We observe Great American Spit Out on the Thursday of February’s third full week every year. This year, it takes place on February 22. It is a day to encourage people, especially veterans, to stop using smokeless tobacco products. The important mission of the day is to provide users with enough resources to help them stop using such products. The tobacco plant is cultivated for its leaves. Tobacco leaves are rich in nicotine, which is an addictive chemical. People can use tobacco to smoke, chew, or sniff. The Great American Spit Out is the perfect day to start fighting the addiction caused by tobacco products and nicotine. Smokeless tobacco users are encouraged to quit, even if it is just for this one day.
History of Great American Spit Out
Addiction is something humans and possibly mammals have struggled against for eons. It is a response that is naturally found in mammals. There are various organic and inorganic chemicals that we get addicted to. Tobacco is perhaps the most common form of addiction that has haunted humanity since the dawn of evolution. Tobacco addiction can manifest through chewing tobacco products, sniffing them, and smoking them.
The history of tobacco is closely linked to trade routes and human migration history. The local tribes on the American continent gifted Columbus with tobacco leaves, among other materials, when he first reached the continent in 1492. In the 15th century, the Portuguese established the first commercial tobacco plantation in Brazil. Within another century, tobacco was immensely popular throughout the world.
The popularity of tobacco products grew in America during the Revolutionary War. But soon, people started noticing tobacco’s addictive nature and health hazards. Various countries discovered tobacco’s adverse effects and addictive nature, and of the nicotine inside it. In 1610, Sir Francis Bacon noticed tobacco’s addictive properties. Tobacco also has a history that follows human conflicts. Where wars raged, people used tobacco for either chewing or smoking. The Great American Spit Out specifically addresses these veterans’ dependence on tobacco and its adverse effects. Therefore, we observe the day to encourage and challenge everyone to reduce or stop their tobacco product use.
Great American Spit Out timeline
The native people of Mesoamerica and South America use tobacco.
Portuguese sailors cultivate tobacco for personal use and gifting.
The Portuguese start tobacco plantations in Brazil.
John Rolfe, famous for marrying Pocahontas, cultivates tobacco in Virginia.
Philip Morris starts selling hand-rolled Turkish cigarettes.
Great American Spit Out FAQs
Where is tobacco mainly grown?
Tobacco plants grow easily in tropical climates. It is cultivated in China, India, Brazil, etc.
What is tobacco good for?
Tobacco leaves are a good antiseptic agent that can help treat skin cuts and stop bleeding.
What are the effects of tobacco?
Using tobacco can cause serious health issues or death. Some of the conditions caused by tobacco include cancer, respiratory conditions, heart disease, and more.
How to Observe Great American Spit Out
Spread awareness about tobacco use
Create online and offline campaigns underlining the importance of stopping tobacco use. You can also create statistical data that showcases the health benefits that non-tobacco users enjoy.
Provide resources to people in need
Find people who want to reduce their tobacco use. Help them consult with an expert and follow up with them regarding the progress of their tobacco reduction plan.
File a petition to ban tobacco products
File a petition to ban products that have nicotine or tobacco. Such products may cause addiction and health problems in the long run. Gather support for the petition to force the government to ban tobacco products for the good of those battling addiction.
5 Important Facts About Tobacco
The mass murderer
Tobacco kills 80% of its users.
Tobacco contains 19 types of cancer-causing materials.
The tobacco epidemic
Tobacco kills more than eight million people annually from direct and indirect exposure.
Smokeless tobacco kills too
The use of smokeless tobacco is more dangerous than normal tobacco.
The most dangerous killer
More people die due to tobacco use than malaria, tuberculosis, and H.I.V. combined.
Why Great American Spit Out is Important
It’s the best day to make a change
It is difficult for many nicotine and tobacco addicts to recognize the health problems associated with its use. This is a day to create a massive campaign and spread awareness against tobacco use.
We want to protect our youth
Young kids are trying tobacco and getting addicted to it. Some laws ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 18. But they are still getting the products, and this is a day to help eradicate such issues.
Tobacco use causes problems for non-users too
Second-hand exposure to tobacco impacts non-users’ health too. So, if you can stop your use, then stop it. Otherwise, try to reduce the use or stop using it in public.
Great American Spit Out dates