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Quitting Chew Made Easy with Nicotine Substitutes

Nicotine lozenges and nicotine-free chew have proven effective in deterring smokeless tobacco users from continuing their habits, a new Mayo Clinic study suggests.

Apparently, the 81 subjects recruited entered the study with no desire to give up their habit anytime soon. Half of the 81 were administered 4-mg nicotine lozenges and half received tobacco-free chew intended to help them cut back or quit. The participants were asked to gradually give up their smokeless tobacco use over the next two months.

Over the next two months, everybody received treatment and counseling intended to educate them about quitting strategies. After a follow-up period of six months, the snuff users significantly reduced their use. About one-third continued using 75 percent less while overall, the number of cans used and the number of dips per-day went down. Also noteworthy are the 12 percent of the group who quit entirely. Please bear in mind that these persons had no intention of quitting upon entering the study.

Addiction expert and researcher Jon Ebbert, M.D., suggests that the findings of the study are remarkable. “Through the process of just reducing their tobacco, participants wanted to quit and were successful in doing so,” he said.

There are other forms of nicotine products that are effective in helping people to give up more harmful ways of getting the drug, such as smokeless tobacco and cigarettes. Nicotine gum and nicotine patches are popular among quitters.

However, reading the fine print is recommended as these forms of tobacco are addictive as well. Although much less harmful, they still deliver addictive nicotine. A family member of mine has experienced quitting smoking cigarettes. Although he successfully quit smoking cigarettes, his nicotine addiction continued long after. He chewed Nicorette brand tobacco gum and continued to chew the gum, very gradually decreasing it for the next ten or fifteen years.

Once thought harmless or benign compared to smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco has now been proven to be associated with cardiovascular disease and cancer. The fact is that even though chewing tobacco or “smokeless tobacco” is much less harmful than cigarettes, it still has the potential to be deadly.

This study, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute, is considered cutting-edge because no comparative effectiveness trials for nicotine lozenges and tobacco free chew products have ever been conducted, researchers say.



  1. “Smokeless Tobacco Users Helped To Quit With The Help Of Nicotine Lozenges, Tobacco-Free Snuff.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 21 Feb. 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2013.

Written by

Kevin Giles is a product of Santa Cruz, CA – the stoner capitol of the world. A born again Christian, Kevin loves his Lord Jesus and believes that his purpose in life is determined by God. He first entered drug recovery at the age of 19, suffering from an addiction to marijuana. He is a recent graduate of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master’s degree in Christian Ministry. Passionate about God’s Word, he aspires to become a pastor or missionary. Kevin has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Monterey Bay. His interests include traveling, movies, golf, fitness and reading. He also enjoys being outdoors as well as spending time with friends and family. Kevin’s faith, education and life experience give him a unique perspective on addiction, recovery and spirituality.

Filed under: Addiction, Research · Tags: cigarettes, Mayo Clinic study, nicotine, nicotine lozenges, smokeless tobacco, tobacco, tobacco-free chew

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