How do I Quit Chewing Tobacco?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2019
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With so many warnings about the health risks associated with tobacco use, it is no wonder that people who chew tobacco, dip snuff or smoke cigarettes are seeking ways to kick the habit. While much of the focus is on smoking cigars and cigarettes, people who enjoy some form of smokeless tobacco sometimes find themselves with relatively few programs and resources to assist them when they choose to quit chewing tobacco. If you currently use loose tobacco or plugs for chewing, here are some things you can do to free yourself from the habit.

As with all types of tobacco products, chewing tobacco contains nicotine. What this means for you is that commercial nicotine patches which help so many people quit smoking cigarettes can also help you with the physical cravings you feel when attempting to abstain from chewing. Most of the patch treatments help your body slowly adjust to the decrease in nicotine contained in your system, helping you to avoid the worst of the anxiety, nervousness, and irritability that come along with dropping a tobacco habit.


Another tool you can use to quit chewing tobacco is to keep some sort of sweet flavored chewing gum on hand. Many forms of loose and plug tobacco are sweetened with molasses or similar ingredients to appeal to the taste buds. Along with using the patches to gradually wean your body from the nicotine, the chewing gum helps to satisfy that urge to have something tucked in the cheek that you can masticate when and as you wish.

Many people choose to limit where they can enjoy tobacco as they seek to break the habit. For example, you may decide that you can no longer chew tobacco products while driving in your car, while at work, or while in the home. As the desire to chew in one setting fades, add another locale or situation to the list. Over time, you narrow the places where you allow yourself to chew to the point that the majority of your day is spent in settings where chewing cannot take place. As a result, you have no choice but to cut back on your habit, making it much easier to take that final step and quit chewing tobacco altogether.

You may also want to look into a local support group as you seek to quit chewing tobacco. Even if there is not one in your area, you may find yourself welcome at a support group for people who are trying to stop smoking. Even though the form of tobacco product is different, all of you are struggling with the same basic addiction. Chances are you can pick up some ideas that adapt very well to your situation. In addition, you can learn from the struggles of others, share in their triumphs, and in general not feel as if you are alone in your journey.

Never underestimate the need for the support of loved ones as you seek to quit chewing tobacco. While they may not share your habit, family and friends can offer encouragement and possibly also intervene when your resolve grows temporarily weak. While your temperament may not allow you to fully appreciate their efforts at the time, once you have manage to quite chewing tobacco and get past the addiction, you will find that you appreciate them in ways that were not possible in times past.


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