Have you been trying to quit tobacco but have just struggled to make it over the hump? Are you tired of feeling like you are beholden to some overarching tyrant? Have you tried or thought that quitting chewing tobacco is just too difficult?
I had these same thoughts over 2 and a 1/2 years ago, but then made it over the hump because of the 11 Tips I share below. These tips helped me quit chewing even though it was something I did for 20 years and absolutely loved it especially while outdoors camping, hunting and fishing most.
I want to also be there for your support as you go through the process so send me an email and I will help to hold you accountable. Also, I found the inspiration for writing this article from a similar article at Girlycamping.com about quitting smoking.
Also, please leave a comment below and join the group of people that are on this journey with you. Here’s a great link that was shared in the comments below that has also helped a bunch of people to quit dipping – http://www.quittingdip.com.
My Quick Story
I started chewing tobacco in high school and continued until I was 37 years old. Yes, about 20 years of tasty nasty copenhagen goodness. I quit chewing tobacco 2 and ½ years ago and now want to tell the world that I feel great, and I don’t want to go back to it.
I also want to let you know that if I can do it you surely can. I know this because I have that addictive personality. Everything I do, I do in excess, or at least used to do in excess. Now that I have kids my priorities have changed and I am much healthier and less in excess.
I want to cover a few tips that helped me and will hopefully show you how to quit dipping. I am going to be honest and tell you I didn’t quit the first time I tried. I’m not sure how many times I tried but it was a good handful of times. An important thing to remember through this process is that every time you try quitting you are a little closer to getting over the hump.
There is no question that the best time for me to take that dip of chew was out camping, hunting and fishing. There was nothing like putting that dip in my mouth early in the morning and heading out to catch a big fish. Or getting my animal down, putting in a chew and dressing it out.
The Benefit of Not Dipping
I am sure today that those outdoor activities would still be great with a chew in, but it’s actually better without now and here are a couple of reasons why. The health stuff is obvious so I am not even going to mention that here. You can take a look at this link from WebMD to see the health stuff.
I do want to mention a few big bonuses here. One big benefit is that I am not constantly thinking about when the next chew is. It’s so nice to do things now without that in the back of my head.
I actually get more done now because before I had to have a chew to get something accomplished. Now I just get stuff done at a higher rate. I feel much better now physically and mentally.
I had started to develop a nasty side effect from what I assumed eventually was from tobacco. I went into the doctor and they gave me some pills to take care of the heart burn. But after a few weeks I had to ask myself a question. Do I want to take pills for the rest of my life? Or just just get to the bottom of what is creating this side effect?
Well, it was the chew and nicotine that was causing the problem. After quitting I have not had any heart burn. And these symptons come in many varied forms. But now I want to give you the meat of why I am writing this. To show you the things that were a big part of helping me quit.
11 Tips for quitting chewing tobacco
Go cold turkey
You have to quit dipping cold turkey. I tried the step down method and it didn’t work because the habit is still there. So if you are only dipping once per day, you are still dipping and it will be harder to quit because you haven’t broke the habit. I tried so many times to slowly get off of the chew and only finally kicked it after I went cold turkey. So get rid of all of your cans and go for it fully when you are ready.
Set a Quit Date
I used the birth of my first daughter and a date prior to the birth as my quit date. When I set this date in the future, I knew positively that this would be it and it helped me convince myself that it was just the reality of it. Pick a date in the near future and let everyone know about the date. Leo Babauta also talks about making a plan in his quitting smoking article over at Zenhabits.net.
You need to feel accountable to someone for quitting. I told my partner, family and friends about my plan to quit. This helped because as I built up towards that quit date I knew that I would be letting people down if I didn’t make it. The more people you tell the better.
Find Your Outlet
Exercise is a good outlet but if not exercise then find something that fills the void. So when you feel like having a chew you can just do this new thing to take your mind off of it. Exercise seems to be the best because the act of exercising actually changes your mindset and physically helps you get through it. This was one of the biggest reasons why I was able to quit. Try hiking if you aren’t into the gym and if you have kids and think it can’t be done take a look at this article.
You are going to crave the chew. So when you do crave it, have something always with you that you can eat. A good healthy alternative like carrots, nuts, energy bar or anything that you find enjoyable and fills the void. Here is some snack information if you don’t know where to start and here are my favorite snacks.
I used sugar free gum to help me through the early quitting process. But really anything that fills that void will work. Sunflower seeds are good as well. After you get into being on the wagon for a while you will likely loose the craving for gum and just be good with it. This is a great feeling.
I used water as a game to help me quit. Whenever I felt like a chew, I just drank water instead. This made me feel great and took my mind off of chew for a period. Then when I got the craving again I would have that nice metal bottle next to me. I would try to drink 64 ounces of water per day. 3 Bottles was my goal.
Look at Other Success Stories
I had this friend who was really unhealthy and annoying and kind of not a great friend. Well, he quit chewing a few years before me. When I quit chewing I would always make a note and remind myself that if he could do it, I could do it. I also have a very good friend, Tyler, who left a big quote in my mind: something like “I will not be a slave to the can, I will be free”. Tyler, maybe you can clarify in the comments below.
Save Some Cash
Figure out exactly how much money you will be saving from not buying chew and put this into a savings fund. It will blow you away how much this adds up. Use this monthly savings to ultimately treat yourself by travelling somewhere special each year.
A List of Reasons WHY
Sit down for a half hour and make a list of all of the reasons why you want to quit chewing. This might be family, health, money,etc. Whatever comes to your mind just dump it out on the paper. Then go back through and make a short list that you can keep handy. I put the list into my phone and reminded myself to look at it once per week at least. Or when you really felt like having a chew, just pull out the list to reinforce why you are doing it.
Quitting chewing tobacco is not going to be easy, I know, I know……… You already know that because you’ve already tried a few times.
Ultimately you have to want to quit tobacco. There is nobody that can make you do it. You have got to dig down deep and determine why you want to do it and step up to the plate. You can do this!
One big thing I have learned later in life is that change is almost always a great thing. Seth Godin said it well in this quote: “Change is not a threat, it’s an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, transformative success is.” Quitting chewing tobacco will be an amazing thing for you and will open many doors.
If you have already quit chewing (Tyler and Doug) leave a comment below that just says “I DID IT” so others will feel the Energy and Support. Or just click on one of the SOCIAL LINKS directly below this text to pass along the word.
If I did it I know you can. I hope something in this article helps you to take the next step to quitting chewing tobacco. Also, if you like this style of article and want to see more click on the link below to sign up for the email newsletter.