tobacco

Depressed Head and Neck Cancer Patients Have Lower Survival and Higher Recurrence Risk

Source: www.OncologyNurseAdvisor.com
Author: Kathy Boltz, PhD
 

Depression is a significant predictor of 5-year survival and recurrence in patients with head and neck cancer, according to a new study published in Pyschosomatic Medicine (doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000256). These findings represent one of the largest studies to report on the impact of depression on cancer survival.

Although depression can have obvious detrimental effects on a person’s quality of life, its impact on cancer patients is more apparent, explained lead author Eileen Shinn, PhD, assistant professor of Behavioral Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston. Increasing evidence shows modest associations between elevated symptoms of depression and greater risk for mortality among patients with lung, breast, ovarian, and kidney cancers.

The research team sought to clarify the influence of depression on survival, focusing their analysis on a single cancer type. By limiting the sample set and adjusting for factors known to affect outcome, such as age, tumor size, and previous chemotherapy, they were able to uncover a more profound impact of depression.

The researchers followed 130 patients at MD Anderson with newly diagnosed oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), a type of cancer in which the tumor originates at the back of the throat and base of the tongue.

At the beginning of their radiation therapy, Patients completed a validated questionnaire at the beginning of their radiation therapy to identify symptoms of clinical depression. Researchers monitored the participants, all of whom completed treatment, until their last clinic visit or death, a median period of 5 years.

“The results of this study were quite intriguing, showing depression was a significant factor predicting survival at 5 years, even after controlling for commonly accepted prognostic factors,” said senior author Adam Garden, MD, professor, Radiation Oncology. Furthermore, depression was the only factor shown to have a significant impact on survival.

Patients who scored as depressed on the questionnaire were 3.5 times less likely to have survived to the 5-year interval compared with those who did not score as depressed. The degree of depression was also found to be significant, as every unit increase on this scale indicated a 10% higher risk for reduced survival.

The results were replicated with a different psychological health survey and were not influenced by how soon following diagnosis the depression assessment was done.

OSCC is diagnosed in 10 000 to 15 000 Americans each year. Major risk factors known to be associated with OSCC include smoking and tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Incidence of OSCC has doubled in the last 20 years due to increasing HPV infection rates, noted Shinn.

Neither alcohol nor tobacco use, also surveyed in this group, had a significant impact on survival. HPV infection status, when available, also did not appear correlated.

Despite a high cure rate, normally 60% to 80%, recurrence rate of disease is unusually high in these patients (approximately 30%). The researchers also investigated a potential link between depression and disease recurrence.

“When we controlled for all variables, depression was linked with a nearly 4 times higher risk of recurrence,” said Shinn. In addition, never smokers had a 73% lower chance of recurrence, compared with current smokers. Those were the only two factors associated with cancer recurrence.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

December, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

E-cigarettes may be ‘no better’ than smoking regular cigarettes, warn scientists

Source: www.independent.ie
Author: staff

According to a new study, the vapour from the electronic devices was shown to damage or even kill human cells during lab tests. The research comes as UK public health officials and Prime Minister David Cameron backed the use of e-cigarettes to help people quit smoking. An estimated 2.6 million people in the UK use e-cigarettes. They are to be licensed and regulated as an aid to quit smoking from 2016.

e-cig

Dr Jessica Wang-Rodriguez, co-author of the latest study, said: “Based on the evidence to date I believe they are no better than smoking regular cigarettes.”

The scientists treated cells in Petri dishes with vapour from a nicotine-based e-cigarette and a nicotine-free variety and found that the cells which had been exposed to the vapour were more likely to become damaged or die than those that had not. Those containing nicotine were also said to be more harmful than those that did not, although the authors said it may not be as a result of the addictive substance.

Dr Wang-Rodriguez, chief of pathology at the San Diego branch of the US Department of Veteran Affairs, added: “There have been many studies showing that nicotine can damage cells. But we found that other variables can do damage as well. It’s not that the nicotine is completely innocent in the mix, but it looks like the amount of nicotine that the cells are exposed to by e-cigarettes is not sufficient by itself to cause these changes.

“There must be other components in the e-cigarettes that are doing this damage. So we may be identifying other carcinogenic components that are previously undescribed.

“For now, we were able to at least identify that e-cigarettes on the whole have something to do with increased cell death.”

But the results seen in the lab tests would not necessarily be exactly the same in a living person, she said, as the amount of vapour used was “similar to someone smoking for hours on end”.

