Quit Dipping Tobacco Timeline
Your First Week off Smokeless Tobacco:
Coping with Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms don't last long.
Symptoms are strongest the first week after you quit.
The worst part is over after 2 weeks. As time passes,
you'll feel better than when you dipped or chewed.
So be patient with yourself.
•Urges to dip, cravings -- especially in the places
you used to dip the most. Wait it out . Deep breathing
and exercise help you feel better right away.
•Feeling irritable, tense, restless, impatient?
Walk away from the situation. Deep breathing and
exercise help to blow off steam. Ask others to be patient.
Add fiber to your diet
(whole grain breads and cereals,
fresh fruits and vegetables).
•Hunger and weight gain
Eat regular meals. Feeling hungry is sometimes
mistaken for the desire to dip or chew.
•Desire for sweets
Reach for low-calorie sweet snacks
(like apples, sugar-free gums and candies).
ABOUT WEIGHT GAIN:
Nicotine speeds up metabolism, so quitting smokeless tobacco
may result in a slight weight gain.
To limit the amount of weight you gain, try the following:
•Eat well-balanced meals and avoid fatty foods.
To satisfy your cravings for sweets, eat small pieces of fruit.
Keep low-calorie foods handy for snacks.
Try popcorn (without butter), sugar-free gums and mints,
fresh fruits, and vegetables.
•Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. •Work about 30 minutes of daily exercise into your routine;
try walking or another activity such as running,
cycling, or swimming.
Your Second Week:
Dealing with Triggers
You've made it through the hardest part - the first week.
If you can stay off one week, then you can stay off two. Just use the same willpower and strategies that got you this far.
Cravings may be just as strong this week, but they will come less often and go away sooner.
Be prepared for temptation
Tobacco thoughts and urges probably still bother you. They will be strongest in the places where you dipped or chewed the most.
The more time you spend in these places without dipping or chewing, the weaker the urges will become. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Drinking them could bust your plan to quit.
Know what events and places will be triggers for you and plan ahead for them.
Write down some of your triggers. And write what you'll do instead of dip or chew. It may be as simple as reaching for gum or seeds, walking away, or thinking about how far you've come.
MY STRONGEST TRIGGERS
TRIGGER 1: _________
TRIGGER 2: _________
TRIGGER 3: _________
FILL IT IN!
Tips for Going the Distance
You've broken free of a tough addiction.
If you can stay off 2 weeks, then you know you can beat this addiction. It will get easier.
Keep using whatever worked when you first quit.
Don't expect new rituals to take the place of smokeless tobacco right away. It took time to get used to chewing or dipping at first, too.
Keep up your guard. Continue to plan ahead for situations that may tempt you.
What if you should slip?
Try not to slip, not even once. But, if you do slip, get right back on track.
Don't let feelings of guilt lead you back to chewing or dipping. A slip does not mean "failure". Figure out why you slipped and how to avoid it next time. Get rid of any leftover tobacco.
Pick up right where you left off before the slip. If slips are frequent, or you are dipping or chewing on a regular basis, make a new quitting plan. Quitting takes practice. The smokeless tobacco habit can be tough to beat. Most users don't quit for good on the first try. Don't give up! Figure out what would have helped. Try a new approach next time. Talk to your physician or dentist for extra help.
You may also wish to call one of these services for additional guidance and support:
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237)
The National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
The NCI's Smoking Cessation Quitline at 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848)
Celebrate Your Success!
Congratulations! You've done it. You've beaten the smokeless tobacco habit.
You're improving your health and your future. Celebrate with the people on your "support team." Offer your support to friends and coworkers who are trying to quit using tobacco. Pledge to yourself never to take another dip or chew.
It is not the intention of the NIDCR to provide specific dental or medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. For dental or medical advice or answers to specific questions, NIDCR urges you to visit a qualified dentist or physician.
This information is not copyrighted. Print and make as many photocopies as you need.
NIH Publication No. 10-3270
Revised August 2010