What is Tobacco Addiction?
Tobacco has been used since ages by people for shedding stress, fatigue and gain mental freshness. But it is unnatural way of doing so and is harmful for health. It is highly addictive and people after a short duration of use find it very hard to quit. Tobacco is chewed and smoked all over the world, in countries like India chewing tobacco is as popular as smoking, in both forms tobacco becomes a die-hard habit quickly. Smokers generally find quitting smoking difficult because of nicotine addiction.
In case of people in habit of chewing tobacco nicotine addiction and other factors make it difficult habit to quit. Tobacco use has severe consequences on health. This can cause heart problems and increase chances of heart attack and stroke. Tobacco chewing is also severe on digestive system. It decreases release of digestive enzymes which are essential for smooth and complete digestion and lower appetite. People seek help of doctors and experts to know how to quit chewing tobacco to get rid of the habit.
Gutka is latest form of consuming tobacco. Initially tobacco was used with mixture wrapped in a betel leaf called as ‘Pan’. This was traditional way of consuming tobacco which requires fresh leaves of betel and other ingredients. Gutka was introduced in the market as readymade ‘Pan’ without any leaf. It is powdery mixture with crystals of betel-nut and other substances which can be consumed easily by just opening a wrapper. This form of tobacco gained quick popularity due to availability and ease of use and has become one of the major health threats in countries like India.
Today it is estimated that Gutka users are more than smokers in the country. The method of preparation and ingredients used are highly hazardous and cause much more damage than a cigarette people try hard to quit Gutka habit but fail generally. With correct approach and ways how to quit chewing tobacco it is possible for even an old user to quit this habit.
Gutka contains tobacco, areca nut, catechu, slaked lime, paraffin wax and other sweet and sour flavourings. There are hoards of chemicals used in making to extend its shelf-life and make it catchy in smell and taste. These chemicals are most hazardous and maximize severity of damages caused by tobacco. Chewing Gutka increases chances of oral, esophageal, gum and lung cancer considerably in a person. It is even more difficult to get rid of Gutka addiction than smoking or simple tobacco use. Methods explained here how to quit chewing pan masala and tobacco help people who are addicted to Gutka.
Causes and Symptoms of Tobacco Addiction
Gutka is prepared by using 4000 different types of chemicals which are hazardous and few of them are addictive. These chemicals are not present in any other food items or mouth freshener which makes Gutka highly addictive. Apart from chemicals the tobacco itself is highly addictive agent. Nicotine level raised in blood by tobacco use raises severe urge in a person to chew Gutka again and again. Gutka is not very expensive. It is available at very low cost and few high profile companies charge extra by claiming better quality and safe ingredients.
The cheap versions of this product are most commonly used due to low price. Longer shelf-life of this product is also major reason behind its popularity. One pouch of Gutka stays fresh and ready to use for months. It can be stored easily as it comes in a pouch which keeps it protected from air and moisture.
Easy availability is another cause of growing addiction. There is no license required to sell Gutka. It is available in almost every shop. Children, farmers, labourers and students are easy and commonly found victims of this product. Producing Gutka is also free from any kind of licensing policy or quality standard policy. The setup to produce this product is cheap and can be organized easily. Locally made Gutka are even cheaper than other similar products and easily generate sale with good profits.
The chemicals and other ingredients used in Gutka form stubborn stains over teeth. The content of this product gets accumulated between teeth and does not go away by normal brushing. Receding and swollen gums, gaps between teeth and bad breath are other symptoms of addiction. People lose appetite and generally have sores in mouth. It increases sensitivity to sour and spicy taste and also to hot food items. On regular use it can reduce opening of mouth and make eating difficult. It causes formation of scarred tissue inside mouth. Use of this product causes disturbed sleeping pattern, irritability, change in voice, lethargy, poor concentration and weak memory. This product can be source of heart related problems, high blood pressure, stress, mental disorders, gum and teeth problems and even cancers.