The US researchers, who published their findings in the Oral Oncology journal, concluded: “Our study strongly suggests that electronic cigarettes are not as safe as their marketing makes them appear to the public.

“Vapourised e-cig liquids induce increased DNA strand breaks and cell death.

“Further research is needed to definitively determine the long-term effects of e-cig usage, as well as whether the DNA damage shown in our study as a result of e-cig exposure will lead to mutations that ultimately result in cancer.”

This month, Mr Cameron told the Commons he believed e-cigarettes were a “very legitimate” way of improving health following a report from Public Health England which said vaping was 95% less harmful than smoking. But experts criticised the claim and said the study was based on poor quality evidence, with some links to the tobacco industry.

Public Health England also played down the study’s results. Professor Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing, said: “While Public Health England will carefully consider new studies and continue to be vigilant, the wider body of evidence consistently finds that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking.

“Our recent world-leading review found that e-cigarettes carry a fraction of the risk of smoking – the harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke, including carcinogens, are either absent in e-cigarette vapour or are at significantly lower levels than tobacco smoke.

“The best thing a smoker can do is quit completely now and forever, and we need to provide smokers with accurate, balanced information on different quitting methods.

“Last year, two out of three smokers who combined e-cigarettes with expert support from a local service quit successfully. Smokers who have struggled to quit in the past could try vaping, and vapers should stop smoking.”

December, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

Smoking with a hookah is linked to serious oral problems

Source: www.youthhealthmag.com
Author: staff

Many people who use a hookah to smoke tobacco think it is a safer way to smoke and that they are reducing their risk. Not so. A new study suggests that using a hookah is associated with serious conditions of the mouth, head, and neck.

hookah

Researchers from Rutgers University in New Jersey analyzed 20 published studies that focused on the use of a hookah or water pipe. Ten of the articles pertained to the problems in the mouth, seven to head and neck cancer, and three to problems with the larynx and middle ear.

They found that using a hookah is associated with greater amounts of inflammation, gum diseases, a dental condition called dry socket, premalignant lesions, oral cancer, and cancer of the head, neck, and esophagus. It was also associated with a greater incidence of oral infections by the organism Candida, with swelling of the vocal cords, and a lower vocal pitch.

The number of people who use a hookah or water pipe-also called an argilah or hubbly-bubbly-has risen worldwide in the past few years. To use these devices, people place tobacco into a bowl on the top of the pipe and light it. The tobacco smoke is passed through a container of water before it is inhaled. Often, the tobacco used in a hookah is heavily flavored with sweeteners such as molasses or honey and other favors.

According to the World Health Organization, a typical session of smoking using a hookah lasts up to an hour, during which a smoker inhales 100 to 200 times the amount of smoke inhaled from one cigarette. Despite this, many people believe that filtering the smoke through water somehow makes it less harmful than cigarettes.

The study appeared in the Journal of the American Dental Association. “This study sheds light on the common misconception that smoking from a water pipe is somehow safer than smoking a cigarette,” said journal editor Michael Glick, DMD in a statement. “Whether you are smoking a cigarette, an e-cigarette, a cigar, or tobacco from a water pipe, smoking is dangerous not only to your oral health but to your overall health.”

November, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

Researchers Find Hookah Smoking Can Lead to Serious Oral Conditions – Equivalent To Smoking 100 Cigarettes

Source: www.multivu.com
Author: PR Newswire
 
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CHICAGO, Oct. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.3 million Americans smoke tobacco from pipes, and many of those who smoke waterpipes, or hookahs, believe it’s less harmful than cigarettes. However, research published in The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) suggests hookah smoking is associated with serious oral conditions including gum diseases and cancer.

“We found that waterpipe smoking is associated with serious health problems affecting the head and neck region,” said study author Teja Munshi, B.D.S., M.P.H of Rutgers University. “The public needs to know they are putting themselves at risk. They should be made aware of the dangers of smoking hookahs.”

The authors conducted a literature review that focused on waterpipe smoking and head and neck conditions. They found waterpipe smoking to be associated with gum diseases, dry socket, oral cancer and esophageal cancer among other conditions. According to the World Health Organization, smoking a hookah is the equivalent of smoking 100 cigarettes, based on the duration and number of puffs in a smoking session.

