COGI Announces $50k in Funding to Help Smokeless Tobacco Users Kick the Habit

Clinical Outcomes Group Inc. (COGI) is pleased to announce it has received $50,000 in funding from the American Legacy Foundation to help smokeless tobacco users in our region quit smokeless tobacco. The American Legacy Foundation, a national public health foundation is “dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit.” Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. This project creates collaboration with 6 students from The Commonwealth Medical College to demonstrate the effectiveness of brief intervention and assessment with non-treatment seeking smokeless tobacco users.

The project kick-off coincides with the national Through With Chew week from February 20-26, 2011 and GASpO (Great American Spit Out) on February 24. These national campaigns encourage smokeless tobacco users to quit for at least one day.

Norbert McCloskey, Executive Director of Clinical Outcomes Group, Inc. states “This funding will make resources available to assist rural chew/spit tobacco users quit tobacco. Currently, 7% of Pennsylvania adults use smokeless or chew tobacco with regional rates ranging from 2% in urban areas to 16% in rural communities” (PA DOH, 2008).

Similar to cigarettes, smokeless tobacco use is an unhealthy, addictive drug that often costs individuals over $1,000 per year. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 75% of all oral cancers are attributed to the use of smoked and smokeless tobacco products. In 1986, the Surgeon General concluded that the use of smokeless tobacco “is not a safe substitute for smoking cigarettes.” Additional risks include:

· Increase risk of other cancers such as pharynx, larynx, esophagus and pancreatic cancer
· Tooth abrasion and sensitivity
· Gum recession
· Tooth discoloration
· Increase in blood pressure and heart rate

COGI’s goal is to make free resources accessible to people in the community that wish to quit using chew tobacco. As part of the project, participants will be offered free coaching services, nicotine replacement therapy (gum, patches and lozenges) and an oral health screening. To participate in this project you must be over the age of 18, and use smokeless tobacco products regularly. If you are interested, please contact Jenny Wagner at 1-800-264-1290. Clinical Outcomes Group, Inc. is dedicated to improving the health of our community with offices located in Pottsville and Northumberland, Pennsylvania.


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