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Nov. 20th 2007

 

 

How would you deal with

the following situations?

________________________________________

 

 

Your 2-year-old is having a temper tantrum because he wants a new toy. Would you;

1. Leave him alone until he calmed down

2. Give into his demands

3. Give him a tranquilizer

Your 7-year-old is anxious about next week's Little League tryouts. Would you;

1. Assure him that he can do it

2. Practice with him and tell him to try his best

3. Give him a valium every three hours until the game

Your 14-year-old is crushed when she is not asked to the sophomore dance. Would you;

1. Fix her up with one of your friend's children

2. Tell her to go anyway

3. Give her cocaine to pick up her spirits

Your 15-year-old is self-conscious about being 5 pounds overweight. Would you;

1. Cook lower calorie meals

2. Enroll her in a diet or exercise program

3. Put her on appetite suppressants

________________________________________

All of these young people are experiencing what adults would consider "growing pains." A little time, patience and positive reassuring will help them overcome all of these difficult situations.

 

The fact is, as long as anyone continues to develop physically, emotionally, intellectually, professionally or spiritually, they too will experience growing pains. Adults are prone to hurt, pain, sadness, depression and anxiety just as children are. These feelings are all necessary if we wish to continue to develop our minds and bodies. Without such growth, we would not experience happiness, satisfaction, contentment or purpose to their full extent.

 

The third choice in each of the above situations was, of course, ridiculous. We would not subject our children to chemical hazards to overcome such trivial problems. However, as adults we are fully capable of practicing such dangerous behaviors for our own relief. Take chewing as an example.

 

When you were still a chewer, how many times would you say you had to chew because you were lonely and sad without your friendly dip? How many times did you say that you had to chew because of all the stress in your life? How many times did you tell yourself that many social activities were just not fun without your chews? How many times did you say that you would gain too much weight if you quit chewing? All you were saying was that you needed nicotine, a drug, to overcome everyday life problems.

 

It was not until you were off chew that you realized you could overcome such problems without chewing, and in most cases more effectively than when you were a dipper. Once you had quit you realized just how much a source of stress dependence upon nicotine was to you. You were caught by a socially unacceptable and physically deadly addiction and were quite often aware of it. This is when you had the desire to give them up, but thought the pain of quitting too great to even attempt it.

 

Even today, you probably still desire an occasional chew. It may be in a stressful situation, at a party after a few drinks, or at a time when you find yourself alone with nothing better to do. The fact is, there is nothing worse you can do than take a chew. One chew will not help you over the problem. In reality, it will create a new problem, a disastrous situation of a revived and reinforced addiction, with all the physical dangers and the dirty means of delivery that come with it.

 

So, next time you have the desire for a chew, sit back and take a few moments to reflect upon what you are setting yourself up for. Do you need that drug? Do you want that addiction?

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 1982, 2000

Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 24, 2003

 

This document was created by John R. Polito, editor of www.whyquit.com and presenter of bimonthly free quit smoking seminars at the College of Charleston. These tips were developed primarily from recent medical studies and from Joel's Library (http://whyquit.com/joel), an insightful collection of 95 short quitting articles available for download as a free electronic PDF book at WhyQuit.com (http://whyquit.com/joel/ntap.pdf). Be sure to share this booklet with friends and loved ones who smoke. Not being able to discover the law of addiction through the school of hard-quitting-knocks is a horrible reason to die. This may be reproduced and shared for health education purposes so long as it is not used for commercial purposes and there is never any charge or cost to recipients.

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Nov 20th 2007

 

 

Welcome all and have a great nic-free day!

Rob

 

Why Do I Chew?

 

Most chewers spend countless hours during their chewing careers trying to satisfactorily answer this most perplexing question. Typically, answers they come up with are that they chew because they are unhappy, unsatisfied, nervous, bored, anxious, lonely, tired or just frustrated without their dip. Other reasons often quoted are that dipping keeps them thin or make them better able to think. Some claim that they chew to celebrate the joyful times of life. Food, drink, fun and games, and even sex all seem to lose their appeal without an accompanying chew. After hearing all of these wonderful qualities attributed to chew chewing, I find myself amazed that thousands and thousands of earth's inhabitants have successfully given up chewing.

 

What in the world is wrong with these ex-chewers? I can understand people who never chewed. They never knew or believed all of these wonderful benefits derived from chewing. What you never had you'll never miss. But these ex-chewers, having given up such a marvelous chemical addiction with so many benefits, must be crazy.

 

The fact is ex-chewers are not crazy. To the contrary, it was their ability to be rational which enabled them to successfully break free from dip. They had the foresight to put themselves through the pain and agony encountered during the initial withdrawal from the nicotine addiction. It is both a powerful physical and psychological addiction which creates many irrational beliefs as defense mechanisms in order to perpetuate the chewing behavior. Most of the reasons mentioned above of why dippers claim are such drug induced beliefs.

 

All ex-chewers should be applauded for their great accomplishment in overcoming the many obstacles created by their addiction. Encountering the initial quitting process creates a state of emotional insecurity and self doubt. Will they ever be able to survive in our complicated world without their chews? Once they become totally free of the grip which chews exert upon them, they will be able to get a clear perspective of how many misconceptions they had about the benefits they thought they derived from chewing. Being drug free after years of enslavement brings a sense of relief and accomplishment that the chewer never anticipated. To their pleasant surprise, they discover the marvelous fact that there is life after chewing. It is a healthier, calmer and more pleasant life. They now have a choice as to whether or not they ever wish to chew again. If they look honestly and objectively at the advantages and disadvantages, the logical choice is to remain ex-chewers.

 

Unfortunately, some don't remember all of the consequences associated with their now arrested dependency, but only recall the infrequent good times they believe they had with their chews. They think that they could once again enjoy just a few chews. What must be understood by all ex-chewers is that they only have two options. They can chew nothing or they can chew at their previous level of consumption. There is no in-between. They are wasting their time contemplating how nice it would be to be an occasional social chewer. They can never again have that luxury.

 

All ex-chewers must consider both options. Then if they choose to chew, all they need do is take their first chew and again become trapped in the nicotine addiction. If they choose to remain free, all they need is to follow the simple practice - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER CHEW!

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 1983, 2000

Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on September 12, 2005

This document was created by John R. Polito, editor of www.whyquit.com and presenter of bimonthly free quit smoking seminars at the College of Charleston. These tips were developed primarily from recent medical studies and from Joel's Library (http://whyquit.com/joel), an insightful collection of 95 short quitting articles available for download as a free electronic PDF book at WhyQuit.com (http://whyquit.com/joel/ntap.pdf).

 

Be sure to share this booklet with friends and loved ones who smoke. Not being able to discover the law of addiction through the school of hard-quitting-knocks is a horrible reason to die. It may be reproduced and shared for health education purposes so long as it is not used for commercial purposes and there is never any charge or cost to recipients.

 

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Nov. 22nd, 2007

 

 

I can relate to this and how morbid our thinking becomes. Years ago, before I even started chewing for the second time, I would plan out that if I ever knew I was going to die, I would start chewing again. Then when that didn’t come to pass, I started chewing again anyway and remember these thoughts that if the day came I was diagnosed, I’d face up to it and chew my way into the grave. What a gift it is today to be free of this destructive thought process.

Relish in your nic-free day!

Rob aka Indy

 

What A Relief, I Think I Have Cancer!

________________________________________

 

 

"Last night I was getting a burning sensation in my gums. I actually thought I had cancer. I wasn't scared, surprised, or even upset. I was actually happy. I can't remember ever looking so forward to being diagnosed of having a terminal illness." This unusual statement was made to me by a clinic participant on his fourth day without chewing. While it sounds like the ravings of a severely depressed or mentally ill individual, in fact he was nothing of the sort. To the contrary, he was smiling and laughing when he said it.

 

What was the humor he saw in the statement? As soon as he said it to himself the night before, he realized the pain he was experiencing was the same complaints he heard three other people describe earlier that day at her clinic. It was a normal part of the healing process from quitting chewing. He also recognized the fact that he was not looking forward to a debilitating illness and an early demise. He was looking forward to taking a chew. When the pain started he rationalized that as long as he had cancer already, he might as well chew. Then he realized he was looking forward to cancer. At that point he recognized just how morbid his thought processes had become. Not because he was quitting chewing, but because he was an addict and was he capable of thinking in such depraved terms. Upon recognizing the absurdity of the situation, he laughed off the urge and went to bed.

 

It is important to remember just how irrational your thoughts were when you too were a chewer. As a chewer you were constantly warned of the dangers through the media, physicians, family, friends who quit, and most importantly, your own body. Not a week went by when you were not being bombarded by the constant annoying message that chewing was impairing and killing you. But being the obedient addict you were, you disregarded these pestering outside influences to obey your true master--your chew. As Vic, the participant in my first clinic once stated, "Everywhere I turned I was being warned about tobacco. Newspapers reports and magazines articles constantly reinforced that tobacco was deadly. Even bill boards advertising chew carried the Surgeon General's warning signal. Every time I'd reach for my can, a warning label stared me in the face. It was only a matter of time before I reached the only logical conclusion. I quit reading!"

 

The control tobacco exerts on you when you are in the grip of the addiction is complete. It makes you say and do things that when observed by outside parties makes you look weak, stupid or crazed. At the same time it robs you of your money, health and eventually life. Once free of chew you can recognize all these symptoms of your past addiction. You don’t have to live such a miserable existence!

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 1988, 2000

Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 24, 2003

 

This document was created by John R. Polito, editor of www.whyquit.com and presenter of bimonthly free quit smoking seminars at the College of Charleston. These tips were developed primarily from recent medical studies and from Joel's Library (http://whyquit.com/joel), an insightful collection of 95 short quitting articles available for download as a free electronic PDF book at WhyQuit.com (http://whyquit.com/joel/ntap.pdf). Be sure to share this booklet with friends and loved ones who smoke. Not being able to discover the law of addiction through the school of hard-quitting-knocks is a horrible reason to die. This may be reproduced and shared for health education purposes so long as it is not used for commercial purposes and there is never any charge or cost to recipients.

 

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Nov. 24th, 2007

 

 

"Quitting Chewing"

A Fate Worse than Death?

________________________________________

 

 

People sitting in at chewing clinics are amazed at how resistant chewers are to giving up chews. Even chewers will sit and listen to horror stories of other participants in sheer disbelief. Some chewers have had multiple heart attacks, circulatory conditions resulting in amputations, cancers, emphysema and a host of other disabling and deadly diseases. How in the world could these people have continued chewing after all that? Some of these chewers are fully aware that chewing is crippling and killing them, but continue to chew anyway. A legitimate question asked by any sane chewer or nonchewer is, “why?”

