The Effects of Physical Withdrawal

Anxiety, Anger, Irritability, Impatience and Restlessness
These are normal temporary effects of physical withdrawal from nicotine. Our life long roller coaster cycles of rising and falling blood nicotine levels are now ending. Your mind is in the process of resuming control of the more than 200 neurochemicals that nicotine had directly and indirectly taken hostage, including select adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin pathways. In resuming control the brain is making sensitivity re-adjustments associated with mood, reward, stimulation and anxiety. In trying to protect your mind from the deadly pesticide nicotine it actually desensitized important neurochemical circuits by reducing receptor sites and diminishing the number of transporters.

If a nicotine user remains 100% nicotine free for just 72 hours they’ll likely begin to notice the underlying current of recovery anxieties easing off as their brain’s neurons begin bathing in nicotine-free oxygen rich blood serum and the brain’s sensitivity adjustments begin bearing fruit. Although our quickly healing body is now 100% nicotine free and most of the normal symptoms of adjustment have reached their peak, it will take 10 days to two weeks before our mind and body become fully accustomed to functioning with the absence of nicotine and many of the other 4,000+ chemicals present in each dip.

The early healing is rapid. Deep breathing with mind relaxation, together with a bit of physical activity, can help diminish anxieties. Adjustment of caffeine intake and limiting sugars can also have a calming effect. Acidic fruit juices, like cranberry, may help accelerate extraction of the blood’s remaining nicotine and decease the maximum of 72 hours required for the body to completely metabolize all nicotine.

There is a detailed cessation effects study by Marcia M. Ward, entitled “Self-reported abstinence effects in the first month after chewing cessation,” published in Addictive Behaviors, 26 (2001) at pages 311-327. Its findings are fascinating. For example, it may be difficult to believe but, on average, anxieties peak on day one (within 24 hours) and within two weeks return to almost pre-cessation levels. Regarding anxiety, be sure you understand why ex-Chewers only need half the amount of caffeine as Chewers. Irritability, often anxiety’s aftermath, seems to peak at about 48 hours while restlessness peaks at 72 hours. According to the study, both begin hovering back around pre-cessation levels within two weeks.

Anger apparently peaks for the average quitter at about 48 hours (day 2) and within 72 hours is beginning to return to almost pre-cessation levels. Amazingly, nicotine assumed command of the mind’s adrenaline circuitry and a small release was part of our high. When taking back control, anger and fear (fight or flight) are our means of releasing adrenaline. It isn’t unusual to find yourself intentionally attempting to induce adrenaline releases by promoting conflict or feeling fearful about permanently altering your mind’s sense of normal from “nicotine normal” back to “you.”

While awaiting re-sensitization, find ways to vent frustrations and release adrenaline that won’t cause needless hurt to family members, loved ones, friends or co-workers. Walk, run, vent into a pillow, find a punching bag, bend a piece of steel, or even bite your lip during early withdrawal if that’s what it takes. Discuss your feelings with family, friends or within your support system.

Following serious challenge, write yourself a loving letter that can be read a year from now that accurately describes what chemical withdrawal and early psychological recovery were like and why you were more than willing to endure it. The mind does not remember pain or the bad times. In fact, you memories of “Glory Week” will rapidly fade within just a few short weeks. Give yourself the present gift of future memory. It may be just the motivation you’ll need to avoid temptation tomorrow.

Occupy your time. Try enjoying your favorite activity, sport or hobby. Celebrate each hour of freedom. Keep a positive attitude and review your reasons for beginning this journey. If you need a break, briefly clear your mind of all negative thoughts and chatter by taking slow deep breaths while focusing exclusively upon your favorite person, place, or object. Don’t allow the seeds of false reasoning to fester and infect your logic or desire. Let intelligence serve as courage as you break free from years of slavery to the dictates of a chemical master.

Time Perception Distortion
Nicotine Chewers have long known that at times during early withdrawal time itself seems almost to stand still. The first two weeks can seem like some of the longest days of your entire life. A new 2003 study suggests that time perception distortion may possibly be a nicotine dependency recovery symptom experienced by all Chewers.

Although a subconsciously triggered crave episode will not last longer than three minutes, as you probably already know, those minutes can feel like hours. Whether dealing with a subconscious crave trigger or even consciously fixating on a thought of wanting to chew, be sure and look at a clock or watch so that you can gain honest perspective in helping correct your impaired perception of time.

All of us are capable of handling a few brief moments of anxiety – all of us – but we need help in gaining an accurate estimation of how long we’ve endured any challenge or this symptom may falsely paint recovery as being beyond our ability to handle. Don’t let time distortion deprive you of your dream of again comfortably embracing life as you.

When time distortion is combined with a destructive “big bite” recovery philosophy that insists upon measuring success in terms of quitting forever, it is often a recipe for relapse. Instead, adopt a ” one day at a time ” philosophy that sees and treats each challenge and each day of freedom and healing as the full and complete victory they reflect. What good is holding a victory party after you’re dead? Celebrate life and the victory your latest victory.