“This study sheds light on the common misconception that smoking from a waterpipe is somehow safer than smoking a cigarette,” said JADA Editor Michael Glick, D.M.D. “Whether you are smoking a cigarette, an e-cigarette, a cigar, or tobacco from a waterpipe, smoking is dangerous not only to your oral health but to your overall health.”

The American Cancer Society is hosting The Great American Smokeout on November 19, 2015, an annual event that encourages smokers of all kinds to give up the habit. The event asks smokers to quit even for just one day to take a step toward a healthier life.

Millions of Americans still use traditional methods of smoking, but emerging trends in the smoking industry, such as hookah smoking and e-cigarettes pose dangers as well. E-cigarettes are devices that turn liquid into a vapor containing nicotine. In an editorial in the September 2015 issue of JADA, authors warned readers of the potential dangers of e-cigarettes, indicating that oral health effects of their use has been inadequately investigated.

“Additional research is needed on the impact smoking has on overall health, but it’s clear that smoking of all kinds has the potential to be dangerous,” said Dr. Glick.

Dentists have an important role in advising patients of the dangers of smoking. The American Dental Association has long been a proponent of educating the public about its hazards and has urged for continued research into the adverse health effects of tobacco use. For more information on smoking and its oral health effects, visit MouthHealthy.org.

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This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

October, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

Athletes drive increase in high schoolers’ use of smokless tobacco, CDC study shows

Source: www.kyforward.com
Author: www.kyforward.com web staff

Sept.-2015-100-percent-smoke-free-schools

High-school athletes are using more smokeless tobacco, even though overall tobacco use among high-school students has declined, according to a study published by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We can do more to protect America’s youth from a lifetime of addiction,” Tom Frieden, CDC director, said in a press release. “The fact is, smokeless tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco, snuff or dip, can cause cancer of the mouth, esophagus and pancreas. And the nicotine in these products is harmful to the developing brain. Because we know tobacco-free policies in schools and other public recreational areas work, we must take action now so that our children are safe from these toxins.”

Student responses to the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey from 2001 through 2013 show that the share reporting any tobacco use dropped to 22.4 percent from 33.9 percent, and the rate of those smoking combustible tobacco products dropped to 19.5 percent from 31.5 percent. However, those who reported using smokeless tobacco products increased to 8.8 percent from 8.2 percent.

The increased use of smokeless tobacco was driven by athletes. The rate among non-athletes remained unchanged at 5.9 percent but has “increased significantly” to 11.1 percent from 10 percent in youth athletes.

Researchers suggest that athletes are aware of the adverse consequences of smoking on athletic performance, but may view smokeless tobacco as “less harmful, socially acceptable, or even a way to enhance athletic performance.”

The 2013 YRBS found that 26.3 percent of Kentucky’s high school youth reported any use of tobacco; 17.9 percent were smoking cigarettes, and 13.2 percent reported using smokeless tobacco.

“Tobacco use among youth athletes is of particular concern because most adult tobacco users first try tobacco before age 18,” Brian King, deputy director for research translation in the CDC Office on Smoking and Health, said in a press release. “The younger people are when they start using tobacco, the more likely they are to become addicted and the more heavily addicted they can become.”

The reports calls for increased education about the dangers of smokeless tobacco; recognition that the tobacco industry pushes smokeless tobacco as an alternative to smoking where it is prohibited; that the role of professional athletes, many who use smokeless tobacco, must be part of the discussion because they are often considered role models by youth; and that “implementing and enforcing tobacco-free policies that prohibit all tobacco use on school campuses and at all public recreational facilities, including stadiums, parks, and school gymnasiums, by players, coaches, referees, and fans might help reduce tobacco use among student athletes.”

As of September, Kentucky had 47 school districts with comprehensive tobacco free policies. These policies cover 45 percent of Kentucky’s students and represents 27 percent of the school districts in the state, according to the Kentucky 100% Tobacco Free Schools website.

“Creating 100 percent tobacco-free environments is one of the best ways we can set our kids up for a healthy future,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy said in the release. “It helps them see that being tobacco-free is the way to better health and a longer life.”

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*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

October, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

Alternative Tobacco Products as a Second Front in the War on Tobacco

Source: www.jamanetwork.com
Authors: Samir Soneji, PhD; James D. Sargent, MD; Susanne E. Tanski, MD, MPH; Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD

Associations Between Initial Water Pipe Tobacco Smoking and Snus Use and Subsequent Cigarette Smoking: Results From a Longitudinal Study of US Adolescents and Young Adults

Importance Many adolescents and young adults use alternative tobacco products, such as water pipes and snus, instead of cigarettes.

