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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Smoking and Tobacco
Signs of smokeless tobacco
I am pretty confidant my oldest kids don`t smoke. They think it is gross and they get sick when we go some place smokey. But it has recently come to my attention that a lot of teenage boys use smokeless tobacco products. How would I be able to tell if my boys were using smokeless tobacco products since there would not be smelly clothes or hair. I am sure they would attempt to hide it from me because our family is very against tobacco. What do I look for?
Bad breath, discolored teeth, bumps or sores in the mouth, and gum changes can be some physical signs of smokeless tobacco use. Secretive behavior may also be an indication of use.
Some people who chew swallow the juice; these tobacco users are more highly addicted than those who spit the juice. It is very important to talk with your kids about tobacco use in a nonjudgmental way, so they feel free to talk to you. A good web resource for parents is: www.helpthemknow.com (Click on the Parents and Caregivers section.)
Kathy Vesha, RN, BSN, MA
The Ohio State University