The answer to such a complex issue is really quite simple. The chewer often has chews so tied into his lifestyle that he feels when he gives up chewing he will give up all activities associated with chews. Considering these activities include almost everything he does from the time he awakes to the time he goes to sleep, life seems like it will not be worth living as an ex-chewer. The chewer is also afraid he will experience the painful withdrawal symptoms from not chewing as long as he deprives himself of chews. Considering all this, quitting chewing creates a greater fear than dying from chewing.

If the chewer were correct in all his assumptions of what life as an ex-chewer were like, then maybe it would not be worth it to quit. But all these assumptions are wrong. There is life after chewing, and withdrawal does not last forever. Trying to convince the chewer of this, though, is quite an uphill battle. These beliefs are deeply ingrained and are conditioned from the false positive effects experienced from chews.

The chewer often feels that he needs a chew in order to get out of bed in the morning. Typically, when he awakes he feels a slight headache, tired, irritable, depressed and disoriented. He is under the belief that all people awake feeling this way. He is fortunate though, because he has a way to stop these horrible feelings. He chews a chew or two. Then he begins waking up and feels human again. Once he is awake, he feels he needs chews to give him energy to make it through the day. When he is under stress and nervous, the chews calm him down. Giving up this wonder drug seems ludicrous to him.

But if he quits chewing he will be pleasantly surprised to find out that he will feel better and be able to cope with life more efficiently than when he was a chewer. When he wakes up in the morning, he will feel tremendously better than when he awoke as a chewer. No longer will he drag out of bed feeling horrible. Now he will wake up feeling well rested and refreshed. In general, he will be calmer than when he chewd. Even when under stress, he normally will not experience the panic reactions he used to feel whenever his nicotine level fell below acceptable levels. The belief that chews were needed for energy is one of the most deceptive of all. Almost any ex-chewer will attest that he has more strength, endurance, and energy than he ever did as a chewer. And the fear of prolonged withdrawal also had no merit, for withdrawal symptoms would peak within three days, and totally subside within two weeks.

If any chewer just gives himself the chance to really feel how nice not chewing is, he will no longer have the irrational fears which keeps him maintaining his deadly addiction. He will find life will become simpler, happier, cleaner, and most importantly healthier, than when he was a chewer. His only fear will now be in relapsing to chewing and all he has to do to prevent this is - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER DIP!

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 1985, 2000

Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 24, 2003

 

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Nov. 23rd 2007

 

 

Are You Chewing More

and Enjoying it Less?

________________________________________

 

 

This creative slogan was once used by a chew advertiser trying to entice chewers of other brands to switch to their product. The slogan was a brilliantly conceived advertising tactic. Almost every chewer who had indulged for a significant period of time would instantly recognize him or herself in the slogan. He or she may even have tried chewing the other brand to recapture the pleasure and joy of earlier days of chewing. But to his or her dismay, even this chew failed to deliver that special feeling once derived from chewing.

Why do chews seem to lose that special appeal for the veteran chewer? Have chews changed so drastically over the years? No, that is not the problem at all. Chews haven't changed, chewers have. For the longer an individual chews, the more dependent the chewer becomes on his nicotine fix. In his early days of chewing, the chewer derived much pleasure from the pharmacological action of nicotine. It made him feel alert, energetic, or maybe even had a calming, relaxing effect. It helped in studying and in learning. Sometimes it made him feel more mature, confident, and more social. It pretty much did whatever he wanted it to, depending on the circumstances surrounding him while he chewd it. In these early days, he chewd maybe 5 to 10 per day, usually just when he wanted the desired effect.

But gradually, something happens to the chewer. He becomes more dependent on chews. He no longer chews to solve a problem, to celebrate, or to feel great. He chews because he NEEDS a chew. In essence he chews because he is a chewer, or, more accurately, a chew-a-holic. No longer does he get those special chewer highs--now he chews because not chewing makes him feel withdrawal. Not chewing means feeling nervous, irritable, depressed, angry, afraid, nauseous, or headachy just to mention a few effects. He grasps for a chew to alleviate these symptoms, all the time hoping to get that special warm feeling that chews used to give him. But, to his dismay, all that happens is he feels almost normal after chewing a chew. And 20 minutes later the whole process starts up again.

Once he quits chewing, life becomes nice again. No longer does he go into withdrawal 20 to 80 times per day. He can go anywhere any time he wishes and not have to worry about whether he will be able to chew at his needed intervals. When he gets a headache or feels nauseous, he knows he is coming down with an infection, not feeling the way he does every day as a chewer from too much or too little chewing. In comparison to his life as a chewer, he feels great. But then something insidious starts to occur.

He begins to remember the best chew he ever had in his life. It may be one he chewd 10, 20 or maybe even 40 years earlier. He remembers that special warm feeling of that wonderful chew. If he thinks about it long enough, he may even try to recapture the moment. Unfortunately, however, the moment will recapture him. Once again he will be in the grip of an addiction which will cause him to be chewing more and enjoying less. This time he may not get off. This wonderful chew will cost him his freedom, his health and eventually his life. Don't make this mistake when you quit. Remember how chews were the day you stopped, for that will be what they are like the day you go back, no matter how far apart those two days are. Remember the way they were and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER DIP!

 

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Nov 23rd, 2007

 

 

Have a great day

Rob aka Indy

A Safer Way to Chew

________________________________________

 

Chewers are always looking for ways to reduce the health risks of chewing. Unfortunately, most techniques used to reduce the risk don't work, and, in many cases, may actually increase the dangers of chewing.

 

Probably the most popular method of risk reduction is switching to low nicotine tobacco. If people only chewed to perpetuate a simple habit, low nicotine chews would probably reduce the dangers of chewing. Unfortunately, the necessity to chew is not continuance of a habit but rather maintenance of an addiction. Switching to a low nicotine chew makes it difficult for a chewer to reach and maintain his normal required level of nicotine. The chewer will probably develop some sort of compensatory chewing pattern. Compensatory behaviors include chewing more chew or chewing them longer.

 

By doing one or a combination of these behaviors, the chewer will reach similar levels of nicotine in his system as when he chewed his old brand, but, in the process, he may increase the amount of other potent poisons beyond what was delivered by his old tobacco. Low nicotine tobacco often has higher concentrations of other dangerous poisons. By increasing consumption, substantially greater amounts of these poisons are taken into the system, thereby increasing his risk of diseases associated with these chemicals. To give flavor to the low nicotine chew, many additional additives and flavor enhancers are used. Tobacco companies are not required to disclose what the chemical additives are, but the medical community suspects that many of these additives are carcinogenic (cancer producing) and may actually be increasing the chewer's risk of tobacco-related cancers.

 

One last method of risk reduction worth mentioning is vitamin supplements. The body's ability to utilize Vitamin C is impaired by chewing. When some chewers learn this, they start taking supplemental Vitamin C. But vitamin C acidifies the urine, resulting in the body accelerating the excretion rate of nicotine. In response, the chewer may chew extra chews. In the process, he will probably destroy the extra vitamin C and increase his exposure to all of the poisonous chemicals found in tobacco chew.

 

Almost every method of making chewing safer is a farce. There is only one way to totally reduce the deadly effects of chewing, and that is, simply, not to chew. Only then will your chances of diseases such as heart disease and cancer be reduced to the level of nonchewers.

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 1990, 2001

Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 24, 2003

This document was created by John R. Polito, editor of www.whyquit.com and presenter of bimonthly free quit smoking seminars at the College of Charleston. These tips were developed primarily from recent medical studies and from Joel's Library (http://whyquit.com/joel), an insightful collection of 95 short quitting articles available for download as a free electronic PDF book at WhyQuit.com (http://whyquit.com/joel/ntap.pdf). Be sure to share this booklet with friends and loved ones who smoke. Not being able to discover the law of addiction through the school of hard-quitting-knocks is a horrible reason to die. This may be reproduced and shared for health education purposes so long as it is not used for commercial purposes and there is never any charge or cost to recipients.

 

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Nov. 25th, 2007

 

 

"Why Did I Start Chewing?

Why Did I Quit?"

 

________________________________________

 

It is pretty funny. People often try to reflect on when and why they started chewing as if thinking that it would answer the daunting question of why they continue to chew. In reality, the reason you start and the reasons you continue are not the same.

Some people start because of peer pressure. But in society today, if peer pressure were going to be the influencing factor, it would be making people quit chewing , not continue to chew.

Some people took up chewing to look older and more mature. How many people in their 30's, 40's, 50's or 60's or beyond want to do everything in their power to look older than they already do?

Others take up chewing out of a sense of rebellion. Their parents, teachers, doctors and other adults told them they couldn't chew. So to show them who was in control, they chewd anyway. Well, how many 60-year-old chewers are there who are chewing today so that they can snub their nose at their 80 to 90 year old parents saying, "you see, you still can't tell me not to chew."

People start for a variety of reasons, but they continue for just one – they became drug addicts, the drug--nicotine. It is interesting though because the same thing happens when the chewer quits. The initial reason that people quit chewing often become secondary in importance to reasons they eventually stay off.

Some people quit to make others happy, or because of non-chewing policies issued at a place of employment. But after quitting, they find they feel better than ever, are calmer, have more energy, have more money, overall are happier and in more control of their own life. Their new reasons may have little bearing to their initial quit reason. In many ways they are better reasons and more lasting. Or, some people who quit for medical risks alone start to realize that not chewing is just a nicer way of life. Sometimes the quality of life becomes more important to them than the concept of length of life.

Whatever your initial reason for quitting was, it is still valid. On top of that there are numerous benefits you may have noticed and some you haven't even thought of yet which are still to be noticed. Some you will never think of but are real anyway. Keep focused on every good reason not to chew. This becomes your ammunition to stay the course, and to ride out those annoying craves or thoughts that can pop out of nowhere.

Whether or not you ever accurately remember why you started to chew, as long as you remember why you quit and why you desire to stay free, you will keep your resolve strong enough to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER DIP!

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 2002

Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 24, 2003

 

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Dec. 3rd, 2007

 

 

What happens to some people is when off a certain time period they start fixating on a dip. By that I mean they forget all the bad dips they ever chewed, they forget the ones they chewed without ever really thinking about them even at the time they were being chewed, and they start to remember and focus on one good dip. It may be one the chewed 20 years earlier but it was a good one and they are now wanting one again.

A common tactic is the ex-chewer will try to tell himself or herself that he or she does not really want that good dip. Well, the problem is at that moment he or she does want it. An internal debate erupts, "I want one, no I don't, one sounds great, not it doesn't, oh just one, not just one!" The problem is that if the ex-chewer focus on one there is no clear winning side. The ex-chewer needs to change the internal discussion.

