“I started using chewing tobacco at age 11 because my father and two of my older brothers used smokeless tobacco products. I quickly became a very addicted user, going through at least one full can a day, sometimes two if I was outdoors all day and active. It was the first thing I reached for in the morning and the last thing I did before going to bed, it was quite obvious that the nicotine had become a way of life for me that I could not do without. I joined the Army in 1991 and was able to find a way to obtain tobacco and use it while attending Basic Training at Ft. Sill Oklahoma. Six soldiers used smokeless tobacco while in basic training and five were caught and punished, I was the only one to get away with it. Quite frankly, I’m not sure if I could have made it without it. I have served on several deployments overseas and like so many other service members addicted to nicotine, I relied on my family members to send care packages on a regular basis containing smokeless tobacco to get me through deployments. In February 2011, I decided to make a change for myself and for my wonderful wife who had been begging me to quit for the last 19 years. After seeing my dad pass from colon cancer and knowing he was not able to meet my wife or his grandchildren before he left this earth, I made the decision that I did not want that to happen to me.
The military is very dedicated to providing assistance for service members who want to combat tobacco dependency through tobacco cessation classes, counseling and even prescribed medication are offered to help service members break free from the addiction of tobacco products. I signed up and started on the path of defeating the addiction, during the initial prescreening I was introduced to Smokey Mountain Wintergreen and was very hesitant to try the product. Switching from Copenhagen Snuff to a wintergreen flavor alternative was to me like going from chocolate to spinach, the change seemed way too drastic at first. The wintergreen flavor did set in and I began to reach for the Smokey Mountain over the tobacco in just a few days. Within the first eight days I had pretty much switched completely. I was using Smokey Mountain at the same pace that I typically used the tobacco, a can a day for the first six months or so, then I noticed the ability to go without it for a day or two was overwhelmingly easy. Today I use a can about every three to four days. I think the only reason I still use Smokey Mountain is because I still desire to place a dip in every now and then. I have since smelt tobacco products and other smokeless brands and cannot believe that I ever used them. Smokey Mountain Wintergreen provided a safe alternative to the nicotine based smokeless tobacco that I had been addicted to for roughly 28 years. As an active duty soldier and as an amateur competitive bass fisherman, I meet so many individuals who use smokeless tobacco regularly and I never hesitate to introduce them to the possibility of the safe alternatives available through Smokey Mountain products.”
-Willie Eller, Midway GA