Inability to Concentrate or a Foggy Mind
The feeling that your concentration is not as good or that your mind now lives in a fog is experienced by almost two-thirds of recovering nicotine addicts to one degree or another. The return of our clearness of mind and concentration levels may seem gradual but within two weeks most begin experiencing concentration levels very close to those of never-Chewers.

Poor concentration, focus and thought can also be associated with low blood sugar. It’s important to understand that nicotine force-fed us stored fats and sugars with each new chew. It’s why so many of us could skip breakfast and/or lunch and yet not feel hungry. Chewing nicotine caused our brain to release adrenaline which in turn prepared us for the “fight or flight mode” by pumping stored fats and sugars into our blood stream (the bad artery clogging fats).

Once we stop putting nicotine into our body the adrenaline fat feedings end. If you continue to attempt skipping meals, your blood sugar will plummet along with your concentration, as nicotine is no longer your spoon. It isn’t necessary to eat more food but only to spread your normal daily food intake out more evenly over your entire day. Women would be well advised to put a very small amount of fuel into their stomach about every three hours and men at least every five. During only the first 72 hours (as it can be fattening) natural fruit juices (cranberry is excellent) will not only aid with helping stabilize blood sugar but may actually help accelerate the rate at which nicotine metabolizes just a wee bit.

Even if you can’t correct the entire problem by stabilizing blood sugar and you’re forced to push yourself a bit more than normal in order to live up to your old expectations, concentration improvement appears to be fairly steady and relief won’t be long in coming. You may also want to temporarily reduce or avoid alcohol use, which reduces brain oxygen and obviously impairs concentration. Brisk walks or other physical exercise and slow deep breathing will deliver additional focus giving oxygen to your mind. Remember, life-giving oxygen is a far healthier brain stimulant than any addictive substance. Trust in you. It’s only temporary.

Flash – a May 2002 medical study indicates that heavy nicotine use may actually destroy brain cells and diminish concentration and memory. If true, the very temporary concentration effects associated with adjusting to the absence of nicotine might better be seen as a very welcome occurrence.

Feeling Tired or Fatigued
Our body is shedding the effects of being under years of dependence upon a powerful stimulant and the process of withdrawal and readjustment can be physically and emotionally exhausting. We’re also experiencing changes in basic metabolism as heart rate and respiration have rapidly returned to normal. Time distortion, awaiting that next crave episode, using anger or fear to try and generate adrenaline that we sense is missing, possible sleep disruption, it isn’t at all unusual to feel a bit drained during the first few days but after that you should begin feeling much better with more energy than you may have felt in years.

Just as recovering from any other illness, the body and mind need time to heal. Moderate exercise can act as a natural pick-me-up and also help us sleep better. We need to allow ourselves additional rest, extended sleep or even a nap. “Glory Week” can consume tremendous energy.

It is not normal to continue feeling tired or fatigued three weeks after starting your journey and there are many potential causes ranging from improper diet, blood sugar problems, medications in need of possible adjustment after ending the use of the 4,000+ chemicals present in tobacco chew (including nicotine), an underlying condition that was being masked and hidden by those same 4,000 chemicals, or by other coincidental conditions that just happened to occur and have nothing whatsoever to do with ending tobacco or nicotine use. Also, see depression below.

Trouble Sleeping or Insomnia
Nicotine is a powerful drug that affects subconscious thought, brain waves, the depth of sleep, and can even affect dreams. The disturbance of “normal” sleep patterns can occur during physical withdrawal or new patterns may be established as you return to your body’s true level of need. You may find that you don’t need nearly as much sleep as you did while chewing. Are you still tired or just sleeping less?

It’s important to understand that nicotine Chewers need twice the amount of caffeine in order to achieve the same effect as a non-Chewer. Nicotine indirectly causes caffeine to metabolize (to be depleted) at a rate twice that of non-Chewers. If you’re a heavy caffeine user who attempts to continue using caffeine at the same amount as you did while using nicotine, you may find yourself not only having difficulty sleeping but probably climbing every wall in sight. Here’s a Freedom message thread discussing the issue in far more depth.

Relaxation through mind clearing and slow deliberate breathing can help induce sleep. Mental relaxation can be as simple as slowly clearing your mind of all other thoughts by focusing exclusively on a single object or color. If your sleep continues to be disrupted and is affecting your health, safety or performance then turn to your physician or pharmacist for assistance. Don’t allow sleep to be your mind’s junkie excuse to destroy your quest to meet and become comfortable as “you” again.

Slight Sore Throat
Years and years of chewing while ingesting hundreds and hundreds of chemicals (every twenty to thirty minutes) has irritated our throat, damaged or destroyed millions of cells, has deeply marinated tissues in tobacco, and has caused them to become numbed to the tremendous harm being inflicted. As our tissues begin to heal, they may feel temporarily irritated as the cells slowly renew, our tissues begin to breathe and natural moisture levels gradually return. Cool liquids and juices may provide a bit of soothing. Hard sugarless candy or cough-drops may also generate moisture, provide soothing or give relief from minor discomfort.