Don't say that you don’t want one when you do, rather acknowledge the desire but ask yourself, do I want the others that go with it. Then do I want the package deal that goes with the others? The expense, social stigma, smell, health effects, possible loss of life. Do you want to go back to chewing, full fledged, until it cripples and kills you? Stated like this it normally is not a back and forth debate. The answer will normally be, "No I don’t want to chew under these terms, and these are the only terms a dip comes with.

Normally if viewed like this the debate is over with almost immediately after pulled into focus. Again, if the focus is only on one, you can drive yourself nuts throughout the whole day. If they focus on the whole package deal, you will walk away from the moment relieved to still be chew free and sufficiently reinforced to never take another dip!

 

Edited by Wyoming4life

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Dec. 4th, 2007

 

 

I've now twice read posts that assert that it takes 6 times of encountering a particular time, event, location or emotion during which we used to chew, before the subconscious mind breaks the link between that particular set of chewing memories and our mind's crave generator. If this information is the result of some study, we'd all like to see it as it just isn't so. The vast majority of our triggers are disconnected by our subconscious mind after just one encounter with the exact same circumstances. It may be that the particular triggering memory looks much like a previous trigger, but if you keep a trigger log and look very closely, you'll often see the difference.

 

Joel teaches that at MOST a couple of encounters will break even the strongest link. Dr. Michael Murphy in his book "The Power of the Subconscious Mind" teaches that it only takes ONCE, but that we have difficulty seeing the subtle differences between triggering events. Dr. Murphy, who has spent his life exploring the workings of the subconscious, says that our subconscious is incapable of reasoning, thinking or analyzing a situation, it only reacts to a lifetime of input.

 

How many times does it take for a good hypnotist to re-condition the mind to do what seems unlikely, impossible or unbelievable to the eye? Most of us have seen it with our very own eyes at Comedy Clubs or even with prior attempts at quitting where it worked for a couple of days. Sure the conditioning can be overcome the vastness of our chewing memory banks, but I've seen some folks do some pretty stupid things on the stage when the hypnotist only gave the suggestion a single time. He didn't have to repeat himself over and over again. Once a link is broken, each time the same circumstances are encountered without generating a crave only reinforce the positive re-conditioning that has occurred.

 

That's one of the reasons I'm always harping on feeding our minds positive thoughts and avoiding defeatist negative thinking like fear and dread associated with quitting (STARTING) or the next crave. It just goes against the grain and only makes the challenge far more difficult than it need be. We are what we think. Tell yourself this is hard and it will be. Tell yourself the healing is glorious and it will be. Fear your craves and they will each be nightmares. Believe that you are more powerful than they are, and you will be. Know with every fiber of your being that there is no force or circumstances on planet earth (including the death or illness of a friend or loved one) that can ever cause you to put slow death to your lips again, and you won't! We are what we think!

 

For those of you still experiencing craves, keep a crave long and try to record as accurately as possible the exact circumstances that brought on the crave. Share your findings as the results will be astonishing. As you go through your day today, stop and notice all of the times that you DIDN'T experience a crave in situations where you used to always chew. Now that is true reconditioning! That is worth celebrating!

 

Even with Pavlov's salivating dogs the reconditioning took only a couple of tries and the conditioning was associated with the most powerful memories and motivators of any dog - FOOD! Pavlov noticed that each time a dog saw food (the trigger) before actually eating, that the dog began to salivate (crave). Pavlov wanted to see if could change the triggering event so he began ringing a bell at the same time food was shown to the dog, and then gradually increased the time between when the bell was rang and when the food was produced. Soon he had the dogs salivating (craving) upon just hearing the bell (new trigger). But, it only took a few times of the dog not seeing or receiving food after hearing the bell before it stopped salivating. The mind of a chewer with hundreds of crave triggers is far more refined than a dogs and the subconscious breaks chewing memory crave trigger links much quicker.

Once a trigger link is broken between a particular set of chewing memories and our mind's crave generator, the risk of re-establishing the link always remains as our chewing memories, like any other memories, are not discarded.

 

It only takes one dip or one dip to re-connect a particular link. If it's to one of our more vivid set of chewing memories, like eating or stress, full relapse can be almost immediate. If it's a less significant set of chewing memories (the food of habit), relapse will be more gradual, but that particular link has been re-connected and will soon be encountered again.

I've got a study here in front of me that finds that about 95% of those who chew just one dip will experience full relapse (19 out of 20). Do you feel lucky? Joel tells us that when we feel the urge to bum a dip after quitting, don't bum just one, instead ask the person for their entire pack or better yet their entire carton, as you're not really asking for just one, but the return of your entire addiction in all its power and with all its destructive force - the nicotine addict back to square one.

 

Enjoy defeating and reconditioning each trigger as with the passing of each you're one step closer to glory! The quicker we recondition each of them, the faster our healing. Have a wonderful day, Zep : )

 

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Dec. 4th, 2007

 

 

Thoughts that seem worse than urges experienced the first few days

________________________________________

 

The urges that happen weeks or months after initial quitting can catch you much more off guard than the urges encountered during the first few days. When you had an urge at 10:00 am the day you quit chewing, it was no big deal. You likely had one at 9:55 am just before it. In fact, the first few days if you went to long without an urge you would have felt something was wrong. Although, some people just have one urge that first day. It hits them when they wake up, goes away when they go to sleep, at which point they dream about chewing all night. In essence, it was chronic.

 

When you start to get more time under your belt not chewing, the triggers become more sporadic. At first separated by minutes, then hours, eventually days and weeks. But they still happen. When they occur after a long period of time they catch you much more off guard.

 

Also, in the beginning, when your guard is up and urges are frequent, you are constantly talking yourself through them. You are then basically reinforcing your resolve over and over again all day long. When you stop having chronic urges, you naturally stop reinforcing your resolve throughout the day. Then when the trigger hits, not having talked yourself through it very recently, you sometimes have a harder time mustering up the initial motivation for quitting and ammunition for staying off.

 

One other factor happens with time making urges feel stronger. You start to forget chewing but still remember the "good" dips. You forget the ones you chewed automatically, paying no real attention to even as you chewed them. You forget the nasty one you despised as you chewed them. You forget all the associated annoyances that went with being a chewer. Then you start to remember the best dip you ever had in your life. If you focus on this dip without recalling all the others and the problems that went with the others, it is hard to not want it.

 

But that "one" dip concept is a fantasy. Not chewing will never be as good as that fantasy, but chewing will not be like that fantasy either. Chewing is what it was at the end, the day you quit—not what it was like early on when it initially hooked you. At the end, chewing was annoying enough to make you want to quit, even though you were going through a horrid withdrawal and psychological readjustment process to do it. You then understood that chewing was making life complicated, ruining your health and basically slowly killing you. Well, dips haven’t changed. Just your memories of them have.

 

Remember dips as they really were, not how you wished they were. Then when the urge is triggered, you will have the ammunition to squelch it. You will recognize that you were just having a bad moment, when you were quitting you were having "bad days." When you were chewing you were a slave to a product that was killing you. You fought long and hard to overcome that control and you never want to relinquish your freedom of choice over such a deadly product again. To keep the control, remember, when the urge is triggered—never take another dip!

 

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Dec. 4th, 2007

 

 

“You said it would get better. It's just as bad as the day I quit chewing!”

________________________________________

 

Recently I was met with this warm greeting from a clinic participant on his 8th day without chewing. As you may recall, we explain during the clinic that if a chewer can get through the first three days without chewing, the physiological withdrawal will start to diminish, and within two weeks all physiological withdrawal will stop.

 

While we can accurately predict the physiological withdrawal, psychological withdrawals can occur at anytime. It is possible that the urge this man was having was just as painful as the ones he had a week earlier. While the urge may have been as strong, it was different. When he had an urge before, there was really nothing he could do to get over it. If he just held out a few minutes, the urge would pass. But psychological urges are more under the ex-chewer's conscious control. A good analogy demonstrating the difference between physiological and psychological pain can be seen by analyzing a common toothache.

 

A rotting tooth can cause a lot of pain. If your dentist explains to you why the tooth hurts it really doesn't resolve the situation. You know why it hurts, but it still hurts. Simply understanding physical pain does not make the pain go away.

 

To illustrate another point, say you go to the dentist and find out that you have a cavity. He has to drill the tooth and put in a filling. The drilling can be a very rough experience. After it is all over the pain will stop, but whenever you hear the sound of a dentist's drill, even if it's years later, you cringe at the thought of the pain. Once you realize that you are simply reacting to the sound, you know that you are not really in danger and the reaction will end. Understanding the root of the fear alleviates the anxiety and the associated pain.

 

Any urges for dips that occur today are reactions to conditioned triggers. You are doing or experiencing something for the first time without chewing. It may be going to a bar, a wedding or going on a plane. It may be seeing a person or being in a place where you always had a dip in the past. It may be something you hear or even an old familiar aroma. The sense of smell is a powerful mechanism for triggering old emotional feelings.

 

So today, if you find yourself desiring a dip, look around you and see why at this particular time and place a dip is on your mind. Once you understand that the desire is being triggered by some reaction to an insignificant event, you can just say "no" to the dip without further problem. All you need to do is understand what triggered the thought. The urge will pass. The next time you encounter a similar situation you will not even think of a dip. You will have learned how to face another experience as a ex-chewer.

 

Quitting chewing is a learning experience. Every time you overcome an urge you will have overcome another obstacle that threatened your status as an ex-chewer. As time goes by, you will run out of obstacles and you can comfortably go through life a happier and healthier person. All you need to remember and practice to stay an ex-chewer is - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER DIP.

 

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Dec. 4th, 2007

 

 

A chewless tobacco user since age 12, Sean refused to believe his

mother's warnings that tobacco was hazardous, chew or no chew.

 

 

Sean Marsee before the final battle.

 

________________________________________

It was early on February 25th. Sean Marsee smiled a tired smile at his sister, pointed his index finger skyward, and an hour later, at age 19, Sean Marsee was dead. Just ten months earlier, Sean, an 18 year-old high school senior and star of the school track team, was just a weekend away from competing in the state track finals, and just a month away from graduation. It was then that Sean opened his mouth and showed his mother an ugly sore on his tongue. His mother, a registered nurse, took one look and felt her heart sink.

A user of chewless chewing tobacco and snuff since age 12, rarely was Sean without a dip. Living from nicotine fix to nicotine fix, he went through a can of snuff every day and a half. When Sean's mother finally discovered his secret she hit the roof. She tried explaining just how hazardous that tobacco was for him, chew or no chew, but Sean refused to believe her. He argued that other boys on the track team were dipping. He argued that his coach knew and didn't seem to care. He argued that high profile sports stars were using and marketing chewless tobacco. How could it be dangerous, he pleaded. In the end, his mother simply dropped the subject.

