Anti-Chewing-Tobacco Activists Speak Out Against Secondhand Spit

Top Headlines


Grin Slowly Spreads Across Mom’s Face As Meal Revealed To Contain Healthy Ingredients

‘The Mashed Potatoes Are Actually Made With Cauliflower,’ She Announces

VERONA, WI—Having waited until everyone at the table had finished their dinner Monday, a knowing grin reportedly spread across local mother Angela Hopkins’ face as she announced to her family that the mashed potatoes had in fact been made using cauliflower as a healthier alternative.

Sudden Death Of Aunt Creates Rupture In Family Gossip Pipeline

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA—Grieving family members of local aunt Laurie Shelton confirmed Monday that the 48-year-old woman’s unexpected death had caused a major breach in their gossip pipeline, suddenly disrupting access to the latest dirt on all their relatives.

Man Really Letting No One Have It During Exit Interview

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Keeping his voice at a measured volume and holding everything back, departing employee David Hughes was really letting no one have it during his exit interview Monday, sources at local accounting firm Grier and Associates confirmed.

Conceptual Genius Goes As Self For Halloween

‘He Himself Is The Costume,’ Say Amazed Onlookers

SHERMAN OAKS, CA—Brilliantly subverting the very idea of a costume, conceptual genius Mark Richards, 27, reportedly stunned his fellow partygoers Friday when he announced that he had dressed as himself for Halloween.

No One In Gym Class Volleyball Game Willing To Set Ball

LITTLE ELM, TX—With neither team having completed more than two hits during a rally before sending the ball back over the net, sources confirmed Wednesday that no one in Jefferson High School’s third-period gym class was willing to set during a volleyball game.

Impressive New Hire Figures Out Bare Minimum Of Work Job Requires On First Day

MILWAUKEE—Marveling at his extraordinary ability to learn the ropes at the technology firm and quickly fit right in with the rest of his colleagues, sources at Starpoint Solutions confirmed Thursday that impressive new hire Eric Myers has already figured out the bare minimum of work his job requires on the very first day.

45-Minute Phone Call To Credit Card Company Goes Great

FORT WAYNE, IN—Grinning with contentment as he reminisced about the call he placed earlier in the day, 31-year-old accountant Greg Schulhoff told reporters Thursday that his 45-minute phone call with MasterCard regarding late payment fees went “really great.”

Mom Keeping Tabs On Coyote Situation

WAYZATA, MN—Regularly updating her husband and children on the frequency and location of sightings around the neighborhood, local mother Dana Salisbury continued to keep close tabs on the coyote situation this week, sources confirmed.

Teen Coming Out Of Shell Giving Bully Lots Of New Material To Work With

SCOTTSDALE, AZ—Claiming he “hit the jackpot” when his victim began displaying an increased level of confidence and expressing his personal interests, local bully David Macomber told reporters Tuesday that he has had loads of new material to work with since 14-year-old Andrew Reid started coming out of his shell several weeks ago.

Boss Able To Seamlessly Blend Constructive Criticism With Personal Attacks

SAN JOSE, CA—Marveling at the ease and deftness with which he communicates the two messages simultaneously, employees at local advertising firm Wavelength Solutions told reporters Tuesday that their supervisor Eric Crowell has a unique ability to seamlessly blend constructive criticism with cutting personal attacks.

Neighborhood Starting To Get Too Safe For Family To Afford

CHICAGO—Explaining that the sense of unease she felt walking to and from her home had declined markedly over the years, Humboldt Park resident Kirsten Healy expressed her disappointment to reporters Thursday that her neighborhood was becoming too safe for her family to afford.

Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

NASHUA, NH—Raising his arm into the air while leaning outward from the table in a bid to command attention from the other side of the restaurant, area father Walter Bierko called over a busboy at DiCapri’s Italian Eatery to inform him that he was ready to order, sources reported Wednesday.

Winning Argument With Aging Parents Less Satisfying Than It Once Was

CINCINNATI—After firmly telling them that she was okay paying city prices and that she would not move back to her hometown just because it was cheaper, local woman Ellen Wallace, 40, confirmed Thursday that winning an argument with her parents has become much less satisfying as they have gotten older.

Rescuers Heroically Help Beached Garbage Back Into Ocean

ATLANTIC BEACH, NC—In what many described as an inspiring display of selflessness and teamwork, a group of rescuers heroically saved a beached mound of garbage by helping the stranded trash back into the ocean, eyewitnesses reported Thursday.

Man Races Against Time To Take Out Trash Bag With Widening Puncture

RIO RANCHO, NM—His pace steadily quickening as he rounded the corner out of his kitchen and made a beeline for the front door, local man Henry Parnasse reportedly found himself locked in a race against time Wednesday morning to take out a trash bag with a widening hole in its side.

