No Smoking, But Chewing's Fine

There's been an increase in tobacco use among high school boys - smokeless tobacco. i

There's been an increase in tobacco use among high school boys - smokeless tobacco. elwisz/iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption elwisz/iStockphoto
There's been an increase in tobacco use among high school boys - smokeless tobacco.

There's been an increase in tobacco use among high school boys - smokeless tobacco.

elwisz/iStockphoto

Has anyone actually seen the president smoke a cigarette? By this point we probably all know he smokes - or smoked. Big news in Washington: The president quit a habit we never got to verify. It's easy enough to write this off as a PR campaign titled "Even the President Quits." But I don't want to be too cynical here. There's this news, too: That the Senate may see a bill to ban smokeless tobacco in Major League Baseball, too.

I'm pretty excited to hear from Dr. Nora Volkow on today's show about quitting. She's director of drug abuse at the National Institutes of Health. No, I'm not excited to go through DARE all over again. It's more because I'm reminded of this fascinating story about ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg trying to quit dipping. (The numbers are different from the Washington Post and Washington Times pieces. Either way - chew is on the rise).

There's a lot to relate to there. As a good Midwestern boy, I also emulated players when I was growing up. Look back at Warren Sapp's post game interviews and just try to find one where he isn't sporting a monster wad from one corner of his bottom lip to the other. Probably half of the guys I played sports with throughout the years chewed - or worse yet - continue to dip. I did too. And it's hard to stop.

The worst, though, were those who began chewing to quit smoking. That one is about as successful as going on the fast food salad diet. So listen attentively to those personal story calls today. Hopefully we don't hear one who says if the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

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