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How Quitting Chewing Tobacco Is Different Than Quitting Smoking

Larry Rankin is a former tobacco user who hopes his experience with the drug can help others quit.

Motivations for Writing this Article

In the past, I’ve written articles concerning breaking tobacco addiction, and I feel solidarity in such an endeavor is important, but while so many of you have reached out to me and shared your struggles with addiction, not one of you commenting has shared my specific brand of addiction: chewing tobacco.

In my opinion, quitting dipping is much harder than quitting smoking. Not that it’s a competition. I don’t want you to think I’m writing this article to brag about my addiction being harder to kick than yours. I’m writing this article because there is so little information out there specifically regarding quitting dipping.

It seems it’s always lumped together with quitting smoking, and though this is helpful in some regards, the addictions are different enough that there needs to be some information out there specific to each.

I’m writing this article to educate people about the differences between addictions and provide a place for dippers to come and get accurate information about what quitting might be like for them.

Why Chewing Tobacco Is a Stronger Addiction Than Smoking

First, I would like to ask, “Why do you think only former smokers have responded to my articles regarding tobacco addiction?”

One part of the answer is really obvious: There are way more smokers in the world than dippers. With that said, though, wouldn’t one figure at least one former dipper would have commented on my articles?

The other part of the answer, I hypothesize, is that there are simply so few dippers who are willing to quit compared to those who smoke.

“According to a 2015 survey conducted by the CDC, about 70 percent of current adult smokers in the United States wanted to quit, and although about 55 percent had attempted to do so in the past year, only.

I live in Oklahoma, where more people dip here per capita than the national average. I’ve known hundreds of people to try to quit. The number I’ve known to have had some success, let’s say going without a dip for three months or more, is probably less than 50. The number to have actually stopped is 5, and that’s if I count myself.

So the next question is why? Why do so few dippers succeed at quitting? I believe the nicotine delivery system for dippers is much more effective than it is for smokers.

Let’s look at an analogy to illuminate my point further. Is smoking heroin the same as injecting it? No. People who inject it directly into their bloodstreams are getting a far more potent dosage than those absorbing the drug through smoke in their lungs.

Smoking alone destroys much of the drug’s potency, whereas when it is injected, the drug is more or less unadulterated.

It’s a similar process with tobacco. When you put the drug unaltered on your gums, it pretty much goes directly into the bloodstream. When you smoke tobacco, the burning process kills much of the potency of the high, and then on top of this, you have filters and even weakened versions of the tobacco to choose from.

In the past, I’ve read articles describing chewing tobacco as having as many as 12 times the potency of a filtered, low tar cigarette.

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Effects of Withdrawals

Now we’ve established the “why” aspect of breaking chewing tobacco addiction being harder, let’s focus on the negative effects of quitting. Just as a general overview, quitting dipping involves all the same pains as quitting smoking, but to a much higher degree, and possibly a few additional side effects that smokers don’t have to deal with.

Just some examples of what to expect:

  • While all recovering tobacco addicts have stomach and digestive issues, if you quit dipping, expect to feel like your insides are being ripped out for at least a month.
  • While a smoker quitting can expect to get backed up, if you quit dipping, don’t be surprised if you wind up at the hospital for a severe impaction.
  • Quitting any tobacco product has the ability to cause an ulcer, but again, if you quit dipping, the chances are even higher.

In addition to more intense withdrawals, expect them to take way longer to recover from. For example, while the “out of the woods” mark for most smokers is around one year clean, the “out of the woods” mark for most dippers is more like three to five years.

In a nutshell, breaking any long-term addiction is a time-consuming and traumatic experience. With chewing tobacco, though the benefits of quitting outweigh the drawbacks, it takes a toll on your mind, body, and soul to go through withdrawals.

If you wish to quit, stay away from people who tell you otherwise. In the long run, their faux positivity will ultimately prove toxic, and the weight of realizing the addiction isn’t gone after a week, as they said, will ultimately drive you right back to dipping.

Hypothesis: Quitting Chewing Tobacco Can Cause Extreme Obesity in Men

Do you remember when Jenny McCarthy convinced everybody that vaccinations caused autism? And now, because a former Playmate told us to quit vaccinating our kids based on incomplete and fraudulent scientific research, we’re all at risk of dying of diseases previously thought to be all but eradicated.

This proves that scientific conclusions based purely on observation can have devastating effects on society when given too much credence. That said, almost all scientific findings are first initiated by observation. The observation then leads to a hypothesis. Then the hypothesis is tested, which reveals data. And if that data isn’t bastardized to fulfill agendas, then we have valid results.

It is a known fact that weight gain is a side effect of quitting tobacco. Observation leads me to believe that the 5 to 10 pounds the literature says you will gain if you quit and then quickly lose again is skewed data serving various agendas.

Observation has shown me that while some individuals gain virtually no weight when quitting, the average is more like 20 to 30 pounds, with most never completely getting back to their original weight, which makes sense when you consider that many started the habit to become slimmer in the first place.

But the bigger leap I’m making here is that men who quit dipping tend to get enormous until they seek medical attention. Again, a scientific study needs to be done, but what I’m seeing in men who either have quit dipping for good or for a number of months are subsequent thyroid problems and a reduction in the ability to produce testosterone naturally.

Is this a possible product of quitting dipping?

Is this a possible product of quitting dipping?

And true to form, like everyone else I’ve known to try to have an extended go at quitting dipping, that is exactly what happened to me, yet when I try to explain to my doctor what I believe happened, he all but laughs me out of the room.

When I quit dipping I was around 250 pounds. Like every other time I’d tried to quit in the past, I started gaining weight as soon as I quit. Like every other time I tried to quit, my appetite was out of control for the first few months. Like every other time I tried to quit, I eventually took control of my appetite and started exercising. Like every other time I tried to quit, these actions did very little in curtailing my weight gain.

And this is what people don’t understand; when you have a biological imbalance, let’s say in a thyroid, nothing but medication is going to fix the problem. Without medical help, an overactive thyroid will cause you to shrivel away to a skeleton. With a thyroid that doesn’t produce enough, you will gain weight regardless of your diet.

My weight gain began when I quit tobacco. Starting from 250 pounds, I maxed out at somewhere around 330 pounds after about 6 months of being tobacco-free. Through tremendous effort I was able to get back down as low as 290 pounds, only to balloon back up at the drop of a hat.

I went to the doctor about a month ago. He asked for blood work, and the results showed my thyroid to not be working properly and extremely low testosterone levels, especially for a 38-year-old. I have since started on a thyroid supplement called Levothyroxine, and the initial results have been wonderful. Whether or not I will require actual testosterone therapy remains to be seen, but my outlook now is far better than it was just a few weeks ago.

Again, none of these problems have to have been caused by quitting dipping, and if I hadn’t seen this same outcome again and again, I never would have even tried to make this connection, but over and over I’ve seen this result in people trying to quit dipping, some far younger than me.