Man Pushed Off Plate Of Chicken Wings By Larger Male

WARMINSTER, PA—Looking on as the intense display of aggressive behavior played out over several minutes, sources at Flannigan’s Bar & Grill confirmed Thursday that local man Pete Samuelson was pushed off a plate of buffalo wings by a much larger alpha male.

Grandma Guts It Out Through Lunch On Sunny Patio

MALVERN, PA—Making the audacious decision to dine outdoors with her family despite a noticeable lack of umbrellas or awnings, grandmother Diane McGilvery, 83, reportedly gutted it out through lunch Friday on the sunny patio of a local restaurant.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

Motorcyclist Salvaged For Parts

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Following a multiple-vehicle accident on Interstate 90 that temporarily halted traffic in both directions, sources reported Friday that a motorcyclist involved in the crash was hauled off and salvaged for parts.

Detective Not Sure He Was Close Enough To Partner To Endlessly Pursue Killer

DETROIT—After his partner of three years was gunned down last week while the pair were on duty, Detective David Killian of the Detroit Police Department’s Major Case Squad told reporters Wednesday he was unsure whether he had been close enough to his murdered colleague to single-mindedly pursue the killer for as long as it takes.

Man Pretty Cocky Since Beating Cancer

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—Whether he’s bragging about his newfound appreciation for life or arrogantly refusing to take anything for granted, local man Daniel Oretsky, 38, has been acting insufferably cocky since winning his two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sources confirmed Tuesday.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage



Anti-Chewing-Tobacco Activists Speak Out Against Secondhand Spit

RALEIGH, NC—The ever-embattled tobacco industry suffered another blow Monday, as citizens' groups challenged the major smokeless-tobacco companies to confront the quality-of-life issues associated with secondhand spit.

A non-chewing bargoer sits next to a tobacco chewer in Wilmington, DE.

"This isn't the '50s, when you would see TV commercials with lab-coat-wearing doctors spitting chewing tobacco right on the examination-room floor," said activist Helen Pertwee of The Great American Tobacco Backwash, a citizens' group dedicated to fighting the rising tide of secondhand tobacco spit in public places. "In this day and age, we are much more informed about the consequences of secondhand spit, and non-chewers are refusing to expose ourselves to it."

New York resident Glen Abramson objects to the use of chewing tobacco in public places.

"I can't go to a bar without coming home reeking of tobacco spit," Abramson said. "I have to wring my clothes out in the sink before I go to bed. Sometimes, I'll get them back from the dry-cleaners with flakes of chew still clinging in the weave."

Boston's Janice MacGruder frequently eats out at a restaurant that allows smokeless tobacco.

"The spit affects the taste of the food," MacGruder said. "The hazy, brown mist hanging in the air doesn't stay in the chewing section—common sense can tell you that. Despite the image the old phrase conjures up, it's not romantic to eat a meal in a 'spit-filled room.'"

The pools of tobacco spit on floors and tables are particularly noisome to people in the service industry, who are exposed to three times more secondhand spit than the average American—up to 450 gallons a year.

"The way people view secondhand spit needs to change," said Lindsey Hurness, a bartender in Tampa, FL. "People spit their gobs of old chew everywhere—in drink glasses, in plants, in the sink. And the floors are slick with pools of spit. Sometimes, on busy weekend nights, the goopy brown stuff comes up to my shoelaces."

Secondhand-spit exposure is not a problem experienced only by bar and restaurant patrons.

"Ask any frequent traveler: It's hell to be on a plane if the other passengers are chewing tobacco," said business consultant Jessica Mallard, who is on the road 250 days a year. "Even when I get a window seat, I walk off the plane with half of my blazer absolutely drenched in the stuff."

"Then there's the hotel," Mallard added. "Even if you stay in a no-chewing room, you get a spit-sodden pillow half the time. And if they don't have any no-chewing rooms left, you might as well go sleep in the rodeo bleachers."

According to hotel managers, spit-related costs are rising.

"There was a time, 10 or 15 years ago, when hotels could get along with one wet-vac," said Red Roof Inn vice president Ronald Henneman, who oversees housekeeping for the national chain. "No more. We extracted enough tobacco-saliva slurry from our carpets last year to float the Queen Mary."

Although the smokeless-tobacco industry says there is no hard evidence of any health risk associated with exposure to secondhand spit, their claim is questioned by an increasingly moist and nauseated public.

"I don't give a shit what Skoal says, secondhand spit is a serious threat," Pertwee said. "At the very least, the industry needs to measure secondhand spit's effects on kids, who are closer to the ground, where all that spit ends up."

As long as tobacco chewers continue to exert their influence in Congress, people like Pertwee will be swimming upstream.

"I don't know why everyone's got their panties in a twist about this," said Ron Preston, ejecting a stream of brown saliva into a nearby plant. "It's my body—unless those PC Nazis get their way. If people don't like getting spit on, they can move over. It's that simple."