News and Events

Gilchrist County SWAT 4-H Clubs Highlight Through With Chew Week
February 21, 2018

Members of the three Gilchrist County SWAT 4-H clubs participated in Through With Chew Week activities on Wednesday, February 21st.

At Trenton and Bell High Schools, SWAT club members created a poster campaign by displaying posters with messages like “Skip the Dip”, “Through With Chew”, and “Skip the Dip and Save Your Lips”. These posters were intended to create tobacco-free messaging in the schools, as well as influence social norms of their peers. This is important because in Gilchrist County, 19% of all high school students have tried smokeless tobacco, and 10.5% are current, regular users of smokeless tobacco products according to the 2016 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey results.

Trenton SWAT 4-H members also held an after-school community Through With Chew event at the Trenton Library on February 21st. SWAT members presented information about the health impacts of using smokeless tobacco products, including the oral health side effects. Using a prop call Mr. Gross Mouth, SWAT members could show youth and adults the damage smokeless products can do to the soft tissues in the mouth, as well as gum, tooth, and bone loss. One of the reasons they chose to do this activity was to raise awareness about smokeless tobacco use.

SWAT member, Hannah DeCubellis said, “Many people may not know the dangers of smokeless tobacco so they may think it’s okay because it’s smokeless, and not know the true harm that people can get from using any form of tobacco product.” In fact, people who use smokeless tobacco are 60% more likely to get certain types of neck and mouth cancer than those who do not use the product. It also exposes users to at least 28 known carcinogens with every dip.

Gilchrist SWAT youth are working hard to help make their generation tobacco free. Gilchrist County middle and high school youth use smokeless tobacco at a much higher rate than the state average, and more youth try smokeless tobacco than their peers around Florida on average. Social norms play a big part in the reason youth start dipping in the first place. We can let our young people know that using tobacco is not actually the norm for adults, because most adults don’t use any form of tobacco at all!

Gilchrist SWAT 4-H club members are doing their part to get the word out to their peers and other members of the community. This is a great time to be Through With Chew! If you would like help in quitting any kind of tobacco, please visit  For more information about getting involved in Gilchrist SWAT, contact Tracy DeCubellis at 352-463-7006 or at