Jan Morris, RDH of McLean County Health Dept. teaches with Tootsie Rolls®!

One of the more creative ways to teach kids about the disgusting habit of spit tobacco was sent to us by Jan Morris, RDH,MS, CHES who is a health educator at the McLean County Health Department in Bloomington Illinois (309-888-5450). Here is her amazing technique:

jan_with_poster“I teach high school health classes about the hazards of using spit tobacco. In my presentations I ask students for a show of hands if they are or have used smokeless tobacco. Then I tell them they will all have an opportunity to chew today! ”

“(To prepare for this exercise, I have taken midget tootsie rolls wrapped in a napkin or paper towel and stuff into a small cup). As these cups are passed to the students, I tell them not to look in the cup. After all cups are given to the students, I show a small jar containing water and tobacco, shake it up and tell them this is what is found in their mouth and often swallowed during the chewing process.”

“Students are instructed to take the napkin out of the cup and unwrap it. They are then asked to remove the [Tootsie Roll® wrapping] paper, insert the Tootsie Roll® into their mouth and get it to a soft consistency. The kids are not to eat the chocolate or to swallow the juice! When the chocolate is son, they are to put it in between their cheek and gum or between the gum and the lower lip. The ‘tobacco juice’ is to be spit into the cup while I discuss the hazards of chewing-using Mr. Gross Mouth, overheads and posters to illustrate these points. This gives them an idea of what a messy practice this can be if they do not swallow the juices.

boy_with_cup boysdipping boy_spit

“This is a fun way to demonstrate the nasty habit of using spit tobacco. I also take the Mint Snuff and the Pouches so that the students can learn about these alternatives if they are using smokeless tobacco. Often students will ask to take these products to their parents and grandparents as well. “

“Enclosed are pictures from a ninth grade health class at Olympia High School in Stanford, Illinois. This is a rural school district made up of eight small towns in Central Illinois. The enrollment for this high school is approximately 700 students. I hope this message will be one that you can use on your WEB Page. Thank you for your help.”


Thank you, Jan, for sharing this method with us! Any educators who are looking for a new and exciting way to get the attention of students (and who isn’t?) should consider using Jan’s intriguing new method! If you have any questions about her program, give her a call!