Objective To assess whether prior water pipe tobacco smoking and snus use among never smokers are risk factors for subsequent cigarette smoking.

Design, Setting, and Participants We conducted a 2-wave national longitudinal study in the United States among 2541 individuals aged 15 to 23 years old. At baseline (October 25, 2010, through June 11, 2011), we ascertained whether respondents had smoked cigarettes, smoked water pipe tobacco, or used snus. At the 2-year follow-up (October 27, 2012, through March 31, 2013), we determined whether baseline non–cigarette smokers had subsequently tried cigarette smoking, were current (past 30 days) cigarette smokers, or were high-intensity cigarette smokers. We fit multivariable logistic regression models among baseline non–cigarette smokers to assess whether baseline water pipe tobacco smoking and baseline snus use were associated with subsequent cigarette smoking initiation and current cigarette smoking, accounting for established sociodemographic and behavioral risk factors. We fit similarly specified multivariable ordinal logistic regression models to assess whether baseline water pipe tobacco smoking and baseline snus use were associated with high-intensity cigarette smoking at follow-up.

Exposures Water pipe tobacco smoking and the use of snus at baseline.

Main Outcomes and Measures Among baseline non–cigarette smokers, cigarette smoking initiation, current (past 30 days) cigarette smoking at follow-up, and the intensity of cigarette smoking at follow-up.

Results Among 1596 respondents, 1048 had never smoked cigarettes at baseline, of whom 71 had smoked water pipe tobacco and 20 had used snus at baseline. At follow-up, accounting for behavioral and sociodemographic risk factors, baseline water pipe tobacco smoking and snus use were independently associated with cigarette smoking initiation (adjusted odds ratios: 2.56; 95% CI, 1.46-4.47 and 3.73; 95% CI, 1.43-9.76, respectively), current cigarette smoking (adjusted odds ratios: 2.48; 95% CI, 1.01-6.06 and 6.19; 95% CI, 1.86-20.56, respectively), and higher intensity of cigarette smoking (adjusted proportional odds ratios: 2.55; 95% CI, 1.48-4.38 and 4.45; 95% CI, 1.75-11.27, respectively).

Conclusions and Relevance Water pipe tobacco smoking and the use of snus independently predicted the onset of cigarette smoking and current cigarette smoking at follow-up. Comprehensive Food and Drug Administration regulation of these tobacco products may limit their appeal to youth and curb the onset of cigarette smoking.

JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(2):129-136. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.2697

*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

 

October, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

Smokeless tobacco use on the rise among high school athletes

Source: kimt.com
Author: Jeron Rennie

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report shows a trend they don’t want to see.

A Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) shows that from 2001-2013, smokeless tobacco use increased significantly among high school athletes, but not with non-athletes.

The report also found there was lower use of combustible tobacco products among athletes than non-athletes. The CDC said that could be due, in part, to an awareness of the negative consequences on athletic performance. However, they say the use of smokeless tobacco suggests they find those products as being harmless.

“When you see it in the media and you see all those athletes that you’re looking up to as a younger student and trying to reach some of the goals that they’ve reached,” said Freeborn County Drug-Free Coalition Prevention Coordinator Lana Howe. “It definitely plays a large impact on you as a youth.”

The CDC said using smokeless tobacco can, however, adversely impact athletic performance and lead to disease and early death since they contain nicotine, toxins and carcinogens.

Several athletes with a history of smokeless tobacco use have been diagnosed with, or died from, oral cancer.

September, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

Cowboy with a statement on smoking

Source: www.vp-mi.com
Author: Adam Robertson
 
55f20e17c6255.imageA cowboy stands against smoking
Above: Cody Kiser holds on as his bronco goes wild during the Sanders County Fair rodeo; Kiser has teamed up with the Oral Cancer Foundation to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco products through the rodeo.

 

PLAINS – Tobacco use has been a big part of the rodeo for years; one participant of the Sanders County Fair is in the forefront of changing this, though, by promoting a tobacco-less lifestyle through the sport.

Cody Kiser, a cowboy who rode bareback broncos at the Fair, has teamed up with the Oral Cancer Foundation’s ‘Be Smart, Don’t Start’ campaign to help teach kids about the dangers of tobacco products and oral cancer. According to their website, the campaign is part of the foundation’s rodeo outreach and attempting to “become engaged where the problem lives.”

