There are few things that you can do to quit the bad habit of chewing tobacco including joining a support group and consulting a medical professional. However, do not decide to go ‘cold turkey’.
Similar to cigarettes, chewing tobacco, also known as dip and chew or smokeless tobacco, contains nicotine. However, the nicotine in the chewing tobacco is even higher in strength than the one found in cigarettes. A person who takes 8-10 chews a day is on par with the amount of nicotine would enter the body by smoking 30-40 cigarettes a day.
Nicotine affects the system by giving the body a buzz and is far more addictive. People who chew tobacco are less likely to quit compared to the people who smoke cigarettes.
If you have decided to quit, then congratulate yourself. You have taken the first step at recognizing and eradicating a problem from your life. Understanding that you have an addiction and deciding that you no longer want it controlling your life is the hardest step one can take.
To successfully quit chewing tobacco, there are a few measures that can help.
Make a list
Make a list of all the reasons that you should give up chewing tobacco. It can include health benefits, the effects on your teeth, your habits and anything that will motivate you to continue not reaching for that tobacco can. Now, make sure the list is filled with all the things that can help. Put up this list where it will constantly be in front of your eyes, if need be make a copy and post it anywhere you think you might require it. You can even carry one on person or on your phone, as long as you can reach the list before you reach for the can.
Decide when to quit
Now that you are all motivated to quit, pick a day that you will like to quit. Make sure it is a week or so in advance so that it will help you anticipate the day when it is coming up.
Do not go Cold Turkey
Another reason that you should pick at least a week or two in advance is so that you can slowly cut down on your tobacco consumption, rather than completely cutting it out one day. Each day try and limit the amount of times you chew and see how far you can push yourself through the withdrawal symptoms before giving in. In the beginning it will be hard, but as you progress you should see a change in your consumption levels.
Make your intentions known
When you have decided to quit, make sure you let your family and friends know that you are thinking about quitting and want to rid yourself of this bad habit. Everyone needs support and they will definitely help you on days that you find really hard to not reach for that can. Also, if you end up chewing with friends, then let them know so that they won’t chew in front of you and be more supportive to your cause. You never know, they might be inspired to quit themselves.
Consult your doctor
Before altering your system so drastically, is it often best to consult your physician about what you are planning. He can maybe provide some help or even give you some medications that can help you fight the withdrawal symptoms. In addition to your doctor, you should also consult your dentist so that he can tell you how the lack of tobacco will alter your teeth and help you through the process of getting your teeth back to their former shine and health. Another person that is a must on this list is your therapist. Now don’t go assuming there is something wrong with you but there are usually underlying issues that result in people reaching for addictive substances and hence it is best to get to the root of the cause rather than constantly just treating it.
Take nicotine replacements
There are many nicotine replacements that can be found over the counter, as well as prescribed. These include nicotine patches, nicotine pills and so on. These can help you reduce the amount of nicotine that tobacco provides before you can finally rid yourself of nicotine. Do not go from chewing tobacco to smoking cigarettes thinking that it is a healthier option.
Join a support group
Support groups play a huge part for any addict because you find people that understand you and have been through what you have. It is often better to be advised by something who has been in your position and people at these groups often have. These groups also provide you with encourage and motivation, along with someone you can always reach out to when you feel like giving up.
Figure out your triggers
For a lot of people there are few triggers that often result in you chewing, such as going to the pub, or post lunch, or even after drinking. Figure out what activity makes you reach for tobacco and try and eliminate that or try and use another technique. For example, if you chew after lunch, maybe take a late lunch or do some other activity post lunch where chewing won’t be possible.
Stay Active/Find Distractions
In order for your body to recuperate from the damage that nicotine has caused, it is often good to continue to stay active. Incorporate exercise or even meditation to rejuvenate the body and the mind. Often staying active can also result in distracting you from the poison. Also, if you feel the craving instead of giving in find something that can distract you – maybe go for a job or a walk or play a game that keeps you engrossed.
Do not give up
Lastly and most important – do not give up. If you ever feel like giving up call up a friend or a family member or someone from your support group but try and fight as hard as you can. Also, if you do end up having a relapse, then get back on that horse and try again. Do not think that it is over just because you had one tiny relapse. Fight harder this time and see where you went wrong, learn from your mistakes.
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