Quit Smokeless Tobacco —by Alan B. Densky, CH

If you think smokeless tobacco is “up to snuff” and harmless, think again. Whatever you call it - dipping, chewing or spitting - it is every bit as harmful as smoking. Many medical professionals believe smokeless tobacco is even more harmful than smoking because users are unaware of the risks. Cancers of the mouth, lips, tongue and throat can swiftly develop in people who use smokeless tobacco and leave grotesque and debilitating - even deadly - results.

In spite of the painful and dangerous consequences of smokeless tobacco, quitting with usual practices remains very challenging. Many people believe the reason lies in nicotine, a natural, super toxic element found in tobacco that is the plant’s guard to prevent being eaten by bugs. Judging equal quantities, nicotine is more deadly than strychnine or snake venom, and three times deadlier than arsenic.

When dipping, the nicotine makes its way to the brain in under 10 seconds, where it creates a flood of dopamine, resulting in a soothing sensation. Nicotine also stimulates adrenaline production, so it both energizes and calms. However, the psychological component of smokeless tobacco addiction is much stronger and creates many more challenges to quitting smokeless tobacco than nicotine.

Many users took their first dip as young as nine years old. In just a few months, using smokeless tobacco becomes an ingrained habit that yields reliable stress relief. In addition to the psychological conditioning, a social conditioning takes place, as images of many sports celebrities dipping also attract young users.

Understanding that there are individual emotional and physical issues that contribute to a chewing habit makes it easier to develop a plan to overcome smokeless tobacco addiction. Let’s look at each element separately and look at effective methods to curb them.

Dipping for Relaxation and Pleasure: Just like using a pacifier to calm an anxious baby, over the course of time, people who use tobacco products begin to associate putting something in their mouths with satisfaction and relaxation. Curbing the effects of tobacco usage involves addressing all facets of the addiction.

Tobacco Dipping is a Conditioned Response: The classic model of a conditioned response relates to Pavlov and his dogs, which were trained to anticipate food - and thus began salivating - after a bell was rung. Similarly, if you always use chewing tobacco after each meal, you will consequently develop a craving to chew when you finish eating.

In your mind, the images of folding your napkin and pushing the plate away may be tied to using snuff, even if you are not conscious of it. Developing awareness of the situations or trigger images can help you beat cravings. Notice when you crave tobacco. Notice what triggered the craving.

Nicotine Addiction: In spite of the powerful addiction, doctors say that the physical component of nicotine addiction is broken after people quit using tobacco for a week. I firmly believe that nicotine addiction is a mere 10 percent of smokeless tobacco dependency. What this means then is that fully 90 percent of the fight to quit dipping or chewing tobacco is overcoming the emotional and mental components. What are the consequences of this emotional and mental influence if you want to quit?

Quitting smokeless tobacco becomes much easier if you can:

  1. Deal with and remove the anxiety and tension that compels you to use smokeless tobacco
  2. Cancel the conditioned responses to chew in certain settings

But how does a person surmount those issues?

Self-hypnosis offers a way to address the psychological and emotional components of the addiction while reducing impediments, which will eliminate the withdrawal symptoms. When we comprehend how self-hypnosis works, it makes the decision to quit dipping much easier to take on.

When people dip for relaxation and pleasure, it is to reduce or end stressful feelings. People often play the same images over in their minds, like a bad film, which leaves them feeling tense and anxious. Using self-hypnosis and different Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques, you retrain your brain to instantaneously and naturally stop stress-inducing images and replace them with calming ideas and mental movies. This generates satisfaction and relaxation while eradicating cravings and oral compulsions. You elude the urge to put the chew in your mouth, and you won’t get any desire to substitute food in its place. Thus, no weight gain!

In order to battle the conditioned response of chewing smokeless tobacco, the NLP Flash technique erases the associations of dipping during certain activities or situations. This means your subconscious will no longer trigger the craving. Further, the Flash can even be used to create a compulsion to deny smokeless tobacco.

Employing specific and strategic NLP procedures makes the decision to quit dipping very easy and painless by averting cravings, withdrawal and weight gain. The method involves training the unconscious mind to follow the same thought patterns that produce your mental addiction to smokeless tobacco in the first place, to eliminate the compulsion.

Your brain is a powerful instrument—far more powerful than an addiction. With dedication and the help of self-hypnosis and NLP, you can quit smokeless tobacco forever.

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