Nation’s First Spit Tobacco Prevention Barn Receives New Paint to Mark 10th Anniversary

LINDSIDE, WV (WOAY) – To mark the 10th Anniversary of the Nation’s First Spit Tobacco Prevention Barn, Community Connections, in support of the Southern Coalfields Tobacco Prevention Network, and in partnership with the Monroe County Family Resource Network, and its Substance Use/Tobacco Prevention Coalition, is excited to announce that the barn has received a fresh coat of paint and will be rededicated on Wednesday, October 9th at 11:00 a.m. The public is invited to join members of the agencies involved, as well as the Monroe County Commission, and the Allen Family, as we dedicate this landmark to prevention.

The barn, located on Route 219 in Lindside, WV, painted by nationally recognized, Scott Hagan (aka, The Barn Artist), was originally dedicated in September 2009, and deemed the Nation’s First Spit Tobacco barn. Since that time, it has been nationally recognized and lauded for its efforts to promote a tobacco free, healthy lifestyle, and has been the inspiration to at least 15 other culturally accepted prevention barns on breast cancer awareness and smoking throughout West Virginia and Kentucky.

Culturally, tobacco use, including smokeless or spit tobacco, cigarette smoking, and cigar smoking, remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, and in Monroe County, the local coalition still maintains that spit tobacco (chewing tobacco or snuff), is still a culturally accepted form of addiction that affects the general population as well as youth.

By the latest statistics, 11.5% of high school students in West Virginia used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip on at least one day in the past 30 days, compared to the national rate was 5.5%, and poly use with other tobacco based products leads to additional exposure of at least 28 cancer causing chemicals (carcinogens), and is linked to several different types of cancer, including cancer of the mouth, esophagus and pancreas, and can cause gum disease, tooth decay or loss.

This paint scheme, unlike the previous one, will feature the West Virginia Tobacco Quitline, (1-800-QUIT NOW), which mirrors the national hotline. Although similar to Mail Pouch Tobacco barns (a West Virginia icon), this barn wants to remind everyone to “Treat Yourself to Health” by linking them with resources to receive free educational resources to all WV residents over the age of 18. The Quitline also offers four proactive coaching calls and unlimited reactive calls; and gives eligible participants eight weeks of FREE nicotine replacement therapy – patches, gum or lozenges.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com