Quitting Snuff, Chewing Tobacco, or Snus
Maybe you have never been a smoker – you always used snuff, chewing tobacco, or snus. Maybe you started chewing or dipping during times you couldn’t smoke cigarettes.
No matter why you started, why you’re ready to stop, or how smokeless tobacco products are in your life, we’re here to help.
How to Quit Snuff, Chewing Tobacco, or Snus
No matter what you call it, the nicotine in snuff, chewing tobacco, snus, or other smokeless tobacco products makes them addictive. It also makes quitting these products similar (but not 100% the same) as quitting regular cigarettes or other tobacco products that you inhale.
Fortunately, we do know what works. Here’s what we know helps you quit if you use snuff, chewing tobacco, or snus:
- Being ready to tackle the physical addiction
Understanding your triggers (people, places or events that make you want to dip or chew), making plans to cope with those triggers in ways other than dipping or chewing, and being prepared to manage withdrawal symptoms and stressors will all make quitting easier.
Dippers and chewers may want to plan something to do to replace the feeling of having the snuff, chewing tobacco, or snus in their mouth. Some people use a non-nicotine, non-tobacco herbal chew as a replacement. Others use mints or gum. Still others use nicotine lozenges or gum to make those first few days and weeks of quitting more comfortable. Whatever you do, think about how and when you use your snuff, chewing tobacco, or snus, and come up with strategies to beat each kind of trigger.
Think of these exercises as the map to hiking Mt. Everest—it won’t get you there on its own, but it sure helps to have in your pocket before you set out.
- Having support from others
Someone to lean on when times get tough. Someone to ask questions (even in the middle of the night). Someone to celebrate with when you’re feeling proud! Someone who gets what you’re going through, ups and downs and in-betweens.
Climbing Mt. Everest is less lonely and more fun when you’ve got a buddy or two. Plus, you’re less likely to slip—and if you do, there’s someone there to help you get back up.
- Using quit medications
Quitting medications can make the quitting process much more comfortable, and increase your chance of success. When you’re feeling more in control, you can focus on the things that matter to you and the reasons you want to quit in the first place.
You’d bring an oxygen tank with you to climb Mt. Everest so that it’s easier to breathe when the air gets thin. Quitting medications make this climb a bit more manageable so you can actually enjoy the view along the way and get to the top.
Did you know that most snuff, chewing tobacco, and snus has a higher nicotine content than cigarettes? That can make them harder to quit, and produce stronger cravings when you try. If you use smokeless tobacco, certain types of quitting medications may help more than others.
- Nicotine lozenges are effective at helping chewers and dippers quit
- The prescription medication Chantix (varenicline) is effective at helping chewers and dippers quit
- Nicotine patches and gum, and the prescription medication bupropion, can help treat withdrawal symptoms for chewers and dippers
- Nicotine gum and lozenges are most like using snuff, chewing tobacco, or snus. They also let you control your dose to help fight nicotine cravings.
- The nicotine patch gives a steady dose of nicotine, but may not help with strong cravings. However, if you prefer once-a-day convenience, the patch may be a good option for you.
- A combination of a long-acting (like the patch) plus a fast-acting (lozenge or gun) can help chewers and dippers fight cravings.
- The nicotine inhaler may not be as useful for smokeless tobacco users, since it is designed to look and feel like a cigarette filter tip.
Nicotine-containing medications, such as patches, gum, and lozenges, are supposed to roughly match the amount of nicotine you typically took in through your snuff, chewing tobacco, or snus. It can be more of a challenge to get the dose right if you chew or dip, since nicotine medications are labeled for smokers. If you decide to try nicotine medications, discuss your dose with your doctor or health care provider before you start using it, especially if you use more than one type of tobacco.
BecomeAnEX Support to Quit Snuff, Chewing Tobacco, or Snus
In addition to using the BecomeAnEX website for interactive tools to track your chewing/dipping, understand your triggers, build confidence, and learn about quitting medication, our EX Community can be a game-changer in your quit journey:
- Visit the EX Community
Many chewers and dippers who are trying to quit can feel like they’re all alone. The EX Community is full of people who have gone through this before, and who are quitting right now. The EX Community is available 24/7 to provide any kind of support you can imagine—tough love, warm reassurance, quick pointers, answers to your burning questions, and plenty of celebrations.
Browse through the EX Community discussions to see what kind of wisdom our members have to offer.