Rousseau famously said “Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains.” I’m pretty sure the chains he was referring to weren’t chewing tobacco, but who cares?!? His point is the same – we are born free but we make choices that enslave us.
I chose to dip more than 25 years ago in order to foster a social connection with some buddies. I chose to stop dipping because I didn’t see any continuing benefit in it and was experiencing a number of unacceptable costs and detriments. When you Google “what’s the best way to quit dipping Skoal?” one of your first hits is KillTheCan.org. I clicked on the link and read about its basic approach and theory and agreed that cold turkey quitting required some guts but made sense.
KTC’s system also appealed to me because it put you in a group of folks also committing to quit and asked each of you to try your best to keep the other folks on the same path toward a daily habit of no nicotine. KTC’s genius, if you ask me, is that it’s demand of you is a serious but simple obligation – give your word each day not to use nicotine and then keep your word. So that’s what I started doing and then just kept doing like I was some kind of Forrest Gump of quitting nicotine. Did others help me along the way? Yes, absolutely – and there’s no need to say anything to them other than thank you. For what? For reminding me, through this general accountability forum, that freedom from nicotine is not only a better way to live but it also something that we owe ourselves morally. If that doesn’t make sense, here’s what I mean – we owe ourselves the moral obligation to do our best to free ourselves from the chains we have shackled ourselves with and which impair our freedom to be the best we can be. Period. And unlike some here, I don’t blame tobacco companies or convenience stores for manufacturing or selling the stuff or “causing” my addiction. No, I caused that because I chose to put that junk in my mouth many times a day for 25 years, almost all of which I fully enjoyed the habit of chewing and (sorry, moderators) don’t regret having done.
As I see it, I was both the cause and the solution. KTC.org showed me the way in a simple and direct manner and proved to me the only thing I want you to consider taking away from this report – that, if you’re a nicotine addict and you want to quit dipping, you owe it to yourself to commit to quitting and the technique to get there involves a simple system of giving, and then keeping, your word each day while helping others do the same.