chewing tobacco
chewing tobacco and snuff

Quit Chewing Tobacco

I remember as a kid wondering my my granddad would not quit chewing tobacco. Every time I saw that man, my entire life, he had a gold package of Levi Garrett in his top pocket of his farming overalls. It seemed to me that if he was awake he would have a wad of that crap stuffed in the side of his cheek. He had to know it was disgusting, right? Of course he did. I’m guessing that he tried to quit a couple of times but wasn’t able too. He died many years ago at age 70, so I never got around to asking him.

Is Chewing Tobacco Safer than Smoking?

That is a tough question. I would have to say it is less harmful than smoking. Notice, I did not say it is a safe, healthy alternative. After WW II my granddad worked in the oilfields in West Texas for about 30 years. He smoked unfiltered Camel’s all the time. He would smoke one or two before getting out of bed and going to work for 14 hours. This was pretty normal back in the day that big tobacco had medical doctors advertising for them.

When he was in his early 50s he had a medical exam and his physician wasn’t recommending “healthy” cigarettes. In fact, he told him that his next pack of cigarettes could kill him. So as he walked out the door he tossed the cigarettes into the trash and bought a bag of chewing tobacco on the way home. He lived another 20 years before dying of a massive heart attack. I can’t help but think how much longer he would have lived if he quit chewing tobacco also. Regardless If you smoke it or chew it, tobacco directly contributes to high blood pressure and eventual heart disease. Smoking will probably cause heart disease faster, but give smokeless tobacco a chance and it will catch up.

My Turn to get Hooked

Around age 16 I started dipping snuff off and on with the cowboys I hung out with. By age 18 I was dipping a can a day. I used chewing tobacco as well. It seemed like everyone I knew or looked up to chewed tobacco or dipped snuff. Family member, friends galore and coworkers. At times it seemed like I was surrounded by smokeless tobacco. I new I could quit when I wanted to. Well, that took a LOT longer than I thought it would. By the time I was ready to quit chewing tobacco and dip I was about 30 years old. It took me several tries, but with the help of some ex smokeless tobacco users I was able to quit. And let me tell you, it sucked.

The Slip

After a couple of years I bought a can of snuff on a fishing trip. I was pretty sure that I could not get hooked again, and if I did, I knew how to quit chewing tobacco at this point. WRONG! Damn if I wasn’t hooked on a can a day habit again in the snap of a finger. I kept making up one excuse after another to not quit. College was too hard, work was too stressful, hunting trips were just to awesome while using smokeless tobacco and so – on. You know the drill, don’t you? I looked up 7 years later and decided enough was enough. The birth of my son wasn’t enough to make me quit (a broken promise to myself). The birth of my daughter wasn’t enough to make me quit (seeing a pattern here). However, by the time she was one I had enough of lying to myself and to my wife about quitting.

Time to Quit Chewing Tobacco

How am I Today?

Well, I am happy to say that smokeless tobacco cravings are down to a couple a year. When a craving does hit, it doesn’t last more than a minute and it is just a fleeting thought. I am 4 years into being tobacco free and I am glad I fought to kick that crap to the curb. It was not easy but it was definitely worth the fight. There are zero downsides to quitting from a health perspective. From a money perspective you will literally save a few thousand dollars every year. Your family wants you to quit. And, if you are honest with yourself you are probably tired of being drug around every day by a bag of dead leaves that may eventually give you cancer or heart disease.

Where Can you Find the Support I Got?

This site is free to join, with no membership costs one you get plugged in. We help newbies because we were under the thumb of big tobacco once just like you are now. You can beat this addiction and you WILL be ok once you quit for good.