But now, an angry red spot with a hard white core, about the size of a half-dollar, was being worn by his tongue. "I'm sorry, Sean," said Dr. Carl Hook, the throat specialist. "It doesn't look good. We'll have to do a biopsy." Sean was stunned. Aside from his addiction to nicotine, he didn't drink, he didn't chew and he took excellent care of his body; watching his diet, lifting weights and running five miles a day, six months a year. Now this. How could it be? "But I didn't know snuff could be that bad for you," Sean said. "I'm afraid we'll have to remove that part of your tongue, Sean," Dr. Hook said. The high school senior was silent. "Can I still run in the state track meet this weekend?" he finally asked. "And graduate next month?" Dr. Hook nodded.

On May 16th, Dr. Hook performed the operation. More of Sean's tongue had to be removed than was anticipated. Worse yet, the biopsy results were back and the tumor tested positive for cancer. Arrangements were made for Sean to see a radiation therapist, but before therapy began, a newly swollen lymph node was found in Sean's neck. It was an ominous sign that the cancer had spread. Radical neck surgery had now become necessary.

Dr. Hood gently recommended to Sean that he undergo the severest option: removing the lower jaw on the right side, as well as all lymph nodes, muscles and blood vessels except for his artery. There might be some sinking, he explained, but the chin would support the general planes of the face.

His mother began to cry. Sean was being asked to approve his own mutilation. This was a teenager who was so concerned about his appearance that he'd even swallow his dip rather than be caught spitting tobacco juice. They sat is silence for ten minutes. Then, dimly, she heard him say, "Not the jawbone. Don't take the jawbone." "Okay, Sean, " Dr. Hook said softly. "But the rest; that's the least we should do." On June 20th Sean underwent his second surgery. It lasted eight hours.

At school, 150 students and teachers assembled in June to honor their most outstanding athlete. Sean could not be there to receive their award. His Coach and his assistant came to Sean's home to present their gift, a walnut plaque. They tried not to stare at the huge scar that ran like a railroad track from their star performer's earlobe to his breastbone. Smiling crookedly out of the other side of his mouth, Sean thanked them.

With five weeks of healing and radiation therapy behind him, in August Sean greeted Dr. Hood with enthusiasm, plainly happy to be alive. Miraculously, Sean had snapped back. He really believes his superb physical condition is going to lick it, Dr. Hook thought. Let's hope he's going to win this race too.

But in October Sean started having headaches. A CAT scan showed twin tentacles of fresh malignancy, one snaking down his back, the other curling under the base of his brain. In November, Sean underwent surgery for the third time. It was the jawbone operation he had feared - and more. After 10 hours on the operating room table, he had four huge drains coming from a foot long crescent wound, a breathing tube sticking out of a hole in his throat, a feeding tube through his nose, and two tubes in his arm veins. Sean looked at his mother as if to say, "My God, Mom, I didn't know it was going to hurt like this."

The Marsees brought Sean home for Christmas. Even then, he remained optimistic until that day in January when he found new lumps in the left side of his cheek. His mother answered the phone when the hospital called with the results of the biopsy. Sean knew the news was bad by her silent tears as she listened. When she hung up, he was in her arms, and for the first time since the awful nightmare started, grit-tough Sean Marsee began to sob. After a few minutes, he straightened and said, "Don't worry. I'm going to be fine." Like the winning runner he was, he still had faith in his finishing kick.

One day Sean confessed to his mother that he still craved his snuff. "I catch myself thinking," he said, "I'll just reach over and have a dip." Then he added that he wished he could visit the high-school locker room to show the athletes "what you look like when you use it." His appearance, he knew would be persuasive. A classmate who had come to see him fainted dead away.

Shortly before Sean's death he told his mother that there must be a reason that God decided not to save him. Sean's mother believes that Sean's legacy is in having his story spread and hopefully "keeping other kids from dying." When Sean became unable to speak, a friend asked him if their was anything he wanted to share with other young athletes. With pencil in hand Sean wrote, "Don't dip snuff." On the morning of February 25th, Sean Marsee, age nineteen, exhaled his last breath.

 

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Dec. 7th, 2007

 

 

Quitting Methods - Who to Believe?

________________________________________

 

 

Who should you believe on what is the most successful technique for quitting chewing - the government and most chewing cessation experts in the world and the professional health organizations of the world and the pharmacological industry and almost anyone whose career seems to be based in chewing cessation or me?

 

I guess using this standard it would be best not to believe me. But before jumping ship there is one other important group of people that you may find that will back me up and who are already quite credible to you. It's the people in your family and your friends in your real world who have successfully quit chewing and been off all nicotine products for at least one year or longer.

 

Find out how the people you know who are long-term ex-chewers actually stopped chewing. By long-term I mean people who are currently off all nicotine for at least a year or longer. You'll likely find that few if any of them have ever heard of me. You will see that many of them had previous quits and relapsed, using all sorts of methods that are endorsed by professionals and maybe even a few of them had professional help with previous attempts. You will find that almost all of them did not follow what is considered the standard recommended advice on how to quit yet they did quit and are still going strong. You'll find that they most likely quit by simply stopping chewing one day for one reason or another and then have been able to stay off by sticking to a commitment that they made to themselves to not take a dip.

 

Talk to every long-term ex-chewer you know. Do your own surveys. While you are at it, talk to the current chewers you know too. See how many of them have used products and followed the advice of the professionals. Keep in mind, most professional literature will advise people to use pharmacologic aids like nicotine replacement products. Try to see how many long-term successful quitters in your real world encounters actually followed this advice.

 

Another piece of advice written in most literature produced by chewing cessation experts is something to the effect that temporary slips are common and that you should not let a slip put you back to chewing. People who write advice like this do not understand addiction. A person needs to understand that taking a chew is likely going to kill a quit.

 

Try to find one chewer who once had quit but is now chewing again who didn't one day take a dip. Finding one such person who fits this criteria is going to take you forever. On the other hand finding current chewers you know who had once had quits that actually lasted for months, years or decades who lost their quits by taking that first dip are quite easy to find. Understand, some of these people had heard comments like, "don't let a slip make you go back to chewing," but sadly, found out from experience that they had little control of the matter once they took that first chew.

 

Our advice, if to successfully quit chewing, is to simply stop chewing. Our advice for staying off chew is simply to stick to a commitment to never take another dip. So talk to long-term ex-chewers and find out how they quit and hear how they have managed to stay off. Pretty soon you will see it is not a matter of pitting all of the world professionals against me. It becomes a matter of pitting every long-term ex-chewer you know who has successfully quit against the world's professionals. Do the surveys and then I will just become another voice in the crowd of real people who have proven to you that the way to quit chewing and to stay chew free is to Never Take Another chew!

 

This document was created by John R. Polito, editor of www.whyquit.com and presenter of bimonthly free quit smoking seminars at the College of Charleston. These tips were developed primarily from recent medical studies and from Joel's Library (http://whyquit.com/joel), an insightful collection of 95 short quitting articles available for download as a free electronic PDF book at WhyQuit.com (http://whyquit.com/joel/ntap.pdf). Be sure to share this booklet with friends and loved ones who smoke. Not being able to discover the law of addiction through the school of hard-quitting-knocks is a horrible reason to die. This may be reproduced and shared for health education purposes so long as it is not used for commercial purposes and there is never any charge or cost to recipients.

 

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Dec. 7th 2007

 

 

Just thirteen and on a camp-out with friends when one pulled out a can of snuff he’d stolen from his father's dresser drawer. "I thought, `Why not?' " he said. "I was 13. I had not a care in the world. So I took a dip." "At first it made me kind of sick and real dizzy. Next thing I knew I was addicted."

 

By age 14 Gruen Von Behrens was seriously hooked on nicotine. At his peak he was consuming more than half a can a day. Then it happened, at sixteen he noticed a small white spot on his tongue, a spot that would gradually start to grow.

 

"As a teenager, [Gruen] was a handsome lad who hit .400 for the local Comets and wanted to play for the Chicago Cubs. Ryne Sandberg was his hero. 'The only things I cared about were baseball, food, and women, in that order,' he said. At the high school field he still can point out the houses in the neighborhood beyond the center-field fence that he hit with home runs."

 

But now something was gradually eating away at his tongue and Gruen was slowly beginning to realize that he likely had cancer. He decided to hide it from his mother, a nurse. The 5'10" ball-player recalls sitting in the bathroom asking God why this was happening to him.

 

When his mother kept asking why he was slurring his speech, drooling, and why he couldn’t seem to keep food in his mouth he’d tell her that it was his wisdom teeth.

But his mom would discover the truth when she surprised him with a visit to the dentist's office. According to the Gazette story, “once in the dentist's chair and about to be put under anesthesia, [Gruen] admitted the truth. ‘It's not my wisdom teeth, I have cancer,’ he said, as the dentist peeked into his mouth. The dentist nodded to his mother.” Gruen had squamous cell carcinoma.

 

"I've never seen my mom cry like that," Gruen tells them. "It ripped her heart out." Doctors gave him a 25% chance of survival going into his first surgery. "At 17, you're not supposed to think about life and death issues," he said. One week later a 17 year-old boy would undergo 13 hours of surgery followed by a month of recovery in the hospital. Then came the radiation treatments. Within six weeks he’d lose 70 pounds, lose the skin on his face, his mouth would become a blistery white mess, and his teeth would rot.

 

At 19 “doctors transplanted three inches of bone from his back to his face to give him a jaw. The transplant lasted two days. Then his body rejected it.” Now age 27 and 40 operations later, his lower face severely disfigured, his lower teeth and jawbone gone, half his tongue and neck muscle missing, his face patched with skin and muscle from his leg, Gruen pleads with all who’ll listen, “don’t do it, it ruined my life.”

 

In slurred speech in crowded school gymnasiums across the nation he tells students, "I know I'm a little hard to understand, so you're going to have to bear with me and listen." "This isn't a mask I can take off and throw in the closet. I'm like this 365 days a year." "I'm not here to preach to you," he tells them. "I'm not saying all of you will get cancer, but a few of you will.”

 

Gruen tells students that “the inside of his mouth is grayish, like hamburger that's spent too much time in the sun.” “Doctors have cut skin from his leg to cover his face wounds” and “extracted muscles from his chest to rebuild the floor of his mouth.”

 

"I have a beautiful fiancee I can't marry because I look like this," he said. "I walk into Wal-Mart and I hear kids say, 'Mommy, Mommy, look at him. Why does he look so funny, why does he look so scary?"' Gruen is working hard with the National Spit Tobacco Education Program to correct the false belief that chewless tobacco is a safe alternative to chewing. Tobacco causes cancer, no matter how it is absorbed by the body.