Bad breath, Nasty Tastes and Bleeding Gums
Picturing the slow healing of deeply marinated gum, cheek and tongue tissues impregnated by years of thousands of passing chemicals may be more accurate than you think. Depending on how long we chewed it could take some time for these tastes and odors to totally dissipate. Cell healing, time, oxygen rich blood, and fluids will keep mouth, nasal, throat and respiratory tissues on the road to maximum recovery. Brushing a bit more frequently and mouthwash should help control the odors that will continue to be released from both dead and recovering cells.

As for gum bleeding, it’s not unusual to be a bit overzealous and brush too much but also be aware that your gums are experiencing some rather amazing healing all on their own. Surprisingly, it is normal for an ex-Chewer’s gums to be more prone to bleeding during recovery, not less. Nicotine constricts blood vessels diminishing blood flow, which, according to a January 2003 study, may account for Chewers having thicker gum tissues. According to an April 2004 study, gingival (gum) blood flow rate was “significantly higher at 3 days” and within 5 days the liquid sticky plasma proteins normally released by healthy gums (gingival crevicular fluid) had significantly increased and within 2 weeks were comparable to those of non-Chewers. But if it takes a bit of bleeding to begin gradually reversing the risk of experiencing 220% greater tooth loss than a nonsocial then so be it. If concerned call your dentist.

Headaches
Changing brain oxygen and chemical levels, added anxiety or tension, possible temporary sleep disruption, increased caffeine levels, or diet changes can all result in headaches. According to the Ward “abstinence effects” study, 33% of Chewers reported having headaches immediately PRIOR to quitting. Interestingly, those reporting headaches peaked on day three (72 hours) at 44%, dropped to 17% on day seven, and had declined to a low of just 11% on day fourteen.

Relaxation, slow deep breathing, extra rest, mind clearing with thought focusing exercises, a warm bath or shower, or exercise may help relieve tension and often brings relief. Aspirin or other headache relievers are available but shouldn’t be taken on an empty stomach. If you are a fairly heavy caffeine drinker make sure you understand that ex-Chewers only need half as much caffeine as Chewers in order to get the same effect, otherwise your caffeine overdose may actually cause your headache.

Stomach Pain, Nausea, Constipation or Gas
Nausea was also examined in the Ward “abstinence effects” study. Again, although only averages, 16% of participants reported nausea on day one (as compared to 2% at pre-cessation baseline), 11% on day three, 16% on day seven, 9% at two weeks, and 4% on day twenty-eight. Cessation related constipation was the focus of a November 2003 study. It found that one in six quitters develop constipation and that for about one in eleven quitters the problem can be severe. The study also found that constipation levels peaked at about two weeks. If you develop constipation concerns during recovery consult your pharmacist or physician and obtain relief.

There are a host of digestive disorders, including cancers, associated with chewing. Intestinal and bowel movements can be temporarily affected while they adjust to the absence of nicotine. Stress, anxiety or postpartum nicotine depression can cause our stomach or GI area to generate pain. Tissues numbed and deadened by years of nicotine use are healing. It isn’t uncommon to experience temporary pain. We can aid the healing process by drinking at least eight glasses of water each day. Increasing the amount of leafy vegetables, roughage, whole grains, bran or prunes in our diet will aid our intestines in cleansing and in moving things along. Moderate exercise may also help with circulation and movement. If symptoms persist, we need to consult our physician.

© WhyQuit.Com 2000, 2013
The original article has been modified to be more relevant for dippers and chewers.

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79 Comments

  1. Great to learn people committed to live a better life free of deadly nicotine. I am in my day 3 (> 60 hrs) and have never been nicotine free as far as I can remember (been over 20 years now). Just want to say one thing to all who are really willing to kick nicotine out of there windows “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”. Live life as a celebration and not as a slave.

    • Good info. I am 59 hours into nicotine free. I have not been one day free of nicotine for 29 years. Everything I read is spot on for me. Very Very tough but worth it!!

  2. Abhijeet kishan

    Hello friends
    proud to be tobacco free
    I was very heavy addicted of gutkha
    one fine day I stopped chewing gutkha in one shot.
    I haven’t chew gutkha since 16th may. In initial days my conditions was just like mad
    but gradually conditions improving. After 8 week still I am facing foggy mind problem
    but I am determined that I will never chew any product of tobacco again.

    Only determination is the key for quitting tobacco.