I’ll put it this way: if I were a betting man I’d put everything I own on there being a connection. Tobacco does affect metabolism. It’s not that big of a leap to think there would be some severe consequences to your weight after breaking a long term addiction, especially with the drug levels ingested through the use of chewing tobacco. I would love for some actual, agenda-free research to be done on the matter.

Availability of Nicotine Supplements for Dippers

As I’ve established, dipping is not smoking, and because of this, it can be very hard for the dipper who wants to quit to find help specific to the addiction.

For example, items designed to help, like nicotine patches, lozenges, and even e-cigarettes, are tailored to appease the nicotine levels ingested by smokers. To my knowledge, there isn’t anything commercially available for dippers, and even if there are, they aren't as readily accessible as products to help smokers.

There are plenty of products catered for smokers who want to quit.

There are plenty of products catered for smokers who want to quit.

Smoking Is More Dangerous Than Dipping

For as awful as it is to quit chewing tobacco, I would be remiss in this comparison if I didn’t point out that at least it isn’t quite as hazardous to your health as smoking. As the tobacco can warns: “Chewing tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking,” but it is a “safer” alternative.

The big reason for this is just the smoke. Dippers don’t get emphysema. The breadth of cancers they are likely to get isn’t as large. They don’t impart the ills of their habit to passersby.

One might say that dipping is worse on your teeth, but in my experience, smokers’ teeth seem to go just as fast or faster. It goes without saying that all the nicotine in chewing tobacco is bad for your heart, but at least you’re able to remain physically active. Cigarettes rob you of this, and really the net result on heart health is at worst a push between the two.

These are both terrible habits that will likely kill you, and while it is worthy to note that the grip of chewing tobacco addiction is stronger, smoking is undoubtedly worse for your health.


So why quit dipping if it is really so hard; if the road to recovery takes years? I’m closing in on 2 years chewing tobacco-free. It’s been miserable, and I still occasionally crave a dip. I’ve been to the doctor on multiple occasions due to side effects I believe to be the fruit of my resolve to stop dipping, but it’s still worth it to me. It’s still an achievable and worthwhile goal.

And it’s not all pain. Like I’ve said in previous articles, things get tolerable after about 3 months, and by this point, the freedom from the addiction usually seems worth what pain is left to endure. After a year the urges get even more seldom. Doctors can help, too. Just make sure you’re not trading one addiction for a new one, and everything you’re doing to counter the withdrawals is necessary.

And even if it does take 5 years for you to recover from your addiction as much as you can recover, it only amounts to a blip in your existence. To me the thing I like most about being a former dipper is not that I’ve probably extended my life, not that I’ve probably improved my overall health for the long run, not that judgmental a**holes that don’t have the least inkling to what addiction is will finally accept me.

It’s none of that. It’s the freedom of not being shackled to that drug anymore. I can go where I want to go, I can do what I want to do, and I don’t have to worry about having a can of Copenhagen in my pocket. I can wake up in the morning, and I don’t have to put a dip in my mouth to have a personality again.

There is no quick fix here, and I can only speak for myself, but to me, the rewards of kicking this most pernicious habit have been well worth the sacrifices.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

Question: Does the damage done by "dipping" (chewing tobacco) reduce after quitting? Does your mouth heal?

Answer: it depends on the level of damage. For example, if you lose teeth, they don't grow back. In my case my mouth is entirely healed and my teeth were not effected that much. Good genetics in that department.

The cruelest truth of quitting tobacco is what isn't seen. For example, the cancerous free radicals you exposed yourself to for all those years.

As a result, you can feasibly get cancer decades after you quit and the tobacco is still a contributing factor.


Larry on February 25, 2020:

I have used smokeless tobacco of one sort or another for 50 of my 57 years. Starting with days work plug to loose leafs , then primarily Copenhagen. My reason for quitting is very simple, I had a heart attack 6 days ago and subsequently a triple bypass. My doc told me that the next 50 years were to be nicotine free. I read a lot of the comments here and was intrigued at how many were Okies. I too am originally from Oklahoma. And dipping or chewing there was much more common and excepted than even my current home of Tennessee. I am now 6 days without and could eat a can , lid and all. Let the games begin lol

Damon on February 15, 2020:

I had been dipping since I was 11 years old. I am now 52 and I quit cold turkey 3 months ago. I just want to say it can be done. The 1st week I slept approx 1 hr a day. The 2nd week, I slept better but felt like my guts were being ripped out of my chest. The 3rd week was only slightly better. Every day after the 3rd week got easier to cope with the cravings. I suddenly had a burst of energy week 3 that continues to this day. I haven't gained a pound. I've been exercising daily. I even went out and bought some weights and a bench. I feel that my energy level has went through the roof. I have never felt better but I will admit the cravings are still there, however, not so strong that I will give in. I was a slave to tobacco for too long. Having nicotine in my system was the norm all day every day. I will never go back. Don't believe the hype that quitting causes problems, just quit already. God Bless.

Dave from Florida on November 19, 2019:

I'm sitting at 6 months dip free, I had to give up drinking in order to quit, I've had to completely change my diet, I'm having consistent issues with my guts. I don't always crave a dip, but when I do it's almost a mental breakdown to not walk down to the store. My gums are not showing any sign of improvement. But all in all, I'm saving money and being a better example for my kids

MrMikeD on November 19, 2019:

I quit a Snus habit 16 months ago. It can be done. Urges are not gone yet but I don't notice them more than a few times a day and they are mild compared with that first 30 days. I've quite smoking long ago too and this has been many times harder. Smokers have the easier road in my opinion although that's no picnic either.

Gaurav Kumar Das on November 13, 2019:

I quit dipping 1 months ago now i have some gas and stomach bloating problems

Ballstowall bashers on November 12, 2019:

Chewed for 30 years, 58 years old now. Quit one year ago. Have had a cough ever since I quit. Miss my old friend grizz long cut winter green. Dam coincidence I quit then develop a cough now for the past 12 months. Yes I’m still grinding my teeth after one year wanting a chew. Been using organic chew substitute, no tobacco, no nicotine. So far the best I’ve tried and I’ve tried everything. Advice is keep trying.

Houston on November 06, 2019:

I’ve been dipping for close to 20 years and I quit exactly 8 days ago. cold turkey. 3-4 cans/week of Red Seal Fine Cut Wintergreen. Boy do I miss saying those words to the cashier...

I'm over 50 and the motivation was freedom. As Larry mentioned, I hated being strapped to the can, but loved it, too. I literally had a dip in my mouth whenever I wasn't asleep. When I ate, when I drank, always. I was really good at pushing it to the back of my jaw, so no one knew it was in.

My family hates it and I found myself huddled in the garage like an animal trying to sneak a dip, or finding excuses to jump in my car to could buy a can. Even spending more time at the office just so I could dip in peace. It was really controlling me.

Anyway, 8-days clean and I feel great. At least so far. It's nice not worrying if I left my can in my jeans in the hamper.

The reason for quitting is personal for everyone, I believe, and finding that motivator is the key. For me, I know my family loves me and they wanted me to quit something that is extremely unhealthy. Plus, sneaking around to dip behind their backs is just as bad as lying to them, and being a liar feels worse than any withdrawal, in my opinion.

