Despite the publicity prescription and illicit drugs get, it is the legal substances that are actually most harmful to the body. Tobacco and alcohol are two of the most widely used substances in the United States, and the most deadly. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. Furthermore, cigarette smoking is responsible for almost half a million deaths per year in the United States.
While some may think that cigarettes are the only culprit of the tobacco problem in the United States, this is not the case. Smokeless tobacco, while less lethal than smoking tobacco, is still unsafe and can lead to a lot of different health issues. This why it is important to learn methods and strategies to help you quit before the problem gets out of control.
How To Quit Chewing Tobacco Today
Quitting tobacco is a difficult thing to do and, for many, it can take multiple attempts before someone can successfully quit. Despite how hard it is, quitting is worth it. It will lead to a number of physical and mental health benefits. It will reduce your chances of running into many health problems like stroke, heart attack, and more.
Set A Date — It’s easy to keep saying “Oh, I’ll quit tomorrow” or “This will be my last time using” however, these are just words and, oftentimes, many people continue to use despite these claims. But, if you set a concrete date on when you will stop using and prepare your living area for the day you quit, it can help you stay committed to the change.
Tell Friends And Family — Tobacco use, whether it be smoking or using chewing tobacco, likely leads to addiction. And with any addiction, quitting can be hard, especially if you do it along. However, if you make your loved ones aware that you will not be using tobacco anymore they can not only offer you encouragement but can also help hold you accountable.
Join A Program — There are a number of tobacco cessation programs that you can join to help you get the support and encouragement you need to overcome nicotine addiction. At these programs, you can speak with health professionals and others who are dealing with similar issues.
Behavioral Therapy — Studies have shown that behavioral therapeutic support was also associated with higher quit rates in those looking to overcome tobacco addiction
Why Is It Hard To Quit
Many people who quit smoking or quit using tobacco will say it is one of the hardest things that they have ever done. One of the reasons it is so hard to quit is due to the fact that smoking impacts your physical health, mental functioning, and social life.
Tobacco contains the addictive chemical nicotine and when tobacco is used, nicotine causes the release of dopamine in the brain that makes you feel good. When the dopamine release subsides, it causes the smoker to crave more tobacco. Eventually, tobacco users build up tolerances and physical dependence to nicotine, causing them to use more to achieve the desired effects.
Moreover, tobacco use can become part of a normal routine. Smokers or people who use chewing tobacco may have a schedule of using tobacco right when they wake up or one their way to work. Eventually, it becomes second nature. It is also used as a coping mechanism or crutch to deal with stress, anxiety, or tiredness.
Many times, smokers will smoke with others in a social group setting. They will use the time for a smoke break with friends or coworkers and can even use it as an excuse to talk with and meet new people. It can help to ease social anxiety and break the ice in some cases.
All of these things, the way that tobacco can change you physically, the mental reasons for using tobacco, and the impact it can have on your social life, are all reasons why it can be hard for someone who uses tobacco to quit.
Having an addiction is something that is difficult to deal with and when it affects other aspects of your life and can be even more challenging to overcome. However, the benefits of conquering this type of addiction are worth it as
Dangers of Smokeless Tobacco
As mentioned before, smokeless tobacco is less lethal than cigarettes, but it is still harmful and can cause several different health problems and should still be considered a major health risk.
People who use chewing tobacco or dip still get the same amount of nicotine as regular smokers. Similarly, they also are still receiving at least 30 different chemicals that are known to cause cancer. The most harmful of which is something called tobacco-specific nitrosamines, or TNSAs. TSNAs can differ depending on the product, but the higher the level the greater the risk of cancer. There are a number of different cancers that are linked to the use of smokeless tobacco including oral cancer of all forms, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
Obviously, with chewing tobacco being used in the mouth, it is no surprise that a lot of health problems that you may run into would be in the mouth. Many studies have shown high rates of leukoplakia in the mouth where users will place their tobacco. Leukoplakia is a patch in the mouth that can lead to cancer. These patches can’t be scraped off but are usually painless. Quitting tobacco will usually clear the spot but treatment may be required. Along with this issue, tobacco can lead to tooth stains, gum tissue deterioration, receding gum lines, disease, tooth decay, and more.
Smokeless tobacco can increase the heart rate and blood pressure and evidence suggests that long-term use of this type of tobacco can increase the risk of dying of heart disease and stroke. While there are differences in the effects that certain smokeless tobacco products can have, there is a definite link between smokeless tobacco and coronary heart disease.
Addiction seems to be an obvious side effect of using all forms of tobacco, including smokeless tobacco. As mentioned before, the levels of nicotine int he bloodstream are similar for people who smoke cigarettes and those who use chewing tobacco. However, while cigarettes are used periodically throughout the day, chewing tobacco can be used constantly, exposing users to high levels of nicotine throughout the day. This can lead to high levels of dependence and eventually addiction. Withdrawal and cravings will follow after a dependence is built. Withdrawal symptoms generally include increased appetite, irritability, and depressed mood.
There are a number of other health risks associated with chewing tobacco, and tobacco use in general, but these are some of the most prominent. Along with these problems that you will avoid you will also improve blood circulation, breathing, reduce risk of heart attack, stroke, and more.
Tobacco addiction is a serious issue and, in some cases, it can be a sign of larger addiction issues related to alcohol or other substances. If you or a loved one is dealing with substance abuse issues, it may be best to seek the help of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Landmark Recovery is one treatment facility that is dedicated to helping as many people as possible.
Learning how to quit chewing tobacco or quitting smoking can provide a number of benefits to your health. But, if there are other substance abuse issues, it may only be delaying a larger problem. If you would like to learn more about Landmark Recovery and what our clinicians can offer you or your loved one in terms of treatment, please visit our website and reach out to our Indiana treatment center admissions team today.