    • I also quit ghutka from last 15 days but I m facing gastro problem and heart burn problem. What we will do can any body help me

  3. Than you so much for this graet Article.
    Hello guys i’ve been eating for 20 years i atea bit more dangerous dip called “gutkha” i quit eating it once in year 2008 but i became addicted to smoking, i found smoking far more dangerous than dipping so i tried quitting last year 15th August 2014 but then again i started eating gutkha, but today 9th july 2015 i am tabacco free for three weeks, And feel newborn happy younger… People first 72 hours is very painfull but after 10 days its all so easy…. My trick was cutdown my doeses i had been cutting down from january this year but i succeeded, and i wish all of you to quit this poison…

  4. Been dip free for about 4 weeks now, I dipped Grizzly pouches every day for about 5 years. Still feeling the withdrawal symptoms, the fog sucks and my body feels weak and aches. I already have a stressful job so the added anxiety from withdrawal is making this extremely tough. I think the worst part however, is the insomnia, haven’t had a good nights sleep in weeks, which I believe is making the fog and body symptoms even worse. Been chugging water and trying to sweat everyday but still not feeling 100%. I was only on it for 5 years and only did pouches 1-2 times per day, is it normal to still be feeling the symptoms? Does anyone have any tips for getting over the insomnia?

  5. Well if all of you can do it at least I know it’s possible. I will keep you updated

  6. I have chewed and dipped since I was 10 or so. I’m 30 now and can’t get past the first 12 hours. I start feeling better breathing better. Some chest pains subside a little. I breathe a little easier and things start going downhill as the day/night progresses. The amount of anger I get is absolutely uncontrollable. Its like super anxiety restless anger hot flashes all rolled in together. The idea of me quitting is just that. An idea. I’m thinking of trying bacc off or something similar but the amount of anger with no nicotine is pathetic. Any helpful ideas solutions other than just dropping the can and calling it quits would be welcomed.

    • Whipped – welcome! If you haven’t yet, I’d urge you to join our forums at http://forum.killthecan.org/ – its the best place on the web to get support and questions answered from people who “get it” because we’ve all been there before. Coming up on 24,000 members!

    • It’s been three days for me going on four but I understand what your pain is I have some major with draws but I’ve just stayed focused on my goal I’m not trying to offend you but I believe in God and the bible I’m a Christian and since I gave my life to him and gave him my problems it’s a lot easier to reach my goals so what I’m saying if you want to quite and not struggle as bad ask God for help it works for me it might work for you can’t hurt to try

  7. I am a heavy user of cope for 30 years. I am hard core. White collar jobs but could hide it in my mouth. Top lips. In side. In back. Could swallow. So, had dip in mouth pretty much 24-7. Have quit before but have caved sooner or later based on some contorted logic that i could do just one dip. Even convinced myself that I should reward my quitting with just one celebratory dip. Was 5 days in and caved 36 hours ago. Feel like the struggle is harder since cave than before. This sucks.

  8. Is it normal that I am coughing a lot after quitting?

  9. I am 3 days in to my quit,started dipping again this past January after being dip free for 3 years,the second time is definitely harder.not symptoms justo mind telling me to buy a can.everytime I want a dip a full a picture out of my pocket of someone with stage 4 mouth cancer,got one where a guy has lost almost his whole face..I chewed 3 plus cans of skoal a day for 20 years I am 32 years old,I have a 2 year old son…this is for you buddy

  10. I am on Day 5 of quitting! It has not been easy, I have gone through a lot of sunflower seeds, gum and I even got some Grinds coffee pouches to see if they help. I never thought I was as hooked as I was, I guess the frequency of going to 7-11 and spending $10 a trip didn’t trigger that it my head because of how hooked I was. For me I have been treating every day as a successful individual victory, I make sure to praise myself every day so that I keep going. Also, each day adding up how much I have saved so far is enjoyable. With all that positive being said, there is negative that I wanted to ask about among people who have been tobacco free for longer than 5 days. I am EXTREMELY fatigued, irritable and no motivation to do anything. I’ve got some severe depression “red flags” and I just want to make sure this is par for the course. I take Adderall for concentration and that now feels like it does nothing. I would really appreciate any input or advice, thanks!

    • Accept the FACT that craving is another form of pain. Weather you quit or keep chewing, there will be pain but the good news is this: The pain from craving will definitely leave you. The pain from continuing to chew could end up to be something extremely ugly and you already know that.

  11. i quit it for my wife. I was addicted for 7 years and its 16 th day today. Ofcourse no turning back from here.

  12. It’s good to read all the stories, thanks for the encouragement.
    I am on day 5. My third time trying to quit. I always do cold turkey. by default, this time, as the others, it happened because i got arrested. And i feel like since i already go through the first 24-72 hours of detox while in jail, may as try to keep going. why do all the sites say cold turkey isnt as successful? When i tried tapering off, i never got started quitting.
    The hardest thing for me is the bloating or weight gain, i don’t know what it is. I barely eat, because i feel so full all the time, but i am bloated like crazy. any suggestions? I am a female, so this issue is the one that always got me iff track.
    Also, wanted to throw this out there. weed takes care of those withdrawal symptoms nicely. If you live where it’s legal, i highly recommend. Hopefully it’ll be approved for smoking cessation use soon! Btw, it’s legal in my state. and also, it’s possible to find a strain that doesn’t give you munchies. You have to experiment some, and ask at your local dispensary.
    Good luck yall!

