May 21,

Chewing Tobacco

Chewing Tobacco

Smokeless Doesn't Mean HarmlessWho We Are

We are Speak Up! Speak Out!, a group of youth who work out of Peterborough Public Health.  We advocate for other youth and encourage healthy lifestyles by working under a peer-to-peer model.  We participate in different youth activities and events that take place across the city and county, while also creating our own events and campaigns which empower participants to make healthy choices in the future.

What is Know What’s in Your Mouth?

Know What’s in Your Mouth is an awareness campaign about the dangers of using chew tobacco.

Chewing tobacco:

  • is not harmless;
  • causes negative physical effects;
  • can lead to addiction;
  • does not enhance sports performance; and
  • the tobacco industry adds candy flavouring to make it more appealing to youth.

Chewing tobaccoQuick facts about Chew

  • Chewing tobacco does not enhance sports performance.
  • Chewing tobacco is just as harmful as a cigarette.
  • Smokeless doesn’t mean harmless.
  • Most professional athletes choose not to use chew tobacco.
  • Chewing tobacco is very addictive.
  • 80% of smokers report being addicted before the age of 18.
  • Tobacco kills about 37, 000 Canadians every year.
  • There are over 4000 dangerous chemicals in chew tobacco, 28 of which cause cancer.
  • 80% of users will develop oral cancers within the first five years of using chewing tobacco
  • Every cigarette you smoke or ten minutes of chewing tobacco reduces your expected lifespan by 11 minutes.

Community Events

Peer leaders: mall displayDuring the month of October the Peer Leaders hosted a KWIYM event at the Lansdowne Place Shopping Centre. The youth walked approximately 300 community members through their informative display. The display consisted of 5 different activities all focusing on different aspects of using chewing tobacco and being influenced by the tobacco industry.

Tobacco displayIn this booth, the Peers exposed some of the Tobacco Industry’s tactics in addicting new users. These tactics include adding fruity flavours and colourful packaging to their products to entice youth and make them seem less harmful. This board compares candy products to real tobacco products and also exposes myths around the use of chewing tobacco.

YMCA logo

In November the Peers established a partnership with the YMCA through the Youth Leader Corps. The Peer Leaders plan to work with the youth to host a Know What’s in Your Mouth event at the YMCA in the new year.






The Peer Leaders brought their Know What’s in Your Mouth display to a Thursday night Pete’s Game in December. The youth talked to over 250 community members about the dangers of chewing tobacco. A 13 year old participant won a $100 gift card for the Pete’s Gift Shop for engaging with the team and putting his name in a draw.

peer leaders at petes game

For more information visit the website:

Last modified on Dec 16, 2014