Practice for and attend wrestling meets all season.
Winning your meets and qualifying for the state tournament.
Getting caught at school with a $4.55 can of Copenhagan, getting suspended from school for three days, having to complete a drug and alcohol class AND losing your chance to compete at the state level in wrestling.
Dreams of going to the state wrestling competition were extinguished when a Montana high school student was caught with smokeless tobacco. His habit cost him a lot, but he’s not the only one using tobacco in high school in Montana.
According to the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, about 24.1% of male high school students in Montana use spit or smokeless tobacco. That’s higher than the nationwide average of 15%. And kids aren’t just packing a lip with loose tobacco, as in this case. Gone are the days of cheeks bulging with smelly tobacco and spit-stained clothes. Kids are using tobacco in new ways that are less noticeable.
Snus, a tiny pouch filled with tobacco, sweeteners and intense flavor, can be held in the mouth and the juices never spit out. Teachers and parents won’t see those tell-tale signs of tobacco use, like smecigarette smoke, and kids can get their buzz on nearly indefinitely, even during sleep. Some kids are even going to newer extremes to use the product and avoid detection by cutting a slit between their toes and packing in a pouch. Great for the athletes to get a nicotine high all day long in school.
Montana isn’t the only state with teens using the new tobacco products, it is a growing problem nationwide. New tobacco products being marketed are less about tobacco and more about creating a nicotine dependency in youth. Tobacco now comes in sticks, strips, and orbs that look like a breathe mint, and the products come in flavors to appeal to kids and avoid detection.
Smokeless tobacco harms your teeth, contains cancer-causing chemicals, and can cause oral, esophageal and pancreatic cancer. Nicotine may give you a buzz, but it stresses your body. It increases your blood pressure, increases your heart rate, and narrows the arteries throughout your body over time leading to the development of heart disease. Using nicotine causes your muscles to tire more quickly, and makes injuries take longer to heal.
If you want to get an edge on your competition, whether you are male or female, using tobacco isn’t the way.
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