  13. Hey guys-

    My name is Jason and I chewed a can a day for about 3-5 years 3 years consistently and I’m about 2 months in 60 days.. I still get some anxiety but nothing close to how it was.. But I just want to get back to normal and excited and happy all the time instead of just some of the time.. Any ideas on when this will sort of kick and get back to normal?

    Thank you!

  14. Day 4, feel great. Was at doctor this morning and blood pressure has already returned to levels I haven’t seen in 10 yrs. fingers and toes not cold. Feel calmer, I think because I’m not constantly thinking of ways to be alone to go escape and have a chew. Gonna try and stay away from the bar for a few weeks, this has always led to a tin purchase after an attempt to quit.

  15. I’m 32 years old and I’ve chewed Grizzly for roughly 7-8 years. It doesn’t seem like I’ve chewed that long but I’ve chewed for almost a quarter of my life!

    I recently decided to quit because my throat started to hurt pretty badly. I started construction work again and I don’t know what it is about construction but it makes me want to chew pretty much all day. Something about working outside makes me want to chew. Anyways, after a few weeks of that I decided I had to quit because I could not picture myself staying healthy by dipping 10-12 hours of the day for the rest of my life!

    I’ve been dip free for 7 days now. I’ve chewed a ton of gum to get me by at work. For some reason the first 2-3 days were not that difficult though. I’ve read a lot about how the first few days are the worst but not for me. Starting at about day 4 I’ve had a constant headache and I feel super foggy in the head. I want to do anything other than think because it is painful and sad to see how bad nicotine/tobacco has affected my brain. To try and combat this, I’m drinking a ton of water and sleeping as much as I can; it seems to help overall.

    I’ve quit here and there for a few months up to more than a year but I always find myself back for whatever reason. Sometimes I’ll take a dip from a friend and before you know it I’m asking any friend that chews for a dip every time I see them. Soon I just say screw it and I buy a can. I decided to post my comments because I read the comment from “Brendan the Army guy” who was thinking about starting back up after quitting for more than two weeks. It’s been over a year since his comment so I hope he is still off of chew but I wanted to comment for new people trying to quit chewing tobacco. Reading through peoples stories, symptoms, and successes has been helpful for me quitting this time. For me the hardest part of quitting (now and in the past) was not the physical withdrawals, though they did suck pretty badly sometimes, but the habitual need to dip, especially in certain situations. I like to dip when I play sports, drive, watch TV, hang out, drink beers, walk in the woods, bike, work, etc. If you think about it that can be all freakin’ day sometimes. When you get over the physical withdrawals its these type of things that bring you back! In the past, I would always eventually cave and say, “I’ll just dip today; it won’t hurt me that bad.” The reality is that it’s not that hard to be resolute for a week or two but when these triggers are dangled in front of you and you are off the drug…it is hard not to think it isn’t such a big deal.

    Anyways, I’m going to try to stay off this time, hopefully, for good. I’ve read some reviews on tobacco/nicotine free chewing alternative and I found my local Walmart carries some. I’m going to try it so that I can get through the really hard habitual desires to chew. Hopefully I won’t even need this in a few weeks. But for the rest of you, keep on quitting. This shit is addictive as hell, and terrible for your health! I used to think I was doing myself a solid by chewing over smoking but it’s six in one hand and a half dozen in the other; they are both unhealthy and each shorten your life, give you cancer, and decrease your quality of life. Not to mention it’s just another thing to waste your hard earned money on! It’s extremely hard to quit but it’s worth it in the end! Thanks for reading good luck with your quitting!

  16. Just past my 4 month mark of being dip free! The physical withdrawal symptoms are gone (although I fear some dental issues remain). However, some of the psychological symptoms are still present. I still crave a dip here and there. But its only the occasional trigger that does it; watching sport, long drive, etc. I am proud to say that I refused my very first offer of dip as a non-dipper the other day and I don’t regret it at all! To everyone out there: keep it up! You can kick the can!

  17. just keep in mind that it definitely goes away.

  18. I have been a dipper for 25 years. I am in hour 61 of being dip free. The fog is terrible and my head feels like it is floating and about to explode.My main issue right now is I cannot sleep and I have 0% focus on anything, Jaw aches and the urge is strong. I will keep on going and will update tomorrow

  19. This site is a great find! I usually liked to stay away from the reality of this information while I was a chewer – out of site, out of mind. But today is Day 4 w/out Skoal Straight after roughly 18 years of a tin a day…I read numerous articles on this site and pretty much every single comment on here in the past few days, my anxiety and stress has dropped significantly in the 4 days although still very there, along with all the other fun – sore tongue, sore throat, cold sweats etc etc.. Really looking forward to life without it. It is amazing how your attitude changes towards chew once you commit to quit and realize how bad this really is for the body. You don’t realize how bad its messed up your body until you’re in the quit and have gone through the first day or two, when the healing even minimally starts. I tried to quit a few times in the past, which lasted maybe a day or two, but I didn’t really want to quit then like I want to now. I’m 32 years old and I want to live better for the rest of my time here on earth.
    Kill the Can!
    Day 4, Bring on Day 5!

