I Feel 100% Better Since I Quit

KillTheCan Logo“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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  1. Hey all. Im 30 going on 31 and I have chewed since I was 16 playing baseball in highschool. I have never tried to quit before. So I just stopped cold turkey and it’s been 3 days and I’m staying with a sick feeling is that a side affects of quitting and if so how long does it last. And if anyone has any tips to make this easier please share. Thanks

  2. I quit tree days ago, I’m starting to feel better and my heart is not fluttering as bad as it was before. I will visit my Doctor next week to make sure everything is ok and possibly diet changes to help me out as well. It was cool when I was younger but it’s not cool when you are six feet under right.

  3. How long to see an improvement in average blood pressure after quitting? I know it immediately drops, but overall, how long until you see your average blood pressure be normal or close?

  4. Charles Vanderhoof

    46.chewed a can a day.mid-age caught up with me and the snuff I once enjoyed turned on me! Panic attacks.high b/p. Fluttery heart .short of breath. One night I had a lucid dream where I had a mouth full of cope and it turned into worms I spit it out on the ground and there was worms everywhere! I woke up and decided to quit. I got some otc 4mg nicotine lozenges which I still use.but it’s been 6 months. And I feel great. I had headaches from withdrawal for a couple months but now the b/p is down.no more panic.breathing normal again.started taking better care of my teeth. Im gonna use the lozenges as long as I want cuz I chewed for 20 yrs. For anyone thinking of quitting.you can do it. I’m convinced it prevented me from a coronary or a stroke. The dream I had was my mind warning me I was headed for serious trouble. Just thought I’d share my little story with snuff.

  5. Does anyone else get sick when they would dip? Ten years in, but now my blood pressure sky rockets, I get the shakes, and the moment I take it out I get anxiety and sweat profusely…I quit a couple weeks back, and suddenly found that I couldn’t focus on anything…

  6. Been using cope since I was 17, hs baseball and never looked back. Now at age 60 I am done with any and all tobaccos. I use a can to a can and a 1/4 daily. My method was to put the breaks on for the first few weeks, so from 8 to 9 cans weekly I went to 1 ca a week for the firt 2 1/2weeks.

    Somewhere mid
    week I ditched it completely it been 9 day now and
    Still feel under the weather but no i will not use again.

  7. I am 24 yrs old and i am on day 3 of quiting. I have been chewing..excuse me i had been chewing for several years. I tell you what i feel better about myself. The only thing im having an issue with is .i csnt sleep..im tired but cant fall asleep.anyone else? .i work nights which is worse becuase it can get boring and man do i wanna dip. Im gonna stay strong and not give in. Its time for a life change and quit this addiction.

  8. I am a 20 year old male and I have been dipping since 8th grade (6 years) I started dipping because all of the older kids in high school dipped, but soon I got addicted. I would dip whenever I had a chance, I dipped before school, in school I would take dip shit 2 or 3 times a day, and after school. When I got old enough to drive my addiction grew. I found myself dipping whenever I drove somewhere. I found that i relied on dip for everything and didn’t realize how much money I was spending on a tin. Living in Massachusetts I find myself paying about $10 on average for a tin. Last year (2016), I got seriously sick. I had a really bad stomach infection and started having problems with my toungues, tonsils, and throat. I made the decision to KTC and since then I have never felt healthier. You can do it, it’s all in your head. Every single dipper has the ability to quit and improve their life. I might only be 20 years old but I experienced an illness that most people will not experience throughout they’re whole life. A persons health is one of the most important things in life. Quit while you can, cancer is not worth it

  9. Im 35 and been dipping since i was 13. I lived on a ranch and then joined the army for 12 years. Dipping has basically been the most important thing in my life. its controlled my whole life. Now my gums are getting destroyed, they are so thin and my mouth hurts. My dad dips too and he has had two cadaver bone transplants into his mouth. I just figured when my mouth rotts i would do the same. But now I’m starting to think, about all the damage I’ve done to my body from so much coppenhagen long cut at half to one full can a day which i call a power dip. i sucks because lets say i have a massive dip in, and I’m walking in town and i see a pretty girl- i can’t just talk to her because i have to spit. And people always see me dipping and i know they think its gross. For me right now dipping is my only satisfaction, its the only thing in this world that makes me feel good or that i give a damn about and thats sad. i want to quit and I’m going to quit on december 19th. i figure ill just go to the gym and work our all day long because when you work out the last thing you want to do is dip. but after the workout there is nothing sweeter than a fatty chaw of coppenhagen long cut…dammit…. i don’t want to die of a heart attack when I’m 50 so i do plan on quitting dec 19th 2016. I just don’t know how to live without it because its the only thing that makes me feel good – and i always feel like complete shit everyday. Good luck everyone drying to quit. one last thing, I’m in medical school and reading up on how this dip affects health so that has been a factor in deciding to quit. I’m just going to have to relearn what feeling good is. Also i can’t taste anything for years and that has sucked haha. good luck everyone and lets quit this shit.

    • You hit the nail on the head when you said you need to re-learn what feeling good is. I am on day 4 right now and I really and truly feel much better than I normally do. Why on Earth is my brain telling me I need a dip to “feel better”… when I feel way better than I ever have chewing. Its all in your head. I really hope that I can outrun the withdraws and do what I know is right.

    • Hi! I just read your post, and realized that you vowed to quit exactly one year ago today. Have you succeeded? I’m on day 3 of quitting and it’s already hard but I will not chew every again. I owe it to myself and to my family.

  10. I’ve chewed since I was 14 and I am 46. I have tapered down for the last 6 years and was chewing a can of copenhagen every 2 weeks. I haven’t chewed for 2 days. I think I feel better. I am always achy and the dip started to make me nauseated. Wish me luck. Pete

  11. Cam, I know this is several months late, but if you see this, have you started feeling better? I’m only at day 14, but I cannot function and feel like a terrible human being…if that’s even the right term.

  12. I have quit for 24 days now. I honestly feel the worst I ever have in all my life. I am having a hard time breathing, sleeping, and I am bloating like crazy. What is the deal?!

  13. 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”.

  14. 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

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