 

"I wish someone came to me when I was experimenting and using it and I saw how he or she looked and talked," he added. "I used to be good looking. I was the guy all the girls wanted to date. I was a good baseball player, but I can't play now." “If I had known then what I know now, I never would have put a dip in my mouth,” said Gruen. “Spit tobacco seemed harmless, but it has ruined my life.”

 

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Dec. 10th, 2007

 

 

This is one of my all time favorite articles written by one of the original quitters, years ago. Do yourself a favor and READ THIS!

Rob

 

The Secret of Our Success by Bluesman

by Bluesman © 2002

Although we have never met, I know you. You started chewing tobacco around high school. It quickly became part of your personality, part of your behavior, and part of your life. At some point, you developed a bad sore throat and thought, "Oh my God, please do not let it be cancer." You decided to quit for the first time. But your throat got better, and one thing lead to another, and you bought another tin.

Since then, you have tried to quit many, many times. You have blown through countless "quit deadlines," like "I will quit when I graduate," "I will quit when I get a job," "I will quit when I am (20)(25)(30)(35)," "I will quit when the baby is born," "I will quit when my workload lightens up," and "I will quit on New Years." But, when the deadline came, it was never a good time to quit. Or you quit for a while, but then some problem or stress came into your life and you just "had" to go back to the tin (what was that problem?). Or you quit for someone else (wife, girlfriend, etc.), but then they made you angry, so you started to chew again. No one is going to tell you what to do.

At some point, you stopped telling the people around you that you were trying to quit tobacco, because it was just too embarassing when you failed. You covered yourself for years with "I do not want to quit," so that no one knows you're completely addicted. It's not like you are an alcoholic or drug addict, right? For the same reasons, you never asked anyone for their help or support, because you are not some spineless, weak-mind junkie who "needs help." And besides, they would never understand it anyway, because "they" just think it's some stupid or gross "spit" habit.

Ultimately, you just resigned to your addiction. You justified it with "It is my only bad habit," "The risk of getting oral cancer is (small/exaggerated/not real/for heavy users/for hillbillies/for people who don't brush their teeth)," "I need tobacco to (work/write/concentrate/be productive/play ball/live)," "I am happier with tobacco," "If I get cancer, I get cancer. Everyone dies of something," And Now, you have been chewing tobacco for years and years, and you couldn't quit, even if you wanted to.

And then you found this website.

I know these things about you because, approximately 100 days ago, I was you. I chewed tobacco everyday, all-the-time for 20 years. I chewed all day and swallowed the juice, but I was discreet (i.e., only a fellow dipper would know that I was chewing tobacco), because I am not a baseball player or a farmer or some stereotypical cowboy from the Deep South. I am a trial attorney at a large firm in Ohio, a husband to a beautiful wife of 12 years, and the father of three young children. Oh, and I am completely addicted to chewing tobacco.

When I found this website, I was living the Big Lie. I was a real life "Neo," in a matrix of my own creation. I absolutely believed that tobacco - rather than something naturally inside of me - was actually the reason for my success in life, for my ability to concentrate and reason and write. I could not enjoy life or anything in it without tobacco. Stop chewing tobacco? You might as well might ask me to stop breathing oxygen. Privately, I was whiny ("It's too hard to quit"), weak-minded ("I just can't quit"), and selfish ("I don't want to quit"), with no real hope of ever getting free. And then I found this website.

Through sheer luck and good fortune on your part, and the amazing, selfless hard work of Matt van Wyk (the host of this free website), you have just found the place where you will free yourself of tobacco, once and for all. Congratulations on your decision and your discovery. This site contains the instructions and secrets on how to quit using smokeless tobacco. This site works. Use it completely.

While it would be impossible to summarize all of the knowledge and information contained on this site (so I will not attempt to), and I have no claim of authorship or originality, I wanted to share several important ideas that have been the "secrets" of my success, and the reason why I am tobacco-free since November 3, 2001. Try any or all of them, if they help you win the battle against our common addiction.

1. Personal Commitment: Make a commitment to yourself that you will not use tobacco today. Re-affirm this personal commitment every single day (or several times a day, if needed), by checking into this website and putting it down in writing on this website. Make this commitment the top priority in your life, such that it will takes precedent over everything else in your life. Why? You already know the answer to that question, or you wouldn't be here. You have your own personal "quit reasons." Personally, I quit for personal freedom, to "free my mind" from tobacco, but my wife and my children inspired me, each and every day, to be a better husband, a better father, and a better person. Your "quit reasons" are the "bricks and mortar" for your commitment, and your commitment is the foundation for making personal decisions at every stage in the process. You cannot control the circumstances of your life (any more than you can control the weather), but you can control your own actions. There is not now, nor will there ever be, a "good reason" to go back to an addictive, cancer-causing spit tobacco habit. Turn your back on this addiction and keep on walking, because you do not use tobacco anymore.

2. The "Do Anything" Approach: Now that you have a personal commitment, you need to prepare yourself to deal with the left-over mental and physical withdraw symptoms, so that "tobacco cravings" do not become tobacco "cavings." My advice is to take a scorch-earth, no-holds-barred tactic when fighting this addiction. Put it this way: If you were a prisoner sentenced to death, what would you be willing to do to free yourself? What physical hardship would you be willing to endure, what mental anguish would you be willing to suffer, how hard would you push yourself to reach personal freedom? You would do ANYTHING! Well, if you take an honest look in the mirror, you will see a person who is a prisoner, a common slave to chewing tobacco. You are locked into the Big Lie, mentally chained to chemically-treated, cancer-causing tobacco leaves. And your death sentence? Just read the published medical studies (and the postings from doctors on this site … yes, even doctors can get addicted to chewing tobacco). You are locked in a prison of your own creation, and now, you must be willing to do literally ANYTHING to free your mind! In my case, the "do anything" approach has meant using herbal chews, chewing gum, hard candies, Altoids, prayer, eating snacks, taking walks, drinking water, working out, jogging, leaving work early, changing my routines, drinking more coffee, going to church in the middle of the day, and spending hours reading and posting on this website. If you need nicotine supplements (gum or patch) or an anti-depressant prescription, then go get them, right now. In fact, have everything ready on Day -1, so that you have these things ready when you need them. And tell everyone about your decision and your commitment. "Burn every boat," so to speak, so that you cannot break your commitment without embarassment, without publicly admitting failure, and without swallowing your pride. Make it more difficult to cave that to remain true to your commitment (see "do anything" above). In fact, invest so much time and effort into your commitment that you absolutely HAVE to stick it out. Every step away from a prison cell is a step towards freedom.

3. A Daily Visit to the QS Café: One of the most important "admissions" for me was that I needed a little help to take on this addiction. Whether because of pride or arrogance, I could never tell anyone in my "real world" that I needed support for an "addiction." But for me, the support and accountability created by this website are the reasons for my success. I was shocked to find hundreds of people, just like me, hard-wired into a chewing tobacco addiction with no way out. By reading and posting in the forum, you develop a sense of support, and some personal responsibility and accountability. More importantly, you help others win their own personal battle. It is almost impossible to break your own commitment if you are helping someone else keep the same commitment. So come to this website and read and post often. Read everything. Use the "search" feature to follow a HOF member from Day 1 through today. Search your "cave excuse" and rationalizations, and see how other people survived them. This website is the most important weapon in the "do anything" approach.

4. The Crash Principle of "Enjoy the Pain": There is nothing easy about the process of breaking free from this addiction, and there are no shortcuts. You will earn your freedom through "sweat equity." You will have headaches, lack of concentration, and irritability. You will have fits of "dip rage" and anger. You will have embarassing, uncharacteristic melt-downs. You will "not be yourself." You will also endure mental cravings - caused by stress and friends and family and boredom and nothing at all - and you feel weak and demoralized before you bring yourself, kicking and screaming, back to your commitment and this website. Given that the process is painful and difficult, you only want to do it once! With each passing day, as you become stronger and stronger with each personal victory, remember the price you have paid to get there so that you do not throw away your hard work and "quit days" in a moment of weakness (and you will know what I mean once you set your QS "quit tracker").

5. Celebrate Your Success: Take pride in your personal accomplishment(s) and reward yourself as you reach new milestones and/or win big personal battles. To most of the people in the QS Brotherhood, there are no banners or balloons or "pats on the back" in their "real world." Most of the time, those closest to you have no idea how much courage and character you demonstrate by facing down this addiction. Therefore, it is up to you to reward yourself for personal victories (big and small). Go out to dinner, take a half-day from work, or buy a new CD (my personal favorite). Certainly, come to this website to "crow" about it, because you will get that "atta boy" here. I guarantee you that, by posting your personal victory on this website, it will become more meaningful and permanent to you, and you will help some other tobacco junkie in some distant state survive the same test.

The success that you will experience here will spill over into your life, leaving you with a deep sense of pride, happiness, and satisfaction. Since I quit using tobacco, I am happier, healthier, more energetic, and have a far more positive outlook and attitude. It has been the centerpiece for positive change in my life, and it taught me that literally anything is possible. I feel like I have finally become the person that I always wanted to be. And in 100 days from now, you can be too. Good luck.

The Bluesman

February 18, 2002

I Promise

by Big Dave © 2004

 

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Dec. 11th, 2007

 

 

More good quit reading from some of the founding father quitters…

Stay quit today - Rob

One Thing

by Breen © 2003

 

I wish I could tell you that it's all over after the first 100...but that's just the first major accomplishment. It's like...the QUITSMOKELESS UNIVERSITY. After 100 days you graduate into a class of people who have all worked hard to get where they are. But now you have to take what you have learned, and apply it to the craves that linger outside the University walls.

 

YOU made the decision to enter Quitsmokeless. No one made you come in here. You knew it would be difficult as HELL but you still crossed that line and entered the battlefield. WHY???

 

Take a look at yourself in the mirror. Ask yourself some hard questions. You've proven to yourself you can string together quite a few consecutive tobaccoless days. Are you ready to commit to a healthy tobacco free life? Or are you going to be unfaithful? You can't have both. You're either committed...or you're not. And you have to answer that question for yourself. Maybe on a daily basis for quite awhile. And THAT is the only way you're going to give yourself the GIFT of a tobacco free life.

 

In the movie CITY SLICKERS...Curly holds up his pointer finger and says the secret of life is "...this one thing."

That one thing, he says, "...is for you to figure out."