Anyway, I'm on day 8, feel pretty good, and hope the best to all journeying down the same path.

Lassiter on November 04, 2019:

After 27 years of dipping I quit cold Turkey (still mad I quit on occasion lol). I am 426 days free. That's over a year!!!! I am a bit proud of myself for staying the course. Hardest thing I've done. I've gained around 30 pounds. In the process of trying to drop it now and your right it seems like no matter what I do the weight will not shed. I'm 43 and in pretty good shape. Plan on taking your advice and checking my thyroid. It's been rough here as of late and have almost caved a few times. I'm at that level of questioning my quit vs weight gain etc. I know my blood pressure has improved . I'm sure there are other benefits that I cannot see. Day at a time. Thanks for the read.

Cwenbass on April 24, 2019:

I stopped a few days ago.

Do about a tin a day of skoal pouches.

Only had one bad day but don’t really want to quit more of a “I should” quit.

Cdegaulle on December 11, 2018:

Posting this to hopefully help someone kick the addiction. I’ve read some comments and haven’t seen anything about CBD oil mentioned. I would suggest looking into it. CBD oil is known to help with stress and anxiety. Which after day three seems to be a major factor for why people turn back to dip. It’s not addictive, has no psychoactive effects and does not show up on drug tests unless used in extremely high doses (10x the recommended daily amount).

Secondly, here is where it gets weird. When those cravings come up instead of trying to ignore them, confront them head on. Amp yourself up like you and this craving are going to throw down. If that craving was another man calling you weak would you sit there and agree? Would you let him force himself on you? Or tell you how this is going to play out? That craving will pass and you can take that small amount of energy and pride won with you throughout the day. This is a mental toughness marathon. Don’t let you’re guard down and don’t be submissive.

You are paying for the stupidity of your younger self and like all mistakes you need to own them. What you’ll find is that when you take on each craving you become stronger mentally because of it. You fought within you’re own body and mind to control something and that is powerful.

Uno on November 15, 2018:

17 years chewing. 35 yrs old. 17 days, no chew. No issue. Chewing sunflower seeds. Not that hard at all really. Don't really feel a pull back towards chewing again. I guess I figured I don't want my face cut off.

Mibe on November 14, 2018:

Kannobe: I feel you! I have been addictive to nicotine for almost 20 years, and been using chewing tobacco for 12 of those years.

I have just quitted, laying at my couch for the moment with heavy withdrawal symptoms. I used around one box a day every day.

I have also smoked a lot, and I have to say that quitting chewing tobacco is 10 x worse than smoking.

For six months now I have had a pretty sore mouth, and pain on the side of my tongue. I also think I have gotten either the dry mouth syndrom or burning mouth syndrom. Over the years I have also developed oral Lichen Planus, an auto-immune disease.

What scares me the most at det moment is loss of taste, as you describe. The last 1 - 1,5 month I have completely lost taste! I think it has something to do with nerve damage, with longterm expose of toxins to the tast buds. But I'm not sure! Having a doctors check up tomorrow!

Hope your taste is better!

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 05, 2018:

Brian: I'm not going to get in a my addiction is worse than yours argument:-)

But on an individual basis from my own stand point and having observed others, as well as looking at the drug delivery system and nicotine levels, I feel like spit tobacco like Copanhagen is more difficult to stop than smoking for most people.

Thanks for stopping by and best wishes on your efforts at cessation.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 05, 2018:

ChasScott: Sorry I'm so slow getting back. Sounds like you're off to a good start.

Often the worst of withdrawals doesn't take that long, but the nagging cravings can last year's.

I'm almost 4 years in and I still occasionally get a rogue overwhelming craving.

In general, most people have really increased their chances of success if they can make it 3 months without any tobacco or nicotine.

I wish I could tell you cravings eventually go away completely, but a stressful situation, there's always something can trigger it. But it becomes way more manageable.

Brian on July 04, 2018:

I have chewed on and off again for 15 years or so and smoked about the same. I have stopped chewing for year or more stretches but have failed every time I have ever tried to quit smoking. I notice a mood change when quitting chewing but quitting smoking is a physical change it actually hurts in your chest and you panic because it feels hard to breath. That all goes away ofcourse but I feel smoking is 100x harder to quit than chewing

ChasScott on July 02, 2018:

I have been chewing tobacco for 50+ years. I began chewing tobacco (Redman) around 15 -16. I grew up in rural Oklahoma where chewing was common. At first I would chew when hunting, fishing, baseball, outside work on the ranch. When I went in the Army at 17 I still did not chew a lot, partly because the PX normally did not carry leaf tobacco back in the 60's-70's. During my 13 months in Vietnam I probably chewed a total of 10 packs - all sent by mom and grandmom. In college after Army I still mainly chewed when doing outdoor activities - very rarely indoors. After college I began a 36 year career as a wildlife biologist which put me in the company of lots of other guys that chewed, especially while doing field work. As my career advanced and I spent more time behind the desk as a supervisor my chewing increased - I suppose as a crutch for stress. For the past 20 years I chewed a minimum of one pack a day of Redman. I chewed all day long - at work and home, in my truck, etc. I could not go more than 30-45 min. without a chew. I tried (half hearted) to quit several times (mostly at the pleading of my wife) but could never go more than one day without.

About two weeks ago I got a really nasty case of bronchitis. The antibiotics and prednisone cleared up the bronchitis. But it really tore up my digestive system and throat. I chewed for about 5 days of the illness and then around day 6 or 7 the tobacco had no taste and really burned my throat and mouth. I had to stop chewing because it was making me more ill. I had not chewed for about 3 days when my mouth and throat became super irritated. Because I was experience heart burn after finishing med's I thought the sore throat was a result of acid reflux. I took prevacid for a couple of days but irritation did not go away. Then I thought maybe I am having nicotine withdraw symptoms and searched that on internet. I also had bad headaches, dizziness, and upset stomach.

I am now at day 6 without any tobacco. Up until today it has been all cold turkey. This morning I bought a packet of 14 mg nicotine patches and put one on and got so dizzy and sick within 15 min. I took it off. Then I went back to the store and bought the 2 mg lozenges. They seem to help take the edge off (mainly seems to help with the physical issues). As this point, I do not have a strong psychological urge to chew, which is a little weird from past experiences. What bothers me the most is the physical changes - especially the sore mouth (and can't taste anything). I also have a slight cough which may still be bronchitis. The headaches and stomach upset is a little better. Fatigue sets in the afternoon and I have to lay down for a quick nap. I really believe I am going to beat chewing tobacco this time if the physical withdraws do not last much longer. I have researched online the duration of the physical withdraw symptoms but have found little. I found your site while researching and thought I would ask others what was their experience with this and what I can expect on withdraw. Thanks for any advice and encouragement you can offer.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on May 21, 2018:

Gavin: even though you've been dipping for a long time, you're still young. That works in your favor on a lot of levels.

Young bodies tend to recover quicker and you have your whole adulthood in front of you.

I had a chance to nip my habbit early and didn't. I regret that.

