Like most teenagers, I was tempted to try those things my parents told me were bad. Chewing tobacco seemed to be a good way to be sneaky because I believed this stuff wouldnít hurt me too bad or get me in trouble with my parents like cigarette smoking would do. My habitual use of chewing tobacco began with my first dip of Skoal. Everything seemed fine at first, but a few hours later I was on the ground sick to my stomach. My friends told me I looked green and eventually I vomited. You would think that I would have learned a lesson from this experience, but no. I told myself that I was just a beginner and using chewing tobacco would get better. After all, my friends were chewing and they didn't have any problems. Iíve used all the top name brands like Skoal, Copenhagen, and Gold River. Iíve also tried all the different types of chewing tobacco, including fine, pouches and long cut.
Iíve worked in emergency medical services for most of my adult life. A few months ago I transported a man to the hospital who was a lifelong chewing tobacco user. He was about 65 years old and had some serious complications because of it. He had lost most of his jaw, as well as the use of his voice, because of the use of chewing tobacco. While he was in the ambulance I saw him reach into his pocket for his chewing tobacco. He took a small dip and shoved it into his mouth. I said to myself ďwhat a fool Ė look at what chewing tobacco has caused him yet he still uses it.Ē
What scared me is that I realized that if I were in the same place I would have probably kept using as well. I knew the dangers of using chewing tobacco yet I kept on hurting my body.
After I thought about it I came to the conclusion that most of my problem with chewing tobacco was strictly out of habit and association. My day started with waking up and putting a chew in and the day ended with taking a chew out of my mouth to go to bed. I had trouble falling asleep many nights so I would get up and put a chew in my mouth to pass the time. So I needed to break my bad habits and associating certain activities with chewing.
Iíve tried to quit using chewing tobacco many times. Iíve tried all the tactics that others have used successfully Ė plain chewing gum, candy, nicotine gum and even the one thing I wanted to avoid most of all Ė smoking. None of these worked for me. I hated the taste of nicotine gum, and smoking was even worse! Iíd wake up all congested and feeling sick in my chest from the smoke. Time after time Iíd come to the conclusion that using chewing tobacco was really not that bad to the alternative Ė stopping using chewing tobacco altogether.
One day at work some of my friends were talking how they haven't used chewing tobacco in months and they werenít going through withdrawal or even missing it at all. These guys had stumbled across what was nicotine free chewing tobacco. Within the first week these friends were able to quit regular chewing tobacco and replaced it with this nicotine free chewing tobacco known as Hoochsnuff. They gave me a tin to try and it was the best thing Iíve found to quit chewing. You use it the same way you would use chewing tobacco so for me (and my habitual or ritual use of chewing tobacco) itís a great substitute for that action.
Since trying this product more than a month ago I havenít touched regular chewing tobacco even one time. Itís like Iíve lost the urge for the nicotine. Hoochsnuff is an all natural herbal product that uses an herb called Pueraria (aka Gen or Kudzo). I showed it to the PA at my doctorís office and she said on the surface it looked like a good alternative to chewing tobacco. I also feel like I wake up well rested every day. For the first time in years Iím getting a good nightís sleep and even dreaming at times. I havenít done that in a long time.
If you are looking for a way to quit chewing tobacco for good Iíd recommend the use of nicotine free chewing tobacco product.