about health risks and addiction associated with smokeless product use.

One of the reasons they chose to do this activity was to raise awareness about smokeless tobacco use. In Dixie County, 13.5% of youth ages 11-17 are regular smokeless tobacco users. Statewide, that number is only 1.7%, so SWAT members wanted to raise awareness of the problem and engage community members in discussions about tobacco use.  A fact that many people may not know is that anyone who uses smokeless tobacco is more likely to get certain types of cancer, due to at least 28 known carcinogens going into the mouth with every dip.

Providers who participated in the Through With Chew event were: Dr. Novikov, of the Cross City Dental, and the Dixie Department of Health dental office. Both offices provided information for people with the Quit Your Way services highlighted during Through With Chew Week.

The Florida Youth Tobacco Survey actually shows us that young people do start experimenting with tobacco by age 11, and in some cases, they may even be regular tobacco users. When students are exposed to the message that smokeless tobacco is not a healthy alternative to smoking, and is not the “norm” among adults, it can be an important step in changing the social norms among children and youth about using the product.

Young people can perceive social norms around smokeless tobacco use as adult acceptance of smokeless tobacco use by young people. So, when they see adults using smokeless tobacco at youth functions, it can send a subtle, yet powerful message to youth. Considering that Dixie County youth ages 11-17 use smokeless tobacco at a much higher rate than the state average, it is clear that social norms play a big part in the reason youth start dipping in the first place. We can let our young people know that using tobacco is not actually the norm, and they are expected to be tobacco free, when we create tobacco free events and spaces where young people gather and participate in sports or recreational activities. This is a great time to be Through With Chew! If you would like help in quitting any kind of tobacco, please visit  For more information about getting involved with the Tobacco Free Partnership of Dixie, contact Melanie Anderson at 352-463-7006 or at