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June 13 2007

The Three Causes of a Chewing Tobacco Addiction And How to Defeat It

Alan B. Densky, CH

Far from a harmless habit, the smokeless or chewing tobacco addiction is easily as deadly as the addiction to smoking. In fact, most experts will tell you that it is even more dangerous than smoking cigarettes. Chewing tobacco has been glamorized by baseball stars who dip or chew, and many have started their habit as early as nine or ten years of age. By the time many of these kids turn 18, they are ravaged by mouth and throat cancer, and many die from the disease.

While a person with lung cancer can look normal on the outside, the face of a mouth cancer victim can be a frightening sight. Imagine how a face looks after having a jawbone cut out, or the lips or tongue surgically removed. Often, the surgical butchering of the smokeless tobacco user’s face is all for nothing, because many die within a year or so anyway.

Because nicotine is metabolized and eliminated from the body very quickly, doctors tell us that the physical part of the nicotine addiction is broken after abstaining for seven days. However, the psychological addiction is much stronger and often takes a great deal longer to overcome, making it difficult to quit chewing tobacco.

The addiction to smokeless tobacco comprises three individual causes. Two of the causes are mental, but only one part is physical.

Cause 1: You Chew Tobacco to Relax and Get Pleasure

When you were a baby and you cried, your parents would put a bottle into your mouth to quiet you down. The bottle distracted you, you became calm, and often went to sleep. That sequence of events was repeated hundreds of times so that your unconscious mind was conditioned or programmed to recognize that when something goes in your mouth, you relaxed and got pleasure from it.

Although you are older now, if you feel stressed or nervous, you crave something in your mouth for relaxation and pleasure. A simple solution is to chew tobacco!

Cause 2: Dipping Is a Conditioned Response

You probably studied Pavlov in your high school psychology class. Every time Pavlov fed his dogs he would ring a bell. After a few repetitions, he could just ring the bell, and his dogs would salivate.

When you link chewing tobacco with any other action, the other action will trigger cravings for smokeless tobacco and an urge to dip or chew. This linkage is called a conditioned response.

For example: If you dip smokeless tobacco when you drive to work, you will automatically get an urge to dip whenever you drive to work (or anywhere, for that matter).

Here is exactly how this conditioned response gets “burned” or programmed into your unconscious mind: If you chew smokeless tobacco while simultaneously driving a car, your mind takes a mental picture of the tobacco and your spit cup in your hand, and links it to the image of the dashboard, steering wheel, the view out the windshield, etc. From then on, each time you drive the car, your mind fills in the missing part of the mental picture. It flashes an image of the dip or the spit cup in the hand moving toward your mouth, and you get a craving for smokeless tobacco.

You’re probably totally unaware of the mental picture of the smokeless tobacco, because it may only be at the unconscious level of mind. This is similar to the way that you are unaware of what you are seeing through your peripheral vision until movement draws your attention. In spite of being unaware of the smokeless tobacco image, the image is there, creating a craving for your next dip or chew.

Cause 3: You Have a Physical Addiction to Nicotine, but…

After working with several thousand people addicted to tobacco, I can personally guarantee that the physical addiction to smokeless tobacco and nicotine is the weakest part of the smokeless habit. In fact, I believe that it is only ten percent of your addiction. I believe ninety percent of your tobacco addiction is the mental and emotional causes! (Causes 1 and 2 above).

What Does This Mean to Someone Who Chews or Dips Smokeless Tobacco and Who Wants to Quit?

The implications of the three causes of smokeless tobacco addiction is that:

  • if you can eliminate the feeling of stress that causes you to use smokeless tobacco for relaxation and pleasure (Cause 1)
  • and if you can eliminate the conditioned response of feeling a compulsion for tobacco when driving, watching TV or whatever triggers your desire (Cause 2)
  • then you can quit dipping or chewing without willpower, and without suffering from withdrawal symptoms or weight-gain.

How Can You Defeat This Addiction?

Hypnosis will make it easy to stop chewing because it takes care of Causes 1 and 2. Here is how:

Cause 1 involves using smokeless tobacco for relaxation and pleasure. A person’s thoughts that create feelings of anxiety. In addition, people continuously watch mental movies in their mind. If the movie is negative, it creates tension and stress.

We can use some very powerful Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) or Hypnosis techniques to train the unconscious mind to quickly and easily exchange those stress-inducing mental pictures with relaxation producing mental pictures. These NLP and hypnosis techniques produce relaxation and pleasure, and eliminates the anxiety that creates the oral compulsions and cravings for smokeless tobacco.

Because anxiety is eliminated, the person who is quitting doesn’t feel the compulsion or desire to substitute food in place of the smokeless tobacco. Thus, quitting without gaining weight is possible.

Ending your addiction to smokeless tobacco is very similar to overcoming the addiction to food, cigarettes, and nail biting. Read my additional free hypnosis articles to learn more.

Cause 2 involves getting cravings for smokeless tobacco because chewing smokeless tobacco becomes a conditioned response to different activities and locations. Remember in the earlier example how smoking became unconsciously associated with driving to work so that each time you drive to work, the mind flashes an image of smokeless tobacco in your hand, and the image of the smokeless tobacco in your hand creates an urge for more smokeless tobacco?

There are efficient and effective hypnosis and NLP technologies that can effectively eliminate those conditioned responses so that a person’s mind will lose the cravings for smokeless tobacco, and the compulsion to dip tobacco. As a matter of fact, you can even get a compulsion to reject smokeless tobacco, and become repulsed by it.


By using certain hypnotic and NLP techniques, it becomes very easy to stop dipping tobacco without weight gain or having to suffer from withdrawal. And many of these hypnotic techniques like video hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming don’t even depend on post-hypnotic suggestions, which for many people are ineffective. They depend on programming the mind to use the same mental processes that it is using to create the addiction to dipping smokeless, to eliminate the mental addiction.

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