“While other [groups] are focused on getting users to quit, the Oral Cancer Foundation is reaching out to young people to not pick up the habit that they may see one of their rodeo heroes engaging in,” stated information provided by the OFC.

To help with this, Kiser and the foundation have been working to present role models within the rodeo world who do not use tobacco products and actively advocate against their use.

“How do you change that?” Kiser asked, regarding the tobacco-use culture. “I think that is in kids; you have to get to the kids and get their opinions changed.”

The foundation’s main focus has been on reaching out to middle school and high school students, though getting their message to any kid is helpful. They try to inform the kids of the dangers of tobacco products, with a particular emphasis on chewing tobacco, which is heavily linked to developing oral cancer.

“We’re not here to tell anybody how to live their life or anything, if they’re already chewing or smoking,” said Kiser. “Just give information … and hope we reach out to the kids. That’s the main thing.”

During the Sanders County Fair rodeo, Kiser only wore sponsorship logos for the OCF. He also took time to talk to kids at the fair and give out pins, bandanas as well as other items with the foundation’s message on them.

It was noted there are other rodeo riders who do not smoke or chew tobacco, though it is rare. This has been turning around in recent years, though, and there are organizations promoting tobacco-free rodeos, where only people who do not use tobacco products participate. Other organizations, like Project Filter and reACT, are also working to educate kids about tobacco use through the rodeo.

“There are groups who are doing this now,” Kiser said. “It’s not just us … There is some move towards it. It’s in its infancy right now, but there people who are doing stuff.”

He also recalled a number of athletes had used tobacco products and reported regretting it later in life; some hall of famers have said they would do things differently, in regards to tobacco use, if they could go back. The main goal of the OCF and its ‘Be Smart, Don’t Start’ campaign has been to help kids avoid having those regrets.

The foundation hopes to set up public speaking arrangements at schools for Kiser and their other ambassadors in the near future, though for now their outreach is limited to rodeos. Going directly to the schools would help them reach out to kids more and spread their message further.

Tobacco use is strongly linked to oral cancer, which has several severe impacts on the body; everything from losing teeth to serious oral sores or even death. The effects do not stop at a personal level either and can spill over to other people’s lives as well.

According to the OFC, approximately 46,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. This translates to almost 115-120 people diagnosed each day.

More information on the Oral Cancer Foundation can be found at www.oralcancer.org.

*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

Riders raise awareness for oral cancer

Source: Millard County Chronicle Progress
Author: Doug Radunich
 
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Two traveling rodeo riders helped raise awareness for oral cancer at the Days of the Old West rodeo in Delta June 11-13.

As a non-profit seeking to spread awareness of oral cancer and the dangers of starting terrible tobacco habits, the foundation teamed up with bareback bronco rider Cody Kiser, of Carson City, Nev., and barrel rider Carly Twisselman, of Paso Robles, Calif., in an effort to spread the word among the Rodeo circuit, which is one of the biggest arenas of tobaccos-using patrons. While others are focused on getting users to quit, the Oral Cancer Foundation is encouraging young people to avoid the habit that they may see one of their rodeo heroes engage in. The message of the foundation is simple and not confrontational: “Be Smart. Don’t Start”. This message was displayed at the recent rodeo in Delta.

Also at the Delta rodeo, Kiser and Twisselman sported Oral Cancer Foundation logos and wording on their clothes and riding gear, while handing out free buttons, wristbands and bandanas. Both riders also gave autographs, talked and had pictures taken with young fans.

Both riders, who will promote the message at different rodeos across the country, also competed in their respective riding events while in Delta.

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“It’s an awesome opportunity to use our platform, and it’s for a good cause and to put good message out there,” Twisselman said. “There are family members and friends and peers out there who chew tobacco, and in the rodeo world it’s still a big problem. There are still so many people who do it, and there’s that mentality that ‘if he’s the world champion and he does it’ maybe I should do it. We want to put out a better put message to kids and say they can still be successful and not have to chew.”

Twisselman said there is a big focus on the positive aspects of not using tobacco.

“We want to highlight all the good things that come from not using tobacco, and not just talk about the bad things from using it,” she said. “Another great thing about the foundation is we’re not trying to hammer the message into people or be pushy about it. We also want to reach people who haven’t started yet and try to save some lives.”

Kiser also said he was excited to be part of the campaign.

