Smokeless tobacco comes in many forms, such as snuff and chewing tobacco:
There are plenty of reasons to stop using smokeless tobacco. These products are harmful. They are not risk-free alternatives to smoking. Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, which is addicting. Though using smokeless tobacco is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, it can cause serious health problems, such as:
People who use smokeless tobacco crave the nicotine in it. Giving up smokeless tobacco is much harder than simply changing a habit. Your body has to stop craving the nicotine. It is hard to quit, but you can do it. Many tools are available for people who want to quit using smokeless tobacco. You may find that combining tools works best for you.
There are several steps to quitting. First you get ready to quit. Then you get support to help you. After that, you learn new skills and behaviours to quit. For many people, a necessary step is getting and using medicine.
Your doctor will help you set up the plan that best meets your needs. You may want to attend a tobacco cessation program. When you choose a program, look for one that has proven success. Ask your doctor for ideas. You will greatly increase your chances of success if you take medicine as well as get counselling or join a cessation program.
Some of the changes you feel when you first quit smokeless tobacco are uncomfortable. Your body will miss the nicotine at first, and you may feel short-tempered and grumpy. You may have trouble sleeping or concentrating. Medicine can help you deal with these symptoms. You may struggle with changing your habits and rituals. The last step is the tricky one: Be prepared for the urge to use smokeless tobacco to continue for a time. This is a lot to deal with, but keep at it. You will feel better.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of:
May 26, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Michael F. Bierer, MD - Internal Medicine,
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