I hope you knock it out right away with no turmoil, and I believe you can, but I also want you to understand that many people slip up. If you do, don't view it as an excuse to give up on quitting. Don't hate yourself for it. Just get back up, dust yourself off and keep trying.

Congratulations on your resolve to quit.

Gavin on May 21, 2018:

So I've been motivated to quit - for several reasons. One being a can of Copenhagen Long Cut is $7+ in this great state of California, second, girls don't like it, third, I hate having spitters everywhere, and fourth I am super worried about my teeth/gums.

I'm 20 and have been chewing since 14 or so (freshman year of high school) and that was my worst mistake ever. I would go anywhere from 1-4 cans a week, so I was not a crazy chewer yet.

I'll admit I am currently 60 hours into quitting on my first attempt ever, and so far it is going smooth. The first 48 hours I was constantly having cravings and what helped me not take a chew is the following:

I purchased a brand new can of Cope Wintergreen on my first day of quitting because I absolutely hate the smell and it is very strong, every time I get an urge to take a chew, I open the can and take a huge whiff of the chew and remind myself how nasty the smell is and then I put the chew back in my truck and continue on with my day until the next craving.

This tactic has helped me every time so far, and I am making it through the first few days without issue. I have been moody at times but I have not been moody towards others, mainly just myself. And in all honesty I think quitting will be smooth sailing for me. Reading other people's stories has also helped give me motivation.

As I grow older the more I realize tobacco is a ridiculous thing, and I'm happy to be ending this habit. My gums were starting to really take a hit and I know of others my age who have teeth that are about solid black and that was just another motivator for me, as well as females not liking tobacco at all and the possibility of being rejected due to it (fortunately never happened to me but still).

I wish everyone else a smooth recovery and my advice helps someone out!!

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on May 08, 2018:

RMallory: thanks for dropping by. A heartfelt and realistic view of the process.

I feel the same way about the poisoning aspect of it. It doesn't become palpable what you've done to yourself until you try to severe ties with it and get all that garbage out of your system.

Congratulations and keep fighting!

RMallory on May 07, 2018:

March 7th, 2017. Cold turkey. This is my quit date after 35 years of dipping a two cans a week. Kodiak. I can only describe the first month post quit as hellish. The worse the withdrawal effects became the more my eyes were opened to the fact that my body contained all this poison for so many many years. It made me even more motivated to quit. For me it was a choice of to live or to die.

For anyone reading this article thinking about quitting just ask yourself one question....Is dipping worth your life? In the end this poison will kill you before you naturally would otherwise. That is a certainty. It all comes down to choice. I hope you choose to live. It will not be easy but it just may be one of the most rewarding returns your body will ever know.

I still think about dip a couple three times a week but have reached a point where those thoughts go away as fast as they appear. I have a feeling these thoughts will remain with me for a lifetime. Still an addict I suppose but am on the right side of addiction now.

Being tobacco free is absolutely an obtainable goal. Not an easy goal to achieve but 100% obtainable. God Bless.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on April 26, 2018:

Alki: I had a very similar experience. The first month or two I did eat like a pig because I figured it's ok to get through the first bit.

But then I started eating like I always had, even monitoring my intake. I just kept gaining.

I went from 240 to over 300 and I still just kept gaining.

Eventually I had to change my lifestyle. I eat less now than I have at any point in my life, and I'm lucky to lose 2 lbs a month.

But I'm getting there. All I know to tell you is keep reducing your diet and perhaps a good vitamin/metabolism supplement may help. And of course, get as much physical activity as you can.

There is no miracle cure here.

Keep up the good fight.

Alki on April 26, 2018:

Someone below said, "if you're gaining 30-50 pounds you need to use self control".

I dipped 7-10 cans of Copenhagen per week from 1993 until this past Christmas. 25 years.

I weighed 244 pounds on quit day. I am 6'4.5". I eat exactly what I ate before. Three meals a day, no snacks. I am a non drinker.

I weighed 274 pounds this morning. 30 pounds in 4 months. No dietary difference. In fact, my wife helped me start to try and stay UNDER 2,000 calories a day starting March 1st.

So, Dr. Internet ... you're clueless. Just go away.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on April 20, 2018:

Just keep at it!

Purify on April 16, 2018:

Does the wounds heal after quitting dipping??Had dipped almost like 3 yrs and few months..

Eric on April 12, 2018:

I have chewed cope since I was 16 I am now 37 and decided I need a change. Been cope free for 5m now. I been doing good on the cravings but moody as hell sometimes or seem to worry and it seems like my guttts are going crazy Any input on how to deal and it’s getting harder cause of the stress of the job that I love to do been in emergency services for 20years now and cope has gotten me through a lot of the bad times I have been thinking is it worth it to quit.. need advice

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on April 11, 2018:

I've found that a good men's vitamin supplement, a good fish oil pill, and (assuming you don't have heart problems) a reasonable amount of caffeine in your diet everyday, are all very helpful things.

The energy loss can be so overwhelming. That was my experience, too. Joint pain was intense, too. Every day you are tobacco free is one day closer to being better. I'm over 3 years in. I'm relatively close to being full energy and rarely have urges to dip anymore, but when I do they're strong.

Keep up the good fight, friend.

Kannobe on April 07, 2018:

Just passed 13 months from a cold turkey quit. I'm 51 yrs old, and I too used Chew as a "safer" alternative to smoking for most of 30 years. Having smoked in my late teens, I converted to chew as it was easier to hide and not necessarily for any health benefit. I ran 12 marathons while addicted to chew. In my 40's I even had a chew during long training runs. My longest quit as an adult was 4 and a half years. This ended after working a late night shift with 3 dippers, the can was passed and I was instantly hooked again.....bought a can on the way home that night. That was 16 years ago. I woke up and put in a chew, I would take it out just prior to falling asleep at night. I nearly always had nicotine in my bloodstream. When I finally quit. I waited 3 months before seeing my doctor. During a routine physical, I told him my dirty little secret. He explained how my body had adjusted to the abuse over time, and it's impact on my adrenal gland in particular. I don't pretend to understand all that was explained to me at the time, but I did take from him that it would take some time for my body to adjust. I've gained about 10-12 pounds, and am still reasonably fit. My energy level seem alarmingly low at times, and although possibly unrelated, I have a lot of joint pain? Honestly, I had hoped I would feel better having quit, I don't, but I'm not letting that logic bring me back to the can. The money I've saved alone is worth it! I plan on doing a follow up with my doc in the next month or so to see if there is anything I should be looking at related to hormone levels. If anyone has any suggestions about a supplement or food I should be eating, I'm all ears!

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on March 12, 2018:

D: you're mistaken.

Your probably talking about people who used a few months or just used occasionally.

If you read all the responses on this article, I address that young users need to quit while it's still easy.

You're confusing the prototypical difference between effects on longterm constant users with those of short term and occasional users.

Also, there is the occasional oddball that can just quit with few problems. That's extremely rare.

Two schools of thought: some people think you're better off to lie to people quitting in regards to what they're up against.

