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Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
February 13, 2013     Walsh County Press
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February 13, 2013

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PAGE 10 THE PRESS FEBRUARY 13, 2013 Through with Chew Week Aims to Discourage Smokeless Tobacco Use GRAFTON, N.D. -- Through with Chew Week -- February 17- 23 -- is an annual effort to draw awareness to harm caused by smokeless tobacco use. The Cen- ter for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy (the Center) is using the opportunity to remind parents, school educators and the public that it is important to con- tinue to work toward preventing the use of tobacco products among our youth. In North Dakota, the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) shows that the high school student use of chewing tobacco, snuffor dip is 13.6 percent, almost twice as high as the national aver- age of 7.8 percent. Even though North Dakota's rates have declined since the 2009 report, which re- ported a 15.3 percent usage rate, more needs to be done to prevent youth from using smokeless to- bacco products. Jeanne Prom, director of the Center, said that reducing tobacco use rates among kids in North Dakota involves changing social norms to make tobacco use less ac- ceptable by working with the Cen- ter's local public health partners. "Public health tobacco prevention coordinators work with school boards to adopt comprehensive to- bacco-free campus policies," said Prom. North Dakota now has 116 school districts that have adopted tobacco-free school policies that protect 58 percent of the K-12 stu- dent population. Even so, 22.2 per- cent of North Dakota male high school students use smokeless or spit tobacco, due in part to the ways tobacco companies market their smokeless products. Prom said that tobacco compa- nies market smokeless tobacco products as a way to use tobacco in places where smoking is not al- lowed. They also claim that smoke-free products are safer than cigarettes. Spit and chewing tobacco can cause oral cancer, especially in the cheeks, gums and throat, and can lead to other oral problems, such as mouth sores, gum recession and tooth decay. According to the Cen- ters for Disease Control and Pre- vention, oral cancer is the sixth leading cancer in men. "Smokeless tobacco users need to check monthly for damage to teeth, gums, the tongue and sur- rounding tissue, which may be early warning signs of cancer," said Sharon Laxdal, Walsh County Tobacco Prevention Coordinator. American Heart Month encourages tobacco-free lifestyle for healthy hearts GRAFTON, N.D. -- February is American Heart Month and the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy (the Center) and the North Dakota Department of Health are teaming up to raise awareness on how tobacco use impacts heart disease. North Dakota Department of Health Heart Disease and Stroke Pre- vention Program Manager Karalee Harper said that smoking or long- term exposure to secondhand smoke raises the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. "Smoking and being exposed to secondhand smoke triggers a buildup of plaque in your arteries and increases the risk of blood clots forming," Harper said. Harper also reminds the public that cigarette smokers are two to four times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than non-smok- ers. "The more you smoke, the greater your risk of heart attack," said Harper. In addition to causing heart attacks, smoking also damages blood vessels and a person's entire cardiovascular system. Jeanne Prom, director of the Center, said that an important com- ponent to avoiding heart disease is through prevention efforts like nev- er starting to use tobacco. "Every day 3,500 kids in the United States under age 18 try their first cigarette and an additional 1,000 kids become hooked on tobac- co and become new daily users," Prom said. "At least a third of these new smokers will die early from smoking-related causes." Prom said the tobacco industry is difficult to combat because it spends $25.7 million marketing their products to recruit new users in North Dakota alone. The majority of the tobacco companies' marketing dol- lars are spent in the form of price discounts to make their products as cheap as possible so tobacco is appealing to new users. According to the Center and the N.D. Department of Health, to- bacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths in North Dako- ta. Last year, tobacco use killed 800 North Dakotans prematurely and cost the state over $247 million in healthcare. And, while the new statewide smoke-free law protects everyone from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, more work needs to be done so everyone can enjoy the health benefits of a tobacco-free lifestyle. "Our new statewide smoke-free law will save lives by reducing the harm caused by secondhand smoke," Sharon Laxdal with the Walsh County Health District said. "Now, we have to tum more attention on prevention efforts that will stop people from starting to use tobacco in the first place." By reinforcing the health benefits of a tobacco-free lifestyle, a pat- tem of social norms take shape making it less acceptable to use to- bacco, which will lead to a decrease in the number of tobacco