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Ways To Stop Tobacco Chewing Addiction

Tobacco chewing has been associated with a number of health issues, starting with the most obvious: cancer. Cancers of the mouth, throat, tongue, cheek and oesophagus have been linked to this addiction. Many who chew tobacco complain of lesions in the mouth; these are invariably pre-cancerous.

Chewing tobacco usually has a lot of sugar in it; we know how harmful that is. It also contributes to gum disease and erodes the enamel of the teeth, paving the way for decay. If you stop tobacco chewing habit, you also lessen risk for heart attacks and strokes.

When you first decide to stop tobacco chewing habit, make sure that you are completely committed, or you will struggle to stick to a plan. Keep a list of the reasons for quitting to help you on days when it seems too hard.

What are some of the dos to keep in mind to stop tobacco chewing habit?

Speak to a doctor: To quit chewing tobacco, speak to your doctor to understand what withdrawal symptoms you may have. Ask if there are any treatments you could take to ease the withdrawal.

Research: To stop tobacco chewing habit, understand more about addiction and the harm that tobacco chewing can do to your health. Look up methods to help you quit and visit online addiction forums to consider multiple methods.

Wean off: If you attempt to quit chewing tobacco overnight, you may not be successful. Decide a day to stop chewing tobacco. The week before, start cutting down. Reduce little by little, and finally, stop.

Take it one day at a time: This is a very important tip to remember when you want to stop tobacco chewing habit. Don’t think “I will never ever do it again” - it might put undue pressure on you. Start each day saying you won’t chew, and celebrate each day that you move forward.

Understand your triggers: There are many things that cause us to return to an addictive habit. As you quit chewing tobacco, understand what your triggers are – tiredness, stress, inactivity, friends – and deal with them.

Substitute: In the early stages of the attempt to quit chewing tobacco, this is useful. Chew gum or fruit squares to take your mind off. But do not substitute a harmful tobacco chewing habit with another harmful addiction like smoking or sweets.

Keep a diary: Track your progress and the steps that you take to keep yourself occupied while not chewing. Note your mood. Write down any triggers and how you dealt with them. If you relapse into the habit, don’t lose heart, instead try to understand what went wrong.

Inform your friends: No change of lifestyle or habit is possible without the people around you. Make sure your friends and family know that you have quit chewing tobacco. Ask them to be supportive and appreciative of your efforts.

Join a support group: There are many addiction support groups; find one of people dedicated to stop tobacco chewing habit. Exchange notes on the de-addiction process, on triggers, behavioural issues, stresses and fear of relapse.

Story first published: Saturday, August 9, 2014, 11:01 [IST]
Read more about: smoking wellness