Posts Tagged “Oral Health America”


Photo courtesy of Matt McGee on Flickr

From the press release:

Attention all 2012 Little League baseball and softball players! Oral Health America’s (OHA) NSTEP® program (National Spit Tobacco Education Program) is teaming with Little League International to launch its eleventh annual slogan contest where players have a chance to win a trip to the Little League World Series! To enter, Little Leaguers ages 8-14 create a ten-word phrase that describes why spit tobacco is dangerous and deadly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 2003 there has been a 36 percent increase in the rate of smokeless tobacco use among high school boys. This alarming statistic is what led parents of the 2011 slogan contest winner, John and Julie Lafakis, to participate with their son Lou. “In addition to being thrilled and proud of Lou’s slogan,” said John Lafakis, “we are equally delighted that the NSTEP contest provided an opportunity for our family to discuss the harms of tobacco use.”

NSTEP works with Little League International to educate families about the risks of spit tobacco use, including oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, and nicotine addiction. “The health and well-being of children has been one of Little League’s guiding principles since its founding in 1939. We are proud to partner with NSTEP to educate young people about the dangers of smokeless tobacco,” said Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball.

NSTEP is also part of a coalition of organizations that influenced the limit on use of smokeless tobacco in Major League ballparks. For the first time in history, players are unable to use smokeless tobacco products on field and in front of fans and cameras. “The new limits are a positive step toward reducing the damaging influences of smokeless tobacco,” said Beth Truett, President and CEO of Oral Health America. “NSTEP is proud to have helped influence the ban and will continue to help educate Americans about the dangers of tobacco use.”

To enter the slogan contest, visit The most creative slogan participant will win an all-expenses paid trip to Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA plus a $500 cash prize. Oral Health America will also make a $500 donation to the player’s Little League organization.

There is no reason for baseball, America’s past time, to be any longer associated with spit or smokeless tobacco.

Programs like this that increase awareness of the dangers of tobacco use should be encouraged.

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My interview with Beth Truett, President and CEO of Oral Health America

I had the opportunity to interview Beth Truett of the non-profit Oral Health America this morning.

Some background from the press release:

Did you know that tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in America, affecting nearly half of second graders and almost eighty percent of seventeen year-olds? In fact, over 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related problems and an astonishing 100-million-plus Americans lack dental insurance.

That is why Oral Health America’s Smiles Across America® program (SAA), in partnership with Trident are teaming up to help fight cavities among children and address the need for oral disease prevention services. To help further the cause in the second phase of Trident’s three-year, multi-million dollar commitment to Smiles Across America, parents can purchase any pack of Trident gum from September 13 through September 19 and five cents per pack (up to $600,000) will be donated to Smiles Across America.

This looks like a very worthwhile program. By merely chewing some gum (Trident, of course) you not only improve your own saliva flow and dental health, but, you also help America’s dental health.

For more information please visit the Oral Health America website.

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