Eric Hegstrom had tried to quit chewing tobacco before, but he had always gone back to chewing. Hegstrom credits the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota-funded Healthy North Dakota Worksite Wellness Initiative for helping him kick the habit for good more than a year ago.
Hegstrom’s story is featured in a new Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota TV ad. The ad, which began airing this week, is part of a series of BCBSND ads showing how the company is listening to members and responding to their needs.
The Healthy North Dakota Worksite Wellness program helps those wishing to start or enhance existing worksite wellness programs throughout the state. Worksite wellness programs help employers encourage employees to live healthier lifestyles through incentives for doing things such as attending a fitness club regularly, quitting smoking or chewing tobacco, or getting regular health screenings.
Chewing tobacco and other smokeless tobacco products can contain as many as 30 cancer-causing substances. Chewing tobacco can increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer as well as cancers of the mouth, throat, cheek, gums, lips and tongue and can lead to a greater risk of pancreatic and kidney cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic.