Symptoms of Quitting Dip and Chew

Symptoms When Quitting NicotineQuitting dipping is not an easy thing… if you’re like most of us, when you quit you’ll go through some withdrawal symptoms… These are completely normal. That being said… if you are concerned about a particular symptom, by all means go to a doctor and get checked!!! This will help both your peace of mind and may catch something before it gets serious.


Dip Dreams – you’ve been dipping for years sometimes decades. Your brain is used to thinking a certain way with a certain amount of nic in it… once that’s taken away many people have “dip dreams”. These dreams range from mild to incredibly intense. Many times people will wake up after a dip dream and feel terrible because they really think that they caved. Many have reported that they can taste and smell the dip. Never fear… it’s only a dream.

Sores In Your Mouth (lip, tongue, cheek, etc.) – you’re done dipping… why does your mouth hurt so damn bad? You’ve got more sores in your mouth now than when you were dipping. What’s going on?!? There are a couple of explanations for this one. First, if you’re like most of us, you’ve found something to replace your dip to get you past the oral fixation (See Smokeless Alternatives). If you’re chewing seeds then there’s a TON of salt in your mouth that wasn’t there before. Also once you get dip out of your system the PH balance in your mouth is changing. Bottom line is this – get to a dentist and get checked out. But unless something stays around for more than two weeks you should be good to go.

Can’t Sleep – you’ve quit dipping and now you can’t sleep at all. Never fear, this is completely normal experience. It’ll take a while, but your sleep patterns will return to normal.

The Fog – you’re dizzy… you can’t think straight… your head hurts… you find yourself staring at your computer screen for hours on end not reading anything. Welcome to the dip fog. Your brain can’t handle the fact that you’re no longer feeding it dip. It might last just a couple of days and it might last a couple of weeks. Do not fret… once the fog lifts you’re well on your way to being dip free. Check out this article that Chewie has written about The Fog Of Quitting Dip

Headaches – you might have one that brings you to your knees, or you might just have that dull thud feeling all day long — this too shall pass.

Sore Throat – If you’re a dipper and you quit you’re scared of anything that’s “off”. Why when you quit dipping do you suddenly get a sore throat? We’re not sure why but it happens more often than you’d think. Drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated. This will help flush the nicotine and will help with your sore throat.

Anxiety – for years you’ve been dealing with life while medicating yourself with nicotine — it’s gone now and your body isn’t used to dealing with life without it. This condition will pass though you may want to talk to a doctor about some medication to take the edge off.

Problems “Going” – whether you know it or not, nicotine is a laxative. It’s helped keep you “regular” through all of your years of dipping. It takes some people a while to get their body adjusted to going without their natural dip laxative. Drink plenty of water and eventually this one will be “behind you”.

Hot Flashes – This one has been reported as a real doozey. Face, arms, legs, etc. can be very “warm” with some intense sweats. While this is a “symptom” it’s also been quite the trigger for some folks. Drink some water, get to the site and talk.

Depression – Many people have dipped for years or decades. Removing such an integral (though deadly) part of your life can lead to some pretty serious behavioral issues including depression. Talk to the folks on the boards as this is pretty common. As with any health issue please don’t hesitate to see a doctor as well. For more details about depression as a quitter click here.

There are a variety of other symptoms that have been attributed to quitting dip. If you don’t see yours listed, contact us and let us know about it!

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907 Comments

  1. A can of chew is 144 mg of nicotine
    A piece of nicotine gum is 4 mg
    Use the gum to assist you in quitting.

  2. Hey guys, really enjoyed reading thru a lot of this. Going thru the “symptoms” now for a second time. I’m a truck driver and was parked in summer heat with a dip in and had a bad panic attack. Scared me and dumped rest of my grizz on the ground and went cold turkey for 60 days. Me and the old lady were having our first child and just felt stressed so I caved and chewed can a day or so again for about a month. Coming back to it tho I felt like that panicked feeling was just sitting there under the surface. So long story short I had went cold turkey again, on day 40 right now. Only drinking water (can’t even tolerate caffeine now with this quit). Week 1-4 felt great compared to my earlier “quit” this year but this last week I just feel restless, hard time sleeping. Heart palpitations lying in bed here and there, yet I don’t even crave the can anymore. Any of you guys have similar symptoms as this, with the skyrocketed caffeine sensitivity and heart palpitations at night, can’t get my mind off of it.

    • Exact symptoms, Mike. I don’t have the cravings like I did the first few days, but the panicky feelings, heart palpitations, and caffeine sensitivity are intense. Anxiety is through the roof because I’m afraid of an ensuing panic attack. I freak myself out thinking theres something wrong with my head so my thought process is all screwed. I’m honestly happy to see other people experiencing the same thing haha, you’re not alone brother! Keep on kicking this things ass!

    • Hey Mike,

      Thanks for sharing and congrats on the baby!

      Your story is very similar to mine – we just welcomed our first baby as well so I understand how stressed you are.

      First, what you’re describing is all normal stuff and I went through a very similar pattern to you. I got to the point where I was having anxiety and panic attacks when trying to quit and when going back – it was a terrible cycle. I originally quit in November 2018 and caved in February 2019 around day 90. At that that point, I realized going back to dip was only making me worse and I knew I would be trying to quit again so there was no point in continuing the cycle. I quit again on March 13th and now approach day 250 of being quit. I had the same heart palpitations and feelings of panic sitting there right under the surface. So I want to reassure you 100% that’s all normal stuff and as a fellow quitter I experienced it too. Coffee sensitivity oh yeah!! I don’t even drink it anymore. At least not for the time being, maybe I’ll go back one day. I do remember reading there is some science behind why you need LESS caffeine/coffee when you’re off dip/nicotine but I can’t find the article at the moment.

      I believe the anxiety may continue for a while up until around the 3 month mark then it should start to get better. You may feel more tired/down/depressed at that point than anxious, but that’s a sign that you’re almost near the end. It’s a grind to start feeling “normal” again but you will 100% get there if all you do is stay strong and not dip.

      I would also recommend talking to your doctor for some advice as I am not a doctor and this shouldn’t be taken as actual medical advice. I took a very small microdose of beta blockers (10mg propranolol) to help with the physical symptoms of panic. It’s amazing how much better you can feel when your heart isn’t beating out of your chest, causing dizziness and panic. An OTC sleeping pill might also be good at night. I take a half or 1 tylenol Simply Sleep at times. It helps to relax you and promote sleep, plus the smaller dose makes sure you’re not super drowsy or out of it the next morning. I’m also someone who is very conscious about what kind of medication I put into my body but that’s what worked for me.

      Keep venting and coming back here for support, there is always someone willing to listen and respond to you.

      Day 40 man, it’s a grind but you got this! You’re more than halfway to the 2 month mark which is a great milestone to look forward to.

      -CAL

      3-3-19
      Day 238

      • Thanks for replies Derek and Cal, nice knowing you’re not alone in this crap. I have zero plans starting back up and already have a tattoo in mind for the quit, little contract with my self you could say lol. I have an appointment with a doc to just get the once over and make sure everything is checking out ok and I’ll get back to you guys with results. Only been drinking water, hardly any caffeine in last 4 months, eating less food too to avoid the weight gain, and to keep that bloated feeling at bay. I have found that less carbs and CBD especially help a lot with the anxiety of you guys have never tried it. There’s no pot In it so it’s safe for the job, just cuts the anxiety in half. Looking forward to getting out of the depression. Talk soon guys

  3. I chewed for 35 years. Copenhagen. Started when I was about 15 when I played baseball. One day just said ok I’m done gonna quit now kind of like Forest Gump when he was a runner. I am on day 48 of quitting. Used the nicotine patches 21 mg for 21 days, then 14 mg for 14 days, then 7 mg for 7 days. Then stopped the patches about one week ago. You are spot on with all of your symptoms listed especially the dreams and the mouth sores and irritations. It has been tough but it will be worth it I guess.

    • Congratulations on starting your quit, but Don’t GUESS that it will be worth it. IT IS worth it, i just completed my first year of being quit after 30 years of dipping and it most definitely IS worth it.Hang in there Scott.

    • Hi Scott,
      I have the exact same story. 35 yrs and just said I’m done.
      Only day 3 here and I am miserable. You guys are helping me so much..just knowing I’m not hallucinating.

      • I chewed Copenhagen for 45 years… started at 15…
        I quit 3 days ago using nicotine gum… I’ve never gone this long in 45 years without a chew… it’s insane that I can’t believe I’m actually finally quitting

      • I am on day 10 of actually quitting nicotine. I quit a 32 year habit of Copenhagen in 2014. I have been using nicotine lozenges for 5 years. It’s nice to finally be truly free.

      • Nick,
        32 years chewing and I quit cold turkey 271 days ago. You are going to have miserable days and feel strange for weeks. My advice is to exercise a lot, and keep yourself busy. When you feel bad, get up and move, go for a walk, do a project. This helped me a lot, and I was tired at the end of the day so I slept better. I feel great now, with just occasional moments of anxiety that go away within minutes. Stay strong, because it is worth it.

        WV_Quitter.

        • Hi Alan
          Its day 5 and my primary symptoms are shakes, sweating, anxious. I have ZERO desire to put a chew in..just want these to pass. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • After 45 years of chewing Copenhagen it looks like I have finally quit… I’m only on day 3 using nicotine gum… I’ve never gone a full day without Copenhagen so 3 days is like a miracle to me… I know from experience that I could never stop without the use of a nicotine substitute for a time.

  4. Hello all,

    We’re all here for one purpose, and that’s kicking this addictions ass! I’m currently on day 25 and let me tell you, the struggle has been real. Terrible anxiety, dizziness, mental fog, racing thoughts, you name it. I will NOT let this defeat me and that’s why I came here. To be with like-minded individuals. I want to let you all know, no matter what day you’re on, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, YOU CAN PUSH THROUGH THIS. The shit we have to go through to beat this is much better than waking up one day with cancer, knowing you could’ve done something to prevent it.

    Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

    • Amen Derrick 120 ODAAT here just keep pushing it gets better. I think the biggest thing for me was patience, doing everything right and being frustrated you still feel like shit.. that’s normal be patient trust the process it will pass

    • Derek thinking about quitting but I hear of this fog and dizziness a lot. When did it kick in for you? The day that you quit?

      • Greg,

        Sorry for the late response! The fog settled in almost immediately. When I knew I couldn’t use chew as a crutch, it almost instantly affected me. There were some days that literally felt like I was running in autopilot. Days I cannot remember what I did. I want to compare it to depression. I chewed roughly a can a day, and when I got home from work, I would smoke cigars. Quit both cold turkey. I will say, it is only as difficult as you want to make it. You can either choose to be positive and kick this addictions ass, or you can let it control you, your thoughts, etc.

        Dizziness was instant as well. I don’t know why it happens. Occasionally I still suffer from it, and I want to attribute that to cravings. The first few weeks were extremely difficult, but once you get over that hump, it gets much easier.

        I didn’t go to any alternatives. No gum, no seeds. Just quit. I said to myself I wanted to change, and I stuck with it. Takes more willpower than imaginable, in fact I still can’t believe I’ve stuck with it, but watching those hours tick by, the days, the weeks. Seeing the positive results, the change in attitude, energy. Man, it’s so worth it.

        I hope you decide to take the leap, Greg. You owe it to yourself!

  5. My Name is Robert.I have chewed for 10 years.I stopped almost 2 weeks ago and have had a burning mouth,tongue and bottom lip.Is this normal

  6. Switched to Grinds Black Coffee flavor. Been 2 weeks now with no Redman. I’m 70ish and have been chewing since college. Tried quitting before but ate all the time and gained 25 pounds. The substitute seems to be working great. My only question is am I still at risk of lip/mouth cancer now that I quit ?

  7. Quit a week ago, using ZYN nicotine pouches to avoid the foggy feeling so I can function as a daddy to my 7 month old. Ive had a toothache (upper left molar) and some swelling that came from nowhere… is that something that happens when you take tobacco out of the picture?

    • I started using Zyn to “taper” off “the real thing.” Now I am hooked on Zyn. Lord! I have had some HUGE brain fog days since I stopped 10 days ago. Careful with that stuff. Seems look good harm reduction but it will keep you hooked like real stuff. Hope the fog clears soon. It’s bad!

  8. Does it make your jaw jointed its hurt up by your ears

    • Yep… jaw pain is remarkably common.

      • What about ear pain and ear aches? I quit almost 80 days ago and started having ear aches about 30 days in. Still having them on and off now. My anxiety has been high but a lot of it is coming from my sinuses being out of wack and getting ear aches.

  9. I’m a month or so in and don’t have any interest or cravings at all. I burned my mouth on some sever hot sauce and couldn’t dip for about a week so I quit. But my tongue is still numb and some sores do appear to be moving around my mouth. The anxiety says mouth cancer but I’m working hard to push those thoughts out.

