Proven Ways to Quit Dipping
Once you’ve decided to stop using smokeless tobacco, there are several proven methods to help you deal with physical and psychological nicotine withdrawal synptoms. There are many ways to quit dipping, so finding the right method is unique to each person.
- Step Down in Small Intervals. Rather than quitting dip cold turkey, try to cut down your dip use in small steps. Mark your dates on a calendar. Every two or three days, use a little less smokeless tobacco than before. In a few weeks, you should be off the dip completely—with fewer side effects!
- Make Supportive Friends. Going through a difficult situation is always easier when you have support. Let your friends and family know about your plan to quit. They can call you throughout the day or send you texts telling you how well you’re doing. They can also keep you from returning to dip by watching out for you and shifting your attention during periods of stress. Having a solid support system is one of the most important ways to quit dipping successfully.
- Reward Yourself. Whenever you complete a particularly difficult day without dip or successfully cut back, give yourself a reward—other than dip! With the money you’re saving in smokeless tobacco products, you can go out to dinner, invest in a hobby, or save up for that vacation you’ve been wanting to take. Positive feedback is one of the best ways to quit dipping or any other bad habit.
- Avoid Triggers. Humans are creatures of habit. We are comfortable doing things the same way throughout the day. That includes chewing tobacco. Do you dip at work? Do you jump in the car and immediately start dipping? Whatever these triggers are, make sure to avoid these situations as often as possible. Obviously, you can’t quit working or driving, but starting your dip-free lifestyle on a Saturday might be one way to help avoid those urges.
- Visit the Dentist. Make sure to schedule a cleaning soon after you quit dipping. This will remove any plaque remnants from the smokeless tobacco use, and it will also freshen your mouth, removing any desire to dirty it again with more dip.
- Make a List of Motivators. Why have you decided to quit dipping? To save money? To become healthier? To live longer? To be a better role model for your children? Having a list of your top ten motivations for quitting will help you through the rough patches. Keep the list with you (perhaps in an old tin of dip) that you can carry with you throughout the day.
Ways to Quit Dipping with Alternative Products
When determining the best ways to quit dipping, most people agree that they need something that will replace the sensation of chewing and spitting. The psychological desire to dip is often more powerful than the physical effects of quitting smokeless tobacco. Many doctors and dentists suggest replacing the dip with an alternative product to alleviate the craving to have something in your mouth.
- Drink Water. Studies show that drinking more water when quitting dip helps curb the desire to dip. It takes care of the desire to have something in your mouth, and it’s also good for you.
- Sunflower Seeds. Chewing sunflower seeds mimics the process of chewing tobacco, as you can both chew and spit.
- Hard Candy and Gums. Many people choose to keep hard candies and gum nearby when stopping dip. Like sunflower seeds, they provide an alternative to the dangerous dips. But remember to brush and floss regularly, as the sugars can do just as much damage to your teeth and gums as dip can.
- Prescription Medication. If you’re having a particularly difficult time quitting dip, several prescription medications are available through your doctor, which have a high success rate. While they are effective ways to quit dipping, these pills do little to curb the desire to chew.
- Over the Counter Medications. Many companies promote products such as patches, lollipops, and gum as effective ways to quit dipping. These products include nicotine, so they help you taper down from dipping, but can have harmful side effects. It is best to consult a doctor before starting any of these regimens.
- Tobacco-Free Dip. Perhaps the best alternative to quitting dip is herbal dip. These products look, taste, and feel like regular dip, but have none of the life-threatening dangers. They are also less expensive than nicotine medications.
While there are many ways to quit dipping, success is founded on your desire to stop. Remember why you have made this decision, and repeat affirmations to yourself throughout the day when the cravings set in. Also keep in mind that withdrawal is short term; you won’t have these effects forever. Stick with it! Your family, your body, and your bank account will thank you in the end.