Smokeless tobacco use is a major public health problem that can begin during childhood and adolescent years. Studies have shown that West Virginia has a high rate of tobacco usage. Early intervention is the key to prevention. Because youth experimentation with tobacco products begins among school age children, schools are targeted to promote awareness of oral health problems associated with smokeless tobacco usage.
Dental hygienists focus on grades kindergarten, first, fifth and sixth, using age appropriate material, to teach about health risks associated with smokeless tobacco usage.
Additional programs are presented to middle and high school students.