Thursday, September 06, 2007
New chewing tobacco, same dangers

By Anthony Policastro, M.D

On July 18, 2007 Phillip Morris announced that it was promoting a new product. The product was a chewing tobacco that did not require the user to spit. The product was touted as an alternative to cigarettes for places that no longer allow smoking. It was touted as a replacement for chewing tobacco that required juices to be spit out. It was touted as a great new breakthrough. In actuality, it needed to be touted as a way for Phillip Morris to make more money. Their cigarette sales have flattened. They are not addicting as many people to nicotine as they once were. This is nothing more than a disguise to keep their nicotine addiction industry afloat a little longer. Nicotine addiction is a very difficult addiction to break. Alcoholics who are able to go on the wagon usually continue with their nicotine addiction. Drug users who go through rehab usually continue with their nicotine addiction. Phillip Morris knows this. Therefore, they have to work at getting as many people addicted as they can. What they do not tell the users of chewing (smokeless) tobacco is that it has significant side effects. It can affect the mouth in a number of ways. It increases the ability to develop dental cavities. That is caused both by the sugars in tobacco and by the abrasive particles it contains. It can cause gum disease. The long term impact on the gums can cause teeth to fall out prematurely. Even though the nicotine is in the mouth, it is still absorbed into the system. That means it increases heart rate. It increases blood pressure. Those may increase the risk of heart attack. It has also ben associated with a higher cholesterol. However the greatest risk is the increased incidence of mouth cancer. Because of the local concentration of chemicals, mouth cancer can develop more quickly than it can in other parts of the body. Cancer can occur on the tongue. It can occur in the throat. It can occur in the gums. It can occur on the lips. It can occur in the cheek. Phillip Morris can offer one guarantee to patients who suffer these side effects. It will guarantee that it will not pay one penny of their medical expenses. It will be too busy turning its profits over to its shareholders. Therefore, if someone decides to spend money getting addicted to the nicotine in chewing tobacco, they might want to spend some money buying stock in Phillip Morris. Perhaps they can then spend their profits on medical care.

Substance abuse treament and management classes to begin
Two separate courses addressing substance abuse treatment and management will be offered this fall at the Owens Campus of Delaware Technical & Community College. "Case Management with Substance Using Clients" will include a history of case management and the various models of case management available. Classes begin Wednesday, Sept. 12, and will run in the evenings through Oct. 30. "Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Abuse Treatment" will link research to practice by providing clear applications of motivational approaches in clinical practice and treatment programs. These approaches may be particularly beneficial to populations who are often seen as having a low motivation for change. Classes begin Thursday, Sept. 13, and will run in the evenings through Nov. 15. For more information on these offerings, call the Corporate and Community Programs division at 854-6966.

NHS Auxiliary meeting Sept. 12
Members of the Nanticoke Health Services Auxiliary will meet at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church Parish House, North Street, Seaford, for a business meeting/luncheon. Janet Hubbard, president, encourages all members to attend this meeting and enjoy the luncheon. Lunch menu consists of chicken salad, broccoli salad, hot buttered carrots, rolls, beverage and peach cobbler, $8.50. Callers will contact members for reservations. Two of Nanticoke's new physicians will be welcomed: Dr. Ramin Mazhari and Dr. Danial Chan. Guest speaker will be Kathy Wright, clinical director of Nanticoke's Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center.

Prostate cancer test at NMH
Nantiocke Health Services will provide PSA screenings on Friday, September 21. The blood tests will be offered at the Nanticoke's Cancer Care Center, 1st Floor, adjacent to the Hospital from 8:00am till 5:00pm. The fee for the test will be $5.00. Results will be mailed approximately two weeks after the event. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital encourages men over the age of 50 to take advantage of this service. If you are 40 years old and at high risk of developing this cancer you are also encouraged to participate. African-American men are at high risk for developing prostate cancer, as are men who have a family history of the disease. For additional information on the PSA screening contact the Cancer Care Center at 629-6611, extension 3765.

Heart Walk
Trinity Transport Inc. and Nemours Health & Prevention Services are proud to be partnering with the American Heart Association's Start! Campaign, a physical activity program to fight heart disease and stroke by getting people moving through workplace working programs. Participating in this program can significantly improve your health. We ask that you join us in the American Heart Association's Annual Sussex County Start! Heart Walk to show your commitment and support for this amazing cause. The 5K (3.1 miles) walk will raise money for research opportunities as well as education and awareness resources. The American Heart Association goal for this event is 1,000 walkers, so get a group together and register today. You can register online and find more information at or call 856-7386. Contact Nemours at 302-444-9173 with any questions and take charge of your health. The event will be Oct. 6, at Delaware Technical Community College, registration is at 9 a.m.

CNA of the Year
To recognize the importance of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) as invaluable members of the health care team, nominations are being accepted at Delaware Technical & Community College, Owens Campus, for the annual CNA of the Year award. The award will be presented at the 11th annual CNA Recognition Day held on Friday, Oct. 19, at the Owens Campus in Georgetown. The honoree will be chosen from nominations submitted by family members, friends, employers, and patients based on the CNA's dedication to providing care, comfort, and commitment to his/her patients. Nomination forms must be completed and returned to the college no later than Sept. 15. CNA Recognition Day is an annual event held at the Owens Campus and is co-sponsored by the college along with local hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home health agencies. The event includes workshops, exhibits, door prizes, and networking opportunities as it brings together CNAs from Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.For more information about the award, the event, or to receive a nomination form, call 302-856-5400, ext. 3190.