  20. Chewed Grizzly wintergreen for 10 years and I am on day 2 of quitting and now experiencing a very uncomfortable stomach pain anyone else have this problem and how long will it last.

  21. Great information and support on this site. I just stumbled on it tonight and spit out my dip and dumped the rest down the sink. I’m done. Thanks for the inspiration.

  22. Anyone experience body aches that feel like broken bone , tissue healing?

  23. My last chew was on Saturday feb 21. I’ve been feeling fatigued and very irritable. I thought I was coming down with something with the scratchy throat feeling. After reading all this I feel much better. Woke up last night feeling so scared saying I don’t want to die, Im guessing axiety and depression. Felt really wierd. Hopefully it passes quick. I wasn’t as heavy user as some on here.

  24. Chew free app…. Actually shows you how much you saved and all the benefits of quitting on what weeks etc…

  25. I’ve chewed 2 cans a day for more than 20 years and I’ve been chew free for 3 days and it sucks, but it will be worth it, and I’ll save money lots of money

  26. Keep it up! You got this! I will hit 4 weeks on Mon! (I still can’t believe it’s been that long!) The first few days and even that first week or 2 is rough. But you can get through it. I still get a crave here and there. But whenever I get one, I always say to myself, “I’m stronger than the can” and/or “I control it, it DOESN’T control me!”. Sounds corny, but it works. I also think about how much I DON’T miss: sore/bleeding gums, getting food stuck in my pouch-pockets, sinus infections, getting sick more often, soft and sensitive feeling teeth, mouth/tongue sores, headaches, rough/chapped lips, gross and chewy layers of skin inside my mouth, gingivitis and periodontal disease (and the work I had to get done), not being able to taste my food, etc. I could go on and on, but you get the point! Again, congratulations on being dip free! Keep it going!

  27. Just made 24 hours. This is my first time attempting to quit. Had some anger spells today, but now I’m just really giggly. Weird stuff.

  28. I quite a month ago today . . . And used the patch . . . I came off the lowest level patch thursday, which puts me just over three days without my body having any nicotene whatsoever. It seems I go through various mood and physiological swings, a bit of depression, which is something I normally never, ever experience.

    It is normal to experience a difference, right? Going from 7mg/day to zero?

    At any rate, I’ve made it a month as of today without having a dip in my mouth. I’ve generally done really well. I advise using the patch. I couldn’t imagine doing this without it . . . but, as I said, I do believe I can tell when I decrease to lower dose patches.

    • Definitely normal. You’re going through withdrawal. While you’ve been “dip free” for a month + at this point, you’ve only been “nicotine free” since you removed the last patch.

  29. I ended up quitting last year beginning of December, dipped for 6 months, about 2 lips a day. Felt like I had the addiction for years it was so hard to quit, made it to day7 but had a very bad day. Quit again today worst part is the insomnia and trouble focusing! Honestly feel ok with only 3-5 hours of sleep a night though.

  30. Thank you SO muchfor your reassuring comments. Saw the dentist and all is good (although I do have minor gum issue due to the dipping- which I WON’T miss!). For the sores in my mouth, I placed a few Tums chewable tablets on the sores and let them disolve (apparently the magnesium cures/heals them) and now I’m pain free! Again, thanks for the helpful comments. I was worried but you guys eased my mind! So glad to be dip free!

  31. the pain under your tongue is probably the tissues trying to repair. I am on day 2 of quitting and totally losing my shit. foggy head, irritable. I dipped for 20 yrs, Skoal Straight long cut. i am committed to this though

  32. EXACTLY 2 weeks dip free. The cravings are getting fewer, thankfully. My issue is the pain in my mouth. My tongue and gums (under my tongue) feel like they’re shredded. I see my dentist in a couplcouple of days but has anyone else experienced this?

    • Definitely. My mouth was messed up BIG TIME when I quit. It, like the rest of your system, will return to normal. Nothing wrong with seeing a dentist (in fact I’d suggest it) but it’s a normal part of quitting.

  33. I have stop chewing tobacco since 60 days and all withdrawal symptoms has gone. Feeling very confident that I have successfully quit chewing which I have never been thought before last 25 years.

  34. Colin….you can’t think that way…either you quit or you don’t….you have to want to quit…..i’m on day 12…dipped for almost 29years….this is the longest i’ve gone without a dip since Feb1986

  35. 43 hours now, yesterday was a hell of a lot worse then today so far. I’m really dreading my first full night of work without it though. That’s where i started, and now its going to be my toughest test in quitting.

    My question is, i enjoy dipping. I’m not quitting for the health aspect… but more to just see if i can and save myself money. if i go say 2/3 months with no nicotine, will one dip every once in a while send me back to square one?