    • Justin just stopped Copenhagen after 30 years on day 4 currently. First thing cold and sore throat
      I went to the doctor and he said you should be good as I recently went to the doctor and had lab work and CBC done
      He still checked my mouth throat neck and head for lumps
      Relieved some worry and concern

  10. Hello Sam, I tried quitting once before and got to day 99 with help of fake dip, but I found out that instead of helping, it was continuing with the physical reflex of having something stuffed between my lips, so the first time I came across a real dip tin, I got tempted for the real stuff and I caved. It lasted for 4 years until i decided to quit cold turkey and stayed that way ever since.
    Now, everyone is different and I am not saying that the fake dip will not help other people, it just did not work for me.
    Regarding your question on anxiety, that is a part of the quit that I have not completely mastered yet, but no I did not use any kind of drug for it, instead what I do is a couple of things to trick my brain into squashing those feelings before they get out of control.
    One of them is breathing, I know it sounds dumb, but taking a few deep breaths when you feel it coming, it helps a lot.
    Another technique is to get yourself a watch, not a digital one, but a regular watch. When you feel the anxiety hit, look at your watch immediately and look at the arms and start counting the seconds, one, two, three and so on, I know it sounds dumb too, but it works for me. I’ve noticed that the anxiety goes away faster these days than when I started doing it.
    Finally, exercise and eat right, i found out that the better food you eat and work out, helps with the rewiring of your brain, keeps your mind off the quit and hell, it also works with the lady of you life, if you know what I mean.

    Again Sam, these are the things that have worked for me, you may want to explore other things and then come back and tell us your experience.
    We are all different, but we also have two things in common, Nicotine addiction and the desire to get away from it forever.

    Stay Cool Bro.

    Day 332

  11. Yes I will pray for you sir. The Lord knows I’ve requested the same from my brothers. Getting hooked was easy, getting away from this addiction proves to be one of the toughest things in life. You are 41 days into your quit, you keep going.
    This link delineates the things that you should expect as you reach your 100 days.

    https://www.killthecan.org/your-quit/what-to-expect-when-you-quit-dipping/

    Come back and tell us your experiences, I know I have been in here almost everyday writing about my journey.
    Hang in there partner.

    Day 331

  12. Hi , i am having negative thoughts that i am going crazy 🙁 does any one having the same issue?

    • Hey Sam, do you mean “going crazy” as high levels of anxiety? if it is, then that’s perfectly fine, we all go through those days, especially in the first 100 days. If you are well beyond 200 or 300 days and it is not Anxiety, then it would probably be safer to consult a professional. Hang in there.

      • Thanks DDD, i quite taking dip from August 7 and it is now 41 days 🙁 some times i am having bad dreams 🙁 some times i feel fear that i am going crazy 🙁 pray for me that ill pass these its too tough 🙁

        • SAM,

          I quit dipping about 3 weeks ago and I’m going through the same thing. My mind races, I always have negative thoughts that are difficult to shutdown. Sometimes I feel as though I am going crazy as well, but trust me, this is part of the withdrawal. It will pass eventually. Try to keep yourself occupied, eat right, and exercise. We got this, brother!

          • DEREK ,

            Brother, Thanks.

            I am on my day 70 , and feeling much better than few days back.
            Yes , anxiety is still there. no more cravings .. Some time panic attack happens and it will take time to reduce its peak .. e;g like i saw mentally ill person and the whole day i start feeling that i am also going to be the same like him ..

            Quitting and withdrawal symptoms are tough.

  13. Dipped for 18 years been trying to quit off and on for a couple years now. Made it last time about 100 days and then started getting in my head that life without dip wasnt as good lol and lost the purpose of quitting. Trying again, I’m about 40 days in. Having all kinds of symptoms, dizziness/light headed fog, depression, fatigue, muscle twitches, bad dreams, waking up in the middle of the night and not getting back to sleep, anxiety through the roof. Reading all these comments had helped me though, keep tricking everybody.

    • Hey Chad, you’re totally normal in what you’re experiencing. I have had each one of those symptoms and the anxiety for me was definitely the worst. I would get nervous to walk into a public place, in fear I had to talk to someone. Without dip your brain has to re wire itself. I’m glad your hear today I’m Day 87 and I can tell ya what my anxiety I would say is about 90% gone. Sometimes it still comes back a tiny bit but nothing like it was in the first 50 days. Stay strong man! Feel free to pm me I’m in the 2019 sept group.. bigdiesel90

    • Hi there ,its same here ,i dipped for about 18 years and tried quitting for 8 months ,but some how got used to it again ,now i have taken a fresh start its 9 days of quitting and this time its damn serious at last just want to say that keep faith in yourself and keep calm .

  14. Hey Randy – It’s been really rough on me as well. But overall, it’s getting better and nothing is as bad as the beginning and some of the extreme sadness/depression I had around days 90-110. My dizziness was gone within the first 60 days or so I’d say. Have been in and out of fog and extreme fatigue for my whole quit – I would have periods of 1-2 weeks where I actually felt like my old self, energetic and clear minded and thought I was out of the woods! Not quite yet. At day 167, I’ve had the fog and seriously overwhelming fatigue for the past 3-4 days; it came back! I’m talking like I’ll sleep 10 hours and still be basically useless all day. Though I do feel like I’m on the verge of a breakthrough…I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. Cravings haven’t been a big deal for me either. I had started a quit in late October or early November 2018 and on day 86 I caved. I went back to dipping for about 30 days and realized just how much it made my situation and anxiety WORSE so I quickly quit again for the final time and now I’m on day 167. I’m still emotionally flat and sometimes feel like I could lie in bed and stare at my ceiling all day. Emotions and feelings are starting to come through every once in a while, enough to give me some motivation. Caving and going back isn’t an option for me at this point as I know it will only make situation worse so while I stay highly vigilant, that has not been a difficult part of my quit as of late. I know some people complain of cravings for quit some time…years in some cases. We’ll get there man, it’s different for everyone but even if it doesn’t feel like it I know you’re making progress.

    How is your diet and fitness level? I’ll admit I’m lazy with exercise, but I do try and get my steps in through tracking with Fitbit and also do stretching and meditation. My diet is now very healthy (though when it’s not i notice a big difference). I’ve also found that eating smaller meals and not stuffing myself helps greatly in curbing some symptoms that are similar to withdrawal such as dizziness, fatigue, heart palpitations, etc.

    Anything else you want to share or ask me let me know.

    -CAL

    Quit Date: 3-13-19

  15. How long does the fog last? I have had it since the moment I’ve quit and I am on day 131 today, it is awfu. Have barely seen any let up. Makes my life nearly impossible.

    • It can take a while, but it WILL subside. Might not be perceptible day over day but there will come a time and you look back and realize you’ve had a good couple of weeks. Hang in there!

      • What is it a symptom of? Lack of dopamine or the fact that your anxiety goes through the roof when you quit.

        • Hey Randy,

          I’m not a doctor but yes that’s what I understand it to be based on my research during my quit. It seems to happen with any strong addiction whether it’s a hardcore drug, alcohol or nicotine. The brain’s reward system is being rewired and the dopamine receptors need to get used to the fact that they’re not being given a sweet dose of regular nicotine. Normally gratifying experiences like watching the sunrise/sunset, spending time with your family, having a good meal, watching a big game etc. will take time before they’re enjoyable again. I think you’ll feel emotionally flat for a while. For whatever reason, everyone is different. If my math is correct, hopefully you’re on day 152 by now; I’m on day 163 so we’re definitely in the same wheelhouse. If you’re like me, you feel like you should be “better” now but I’m sure you’re not. But will the next 150 days be easier than the first 150 days? Hell yes! Just remember, if you’re thinking of caving, a dip definitely won’t solve any of these problems. You’ll just end up having 2 problems instead of 1.

          Good luck and let me know if you have any specific questions about other symptoms, chances are I went through them or am going through them around the same time as you.

          – Cal

          Quit date: 3-13-19

          • Yes cal we are very close together. It is good to hear a response from other people around the same amount of time as me. My quit has been terrible, not too many cravings but I have been in a terrible dizzy fog since day one of my quit and it has taken its toll on me for sure. Nothing feels real. You are spot on about not enjoying other stuff as well and feeling flat. How is your quit symptoms?

  16. Here’s my story. I’m an attractive woman, tall, thin athletic. Have a great job. I started chewing in Alaska when I was 25. I finally quit for a whole year at 49. Then there were rumors of mass layoffs at my job and I picked it up again and chewed the hell out of it for four months during a relapse. Im now two weeks dip free but have been using the gum. need to stop that. I have four pieces left. I am having jaw pain and its freaking me out. Also my tongue tingles. No sores anywhere I can see, Is this normal

    • Molly, why don’t you join forum, it will be very helpful, people on forum will be similar days quit like you. They will be going through similar symptoms like yours, and you will have some one to talk to. If you decide to join, register and join October group.

      oct group link
      https://ktcforum.org/index.php?topic=14624.0

    • Hi molly ,this is normal ,the idea of quitting says it all ,its never late to stop .keep faith in yourself but stop using gum ,if u feel like doing it go for a deep breath or drink some water.

  17. Has anyone experienced bad aches and pains? getting lower back pain and sore everywhere out of nowhere.. im slowly losing my mind

    • David, I have had aches and pains in hip bones , hip joint, shoulders, chest, legs, etc. I am on day 167, and most pains are going away. Still dealing with occasion tingling in my hands and feet, but the aches are mostly gone.

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