I said it every day of the clinics, it’s in almost all my posts, and you see it at the end of each of these short articles. Even so, I still feel I cannot repeat it enough – NEVER TAKE ANOTHER CHEW! It is not that I am afraid that you will like the chew and decide how wonderful going back to chewing will be. To the contrary, it will probably make you dizzy, nauseous, and generally sick. You may absolutely hate yourself for having done it. Even this, though, is not the problem.
The real danger is the reinforcement of the nicotine addiction. It is a powerful addiction. One chew can send you back to your old level of chew consumption within days. We have had clinic participants who have previously quit chewing for periods exceeding 20 years. One day they decide to try just one. Even after this great period of time, the first chew is enough to start the whole addiction withdrawal process. They are again hooked on a drug and within days their full chemical dependency returns. All of the physical dangers, psychological problems, and tremendous expenses return to their previous levels.
If you do not believe this can happen to you, come into the first or second night of my next stop chewing clinic. Listen to all of the new enrollees who are there to quit chewing. These are people who were once off chewing tobacco for a substantial period of time before, people who liked not chewing, people who loved not chewing, people who now need help to once again reclaim their nonchewing status because of one tragic mistake. They were not immune to the first chew. The odds are, neither are you. Consider this the next time you have a passing thought for a chew.
Now you have a choice. You can remain an ex-Chewer or you can become an addicted Chewer once again. Consider both options carefully. Which way of life better suits you – a slave to a deadly weed or a truly free person? The final decision is yours. If you choose the latter, simply practice the following advice – NEVER TAKE ANOTHER CHEW!
© Joel Spitzer 1982
The original article has been modified to be more relevant for dippers and chewers.