I think that applies perfectly to our situation here. The secret to our success has to be ...ONE THING. Whatever that ONE THING is...is up to each of us individually to decide. And I think it's extremely important that we figure out what that ONE THING is. Because that ONE THING is the weapon that we warriors carry with us everywhere we go. That ONE THING is our greatest defense against the evil of the DIP DEMON. It's something that we can depend on in the most trying of times. Once we KNOW...and I mean ABSOLUTELY KNOW WITH CONVICTION...then we KNOW that everything is going to be alright. There are powers out there that want to see us fail.

...But it won't matter.

We shall not fail.

 

When you have found your ONE THING and placed it in your heart...your strength is immeasurable.

...Will there be times you are faced with weakness??? Temptation??? Paranoia???

 

Yes.

 

...You will relax.

You will recall your weapon.

You will open yourself up to the power that resides in knowing your ONE THING...and a calmness will come over you that will allow you to experience the weakness...WITHOUT FEAR...not to act on it...and to let it pass right through.

 

You can do this.

 

We all can do this.

 

To be going through all of this with no goal in mind. Or with no strategy...is asking for trouble during the craves.

 

And I may talk a big game...but I am only reciting what I have learned through all of my most difficult times.

The dry mouth...the throbbing gums...the tingling lips...the heart racing...the paranoia...the dip dreams...the sweats...the headaches...the stress...the Dip Demon poisoning my thoughts with all the reasons to have "JUST ONE".

 

...just breathe...

 

It's going to be alright.

 

Close your eyes...

...and...

...KNOW...

...that it IS going to be alright.

 

You are in control now.

 

The war is not over.

It will NEVER be over.

 

But now...you have found your most powerful inner WEAPON...and you need not hide.

 

You can stroll through the battlefield

...and you can relax,

...because you finally know.

 

You know...that it's not about dip anymore.

It's not about the lie’s, like: ”I need it to concentrate”.

It's not about a buzz

It's not about the tobacco.

It's not about the nicotine.

.

 

It's about the part of you that was missing.

That part of you that you filled-in with something that drugged you, made you forget, and made you blind.

 

Now you have your ONE THING and you no longer need to be "hooked up" to THE LIE.

 

…and…

 

…YOU'RE FREE TO ROAM...

.

 

 

Quitsmokeless grows stronger by the day...

...lives are being taken back.

 

...the Dip Demon has much to fear.

 

Breen

 

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Dec. 10th, 2007

 

 

Death Day

by Big Dave © 2003

 

I had a dream. I dreamed that today was my 'Death Day'.

 

Everyone has one. We all have a birthday, we all have a death day.

 

Could MY death day have been avoided? This is what I see upon my death bed...

 

My wife stands over me, crying. I see that her face is all blotchy and know that she has been crying for some time. She appears to be talking to me, whispering something...I strain to hear, to focus on these words...

 

"19 1/2 years, my love...that is how long you invited this cancerous death to come into your body. You have flirted with this day for almost 20 years. You have promised me you would stop. You have promised others before me you would stop. You did not. I am left to raise our children alone. You, in your selfishness, have cast this upon your family. No more will I have someone to tell my secrets to, to make love to, to help with those everyday little things that mean so much now that you are gone...to whisper of my love, to hold your hand, to caress your face, to hold and to hug...All have been stolen from me...from us. I miss you so much that it physically hurts. I could not miss you more if I tried. My entire body aches and I know that there will be a void in my heart throughout the rest of my days upon this earth. You have been everything to me, yet, through it all, you allowed the habit to control you, slowly creating this day over time. You have missed so much...a taste of sweet chocolate, a taste of my lips, the simple taste of so many things, caused by the deadening of your taste buds, yet you continued to die more every day. Yet, was it enough? No, it was not. Nor was my love, nor was the love of your children. I have lost my life today right along with you. One way or another, I always knew you could quit. I believed in you, your children believed in you...you could not believe in yourself and conquer this demon, though, and so you have created this day. I love you now, and love you always...farewell..."

 

I want to cry, but cannot. I cannot move, I cannot reach out to her. I cannot tell her I am sorry that I was never strong enough to give up this habit. Too scared and full of excuses to keep dipping, day after day, after day... I long to tell her that I love her just one more time...to hold her again...

 

She is replaced with my 4 year old daughter...She is crying so hard and does not understand why her Daddy will not wake up and hold her, hug her, tell her that everything is going to be ok and that her Daddy loves her with all his heart. She does not understand why Daddy is unable to kiss her, pull her close and nuzzle her neck, tickling her, making her giggle. She does not understand why her Daddy is missing his lower jaw, why his eyes are closed and will not open again...ever. All she does understand is pain...She reaches out and touches my cheek and whispers, "Daddy, Daddy, I love you Daddy. Wake up Daddy. Please Daddy..." Her mom slowly pulls her away. I hear her tell my beloved daughter that her Daddy is gone, and it is time to say goodbye.

 

My 2 year old replaces her and I ache, I am so crushed. I want to hold my babies one last time. I want to tell tham that Daddy is so sorry. I love them and never meant to hurt or leave them. I see them fading now...slowly fading into the distance. I am struggling with all that I could to reach out to them...but, that is not possible...because I am dead.

 

This is the dream that I had. I have had this dream many times. 349 days ago, I took the steps to tell this dream to go to hell. I will not let this become a reality. I vow to never leave my beloved wife without her devoted husband. I vow to never leave my children without their Loving father. However, I know in my heart that one day, that will happen. But NOT because of dipping. I have taken back my life. I have taken back this dream. I do not have to let the demon plague me in the waking hours anymore and I damn sure am not letting him plague my nights, either. My wife needs me, My children need me...and I need them.

 

I wonder what the dip demon thinks when another of us makes the Hall of Fame. What he thinks when we make a solid commitment to quit being selfish and truly quit. Sometimes, he gets another laugh on us and someone stumbles. It hurts, yes, to see a brother stumble...But, WE have the last laugh. Our fallen comrades get back up and continue fighting. Everytime this happens, the demon loses a little more strength. God willing, we here at quitsmokeless.org will sap that strength until HE gives in to us.

 

Big Dave

 

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Dec. 12th, 2007

 

 

Okay, one more for today. You all stay strong and we will see ya tomorrow

Rob

Life’s Journeys – A Testimonial for Newbies

by Steve © 2/27/2003

 

Going through the day-to-day trials and tribulations are what a “life” is, and when you look back this life can be summed up as a series of “trips”. Most everyone has had an absolutely horrible, miserable camping trip. It either rained or was so cold that you didn’t sleep for three days, or you had the flu and sat in the outhouse for the whole trip. Something wonderful like that! At the time it was the worst experience of your life. Boot camp in the military is a similar experience. Eight weeks of breaking you down and building you back up as part of a team. Great Lakes – Waukegan, IL (just north of Chicago) in January and February…. you get the idea.

 

These experiences become fond memories as time passes. The mind smoothes the rough edges and dims the harsh aspects of the ordeal. What remains is the final result… the triumph that you achieved through strength of mind, bravery, and/or tenacity. You survived the ordeal and it has made you stronger. The key here is that it’s a memory; in the here and now the experience is seemingly overwhelming and a horrible ordeal. And this is what makes this narrative relevant to quitting dip and the nicotine addiction… right now this process sucks!

 

The first few weeks can be absolute misery and excruciating pain. In my case I had no withdrawal symptoms other than a lack of concentration for about a month (unlike the previous 50 or so quit attempts that lasted less than 2 weeks and encompassed ALL the withdrawal symptoms). My solution? Focus on the positive and get through each minute/hour/day/week, knowing that the next time increment will be better than the last. Also keep in mind that this quitting thing you are doing is a very good thing. In fact this is the greatest gift you can give to yourself, your wife, kids, friends… your life! The scraps of our time that we had for all the other parts of our lives really dim when you truthfully look at how much time was devoted to the addiction. Everything else took a back seat to the nicotine.

 

As I look back over the past year and near the 1-year quit date (04/27/02) I realize that there are no nostalgic times with dip that I’d rather have back. There’s a sense of loss and regret for the times that I lost with my family that I can never regain; when I opted to dip rather than be with my loved ones. There’s embarrassment for being such a weakling and liar for soooooo long; not having the courage to quit my destructive behavior years ago.

 

But there is now also pride in having beaten the addiction down. Staying the course that other quitters before me showed was a reality that I could obtain. That is why this website and community is so important. It provides hope when all you can currently see or imagine is continued defeat and slavery. Believe the HOF posts when they say that things get better. They do! Commiserate with your quit group- misery loves company! But know that you know that you can and will beat this thing. Each and every one of us has the ability to triumph over this enemy. The powerlessness you feel just starting out is the lie of the addiction!

 

That’s why there is so much mental warfare involved in quitting an addiction, because the truth of the matter is it’s actually incredibly simple. Don’t put nicotine into your mouth anymore! Duh! I know the quitting process is truly a long-time battle; otherwise I would have quit twenty years ago.

 

We quitters are like the dog whimpering because he’s lying on a nail. A friend asks the owner why the dog doesn’t move, and his reply “Because it doesn’t hurt enough yet.”

 

So ask yourself…does it hurt enough yet? When you’re ready to make that decision that you have had enough of being nicotine’s slave, then you can beat this. And after a time you’ll have those memories of a long-ago experience that truly impacted your entire life, and wasn’t actually that bad! For now continue to be strong, and beat this demon one crave at a time.

 

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Dec. 12th, 2007

 

 

Another fine article from one of the founding fathers of QS

Getting out of Dipville

by goodbyecope © 2003

 

Dipville is a disgusting place full of disease, slow but certain death, lies, deceit, and filth. The residents of Dipville appear to be normal to each other, but rather strange to outsiders. You see, the residents of Dipville all have this habit of frequently packing their lower lips full of this dirt-like substance. This substance goes by many names: dip, snuff, and chew to name a few. It comes in a convenient round can about the size of a hockey puck and is to the resident of Dipville a necessity, a life-giving substance, something to plan one's entire day/life around. In a sense these cans are very much the Dipvillian's best friend and yet at the same time their worst friend. To anybody living outside of Dipville, this practice is disgusting and foul and the outsiders think the residents of Dipville are quite pathetic and sad and gross.

 

Dipvillians have a strange keeness of always knowing where their little can is at all times. They always have an inventory in their heads about how much dirt they have left in the can and the approximate time that it will run out. This way, they can time their stop to purchase a brand-new can of this life-sustaining dirt just in time for the old can to run out. There is a ritual to breaking the seal on a new can, packing the contents and stuffing the lip. There are variations on the procedures, but it remains a constant among all residents that it is a daily ritual performed several times during the day.

