‘It’s a homerun for me because I’m tobacco free’

11_jette_2791TOBACCO FREE  — Nicki Sullivan presents a Buddy Pass to Jette Pruttis on Thursday. He was the winner of a tobacco free contest, coming up with, It’s a homerun for me because I’m tobacco free. His Buddy Pass includes a season pass to the Voyagers baseball team in Great Falls and a number of other cool items. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler



The headline says it all.

The Pondera County Health Department (PCHD) Tobacco Prevention Program announced the winner of its first annual slogan contest this week.

It encouraged young baseball and softball players to talk to their coaches and parents about tobacco addiction and the health risks of using tobacco products, including spit and smokeless tobacco.

This year’s slogan contest winner is Jette Pruttis, a10-year-old player with the Braves, Little League, whose submission, It’s a homerun for me, because I’m tobacco free, sends a clear message that tobacco has no place in the ballpark.

He is the son of Darren Pruttis and Sarah Morgan–Jones.

The contest was sponsored by the  PCDP. This was the first year for the contest. The program is hoping to make this a yearly contest for all Little League players. To enter, Little Leaguers had to enter a ten-word phrase that described living tobacco free.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 2003 there has been a 36 percent increase in the use of smokeless tobacco in high school boys.

And Montana adults males use spit tobacco at a rate that is almost double  that of the national average.

These alarming statistics is what led Jette’s parents to participate with their son.

“I addition to being thrilled and proud of his slogan,” said his mother, “We are equally delighted that the PCHD Tobacco Prevention Program provided an opportunity for our family to discuss the dangers of tobacco use.”

The slogans were voted on by the Tobacco Prevention Coalition.

Jette received a Buddy Pass with the Great Falls Voyagers baseball team, which includes a season pass to all home games, an autographed baseball, a Voyagers T-shirt and a player’s clinic with the Voyagers and coaches.

Editor’s note: This article was by Nicki Sullivan coordinator of the PCHS Tobacco Prevention Program. She works to educate people about the dangers of tobacco and to aid in cessation. If you would like more information or have questions, contact her at 271-3247.