I Feel 100% Better Since I Quit

“Not chewing makes me feel great!” Often you will hear an ex-chewer excitedly express this statement when first quitting chew. What is amazing is when you think back to the days when the very same chewer would blatantly proclaim that his chewing never caused him any difficulty. He functioned perfectly normal for someone his age. It is impossible for any chewer to accurately judge just how much impairment his chewing is causing. Not until he stops will he actually recognize the full degree of improvements possible by quitting chew.

The statement that not chewing makes the ex-chewer feel great is very misleading. Not chewing doesn’t make people feel great. It actually only makes them feel normal. If a person who never chewed a day in his life decides one morning not to have a chew, he will not feel any better or worse than the morning before. But if a person wakes up every day and takes a chew, followed by 5, 10, 15 or more before going back to bed, he will feel the effects of nicotine dependence. He never feels normal. His life consists of a chronic withdrawal state, only alleviated by taking a chew every 30 to 40 minutes.

While chewing at these intervals keeps the suffering of withdrawal down to a minimum, it does so at a cost. It impairs his breathing, circulation, increases his blood pressure, rots teeth and gums, robs him of his strength and endurance, and greatly increases his risks of deadly diseases like cancer. All this will cost him hundreds and more likely thousands of dollars a year, make him appear socially ostracized, and even viewed by family and friends as weak or unintelligent. It is no wonder that once he quits chewing he feels so much better. But it is important for the ex-chewer to realize that he feels so much better because chewing made him feel so bad.

For once a chewer quits, he often forgets just how rotten life was as a chewer. He forgets the bad times with chew, the bleeding gums, sore throats, aching tongue, the sores in his mouth, the spilt spittoons, the stench for two week old spittoons, the dirty looks, the inconveniences, and most importantly, the addiction. He forgets what life was truly like as a chewer. Unfortunately, he doesn’t forget everything. One thought often remains, lingering for years and even decades–the thought of the best chew he ever chewed. It may be a chew he took 20 years earlier, but it is the one he remembers above all others. Without keeping an accurate perspective of what life was really like with chew, the thought of the best chew can often lead to an attempt to recapture the bliss by taking a dip. What follows is an unexpected and worse, an unwanted relapse to a full-fledge addiction.

Don’t think of chewing as being taking one or two delightful chews a day just when you feel like it. You couldn’t do that before and you will never do it that way again. Rather, look at chewing as it actually was. It was expensive, inconvenient, and sociably unacceptable on a daily basis. It controlled you totally. It was costing you your health and had the full potential of one day costing your life. See chew for what it was.

© Joel Spitzer 1988
The original article has been modified to be more relevant for dippers and chewers.

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2 Comments

  1. After reading this article it made me think. I dipped for over 20 years and now I am 12 days quit. to be honest I tried to quit several times. I enjoyed it so much I said screw it nothing will happen to me. I thought i felt fine I would work out 4 days a week I spared once a week and I was ok. I did this routine for a few years got into the ring a little more for extra sparring then I started to notice my breathing was not the same and my heart would beat out of my chest. So like any true dipper would do I quit boxing and started to dip more. My routine changed and I started feeling like crap. this routine lasted for several more years. Then 12 days ago for some reason I went to buy a can and instead I bought some David sunflower seeds. I cant tell you why, but it felt like someone took over my brain and said no more. I have not touched a can in 12 days and I know its not that long but I feel like a human being again and I went to visit my old gym yesterday for the first time in years. I dont know if it was the scars on my face from boxing or the realization I was not the same person anymore that made me quit. I got this shit because now I really am starting to remember who I was and I really liked that guy and my kids love me always. As for the ex wife thats a different story lol I stand here today 44 years old and my boxing prime behind me but thats ok my life is ahead of me and I know I will have ups and downs but from my scars and aches and pains from boxing I know im a hell of a lot tougher that a can of bitch ass kodiak ;) I am quit with all of you today and thank you KTC you all are in my prayers and thoughts keep on keeping on and its ok to get knocked down just dont get knocked out

  2. I loved to chew. So much I was up to a tin of cope and 1/3 tin of cherry skoal every day. I quit the last week of August 2013. Honestly, I have never felt so good. All the best to people trying to quit. I used Chantix and regular visits to Whyquit.com for a visual dose of jaw cancer and tongue cancer. And as my daughter now proudly says……”my daddy doesn’t eat dirt anymore”.

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