 

There are a few problems with the dirt that must be explained. Beyond the fact that it creates brown ooze in the Dipvillians' mouths that must be either spat or swallowed, there are much more serious aspects. This dirt causes the mind of the Dipvillian to become extremely dependent on it. Not remembering to insert the dirt into his mouth will make a Dipvillian dizzy, mean, cranky, unable to concentrate, and just plain miserable. This is one of the ways that residents are encouraged to stay in Dipville. The dirt creates painful sores in the mouth. These sores often turn into lesions and eventually (with enough dirt) will turn into cancer. Mouth and throat cancer is almost always a death sentence. Needless to say, there are many Dipvillians who will get this cancer if they don't figure out a way to get out of Dipville.

 

Some of the residents of Dipville really live just beyond the city limits. They themselves are as much residents as the others, but the difference is that their families don't know that they frequently sneak into town to be with their can and stuff their lips with dirt. They lie through their dirt stained teeth just to have some time in Dipville. Some of the residents have been living in Dipville since they were 10 or 11 years old. It's no surprise to find residents of Dipville that have been there for 30+ years.

 

It is incredibly expensive to live in Dipville. Just buying a fresh can of dirt each day can cost the Dipvillian anywhere from $120-$150 per month. The cost is increased by needing to continually purchase new containers to spit the brown ooze into. Frequently Dipvillians buy a soda each day just for the container to deposit the ooze. This increases the cost of living another $30-$40 per month. Increased use of gasoline to make strange trips to the store, bank, etc. (just to have a mouth of dirt) can add another $20-30 per month. So for the average Dipvillian, their lifestyle costs them from $170-$220 every month. Couple this with the cancer risk, and there's a real sacrifice being made to remain in Dipville.

 

Most of the residents of Dipville have tried to leave many times, only to find the move too difficult. So they make-up excuses about how difficult and trying life is outside of Dipville, or that they just want to take a short ride back through Dipville and have just one more can (which almost always turns into 10, 50, 100 cans ...) Or they take a little trip into Smokeville and the little sticks of dirt there remind them of the little cans of dirt in Dipville and before they realize it, they are right back in Dipville enslaved to their old ways.

 

Most of the long-time residents of Dipville hate living there. They are tired of the smell, tired of the slimy brown ooze coming out of their mouths, tired of the lies they tell to their loved ones just so they can remain living in Dipville. They are tired of their mouths hurting, tired of wasting their money on cans of dirt, tired of being a slave to the little cans, tired of hiding. They are just plain tired of living, breathing and slowly dying in Dipville and want to move out for good. Countless numbers of the residents have tried to move away, but have come right back to their old homes in Dipville.

 

The best/worst thing about living in Dipville is the bridge. This is not an ordinary bridge, but rather it is the bridge to Freedomville, a wonderful place that is actually visible from Dipville. Freedomville is so beautiful. Nobody uses dirt in Freedomville, nobody has brown ooze coming out of their mouths in Freedomville, nobody is chained to a can in Freedomville. They don't have to lie about dirt in Freedomville, they don' waste their money on dirt in Freedomville, they don't make up errands to run so they can stuff their lips with dirt in Freedomville.

 

Some of the residents of Freedomville have lived there all their lives. Some used to live in Dipville and have relocated permanently to Freedomville.

 

And there's the sad crowd of those that only live in Freedomville for a few weeks, days, hours, minutes at a time before crossing the bridge back into Dipville. They cross the bridge into Freedomville, try to assimilate, and try to stay out of Dipville, but they're missing something. They still see the bridge to Dipville as being open to them. They remember that the can of dirt they used to love is right there in Dipville just waiting for them. They remember all they activities they used to do with their can at their side. What they don't do is see themselves as full-fledged residents of Freedomville. They don't look at the bridge and remember that "The bridge to Dipville is off-limits today".

 

Fellow quitters, we're in Freedomville right now. The bridge to Dipville is there. But we must believe that today we are truly residents of Freedomville. We must believe that the bridge is off limits to us today. We must believe that it is fully within our control to not cross the bridge to Dipville today. We must remember how disgusting Dipville really is. We must believe that we will never drive through Dipville again for the rest of our lives. We must remember that the can we loved was going to kill us. We must remember that in Dipville we become dishonest and ugly, un-trustworthy and scheming, we become slaves to the dirt of Dipville.

 

The stresses of daily living will come our way every day. Let's face those stresses in Freedomville, not Dipville. No crossing the bridge today! Dipville is off limits!

 

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Dec. 21st, 2007

 

 

An Open Letter to Wives of Smokeless Tobacco Users

by Rick in Tampa © 2002

First thing I want to say is 'Do not get discouraged'.

Regardless of who says what to you, there is no single way to force your husband to quit using smokeless tobacco. No ultimatum, no New Years Resolution, not a child being born, not the threat of you walking out will honestly convince him it is time to quit. I apologize for being blunt but it's the God's honest truth. Every person has that little switch inside him that tells them when its time to stop. Your job is to find out how to flip that switch. I can tell you that, you have found the single best resource I have ever found to help your husband quit smokeless tobacco.

I started chewing tobacco when I was 13 years old. When I quit 80 days ago, I was 'using' a can of Copenhagen a day @ $4.55/can. I would stay awake until 1-2 a.m. so I could keep dipping. I would brush my teeth in the morning only and as soon as I was done, I would throw in a dip before I even started shaving. I hated brushing my teeth because it hurt. There are a lot of things about the smokeless tobacco addiction that an addict will never admit to and will never share with anyone else, its part of the addiction.

In my adult life I never watched a movie, mowed my lawn, washed a car, drove a car, sat at a computer, went to the bathroom, sat outside, played softball, football or a round of golf without a dip in my mouth. Sorry if that's too much information but it's the truth.

The REAL reason I didn't want to quit or was scared to try is that Copenhagen defined who I was. It was part of my person. I felt incomplete without it. I had no idea how in the world I would do 95% of my daily activities without it.I am married and have 2 kids and nothing that my wife did not even the birth of my boys inspired me to quit.

I wish I could explain what it was, but after 21 years of chewing, I just decided it was time to stop. I had moments like that before, where I felt this is the last chew I will ever have but it lasted a mere hours. Then I would go buy another can or have another chew. This time was different because I found the Quit Smokeless web site. I posted out there on Monday Feb 25th 2002 for the first time and I haven't had a dip since. I am convinced I will never have another one again, for the rest of my life, period.

But for me, I had to get drastic. I had to change alot. I stopped eating bad food, stopped drinking coffee and soda ('pop' as we called in Pittsburgh) and joined a gym that same day. I have not missed a workout since then and have maintained my weight but got rid of most of my gut. I don't pretend to have a magical touch or that people follow my 'quit plan' because each person quits in different ways for different reasons. This happened to work for me.

The benefits are nothing short of amazing. My teeth feel strong and healthy. I sleep less number of hours, but wake up feeling 100% more refreshed than I ever did when I dipped. My tongue isn't brown from dipping. My fingers aren't stained. I bet we go through 1/2 of the toilet paper now that I don't stuff that in a cup every time I clean out an old spit cup. My car does not need to be cleaned of all the tobacco that would fall out of my can every time I took a dip. Food tastes like food and I don't treat meals like its something I do to survive between dips. My gums don't bleed anymore when I brush my teeth. I spend more time with my kids and have less anxiety about 'when is my next chew gonna be'.. I feel less edgy and more peaceful... and I kiss my wife more often. I just can't explain how many ways I feel better.

I don't tell you these things to brag, I tell you them in hopes that your husband will read this and see that quitting is possible. If someone would have told me this a year ago, I would have thrown this paper away and never given it a second thought. But if he is struggling to find a way to quit and he REALLY does want to quit then the QS Website is the way to do it. There is no program, it is not a plan.. it is just a bunch of people that want to help others gain independence from a killer weed that has no mercy. No one wants anything from you other than to help. Rarely do you see a gathering of people come together for no reason other than personal improvement and freedom from addiction. It's an amazing, amazing place and I never would be where I am today if it wasn't for that site.

Please keep this letter and show it to him and if he doesn't quit now I hope he does soon. If he doesn't believe me, have him go to the Hall Of Fame section on the web site and read story after story of people that have successfully quit smokeless. They are the same as him. It doesn't matter if he is a farmer or a doctor, the HOF is full of people from every walk of life.

It's the single hardest and greatest thing he could ever do with his life. Trust me. I know. And my kids/grandkids will know when they grow up too.

Rick in Tampa

 

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Dec. 20th, 2007

 

 

Hope you all are doing well. More great stuff to help with you quit. Stay strong everyone!

Rob

Adversity

by roosterless © 2003

 

Adversity: A state of hardship or affliction; misfortune.

 

It seems that many times throughout our lives we are faced with adversity. How we handle and overcome that adversity is what makes us who we are. Some people might fight, or drink, cry, pray or… dip when trying to overcome a trying situation. In order to survive life, we have to find our way of overcoming adversity. I’ll admit that I have tried all five of the ones I listed.

 

It seems that I (we) have all overcome a lot of adversity during our quits. Some have dealt with deaths, some have dealt with illness, some have dealt with jobs, and some have dealt with the law, and some have had problems with their marriage. They are all hardships, and we are stronger when we prevail over them.

 

So where does adversity come from? And more importantly why do we have to go through it? It has to come from something good because without adversity, what would make that something good, and worth the trouble. Some say that God gives it to us to test our faith, test our will.

 

267 days ago when I first announced my victory over dip, I would have never imagined the hardship that I would have to endure to reach this point. Many of you know already of my recent divorce and child custody battle, and the paternity question of fact. Sadly, I am not my daughter’s biological father. My wife took a paternity test with the other guy and the results were 99.9% in his favor. When I heard of this I didn’t know what to do. First I cried, and then I was angry, then I cried some more. So how was I to deal with this….dip? That’s what I thought the answer was, but then I just sat down and thought about what would happen if I dipped.

 

1. It would eventually kill me.

2. All of my hard work would be lost.

3. I would have to relive hell week(s)

4. It wouldn’t bring my daughter back.

5. My wife would win.

 

So as much as I would have wanted to, I did not. Thankfully I am still 267 days strong. Dipping is not the answer to our problems. Dipping just creates more and while I still struggle to overcome my hardship, I do so without the “help” of dip.

 

So, newbies, prepare for the battle of your life, but also prepare for the greatest victory of your life. I remember thinking that I would always chew, and that I would never be strong enough to quit and I am sure that is true with everyone here. The neat thing is though, that we aren’t strong enough to do it….by ourselves. With the help of God, with the help of each other, we overcome the adversity that follows our quit. And when more adversity comes we overcome it, and keep overcoming it. Never ever do we give up or give in. If one of our brothers or sisters falls down, we pick them up, like so many of you have done this last month for me. Thank you.