    Again, i really enjoy the whole routine of dipping, my friends/family don’t mind it. I’m just looking to save money more then anything.

  36. 27 hours in…. Having trouble already. The first 24 hours were easy, as I had a stomach bug and didn’t want to dip. I used my queasiness as a jumpstart to quitting. But now that I feel better, I want a dip worse then anything right now! The foggy feeling and headache is pretty strong. Having a full can on the table for that “just in case” is killing me too.

  37. My first 24 hours today no chew 32 y/o m dipped longhorn and Copenhagen for 12 yrs need help. Got tons of smokey mountain but still got the shakes all day

  38. Tim
    Get some smokey mountain fake chew. This will help with the oral fixation.
    You are in a fight with the nic bitch, it’s all mental so don’t give up.

    You have made it 9 days that is great, you are well on the road to get to 100 days.

    The fog sucks, I had it for 30 days, my quit brother jayp says he was in the fog for 30 days also. Just need fight, that’s all the advise I can offer you. It will get better

    Jeff
    Day 106
    ,

  39. I am on day 9 after dipping two tins a day.. i am still in a fog please help… the need and wants to throw in a golfball sized chew is eating me alive… what can i do??? i have eaten seeds and literally packed a tea bag in my lip i can not concentrate on anything…

  40. Drew
    Drink a ton of water… Post.. Yes it sucks, we all had some bad ass shit in the first few days. It part of the path to quit. It takes balls of Steele to do this, so keep going, you can do this:

    I had the exact same feelings for a week, then the fog kicked in, read about the fog…

    But. Get past and you will feel so much better, I promise. Keep kicking ass

    Jeff
    Day 102

  41. First, this is a well written article! I have been searching for answers all day and information in this article and everyone’s experiences is help me tremendously! I’m on day 3 of quitting…I have been a “dipper” for 14 years and have been successful at quitting in the past but only for 8 months. Guess some of you might not considered that a success but it was huge for me. It’s been years since my first attempt at quitting and I don’t remember the withdraw symptoms being anything like I have experienced in the past 48 hours! The anxiety has been filled with agitation, shortness of breath and high blood pressure. It has subsided for now but lasted for 3 hours straight before I was able to free myself from a perception of impending doom. Had another attack that lasted 45 minutes about an hour later and I have finally been able to calm down enough to sit in a chair. My hands were sweating profusely, my face was hot and flushed and I was seriously contemplating taking myself to the ER for fear of stroking out. For those of you who have gone through this and those of you who are going through this your experiences are important to share. The feeling can be scary and confusing for some if not many and your perceptions might help someone like me. Man, I can wait until this shit is over…

  42. I am on day 7 of my quit after dipping for 8 years. One symptom I am experiencing is a throbbing of what feels like my jaw on the side of the face I usually placed a dip. Its not a painful throb. Just an irritating sensation. Ive tried taking tylenol but it has zero effect. It feels like it’s deep inside my gums or even in the jaw bone itself. Has anyone experienced this symptom and if so how long did it last?

    • Justin.

      Yes. Had same thing, I even lost my taste for 60 days.. Your body is healing..if you feel like uncomfortable, go see a doctor

      Jeff

      • Hi Jeff so I quit 2weeks ago but now I have two nymphs or small balloon types under my jaws and my mouth has a badtaste to it..is that normal???

  43. Kris

    Keep going , don’t give up, you can do this.

    Keep posting so we know your still on your quit

    Jeff
    Day 93

  44. So much. help here thanks day three pray to God that I can do this. This so suck. 15 years of wasted money and life. Kris

  45. I’m on day 4 of quitting after 15 years of dip. This hell I’m going through is for my 2 year old daughter, and my next child on the way. The fog is terrible: hard to concentrate, severe anxiety, etc. I also have heartburn and a sore throat, probaby from indigestion. When I’ve tried to quit in the past I’ve been very prone to trigger relapses- long car rides, stressful meetings at work, etc. Right now I’m focusing a lot of mental energy to avoid my mind tricking me into saying “just one dip won’t hurt anything”.

    I’m so looking for forward to clearing my mind and being free from this 15 year mental prison sentence. It’s been really helpful reading all the other stories.

