Nicotine, a naturally occurring substance found in chewing tobacco, is said to be just as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
To fight a chewing tobacco addiction, it's important to address both the physical and mental dependence symptoms. Otherwise, studies suggest, an individual's odds of successfully quitting are low.
Telephone support programs
All 50 states offer some type of free telephone-based tobacco cessation program. These programs can help connect you with a trained counselor who will develop a recovery method that suits your individual needs and patterns of use. Telephone support programs can be more convenient than other types of recovery programs, as they don't require you to leave the house. However, counselors can also recommend local classes and resources while also suggesting certain types of medications that may be helpful in the quitting process.
Tobacco cessation support groups
Support groups that focus on tobacco cessation can be helpful, too. These groups can usually be found through hospitals, workplaces and wellness centers. Some programs may follow a more structured pattern, like a class, while others may have a more open-ended format where members talk about their struggles. To find a group that fits your needs, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
To address the physical aspects of chewing tobacco addiction, it might be helpful to consider some type of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Along with counseling or support groups, NRT can increase your odds of quitting for good. Nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, inhalers or nasal spray might be useful during your recovery period. The American Cancer Society suggests that nicotine gum and lozenges are likely to be most helpful for people with chewing tobacco addiction.
Prescription medications are also available for people with chewing tobacco addiction. Some can be used along with nicotine replacement therapy, while some must be started a week or more before you decide to quit. If you're unsure which medication might be right for you, it's best to speak with a doctor. Side effects can often accompany these types of drugs.
Source: American Cancer Society