 

The same goes with veterans too. Just because we have made it to the second or third floor of the HOF, doesn’t mean that we are in the clear and safe from adversity. There will always be those trials of life that make us think of turning back to the can, but as long as we don’t let it go past thinking, we shall be ok.

 

“If life was easy, it wouldn’t be so damn interesting.” I don’t know who this belongs to, but isn’t it the truth.

 

Stay strong, stay free.

 

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Dec. 24th, 2007

 

 

Because Now it Really Hurts!

________________________________________

 

“I want to quit for my health. I have no pulse in my legs and my doctor says I'm going to need surgery. But he won't even consider operating until I quit chewing. Besides this, I have had throat polyps removed and all of my doctors say I have to stop chewing.”

 

When I asked this person how long he had all of these chewing related problems he replied, “For many years.” Then I asked why he decided to quit now? He answered, “Because now it really hurts.”

 

As opposed to fear, pain is a marvelous motivator for initiating a life-style change such as quitting chewing. Fear of something that might happen may make a person think about quitting. But fear can be bargained around. Thoughts like, "Maybe it won't happen to me," are often used as defense mechanisms protecting the chewer's addiction to chew. But pain is not so easily dismissed. It is here, it is now, and it hurts.

 

While pain can be a powerful motivator in making positive change, it can also be responsible for preventing necessary changes from being successfully attempted. The participant in the above story is a good example of this. For years he knew that his chew was slowly crippling and killing him. But any attempt to quit resulted in nicotine withdrawal symptoms. This discomfort results in taking a dip to help alleviate withdrawal. This inevitably results in relapse. So while the chewer may have solved the problem of withdrawal, the method used prolonged a much more serious problem - continuation of a powerful and deadly addiction.

 

While some discomfort may be involved in giving up chew, it is insignificant compared to the pain and suffering which can be caused by continuing chewing. Physical withdrawal from quitting will normally peak within three days, and totally subside within two weeks. Diseases such as heart disease, other circulatory conditions and cancers involve months or even years of long term suffering. These pains are much more severe than anything encountered while quitting. The biggest difference, though, is that these diseases have the full potential of permanently crippling or killing their victims.

 

Chewers are not only prone to have these major catastrophic illnesses. Due to the weakening of the body's defense mechanisms, chewers are more frequently plagued by infectious diseases, such as colds, flu, and pneumonias. While most of these infections rarely result in permanent crippling or death, they do result in great inconveniences and discomfort. Not only does the chewer have a greater risk of these diseases, but when he does get one of them, it is more severe, and painful than it would have been if he didn't chew. But no matter how intense the pain, the chewer will else he suffers withdrawal besides the cold.

 

So any chewer who is afraid of experiencing the pain of withdrawal must consider the alternative. Continuing to chew has the full potential of causing long-term suffering from causing and aggravating common infectious diseases. More significantly, chewing may eventually cause life-long, chronic suffering from diseases like cancer, and circulatory diseases. And if the chewer waits too long, a chewing induced death may be the only relief. Don't let fear of withdrawal stop you from quitting. Withdrawal is short, and mild in comparison to the suffering caused from continuing to chew. Once you quit, you will never experience it again as long as you - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER CHEW!

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 1985, 2000

Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 25, 2003

This document was created by John R. Polito, editor of www.whyquit.com and presenter of bimonthly free quit smoking seminars at the College of Charleston. These tips were developed primarily from recent medical studies and from Joel's Library (http://whyquit.com/joel), an insightful collection of 95 short quitting articles available for download as a free electronic PDF book at WhyQuit.com (http://whyquit.com/joel/ntap.pdf). Be sure to share this booklet with friends and loved ones who smoke. Not being able to discover the law of addiction through the school of hard-quitting-knocks is a horrible reason to die. This may be reproduced and shared for health education purposes so long as it is not used for commercial purposes and there is never any charge or cost to recipients.

 

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Dec. 25th 2007

 

 

I Have to Chew

Because of All My Stress!

________________________________________

 

 

Stress is considered a cause for chewing by many people. Actually, chewing is a cause of stress. Recent correspondence dealt with reasons people give for going back to chewing: social situations, parties, alcohol consumption and stress. This month I wish to amplify on stress.

In January of 1979, Chicago and vicinity was devastated by a major blizzard. Heavy snows fell just after the New Year crippling the area. Additional snowfall continued throughout the week. During this time period I was barraged with phone calls from participants of the November, 1978 clinic claiming to be terribly nervous, upset and anxious from "not chewing." Curiously, most of them were feeling well during the month of December. They had occasional urges which lasted only seconds and were quite easy to overcome. What they were experiencing in January was different. Many felt that they were on the verge of cracking up. To them life was "just no good" without their chew. Was the anxiety they were now experiencing really a side effect from giving up chewing?

To any outside observer the answer to the mysterious intensification of perceived withdrawal was obvious. In fact, if our ex-chewers listened to radio or television or read the front page of any newspaper, they would have encountered a story on cabin fever. By simply comparing their symptoms with those accompanying cabin fever they would understand what was happening.

Attributing the anxiety to chewing cessation was transference of blame. In fact, they were having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation - confinement due to the blizzard. They would have had the same anxiety whether or not they had given up chew.

The above story illustrates an atypical time period in which numerous people experience similar complaints. In everyday life inherent problems exist. Work, family, friends, and money can all contribute to daily distress. Ex-chewers often think that if they just take a chew during a stressful episode the situation will be solved. For example, consider a person who finds he has a flat tire in a parking lot during a freezing rain. When encountering this kind of misfortune, the ex-chewer's first reaction often is, "I need a chew." What will actually solve this problem is changing the tire, and driving off in a warm car. What would a chew do to help this situation? It only makes the person see the flat tire longer and freeze more. This adds up to greater frustration. The first dip will probably reinforce the addiction to chew which is a much greater crisis than the flat tire ever was. In fact, taking the first dip almost always results in a bigger problem than the crisis that "caused" them to take the dip. Even in a real catastrophe, such as a death in the family, injuries, illnesses, flooding resulting in major property loss, bankruptcy and so on, a chew will not solve the problem. It will just add another major problem to the originally bad situation.

Remember, chewing cannot solve problems of daily living. No matter what the problem, there is a more effective way of solving it than chewing. In fact, a chewer's health risks are a real problem that can only be solved if they - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER DIP!

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 1982, 2000

Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 24, 2003

 

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Dec. 25th 2007

 

 

I Have to Chew

Because of All My Stress!

________________________________________

 

 

Stress is considered a cause for chewing by many people. Actually, chewing is a cause of stress. Recent correspondence dealt with reasons people give for going back to chewing: social situations, parties, alcohol consumption and stress. This month I wish to amplify on stress.

In January of 1979, Chicago and vicinity was devastated by a major blizzard. Heavy snows fell just after the New Year crippling the area. Additional snowfall continued throughout the week. During this time period I was barraged with phone calls from participants of the November, 1978 clinic claiming to be terribly nervous, upset and anxious from "not chewing." Curiously, most of them were feeling well during the month of December. They had occasional urges which lasted only seconds and were quite easy to overcome. What they were experiencing in January was different. Many felt that they were on the verge of cracking up. To them life was "just no good" without their chew. Was the anxiety they were now experiencing really a side effect from giving up chewing?

To any outside observer the answer to the mysterious intensification of perceived withdrawal was obvious. In fact, if our ex-chewers listened to radio or television or read the front page of any newspaper, they would have encountered a story on cabin fever. By simply comparing their symptoms with those accompanying cabin fever they would understand what was happening.

Attributing the anxiety to chewing cessation was transference of blame. In fact, they were having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation - confinement due to the blizzard. They would have had the same anxiety whether or not they had given up chew.

The above story illustrates an atypical time period in which numerous people experience similar complaints. In everyday life inherent problems exist. Work, family, friends, and money can all contribute to daily distress. Ex-chewers often think that if they just take a chew during a stressful episode the situation will be solved. For example, consider a person who finds he has a flat tire in a parking lot during a freezing rain. When encountering this kind of misfortune, the ex-chewer's first reaction often is, "I need a chew." What will actually solve this problem is changing the tire, and driving off in a warm car. What would a chew do to help this situation? It only makes the person see the flat tire longer and freeze more. This adds up to greater frustration. The first dip will probably reinforce the addiction to chew which is a much greater crisis than the flat tire ever was. In fact, taking the first dip almost always results in a bigger problem than the crisis that "caused" them to take the dip. Even in a real catastrophe, such as a death in the family, injuries, illnesses, flooding resulting in major property loss, bankruptcy and so on, a chew will not solve the problem. It will just add another major problem to the originally bad situation.

Remember, chewing cannot solve problems of daily living. No matter what the problem, there is a more effective way of solving it than chewing. In fact, a chewer's health risks are a real problem that can only be solved if they - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER DIP!

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 1982, 2000

Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 24, 2003

 

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dec. 25th 2007

 

 

"Well, at least I attempted to quit.

That is better than not trying at all."

________________________________________

 

This comment was stated by a clinic participant who, after five days of not chewing, gave in to an urge and took a chew. It was only going to be one chew, he thought. But by the end of the day, he was up to his old level. So what about his logic that at least trying to quit chewing is better than not trying at all?

 

If this was his first attempt, it could be said that it was a learning experience. Maybe he just didn't understand the concept of addiction. He did not believe one chew could reestablish a physical dependency on nicotine. After taking one chew, he lost all control. So now, if he would ever quit again, he would not question the concept of one chew causing a total relapse.

 

But this was not his first attempt quitting. It was his second time in our clinic, as well as multiple previous attempts at other programs, hypnosis and on his own. He once quit for two months before relapsing. At that time he broke all physical dependency on nicotine. Also, after two months he successfully overcame many trigger situations which cause many chewers to initially relapse. Work pressures, family problems, and social situations are obstacles that all ex-chewers initially face when quitting. He overcame all of these trigger situations. But then, one day, out of sheer boredom, he took a chew. In that attempt, too, he relapsed right back to his old level. Obviously, taking that chew was a serious mistake.

 

This attempt, too, he chalked up to experience. But when considering his latter attempts, it is apparent that he learned nothing. Unless he objectively evaluates what causes his relapses to chewing, he is wasting his time trying to quit again. Because instead of recognizing his past attempts as failures, he rationalizes a positive feeling of accomplishment about them. This type of rationalization all but assures failures in all future attempts.

 

Don't allow yourself to get into the same rut as this man did. On again, off again, one withdrawal after another. Quitting chewing is only the first step in chewing cessation. If you wish to make the attempt a permanent solution to your chewing addiction, stop cold turkey and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER DIP!

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 1986, 2000

Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 25, 2003

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