People often start using smokeless chew without thinking too much about it, and then one day they discover that this long-standing habit just doesn’t really fit in their lives anymore. There are plenty of excellent reasons to stop using smokeless tobacco, with one of the most commonly discussed reasons being the health risks it poses. Many users, however, either can’t relate to the dangers, don’t find the evidence compelling, or just can’t find the motivation. They also may resent feeling as if other people or institutions are trying to tell them what they can or can’t do.
Before you dismiss the idea of kicking the habit, below are a few other reasons not related to your health why dumping nicotine is a good idea.
Be a Social Animal
When more obvious methods of tobacco use were banned in public, lots of cigarette users switched to smokeless chew to get their nicotine in an unobtrusive (and lawful) manner. This removes the danger of secondhand smoke; however, many people still find chewing and spitting in public to be distasteful. No one wants to see a spit cup, and spittoons are not exactly a common sight in public places (although they are still a fixture on the floor of the United States Senate and the Supreme Court as a reminder of our early history). The act of spitting itself is considered unsightly and unsanitary, and other side effects of chewing such as bad breath and stained teeth can also cause offense. Chewing and dipping among one’s peers may be an enjoyable pastime, but out in the larger world it creates a very negative impression, particularly for a person who is just starting out in adult life and looking for a job or romance.
Kick the Can, Feed the Pig
Buying a tin of tobacco a day can add up to more than $1,000 a year, not to mention any additional expenses incurred for products to brighten teeth and freshen breath. It doesn’t seem like much on a day-to-day basis, but kicking the habit can lead to a much fatter wallet over time. Even if part of the daily tin expense is diverted to some other product that helps with getting through the day without tobacco such as herbal tobacco-free chew, coffee, mints, or gum, the end result is still money saved. Long-time users claim they don’t even enjoy chewing anymore but continue out of habit, often increasing their use to try to sustain that nicotine kick. Not only are you spending money you’ll never get back, but you are setting yourself up for higher expenses down the road.
Get in the Driver’s Seat
Most people like to think they are in charge of their own lives and destiny. An addiction takes away from that control, and nicotine in any form is powerfully addictive. Quitting chew is as difficult, if not more difficult, than quitting smoking. Nicotine stimulates the same pleasure centers in the brain as cocaine, and it can be just as hard to cut out of your life. Beyond chemical dependency, the focus that stimulants can offer, and even the simple comfort of chewing in certain situations, are difficult to leave behind. Fortunately, tobacco cessation programs now understand the specific issues that a former chewer faces, and have created strategies that can help anyone give up smokeless tobacco for good.
Aside from health concerns, smokeless tobacco can make it hard to find a partner, save money, and be comfortable in social situations. Quitting the habit can help you take control of your life and know that you, not some chemicals, are making the day-to-day decisions. Using tobacco is a conscious choice for every adult, and no one can tell you not to use it. But once you start chewing, you give up some of your own autonomy and freedom to an addiction.
Quitting smokeless tobacco will help you make a better impression as a clean, healthy, responsible, and professional individual. It can also help you increase your disposable income. Why spit money down the drain that you could save for your future or even spend on more enjoyable pastimes? If health reasons aren’t enough, consider these other benefits to breaking the tobacco habit for good.