I prefer the truth and being able to know what I'm up against.

As a result of finally learning the truth the hard way over time, I have finally been able to succeed.

After 3 years my weight is finally starting to normalize, and my energy is finally returning to normal-ish levels. Mood swings are more in a normal range as well.

I never woul have been able to succeed like this as a result of believing lies. That's just not how I work. Many people's lives are entirely predicated on delusion, and that's how they prefer it. I do not.

It just takes a really long time. You're right about a month being a big stepping stone. After a month or 2 or 3, the pain and suffering is much more tolerable and chances of success are higher, but the rest is nonsense.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on March 12, 2018:

Alex: but it is a common result. Yes, my weight problems are more significant than average, but most people have at least one outlying result.

Abnormal digestion problems, abnormal depression, abnormal weightloss, abnormal weight gain, one or more of the bazillion withdrawal problems will be abnormal for almost every case of quitting after longterm use.

What is not abnormal, longterm chewing tobacco users, (emphasis on "longterm," not somebody who's been doing it for like a year) should expect to have occasional strong tobacco cravings for 3-5 years after quitting.

Also, weight gain is more significant when quitting chewing tobacco than quitting smoking.

Alex on March 09, 2018:

Tobacco is very addictive and can be hard to quit but this man’s results are not typical. Most people do not put on 80 lbs or constantly crave nicotine years down the road after a cold turkey quit.

I would compare this to someone starting training to jog a mile. The difficulty and time necessary to reach this distance will be a factor of your physiology and present condition. The average person can probably achieve this in a month with some outliers having it happen in a week and others taking years to jog this distance while experiencing torn ligaments and stress fractures throughout the process. This man’s story is the latter, don’t let it scare you from quitting. It can be useful to know some have struggled if you are two months in and still having cravings but don’t expect these kind of issues. Whether chewing or smoking, most do not have these problems, just like most can jog a mile after a few months of training. For some reason, it has been atypically hard for this gentlemen, don’t let his story keep you from quitting.

D on March 07, 2018:

If you are putting on 30 - 50 lbs after a quit then you need to exhibit some self control. I know plenty of people who have quit dipping, it’s quite common in rural Minnesota. It doesn’t take 5 years to quit dip. If you can keep one out of your mouth for a month, and not put one in again after that then you are done. Sure, the first 5 days to 2 weeks can be nasty when your blood sugar is all over the place but it’s a psychological game after that. Smoking is the same way, just because the delivery system is less efficient doesn’t change that. Yeah, you get a little more nicotine with dip and can conceivably chew all day but it’s also a slower release mechanism, which makes the short term withdrawals slightly less intense. Dipping isn’t impossible to quit, and it can actually be enjoyable as you free yourself from this demon. If you are transmuting your nicotine addiction by eating enough to put on 50 lbs, then you are fucking up. If you are craving dip 2 years into a quit, then you are fucking up and making this harder than it needs to be. All you have to do is not put one into your mouth again, and one month into cold turkey, anyone can do that if they really want to with minimal effort. And the same person who can do that, can eat normally portions and not put on 50 lbs after a quit. 5-10 lbs, ok, it’s not great but if you working out it’s not a huge problem and worth being free. 50 fucking lbs, you aren’t looking in the mirror, tobacco didn’t do that to you.

Jay on February 28, 2018:

38 yes old. Had digestive issues, heartburn, and gerd since I started chewing at 16. Diagnosed with barretts esophagus recently. Quit chewing for 6 months. Gerd is gone. No advancement of the barretts esophagus. Wish I never took my first pinch. It's just no good at all, for anyone. So many problems associated with chew. Just get off it at all cost!

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on February 25, 2018:

Ryan: chew is not a safe alternative, but it does represent a few less carcinogenic risks than smoking.

But the flip of that due to the delivery system it is much more addictive.

Glad you quit, and keep fighting.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on February 25, 2018:

Noah: it doesn't surprise me you lost weight, though it is definitely atypical.

Any extremely stressful and disruptive process usually results in weightloss or weight gain.

For whatever reason, quitting tobacco usually causes a weight gain. Either way, it can be unhealthy if it's very fast.

Thanks for dropping by.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on February 25, 2018:

Spencer: I like your multi-pronged approach. If you can keep a health regimen, that's great.

It's hard without a personal trainer if you go through severe depression, which a lot of folks do.

I don't agree with the having it made after a few days concept. Not with me, anyway. Every day is another day closer, though.

Vitamins and metabolism/colon health supporting foods like cayenne are very helpful. I wish I'd learned that sooner. Didn't know it would help this much.

Weaning process works for a lot of people. I had to go cold turkey. Also would like to point out Snus is just a repackaging of the same product. I see how it would help in weaning in an exact way, but I don't want folks thinking it's any safer than just chew.

Very thoughtful post. Thanks for dropping by, and I'm glad you had success.

Ryan Fanning on February 23, 2018:

I am 39. I started chewing at 12 and smoking at 15. I smoked until I was 37 and chewed until I was 38. Quoting chewing is much more difficult. I’ve gained 25lbs while restricting my diet and killing myself in the gym. This is tough.

Noah on February 23, 2018:

Some crazy stuff hapened to me. I quit chewing about 10 days ago and ive lost 15 pounds in that 10 days without a change to my daily routine other than no dip.

Spencer Hays on February 21, 2018:

I went from smoking to dipping to pouches to snus. Weaned down the quantity per day then amount of time I'd leave a pouch in. At the end, only a few seconds.

Started keeping a lot of gum on me and I chew the hell out of it. Also started hitting the gym and doing cardio with some quality sauna time to flush out toxins. Also drink a mixture of lemon water, cayenne pepper and honey to help flush out blood, liver, kidneys ext.

Experienced anxiety, cravings, constipation, some night sweats, and 1 sleepless night. Breath and skin are already better.

If you can break the first couple days you got it. Just stay determined and keep some gum around.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 27, 2018:

James: you've had a very similar experience with my own.

It's just a long, painful road for most of us. There's no two ways about it.

Keep strong.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 27, 2018:

David: I came to the same conclusion. It was cold turkey or not at all for me.

That said, I assume some people do better with a quitting aid. That's what the Doctors say, anyway.

Congratulations on quitting.

James G on January 26, 2018:

I know I put on significant weight after I quit. Totally worth it. I can lose the weight once I'm over this. Its been a year and 3 months and I can honestly say my brain still tries to get me to chew. I almost always get those thoughts of "I'm at a Giants game I need a chew" "I'm going on a four hour drive how can I do this without dip?" This is the longest I've ever made it, once I realized I was 26 and have been addicted to Dip for over half of my life I needed a change. It has had an affect on my mental health, and physical health. I blame quitting on a lot. I can not write as much anymore for any extended periods. I have very bad anxiety now. I go through more periods of depression. I have gained nearly 90 lbs. Most days that I dwell on life before quitting compared to after I feel a strong urge to start again. I try to rationalize it with "Well I could just use beechnut or days of work and that would be Way healthier" or "Well I'm probably gonna get cancer from something anyway so whats the point?" I have already had an agreement with myself that if I get diagnosed with a life threatening disease that will kill me in x amount of years...I'm gonna start up again and go out with a dip in if I can. But for now it is good to hear that it does get easier after the 3-5 year mark. So thank you. And that maybe its not all in my head the issues I've had with quitting....

