Smokeless tobacco contains higher concentration of nicotine (a powerful addictive) which makes difficult to quit it than quitting cigarettes. That’s the reason why we see people constantly chewing gutka or Pan masala. It is an addiction that becomes a habit when you are in a certain group or in certain situations.
In spite of realizing the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco (gutka, pan), many people find it difficult to quit it. Many reasons are cited as possible cause of failure to quit smokeless tobacco. Some of these are peer pressure, individual attitude, economic condition, lifestyle and fashion, etc.
Since teenage males form the majority among new users of smokeless tobacco, research scientists are increasingly focusing their attention to help them quit it. Some of the suggestions advocated by them have shown promising results for smokeless tobacco users.
Quitting Smokeless Tobacco
- Decide to Quit:This can be made only by you. It is suggested that no help from outside can be helpful unless you realize how smokeless tobacco is destroying your health. For this, try to get yourself acquaint with as much information about smokeless tobacco and its harmful effects as is possible.
- Motivate Yourself: Experts suggest that recording the reasons why you want to quit can be effective in motivating you and help you to stick to your decision. For instance, you can note down the discomfort that you may be suffering from due to oral health problem.
- Set a Quit Date: The next thing that is required more than anything is your personal commitment. For this, you can set a date and believe that you have what it takes to get through the first week without touching tobacco (gutka or panmasala). If you fail in your first attempt, do not lose hope. Keep on trying until you succeed.
- Counteract your Withdrawal Symptoms with an Oral Substitute: Some of the withdrawal symptoms experienced by smokeless tobacco users are irritability, cravings, hunger, etc. To counteract this, you may chew finely ground mint leaves, sunflower seeds, sugarless gum, hard candy, cinnamon sticks or other chewed foodstuffs.
- Use of Transdermal Nicotine Patches: This patch allows steady rate of nicotine absorption to the CNS (central nervous system) every hour, thereby alleviating withdrawal symptoms. Transdermal nicotine patch is placed on the upper part of the body only once daily.