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Quitting Spit Tobacco Use

This information is made available from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).

If you do use spit tobacco and have decided to quit, you need a plan. Quitting on the spur of the moment without a plan is harder. The following section will give you tips on how to quit dipping or chewing. Spit tobacco is a tough opponent -- but it is possible to quit.

1) Preparing To Quit

List the reasons you want to quit. These could include:

  • You don't want cancer.
  • You don't like bad breath.
  • You don't like stained teeth.
  • You don't want nicotine to control you.

2) Make A Step-By-Step Plan For Quitting

Build Your Support Team

  • Ask for encouragement from family and friends.
  • Ask another spit tobacco user to quit with you.
  • Call organizations such as the American Cancer Society for support groups in your
  • Talk to your dentist or physician about nicotine gum or patches.

Pick A Quit Date

  • Taper down until you reach your quit date.
  • Cut back or switch from the high nicotine brands to one that contains less nicotine.

Find Alternatives To Spit Tobacco

  • Sugarless gum or sunflower seeds make a good substitute.
  • Stick to low-calories snacks.

3) On Quit Day...

  • Change your daily routine.
  • Stay busy.
  • Reach for the gum, sunflower seeds or snacks.
  • Make an appointment to get your teeth cleaned.

4) Dealing With Cravings For Spit Tobacco

Urges To Use Last Only A Few Minutes. Try Waiting Them Out.

  • Do some deep breathing.
  • Exercise
  • Call a friend.
  • Reach for substitutes like gum, seeds, or snacks.

5) Stick To It. Don't Give Up.

Quitting Takes Practice

  • Chances of success increase with each try.
  • If you slip, pick up right where you left off.
  • Figure out why you slipped and how to avoid it next time.

For more information on how to quit spit tobacco use, call 1-800-4-CANCER (422-6237).

Source: “Spit Tobacco: Know The Score,” National Institute of Dental Research, Factsheet, April 1997.



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Updated March 2019