David Miller on January 26, 2018:

I chewed Copenhagen for over 30 years. And just recently quit. I tried and tried for many years until finally one day I decided I wasn't going to chew anymore. I think the biggest mistake that people make when they try and quit is using gum or patches. These still have nicotine , you are only trading one vessel for another. Because chew has so much more nicotine than smoking you have to cut it out totally. Sure the first 3 or 4 weeks are tough. But it is the only way I have been able to stop.

I chewed instead of smoked because I have played sports sense I was a kid. I gained about 15lbs after i quit. with a diet change and time I have been able to lose that 15 plus another 5lbs.

If you are trying to quit don't give up, don't give in. You are stronger than nicotine. Good Luck

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 11, 2018:

Vicki: there has been nothing harder to me than learning how to write efficiently without tobacco.

Tobacco is like steroids for writers. One of the reasons so many writers through the years have used some form of tobacco.

I loved the way tobacco made it possible to concentrate intently and write for marathon periods of time.

I once wrote and proofed an entire screenplay in less than 48 hours under the influence of tobacco, and it was pretty good, too.

That said, it's an adjustment. Slow and steady is the writing style without tobacco. Caffeine helps, but it's not the same.

Still, as a former tobacco user who writes, I find my production to be more consistent. I write more often.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Vicki Wood from Eldon, Missouri on January 06, 2018:

People that I know that dip, use way more than the tobacco I smoke. So I can see that it would be harder. I struggle with the fact that when I write, I smoke more. So that is a problem because I love to write for long periods of time. Still trying to figure out how not to smoke so much while I write.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on November 16, 2017:

Mark: I know the feeling. I'm about to celebrate my 3rd year tobacco free. I am just now starting to get on top of my battle of the bulge:-)

Good luck with your efforts and it does get easier.

Mark Neschleba on November 14, 2017:

got lyme 1 july 2017, quit skoal 2 weeks later after 38 years of dipping. stomach ballooned up, pants dont fit, gained 10 pounds

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on September 14, 2017:

I know it might feel like forever to an 18 year old, but given your short tobacco addiction history, if you can just make it like 3 months, you should have this thing completely licked. If you can just make it a couple of weeks tobacco free, you should see significant reductions in cravings.

Weight gain and things like that should not be a significant factor. You're already thin and if you gain 5 lbs before the addiction is beat, it won't be the end of the world.

On the other hand, if you continue to string this addiction along and put off quitting, that's when you end up like me and it becomes Hell on earth to quit.

Only you can quit, but if you don't want this addiction in your life, I highly recommend getting it knocked out now.

pleasehelpme5 on September 11, 2017:

thanks for your reply. im 18 and i weight about 155 lbs. also im glad to hear that youve been able to quit chewing tobacco, good job. now i havent used snus for three days and its not fun. i crave it so much and i might end up buying some tomorrow:( but hopefully ill stay away from it.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on September 10, 2017:

Snus is just chewing tobacco that is already alotted into little packets.

I can't say for sure how your body will respond, but it should make it easier that your addiction hasn't been for very long.

You will likely gain at least some weight. Again, I can't say for sure because addiction affects people so differently. Are you prone to obesity? How old are you? These two factors will impact how much quitting alters your weight.

I'm near 40 and was prone to obesity before I started dipping. I dipped almost 20 years. It's been hell on me. I'm almost 3 years tobacco free. I gained 90 lbs and am just now starting to get my food cravings under control. I still find myself craving tobacco, but the cravings are fewer and farther in between, but I had a lot of factors stacked against me.

If your addiction is as short lived as you say, it will still be hard, but the side effects shouldn't be nearly so pronounced. That said, get it nipped now while it's still not as hard if you really want to quit.

pleasehelpme5 on September 08, 2017:

I started using snus(SIBERIA -80, extremely strong) about a month ago and ive had 4 cans of snus this month(20 snus in 1 can) Before that i smoked a bit. not a lot, i only smoked about 5 packs for two months. but when i started using snus i completly stopped smoking. now i wanna stop snus for sure. and i hope its gonna be easy because i didnt use it for that long ect. i wanna stop snus because i got scared when i read snus makes u gain weight and im really scared of gaining weight. Ive been doing a LOT research about this... But everything i read seems to be different... and u seem really smart and know about this stuff so i though i should just ask u. will i automatically gain weight when i stop using snus? or is weight gain caused by craving snacks and fatty foods? i eat really healthy and i dont eat a lot either. i KNOW i can control my cravings for sure!:) But im just really scared if im gonna automatically gain weight when i quit snus.... Please reply. thanks

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 18, 2017:

Matt: congratulations on the 5 month milestone. Crankiness is just part of the process. Keep strong!

Matt on August 16, 2017:

I had chewed for 36 years. I have been dip free for 5 months now. I do work out daily and have avoided some of the weight gain but have picked up some. Never thought of the Thyroid or Testosterone angle. I am very moody lately and it comes and goes. Wife says I am I do admit that the cravings have gotten easier to deal with daily but there are a few times when the cravings seem almost insurmountable. I have not broke down yet so I have that going for me.

Thank you for the article and other information. Count me as #6.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on April 03, 2017:

Will Ray: I'm glad you were able to kick the habit. I still get the random craving too.

It is true that the longer you're addicted often amplifies the difficulty of quitting. I'm just now starting to get my weight in order. That has been the hardest long term obstacle for me.

I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I try my best to give people an honest assessment of the process and let them know it's not all roses but it's worth the effort.

Will Ray on March 27, 2017:

Dear Mr. Rankin,

I really enjoyed your article. I strongly believe that quitting smokeless tobacco is much more difficult than quitting smoking. Though I am only 20 years old, I had been dipping since I was in 8th grade up until 3 months ago. I finally tossed my at least a can-a-day habit. At first, I was hesitant to quit my senior year of highschool because I was scared of weight gain. I'm a wrestler so weight is a crucial part in meets, etc. I tried to quit 3 times in the past, and never succeded to get past a month. Finally, I got sick of people giving me dirty looks once I got to college and I decided to toss the can. I was terrified to gain weight, because I know many people gain weight after giving up their nicotine addiction. But, I was actually able to lose 6lbs in the process of quitting. I knew my appetite would be through the roof, so I decided to try a fat burner that was slightly an appetite suppressant. I also went into a caloric deficit of 20%, while working out 6x a week. After 4 weeks, I was amazed at the result when I stepped on the scale. I know it's most likely harder for someone like you who has been doing it for so long, but I just want to say thank you for making such a well informed article, because there are most likely so many other men who are in the same situation as you. Though some men are able to maintain their weight, or even lose weight, everyones body works differently. I still get random cravings, but it gets better and better. I stopped taking the fat burner after 5 weeks, as my appetite felt pretty normal again. I'm still trying to drop another five pounds so I can be ready for a tournament. Again, thank you for the article, and I wish you the best of luck

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on February 27, 2017:

Mike: Cogratulations! I'm always so glad to here from folks who had success.