“We hand out pins and just try and talk to people as much as we can,” he said. “We want to get the word out there about cancer, and our main focus is on kids and teens. We really want to get to them before the pick up the habit. The slogan is ‘Be Smart Don’t Start.’

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, oral cancer is becoming an epidemic in the US. Rodeo has a historic tie to smokeless tobaccos, and if the problem is going to be addressed, the Oral Cancer Foundation has to do it where the problem thrives. Smokeless/spit tobacco is one of the historic causes of deadly oral cancers, and is more addictive than other forms of tobacco use.

More on oral cancer facts can be found at www.oralcancer.org.

*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

Mayor Walsh Wants Ban On Chewing Tobacco At All City Ballparks

Source: www.wbur.org
Author: Philip Marcelo
Curt SchillingFormer Boston Red Sox pitcher and mouth cancer survivor Curt Schilling, pictured here at Fenway Park in 2012, was on hand Wednesday as Mayor Marty Walsh proposed banning smokeless tobacco products from all city professional and amateur athletic venues. (Winslow Townson/AP)

 

From storied Fenway Park to youth baseball diamonds across the city, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh is calling for a ban on dip, snuff and chewing tobacco.

With former Red Sox pitcher and mouth cancer survivor Curt Schilling at his side, the mayor on Wednesday proposed banning smokeless tobacco products from all city professional and amateur athletic venues.

“Kids shouldn’t have to watch their role models using tobacco, either at a neighborhood park or on TV,” Walsh said, standing at home plate of a South Boston baseball diamond. “Ballfields are places for mentoring and healthy development. They’re no place for cancer-causing substances.”

Schilling, who revealed earlier this year he was diagnosed with mouth cancer after decades of using chewing tobacco, described his battle with the illness, which he said is in remission.

“It was more painful than anything you could imagine,” he said, addressing the dozens of school-age kids in attendance. “I couldn’t swallow. I had to eat from a tube. I was sick every single day. And if it came back, I don’t know if I would go through the treatment again. It was that bad.”

The 48-year-old ESPN analyst acknowledged Walsh’s proposal will likely meet resistance from major league players, but he believes they will eventually come to accept it, just as they had when smoking was banned in ballparks years ago.

“This is about our kids,” Schilling said. “We have to accept the responsibility that we impact the decisions and the choices that they make.”

Under their union contract, MLB players aren’t banned from using smokeless tobacco products, though they can’t use them during televised interviews and can’t carry them around when fans are in the ballparks.

The Red Sox organization applauded Walsh’s proposal, which requires City Council approval.

“We all know the horrific and tragic stories of ballplayers who have suffered the consequences of using smokeless tobacco,” the team said in a statement. “Our focus on baseball – and on bringing children closer to the game – fortify our resolve to cooperate in this effort.”

Altria, the makers of popular smokeless tobacco products Skoal and Copenhagen, declined to comment Wednesday. Other smokeless tobacco makers did not immediately weigh in.

Walsh’s proposal would apply to everyone in a ballpark, including fans, players, ground crews and concession staff.

The proposed ordinance would cover professional, collegiate, high school or organized amateur sporting events and be effective April 1. His office says those managing sporting event sites would be responsible for assuring compliance. Violators would be subject to a $250 fine.

If approved, Boston would become the second U.S. city, behind San Francisco, to ban chewing tobacco and related products from ballfields. That city’s ban takes effect Jan. 1. Los Angeles is also considering a ban that’s focused solely on baseball and does not impact other sports.

Walsh plans to officially file his proposal Monday.

Specifically, he calls for banning use of smokeless tobacco products, which are defined as any product containing “cut, ground, powdered, or leaf tobacco and is intended to be placed in the oral or nasal cavity.”

Public health officials Wednesday said major league players represent “powerful marketers” for smokeless tobacco products, whether they realize it or not.

Cigarette smoking has been on the decline in the U.S., but smokeless tobacco use among youth has remained relatively steady in recent years, noted Dr. Howard Koh, a former U.S. assistant secretary for health who now teaches at Harvard.

Nearly 15 percent of high-school age boys reported using smokeless products in recent studies, he added.

The Surgeon General and the National Cancer Institute say smokeless tobacco contains at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals that can lead to oral, pancreatic and esophageal cancer and other health problems like heart disease, gum disease and tooth decay.

“Smokeless tobacco is not harmless,” Koh said. “All of this is preventable. We can do something about this.”

*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

August, 2015|Oral Cancer News|