Kick Your Tobacco Habit to the Curb
Quitting smoking or chewing can be some of the most difficult habits to overcome. Most people are addicted to the nicotine as well as dependent on the habit during certain situations: high stress, boredom, nervousness, certain times of day, etc..
Smoking and chewing habits tend to be very different.
Chewing, whether it be snuff, long cut, or pouches is more of an oral fixation. To quit chewing tobacco the patient usually needs to have a replacement to aid in oral stimulation. The aids can either contain nicotine or be nicotine free. Some examples that help with chewing cessation include:
- Nicorette gum
- Sugar free gum
- Sunflower seeds
- Sugar free mints
Aids that do not include the mouth may not be as effective for chewers because they will still be craving that oral stimulation. Some examples include: a nicotine patch, a prescribed prescription such as Chantix, or quitting cold turkey.
Smoking tends to be more situational and less of an oral fixation: high stress, smoking right after morning coffee, smoking to help calm nerves, and smoking when drinking are all common situational triggers for cigarette use. Quitting aids that have been beneficial in helping smokers include:
- Nicotine patch
- Prescribed prescription such as Chantix
- Cold turkey
Vaping is not a safer alternative to smoking or chewing.
It has just as many if not more carcinogens than regular tobacco.
The first step is WANTING to quit.
In many states as well as Nevada 1-800-QUIT-NOW is an amazing resource to help with tobacco cessation. The advisors can help with questions, strategies and situations to avoid that may trigger the want for a cigarette or chew. You can also visit TabaccoFreeLife.org for great tools and resources to quite smoking and using tobacco.
Don’t get discouraged! Relapse is very common when you are trying to quit tobacco use. On average, most patient will attempt to quit, digress, and restart the process SIX TIMES before fully quitting.
Here at Floss we provide and offer complimentary oral cancer screenings at every exam and provide our patients with a tobacco cessation packet if quitting is something they are interested in and thinking about.