I agree. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.

Mike d on February 25, 2017:

Dipped a can a day of copenhagen for 53 years quit 2 years ago have not miss it a bit it was the hardest thing I ever done

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on February 22, 2017:

Shank: first off, congratulations. 8 months tobacco free should have you much more comfortable than just a few months in.

To answer your question, I really don't know. I'm over 2 years in, and I still get the occasional strong craving. I still don't feel like my energy levels are where they should be, but that said, as time passes I feel more and more back to my old self.

I theorize that if I can get enough time between me and the addiction, I'll at least at some point be near enough my old self that the difference is negligible, but I don't know if one can ever entirely unring that bell.

Shank on February 21, 2017:

This was really helpful!!!! Do all the side effects eventually go away I'm on 8 months dip free.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on February 05, 2017:

Jeremy: thanks for the thoughtful comment.

I'm over 2 years tobacco free and I still get hit with strong cravings sometimes.

Jeremy on February 04, 2017:

I quit chewing for three years and went back couldnt resist the temptation. I was a smoker previously and never seemed to be addicted to it could put it down or pick it up without recourse. Chewing I feel a daily attachment to not just for the nicotene but also the taste. Lets face it most if us have smoked a bad cigar and finnished it,very few of us would keep something in your mouth you didn't like for a half hour or more. When I quit I decided I was just going to do it and stayed focused on that. You can't quit for anyone or anything if you truly don't want to do it.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 26, 2017:

Glenn: to this day I still think of the comforting feeling of a tobacco can in my pocket when I get stressed out.

It's been over 2 years since my last dip and it does get easier, but it takes a hell of a lot longer than 7 days. More like 6 months, and even then, when life gets difficult, the weakness hits hard and for that moment it's as bad as any.

As for your intermittent dipping, yeah, it's better than dipping all the time. Theoretically things won't break down as much. And I'd also like to compare it to most any addict's addiction. Read the literature. Almost nobody succeeds on the first try or first 50.

The more you keep quitting and resolve to try, the more likely one will eventually take. That's how it worked with me.

Thanks so much for the thoughtful comments.

Glenn Puit on January 25, 2017:

Larry your article is incredibly accurate -- I thank you for it. I've quit dipping multiple times -- I've quit for months and I've quit for years and I still went back I've faced all kinds of obstacles in life but this is the one that brings me to my knees.

Every time I stop at a gas station I have to fight it off -- it is absolutely brutal. I think the whole concept of, if you quit for seven days, you will have fewer withdrawals and it will go away, is part of the problem. My experience is the longer you go the worse it gets and it is such a surprise to most that most people just throw in the towel. Other than dipping I am a very healthy person -- I work out every day -- so I've avoided the weight gain. I've kind of adopted the I'm going to manage it strategy by dipping for a while, quitting for a month to give my body some time to heal, and then dabbling in it and quitting again. While not ideal it is what I do to manage.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 01, 2017:

David: sorry I'm just now getting back to you. Guess I missed your message.

I've heard good things about Chantix, but don't have experience with it personally. What ever gets you there. I didn't personally care for the nicotine step down stuff, eventually succeeding with quitting cold turkey.

Personally I think non-addictive anti depression and/or anti anxiety medicine might be the best helper.

I'm not big on motivational speakers, but I find Tony Robbins to really have some helpful advice on occasion. Thanks again for dropping by.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 01, 2017:

Keith: your experience sounds very similar to mine. Keep at it. You're past the hardest of the cravings by 3 months, and each day is one day closer to having that garbage out of your life.

Congratulations. You're strong and succeeding at something that not many people have. You still have more fight in front of you, but you're winning.

Keith on December 31, 2016:

It's like I wrote this story; I chewed for nearly 20 years and recently quit about three months ago. I have struggled with the weight issue; for the last 10 years I have been between 256-267, I am at my heaviest by gaining 20 pounds. I exercise now more regularly than I ever did before, but can't get the weight off and when I do drop a couple of pounds it comes right back. I have struggled with the depression; I never realized how much of a real drug dip is until now. I think I am past the major cravings, even though some days it's all I can think about. I plan on seeing my doctor next week to have him run some tests to check blood work to just make sure. Thanks for writing this article and getting the word out there.

David Hale on December 09, 2016:

I found your article very encouraging. I was a pipe smoker/dipper for over twenty years. The bulk of the time I dipped exclusively. I was only able to quit using Chantix. I stayed clean for a year after, but ended up returning to the pipe due to depression. Before quitting for the last time, I'd started dipping again in the winter time. I'm an older father, and determined to meet my grand kids, so I quit again. I've been clean this time for a year and a half. Suffering is not too strong of a word to use to describe this time for me. I though something was wrong with me. I was afraid I'd never feel good again. Now I know I'm looking at three to five years. At one year clean, I quit caffeine too and started walking one mile per day. When two years rolls around, I'll quit something else bad or add something good. Tony Robbins says most people overestimate what they can get done in a year, and underestimate what they can get done in a decade. My very best wishes to all recovering addicts.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 13, 2016:

Deb: I always appreciate your feedback. I need to give a survey a try.

Deb Hirt on August 12, 2016:

I had no idea as this was just a major addiction. I have only known there dippers, one of which is in the area. The other two were plumbers, and al are OK residents. None of them ever mentioned that they wanted to quit, which is why your interesting information really surprised me so. I knew nothing about the trials and tribulations. If you're interested in doing a survey, try SurveyMonkey. I don't know if there is any charge for this, but if not, you're bound to get some hits. Let me know how the survey suggestion turns out, or if you are even interested in doing that.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 05, 2016:

Sorry to hear how this junk affected your family. Thanks for the encouraging words.

Just a fine point I haven't clarified. I dipped, which is often referred to as "chewing" where I'm from. There is actually a difference between dipping and chewing.

If your Grandpa was using Redman, it was probably chew (I'm not aware of a Redman dip), which comes in a pouch and looks less processed than dip, which comes in a can. With chew you can usually tell it's from a leaf if you look close enough.

Baseball players used to often have big chaws of chew when they played: Darryl Strawberry, Lenny Dykstra just to name a couple. Like any tobacco product, it helped with concentration and therefore was useful in a sport like know, until it killed you.

The nicotine levels in chew are actually less than that of dip, but the delivery system is the same, and it's still a stronger addiction than cigarettes as a result.

What I find fascinating is that your Grandpa was able to hide his habit from family. While if a dipper is careful, he might be able to hide his habit from loved ones by taking a small pinch at a time (I actually taught while I had a dip with none the wiser) because chew is basically the dried leaves, it's hard to take a small chew. In addition, in my experience chewing produces far more juice than dipping, neccesitating more spitting.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on August 04, 2016:

You sold me. I'm glad I never seriously started, although I did dabble in High School. I've probably told you that, and I probably also told you that my Grandpa got jaw cancer from this stuff. Nobody knew he dipped, because he hid it so well, but as a very young child I saw a pouch of Red Man in his coveralls. Grandpa thought grandson wouldn't remember this, but the image has stuck with me. Mystery about jaw cancer solved, although my Mom swears that "her Daddy" would never do that.

