Friday, October 11, 2013

Quit Sinking Or Eating Tobacco

Even though cigarettes are more lethal than smokeless tobacco, no tobacco is a safe option.

Giving up something the body depends on is not easy. This is why smokeless tobacco users have such a tough time quitting their habit. Their bodies become dependent on the nicotine and other unhealthy chemicals that are soaked in each time they dip or chew smokeless tobacco. Kicking the habit takes commitment, support, lifestyle changes, patients and a personal decision to no longer use. Developing a plan, preparing for it and sticking to it is a good strategy to quit using smokeless tobacco.


Quitting Smokeless Tobacco

1. Decide to quit. Reaching this decision is tough and actually following through with it is a lot harder. To reach this decision point, think about some of the reasons why not using smokeless tobacco will be beneficial. This could include better health, pleasing another person, saving money, preventing gum or tooth problems, or gaining self-control. The stronger and more important the reasons, the easier it is to make the decision.

2. Look at the calendar and choose a quit date. Allow for some buffer time between now and then so there is an opportunity to gradually lower the amount of smokeless tobacco used each day. Also, consider quitting during a low stress time to make it easier. But do not let this deter a decision to quit within a reasonable amount of time, such as within a few weeks. Write down the quit date and stick to it.

3. Cut back gradually before the quit date - this will allow the body time to get used to less and less tobacco. Try using half the amount of smokeless tobacco. Leave behind the tin or pouch and instead carry a pack of gum or sunflower seeds to chew on. Cravings will come -- try to resist them as long as possible.

4. Spend time with people who do not chew or use smokeless tobacco. This will help resist urges and will help with focusing on things other than tobacco. Notice the types of activities they do and join them. Recruit these people to also be part of a support network right before quitting day. Ask them to help you stay busy and to be there with a listening ear when necessary. Warn them there may be some tough moments.

5. Quit. On the first smokeless tobacco-free day, make small lifestyle adjustments, such as sitting in new places, trying different foods or using new routes. Consider starting the day with a healthy activity, such as swimming, aerobics, weightlifting or other exercises that provide empowerment. Also, don't forget to make a teeth-cleaning appointment at the dentist to enjoy a new smile.

Handle Post-Quitting Day

6. Use deep breathing and exercise to fight off urges and cravings. If these come with feelings of impatience or irritability, walk away from the current situation while continuing to breath deeply and considering an exercise.

7. Eat healthy. Choose foods that are high in fiber to avoid constipation and low-calorie snacks to help curb the desire for sweet foods. Eating regular meals will also help fight hunger pains, which can sometimes be mistaken as a desire to use chew.

8. Make a list of three possible triggers, or places and events that bring strong desires to use smokeless tobacco. Try to stay away from these triggers. They may become more tempting and harder to resist during the second week. Once the second week is over, it is easier to stay focused and on track.

When Quitting Does Not Work

9. Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to help the body adjust to quitting. NRT involves using a gum or patch to release small amounts of nicotine in the bloodstream, since the body is not getting addictive nicotine from smokeless tobacco. Research suggests this method works best for smokers, however smokeless tobacco users have had luck with it, too. The patch is found to be most effective of the two types of NRT.

10. Join a support group where other people are trying to quit, too. While family and friends may provide a good network, being surrounded by other people fighting to meet the same goal may be more empowering. Most of the time the people in these groups are smokers, however, the lessons learned can be carried over to smokeless tobacco users as well.

11. Hypnosis is another method that might help with quitting chewing tobacco. It helps break the need people feel they have for smokeless tobacco when they are stressed, feel anxiety or doing other daily habits. Reaching for smokeless tobacco becomes an automatic response and relaxer in these types of situations. This method works with some people; however, is not considered to be effective for the large majority, according to Columbia University's health promotion program.

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