Home Remedies to Quit Chewing Tobacco
There are many commercially designed products which are safe and helpful to get rid of Gutka addiction. These products supply very mild dose of nicotine which suppresses urge to smoke or chew tobacco to allow a person to stay away from these habits. Regular use of these products in place of Gutka or tobacco reduces intensity of urge and allows a person to come out of habit. But these are commercially designed products so it is advised to use these after expert’s advice.
Taking a firm decision is first step to how to quit chewing tobacco. It is not easy to quit this habit and one needs to be firmly resolved to achieve that, however within few days one can see considerable improvement in his or her health condition which makes task easier later. But initial few days are testing and most of the people relapse during this phase.
Eat foods which are high on water content and keep body hydrated. Chewing tobacco causes dryness in mouth. This dryness also raises strong desire for tobacco and makes a person feel irritated and uncomfortable. By eating foods which maintain water level dryness in mouth can be relieved. Increase water intake and consume water on regular basis to keep mouth moist and free from dryness.
Certain spices help in curbing urge to chew tobacco. Using these are helpful ways how to quit chewing tobacco. Ginger is one of the spices which is full of health benefits and also has strong taste to suppress desire to chew tobacco. Cut ginger into thin slices and keep it in an air-tight small container with you. Chew one or two slices whenever urge to use tobacco becomes intense. The taste will not only reduce desire but also keeps mouth moist and free from dryness.
Use of cayenne pepper is also good way how to quit chewing tobacco. Cayenne pepper has effects on body which suppress urge to use tobacco. Its taste improves flow of blood and stimulates salvia secretion. It can be used with meals and sprinkled over snacks to overcome the strong desire.
Hard candies, sugarless gums and sunflower seeds are also effective and helpful ways how to quit chewing tobacco. These relieve strong desire to chew something. Regular use of tobacco forms a habit which pushes a person to chew. This urge many times force people to consume some tobacco to regain focus and relief. Distracting this urge is necessary to stay calm after quitting tobacco and these agents are good replacements to achieve that.
Foods Rich in Vitamin A, C and E
Eat foods which are rich in vitamin A, C and E. all types of fruits which are citrus are good sources of vitamin C which is antioxidant and suppress free-radicals promoted by tobacco use. Vitamin E is found rich in nuts, seeds and many types of fruits. Increasing intake of these vitamins generates cells at faster pace and allows body to repair damages caused by the bad habit quickly.
Drink herbal teas few times in the day. These teas are sources of antioxidants which are necessarily needed by person in habit of tobacco use to regain health. These teas also improve metabolism and condition of mouth. Use of herbal teas reduce urge to use tobacco and help to get rid of Gutka addiction.
Diet for Tobacco Withdrawal Symptoms
Healthy foods from all food groups shall be included in the diet to regain health and repair damages. Foods which are high on fibre shall take major portion of the diet to bring back metabolism. Tobacco use does not cause deficiency of any particular mineral or vitamin but it affects appetite and digestion. It is not possible to find out that body of any quitter is suffering with particular deficiency unless there are specific symptoms. So consuming an overall healthy diet is recommended to a person to overcome ill-effects of bad habit.
Foods which are rich in antioxidants shall be given proper weightage in the diet plan. People using tobacco load their body with carcinogens and free-radicals which can be devastating for health. Antioxidants inhibit activities of these compounds and flush them out of system to provide faster recovery.
Foods rich in water content shall be included in the diet as well. Dryness in mouth is common symptoms of tobacco use or Gutka addiction and to overcome this during initial days after quitting the habit is very important. Fruits and veggies contain good amount of water and keep body hydrated. Avoid foods which are hard to digest, spicy and processed.
Tobacco Withdrawal Treatment and Prevention
There is no specific treatment which can be recommended to a person facing withdrawal symptoms. There can be numerous mild to moderate symptoms of tobacco withdrawal like irritability, dryness in mouth, light absentmindedness etc. Taking support of non-tobacco products and natural agents which have tingling taste is soothing and reduce symptoms. There are centres which also provide help to people trying to quit tobacco. These centres have programmes which follow a step by step process to allow a person to come out of habit.