Hope you can kick this horrible monkey off your back for good.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 04, 2016:

Teaches: there is a much lower success rate for dippers trying to quit than smokers.

I would direct you to some statistics regarding this, but they are just so hard to find these days. I guess the idea has become to just lie to people, and they'll be more likely to quit? I don't get it. When I do something, like quit dipping, I like to know what I'm up against.

The irony is that when I was a kid, the anti-tobacco movement always emphasized the factual data, that the addiction to dipping is worse than smoking, with the thought that this would keep them from ever starting.

teaches12345 on August 04, 2016:

Chewing tobacco was the norm when we lived in the south, not for us, but for many people we knew. I never thought of it being more of a problem to quit. It is wonderful that you found the sacrifices were worth the pain of quitting this addiction.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 30, 2016:

Alicia: thanks so much for sharing. I always appreciate your support.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 30, 2016:

This is an excellent and important article, Larry. I'm glad that you're winning the battle against dipping and the side effects of quitting. I hope your article helps many other people to do the same thing. I'll share this hub.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 29, 2016:

Eldon: I had used Snus in the past. It's just dipping, only a little more neatly packaged, and a bit easier to hide.

People are rarely able to quit, and I'll be honest, in writing chewing tobacco provides a supreme concentration that is hard to replicate without it.

I don't preach quitting to folks, because I don't believe it works, but if you ever decide to quit, I hope the information I've provided is helpful and realistic.

Thanks for dropping by. I always like to hear your take on things.

Eldon Arsenaux from Cooley, Texas on July 29, 2016:

Larry, I hadn't considered this. I was a smoker for ten years on and off, whereas with dip, chaw, and snus I've been addicted without much lapse. Perhaps too, is the stigma involved. Smoking is an obvious addiction. Where there's smoke there's fire there's smell. Chewing tobacco, especially snus, is less noticeable beyond a bulge in the lip. Just my two cents. I recently switched to e-cigs, but find myself, under several circumstances continuing to use snus. I agree about the post-meal craving. Anyway, glad to hear you've quit. As for me, I'm still a cooked turkey.



Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 26, 2016:

Venkata: thanks so much for your thoughtful response. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 26, 2016:

John: chew, dip, cigar, cigarette, one commonality between them all, the difficulty of not using after a nice meal.

Once you can make it through a meal without wanting tobacco after, you're on the road to recovery.

Thanks so much for dropping by.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 26, 2016:

Paul: thanks so much for sharing.

The fact he lived to 88 reinforces the fact that chewing/dipping isn't quite as bad for you as smoking. That said, it still kills or at least shortens the lives of most who use it, and I believe it is one of the hardest addictions to break known to man.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 26, 2016:

FatFreddysCat: so glad to hear from someone who kicked the habit.

One of the problems with chewing tobacco is that it is so hard to impart to others how difficult it is to stop. If you could do that, I don't think anyone would ever start.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 26, 2016:

Whonunuwho: these type efforts are meaningful, but to give the negative side of things, as many kids will throw away their tobacco cans the day of an assembly like that, most will be back dipping within a week.

Assemblies like the one you mentioned are good, especially for keeping kids from starting, but actually quitting almost always comes from within.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on July 26, 2016:

Very informative and useful article for those who want to quit these bad habits. But, there are many who are addicted to both chewing and smoking and even do not think of quitting those habits. They don't heed to good advice.

johnmariow on July 25, 2016:

Thanks for an excellent educational article. I never chewed tobacco, but I did smoke a pack of cigarettes a day for about 20 years.

Quitting was not easy for me. I decided to stop inhaling when I smoked. In the short term, I smoked a lot more cigarettes. But eventually my desire for cigarettes ceased. I was able to go without smoking except for an occassional cigarette when I was stressed out. But I did not inhale.

I am seventy years old now. I have not smoked a cigarette for many years. I don't have any desire to smoke; not even after a meal. I consider myself lucky because I have not had cancer either.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on July 25, 2016:

Larry, my father smoked cigarettes for 30 years before he finally quit at around the age of 44. Dad however took up chewing tobacco after he quit smoking and continued chewing until his death at the age of 88. As much as he tried, he could never give up chewing tobacco. I am sharing this hub with HP followers and on Facebook.

Keith Abt from The Garden State on July 25, 2016:

After numerous attempts at quitting over the past decade, I was finally able to give up smokeless tobacco for good three and a half years ago. The withdrawal/cravings sucked for a while but after a few weeks they slowly went away. Nowadays I don't even salivate when I pass by the Skoal display in a store anymore.

If I'd known it was so hard to quit dipping I never would have taken it up in the first place!

whonunuwho from United States on July 25, 2016:

As a teacher for many years, once we had a guest speaker in our high school.The guest speaker astounded all who were there that day. The man had half a face, His teeth were exposed. He had been a habitual user of oral tobacco. When I was told to check a bathroom that day, the trash can was almost full of cans of tobacco. It had made a big impression!

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 25, 2016:

Matt: I've seen a lot of them. Not just nasty, but scary.

Matthew A Easterbrook from Oregon on July 25, 2016:

It is very nasty. Check out videos on youtube that show mouth cancer and bad dental issues from chewing dip.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 25, 2016:

Job smart: thanks for dropping by.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 25, 2016:

Matt: because it isn't as prevalent an addiction as smoking, people just st don't understand how nasty an addiction it is.

I'm really glad to finally hear from somebody who has seen with their own eyes what a nasty addiction it is.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 25, 2016:

Bill: all addiction is awful, but also, all addiction is not the same.

For example, alcoholism can kill you if you try to quit and don't seek medical help. While tobacco is not nearly so severe in that regard, I contend it may be the hardest of all addictive drugs to quit in the long run. It just hangs on.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 25, 2016:

Buildreps: it really is all about the delivery system with dipping.

Thanks so much for dropping by.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 25, 2016:

FlourishAnyway: you know once you're really hooked, the flavors mean nothing in comparison to the high.

For example, Copenhagen has always been thought of as the strongest dip. It smells and tastes terrible! I'd dip it anyhow.

I still just St love the smell of a good cigar.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

job on July 25, 2016:


Matthew A Easterbrook from Oregon on July 25, 2016:

Larry it is a proven fact that chewing tobacco can cause mouth and throat cancer. Like you mentioned it can cause many other health concerns not to,mention stomach cancer. I grew up in a rural area where Copenhagen was very popular. I have seen even my own brother go through this addiction. He to this day cannot quit the habit and the older he gets the more health issues are catching up to him. Yes, no doubt this addiction is right in line with Heroin and Meth. I would encourage most young people to not even try this stuff at all period as it only takes once to become addicted.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 25, 2016:

This is an interesting article. It never occurred to me that one would be harder than the other. The important comment at the end is well-worth noting...there are no easy fixes wh