‘I dipped for 30 years. I lost my sense of smell, taste and my gums bled … It was NOT enough to make me quit. The pain going through treatment was the worst… I wish I could go back and never have dipped,’ says 47 year old Curt Schilling in a People Magazine interview.
Another article in Fox Sports states “I got bitten by a dog and I had some damage to my finger. On my way to the doctor, I went to rub my neck and felt a lump on the left side of my neck. I knew immediately it wasn’t normal. There happened to be an ENT [ear, nose and throat specialist] right next door to the hand doctor. I thought, ‘What the heck, let me just stop in and see.’ He did a biopsy. Two days later, he diagnosed me with squamous cell carcinoma.”
Smokeless is the only growth area in tobacco use in America. 15% of all high school age boys currently use smokeless tobacco, and in the general American population about 3.5% use it (data from the CDC). We need to educate youth before they have a chance to pick up this highly addictive habit. Who can do this? The Oral Cancer Foundation!
A brand new initiative by OCF is the “Be Smart. Don’t Start” program in rural America which is heavily tied to the rodeo sport and has a demographic highly associated with tobacco use and particularly smokeless varieties. Using two young, talented rodeo competitors who are ideal role models, Cody Kiser (bareback bronc rider) and Carley Twisselman (Barrel race competitor), OCF is delivering branding on their clothing, banners on their rodeo trailers and messaging in media interviews. OCF will track the number of people reached through their interviews in print, radio and TV. Both have meet and greet sessions at poster signings with kids after events allowing for one-on-one talk time about the rodeo and their healthy philosophy.
I’m proud to support the Oral Cancer Foundation and I will post updates on the success of this program!