CHEWING TOBACCO ADDICTIONInhaling the combustion products of tobacco is one way to deliver nicotine to the brain to receive the rewards of euphoria and a sense of relaxation. Some who seek the mood-altering effects of nicotine, but do not like smoking cigarettes may choose to use chewing tobacco products to achieve the psychoactive effects of nicotine.


Chewing Tobacco

Chewing tobacco is also known simply as “chew”. This form of tobacco is used by placing a loose leaf, plug or twist into the mouth, either between the cheek and gum or between the upper lip and teeth. The mass of plant material is periodically chewed and then placed back into position, whereby the nicotine is slowly absorbed. But, it’s not just nicotine that comes into the contact with the body. More than 25 other carcinogenic substances also come into contact with the tissues in and around the mouth, nose, throat, esophagus, and very upper parts of the trachea. There are different types of chewing tobacco such as:

  • Loose leaf – The most common type, composed of shredded tobacco with added flavors and sweeteners
  • Twist – Tobacco leaves that are twisted together, as the name implies, and typically more natural in flavor
  • Plug – Formed from chewing tobacco that is pressed into a shape, such as a square, and bitten or cut by the user and then chewed


Rather than being shredded, the tobacco in snuff is pulverized and then sniffed into the nostrils when dry, or moist snuff is placed in the mouth like chewing tobacco. The same health problems have been reported from the use of snuff, especially when used in the mouth.


Dipping tobacco is ground tobacco which is placed in the mouth like chewing tobacco, but is not chewed, it is simply stored in the mouth so that nicotine is absorbed and one can experience its psychoactive effects for use as a maladaptive and harmful coping mechanism. Use of this type of tobacco can lead to a myriad of grave health consequences like those caused using other tobacco products. In the U.S. dip is sometimes referred to as snuff, but because it is moist, is ground (rather than pulverized), this form is not suitable for insufflation (sniffing into the nostrils)


For those who have exhausted themselves from spending time, money, and effort on buying and using chewing tobacco – or other forms of smokeless tobacco – it is not too late to enter recovery from tobacco. Once in the grips of nicotine addiction, it may be difficult for the chewing tobacco addict to think about handling life, its challenges, and normal human emotions without being able to reach for a lump of tobacco and place it into his/her mouth, in hopes that the nicotine will help in mood adjustment, stress reduction and relaxation.

There are many programs available to help those who find themselves in a seemingly never-ending cycle of the desire to stop abusing nicotine, its use, and the guilt, remorse, shame and embarrassment over their inability to control themselves. The abuse of chewing tobacco and other smokeless tobacco products is caused by the disease of addiction, and it not a fundamental lack of willpower. Many of the signs and symptoms of chewing tobacco addiction are the same as those of drug addiction and alcoholism, and each of these diseases come with severe consequences. Luckily, after proper interventions, those who once found themselves reaching for their tobacco and a cup to spit in, have found themselves able to use other, healthier coping skills.

There is still time to stop chewing tobacco products and halt nicotine addiction in its tracks before you develop more health, financial and other consequences and before you lose another relationship because of your addiction. Instead of picking up your chewing tobacco, we invite you to pick up the phone to learn more about tobacco and nicotine addiction and the resources that are available to help you overcome your addiction.

Call our Addiction Specialists now at 844-889-8140 so that they can aid you in locating valuable resources that will guide you in putting an end to the horrors of tobacco addiction.