users. The result will be saved lives and money for North Dakota. To learn about preventing tobacco use, contact Sharon Laxdal at 701-352-5139 or go to www.breathend.com to leam more about to- bacco prevention. "Our office is pleased to announce that once again all Walsh County dental offices will be offering free oral screenings during Through With Chew Week. However, the best way to prevent oral cancer is to never begin using smokeless to- bacco, and if you use tobacco, now is the time to quit." To learn about preventing to- bacco use, contact Walsh County Health District at 701-352-5139 or go to www.breathend.com. In ad- dition, you may contact one of the following dental offices to sched- ule your free oral exam during Through With Chew Week (Febru- ary 17-23): Dr. Brewer, Grafton at 352- 2450 Daby Dentistry, Grafton at 352- 0730 Dr. Ekman, Lifetime Dental, Park River at 284-7777 Kern Family Dentistry, Graflon at 352-2013 Dr. Larson & Dr. Beneda, Park River Dental Clinic at 284-6131 Your source for Happy Happenings. Walsh County Press 284-6333 Smoking is a great way to get your heart's attention. When your heart stops, being close to a defibrillator can save your life. You can also save your life by not smoking. Smoking damages your heart, your blood vessels, and your cardiovascular system. All good reasons to never start using tobacco. February is Heart Month. Cigarette smokers are 2-4 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease. Learn more at BreatheND.com Brought to you by the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy and your local public health unit. Photo: Submittec Above: Bob Anderson regained independence with a wheelchair accessible vehicle. fi__r _rr. _D_ _.,,__A__]r_ _x?. _t_,t_ ].m _rI.A__.-2_r _. _7 mobility and I was unable to lift either leg to get in a vehicle. It was becoming more dangerous for me to travel out of our home," said Anderson. For about a year, in order to get to his job each morning Anderson either had to be driven by his brother-in-law Bruce Ellingson or his youngest daugh- ter Katelyn. Anderson always was a very independent an active person so to have to be chauffeured was dis- couraging for the 51-year-old teacher. Again in July, Anderson got sick, which earned him another week stay at Stanford Health and Alma's Re- habilitation Center. While he was in the Rehab center, Anderson and his wife Deb began working with Vo- cational Rehab to try and receive some assistance with equipment such as a mobilized wheelchair and a handicapped accessible truck that would help Ander- son become more independent. "Things were moving along smoothly until the state decided to freeze all further funding for anything. At that moment I thought; 'I am truly handicapped.' I never thought this before, because I kept as busy as possible and was able to transport to destinations away from my home, but ifI could no longer drive life was going to be very difficult for my family," said Ander- son. Without the wheelchair and the truck, Anderson would have to be completely dependent on his family. "Well, my wife was not going down without a fight so she wrote a fantastic letter and set it to the vocational rehab and the state. The letter was the initiative that re- suited in me obtaining some assistance to help us pur- chase the equipment needed to gain some of my in- dependence," said Anderson. The truck that Anderson received was converted by Bert's Trucking in Moorhead. It has a ramp that opens out of the driver's side and lowers down so that he carl back his new mobilized wheelchair on until it locks into place. Once the wheelchair is locked into place, Anderson pushes a button that raises the ramp back up and into the truck making his wheelchair the driver's seat so he never has to transition out of his chair mak-: ing it easier for him to be independent. "The truck has two batteries; one for operating th truck and the second battery is for the door lift. The door is operated by remote control. A button combi= nation opens the driver door and lowers a metal plate. I back into an EZ lock mechanism with my electric wheelchair and when it locks in place, I use a switch on the interior of the driver side truck door to raise the wheelchair and close the door. The wheelchair is my driver seat," he said. The truck is also equipped witl hand controls for Anderson to accelerate and apply the2 brakes. He received some training from Altru Rehab in Grand Forks for driving with hands controls. Now that Anderson has the truck and the electric wheelchair, he can be more independent than he has been in a long time. "I am able to go by myself to some locations" said Anderson. Even with the truck Anderson still encounters trou- bles with entering certain buildings that aren't com- pletely handicapped accessible (doorways that swing out, high thresholds, narrow passageways). "It is great to drive but I still require some assistance when I get to my destination if the building is not hand- icap accessible, "said Anderson. The truck gave Anderson his independence and his family their peace of mind knowing that he has a vehicle that is safe for him to drive. ! Let NDQuits help you find your way. vvw.ndhealthovlndquits 1.800.QUIT.NOW NORTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT 01 HEALTH Scan this code with your mobile device to visit the NDQuits website.