How To Kick The Smokeless
By Alan B. Densky, CH
If you think smokeless tobacco is "up to snuff" and safe, think again. Whatever you call it—chewing, dipping or spitting—it is every bit as dangerous as smoking. Many doctors think more so because people are less aware of the risks. Cancers of the mouth, lips, tongue and throat can quickly develop in people who use smokeless tobacco and leave grotesque and debilitating—even lethal—results.
Despite the dangerous and painful effects of smokeless tobacco, quitting with conventional means remains extremely difficult. Many people believe the reason lies in nicotine, a natural, super toxic chemical found in tobacco that is the plant's protection from being eaten by insects. Analyzing equal amounts, nicotine is more lethal than strychnine or snake venom, and three times deadlier than arsenic.
When dipping, the nicotine makes its way to the brain in less than 10 seconds, where it generates a flood of dopamine, resulting in a soothing sensation. Nicotine also stimulates adrenaline production, so it both energizes and calms. However, the psychological component of smokeless tobacco addiction is much stronger and creates far more obstacles to quitting smokeless tobacco than nicotine.
Many users took their first dip as early as nine years old. In as little as a few months, using smokeless tobacco becomes an ingrained habit that produces reliable stress relief. In addition to the psychological conditioning, a social conditioning takes place, as images of many sports celebrities dipping also attracts young users.
Knowing that there are individual physical and emotional factors that contribute to a chewing habit makes it easier to create a plan to overcome smokeless tobacco addiction. Let's look at each component separately and effective methods to curb them.
Dipping for Relaxation and Pleasure: Just like using a pacifier to soothe an anxious baby, over time, people who use tobacco products begin to associate putting something in their mouths with relaxation and satisfaction. Curbing the effects of tobacco usage means addressing all facets of the addiction.
Dipping Tobacco is a Conditioned Response: The classic example of a conditioned response relates to Pavlov and his dogs, which were trained to anticipate food—and thus began salivating—when a bell was rung. In relation, if, for example, you always use chewing tobacco after each meal, you will consequently develop a craving to chew when you finish eating.
In your mind, the images of pushing the plate away and laying down your napkin may be tied to using snuff, even though you are not conscious of it. Becoming aware of the trigger images or situations can help you overcome cravings.
The Physical Addiction to Nicotine, But … : Despite the intense addiction, doctors say that the physical part of nicotine addiction is broken after people quit using tobacco for seven days. It's my firm belief that nicotine addiction comprises a mere 10 percent of smokeless tobacco dependency. As such, 90 percent of the fight to quit dipping involves overcoming the mental and emotional components. So what does this mean for people like you who want to quit?
Quitting becomes much easier if you can:
A. Address and remove the tension or anxiety that compels you to use smokeless tobacco
B. Cancel the conditioned responses to chew in certain situations
But how does one conquer those issues?
Self-hypnosis offers a way to address the emotional and psychological components of the addiction while reducing struggles, which will eliminate the the withdrawal symptoms. When we understand how self-hypnosis works, it makes the decision to quit dipping much easier to undertake.
When people dip for relaxation and pleasure, it's to calm feelings of stress. People often play the same images over in their heads, like a bad movie, which leaves them feeling anxious and tense. With self-hypnosis and different Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques, you retrain your brain to immediately and automatically stop stress-inducing images and replace them with calming pictures and mental movies. This creates relaxation and satisfaction while eradicating cravings and oral compulsions. You lose the urge to put the chew in your mouth, and you don't get any urge to substitute food in its place. This quells weight gain.
To combat the conditioned response of chewing smokeless tobacco, the NLP Flash technique erases the associations of dipping during certain activities or situations. This means your subconscious will no longer trigger the craving. Further, the Flash can even be used to create a compulsion to reject smokeless tobacco.
Using specific and strategic NLP methods makes the decision to quit dipping very easy and painless by avoiding withdrawal symptoms, cravings and weight gain. The process depends on training the unconscious mind to follow the same thought patterns that create your mental addition to smokeless tobacco in the first place, to eliminate the addiction.
Your brain is a powerful tool—far more powerful than an addiction. With commitment and the aid of self-hypnosis and NLP, you can quit smokeless tobacco forever.
©2007 By Alan B. Densky, CH.
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