  46. I quite for six months and started back last year. Idk why. Any way I dipped copenhagen LCS and I went to skole peach and after bout 3 months my chest in the middle started feeling tight and hurting my heart area started having a “swollen” feeling and annoying small irritating pain. My throat also has a tight feeling and its hard for me to breath, I feel like I’m breathing through a straw. I can breath through my nose cause it feels like i m not getting enough. I woke up one night to me not breathing I got scared and way anyone else have this happen? Also I quit the peach and went back to cope for a week and when I got home I got some peach dipped it there weekend and now I been dealing with this sore chest can’t breath heart hurts thing again I quit dipping yesterday when I ran out and I said I’m not getting more. Been going since around 6:30pm yesterday and haven’t had a dip yet and my heart don’t hurt now isk its crazy but I still have the sore chest thing and my throat feels a little swollen and I feel like I’m suffocating

    • I am not a Doctor but I went through the same chest pains and hard to breathe episodes. The chest pain I experienced was due to Acid Reflux and it occurs over night, but the pain is felt throughout the day and part of the evenings. The sore throat and tightening could be a mild infection that we all get sometimes. also might be due to stress. What I did is purchase a blood pressure cuff from the drug store, they have the digital ones and you only have to press one button to get your blood pressure number. That is the very real damage that the DIp does to your body, it increases your blood pressure a lot and that is why we experience the dizziness and all that jazz. As you go through your quit, keep reading your blood pressure and you will see that it normalizes after a week or 2.
      I Hate going to the doctor, but I would recommend it very highly for you and all who read this Post, as it would give you peace of mind on all these symptoms you are experiencing, I hope that Helps. Laterz.

  47. I am on Day 16 after I quit. I tried quitting before like most of the people here, I think the most I lasted was about a Month, pain, bleeding and high blood pressure are great motivators to engage in quitting. It makes no sense to do that horrible and disgusting pile of junk, but yet we did it. I am experiencing all the symptoms and now the benefits of being free of this carcinogen, but as hundreds, perhaps tens of hundreds of us trying to quit, I can only wonder, how many are just getting started into this Disgusting, harmful and possibly fatal habit.

  48. Only other people that have done this can explain anything of value. My first full day after seven years while actually trying. I have way more energy than I’m used to, but I’m also recovering from shoulder surgery. I always made gaining weight an excuse, well during my shoulder surgery I can’t make that excuse anymore. F this nicotine bitch, don’t let anything rule you!

  49. Rajkumar

    Two weeks stopped chewing tobacco and smoking feel great cravings r still there.

  50. 8 days now. head pounds feels like someone is tap dancing on my head and mind is foggy. Sore throat, I have been managing with popsicles. Does anyone have a specific brand of substitute they prefer?

    • Congrats on 8 days of freedom! Which brand of alternative I’d suggest would depend on which brand you’re trying to emulate / what your former brand was. There are reviews / coupons here: http://www.killthecan.org/your-quit/smokeless-alternatives/ Let me know what you’re looking for an I’ll try to point you in the right direction.

    • You can do it Raven I used dip for 25 to 30 years and quit in February of 2014 using nicotine patch I am going on 6 months tobacco free and feel great and don’t miss it one bit you can do it to just put your mind to it.

  51. Just finished my first week of not chewing! Feel kinda good but is it normal to have a little bleeding?

    • Hey Mike – yes, a little bleeding in your gums is pretty typical. Make sure you’re brushing / flossing regularly and stick with it as you move toward your quit. If you’re like me your gums are recovering from DECADES of abuse. Hang in there!

  52. Oh my shit!!!! 8 hours in……until right now I have not gone more than a 4 hour time period except sleep in the last 17 years without a fatty in my lip. this is the most insane thing I have ever experienced in my life. Head is floating, jaw is throbbing, jaw socket feels like someone stabbed it with a spoon…….and just threw up. Ive never done heroin but I feel like what it looks like those addicts feel like when you see them on tv.

    I swear if my son ever puts this shit in his lip I’m just gonna break his nose and save him the trouble. I’m keeping a “diary” of sorts as im going through this just in case….I’m sure the day will come when mom finds that can that opened up in the wash and ruined everything.

  53. Hang in there Brendan! I chewed Copenhagen for a long time and just kicked it 8 days ago. It’s one of the hardest things I have ever done but I’m going to make it.
    Tell you what, I have chewed more gum in this past week than I have in the past 3 years.
    Believe me I know what it’s like being in your position and you just have to fight through the urges. You got this!

  54. I’ve been a dipper for 7 years. I started “in the field” while I was in the army. The last 2 years I’ve dipped a can a day or more. I’m now on day 16 nicotine free! Unfortunately I still am having a very difficult time maintaining focus and motivation. It’s killing my performance at work, which in a straight commission job, can be detrimental. I’m thinking about dipping again, so I can concentrate and focus. Helpful ideas?

    • Brendan – while the idea of going back to dip to improve your concentration sounds appealing, I can assure you that you’d not ultimately be happy with that decision. At this point (16 days in) you’re free. You no longer have nicotine flowing through your body. If you go back… even for a day… when you quit again you’ll have to go through all the BS again. Keep fighting!

    • Never get back. it will generate a guilt in you who will die you faster.Just take it easy..divert yourself towards nature. drink lots of water and juices.

  55. I’m on day #2 of quitting. I have been chewing Copenhagen products for the better part of 25 years.
    My advice is to NEVER start!
    I am quitting because my wife does not want me to die from cancer. And quite frankly neither do I.

  56. Pingback: How Withdrawals Affect the Body? | Pathways Real Life Recovery

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