What is Tobacco Addiction?
Tobacco has been used since ages by people for shedding stress, fatigue and gain mental freshness. But it is an unnatural way of doing so and is harmful for health. It is highly addictive and people after a short duration of users 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 the case of people in a habit of chewing tobacco nicotine addiction and other factors make it a difficult habit to quit. Tobacco use has severe consequences for health.
This can cause heart problems and increase the chances of heart attack and stroke. Tobacco chewing is also severe in the digestive system.
It decreases the release of digestive enzymes which are essential for smooth and complete digestion and lower appetite.
People seek help from doctors and experts to know how to quit chewing tobacco to get rid of the habit.
Gutka is the latest form of consuming tobacco. Initially, tobacco was used with a mixture wrapped in a betel leaf called ‘Pan’.
This was a 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 a powdery mixture with crystals of betel-nut and other substances that can be consumed easily by just opening a wrapper.
This form of tobacco gained quick popularity due to the 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 cigarette people try hard to quit Gutka habit but fail generally.
With the 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 flavorings. 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 the severity of damages caused by tobacco. Chewing Gutka increases the 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.
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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 item or mouth freshener which makes Gutka highly addictive.
Apart from chemicals, tobacco itself is a highly addictive agent. Nicotine level raised in blood by tobacco use raises a 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 the low prices. 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, laborers, 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 the mouth.
It increases sensitivity to sour and spicy taste and also to hot food items. On regular use, it can reduce opening of the mouth and make eating difficult.
This product can be a 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 that are safe and helpful to get rid of Gutka addiction. These products supply a very mild dose of nicotine which suppresses the 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 the 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 the 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 a considerable improvement in his or her health condition which makes the task easier later.
But the initial few days are testing and most of the people relapse during this phase.
Eat foods that are high in water content and keep the body hydrated. Chewing tobacco causes dryness in the mouth. This dryness also raises a strong desire for tobacco and makes a person feel irritated and uncomfortable.
By eating foods that maintain water level dryness in the mouth can be relieved. Increase water intake and consume water on a regular basis to keep the mouth moist and free from dryness.
Certain spices help in curbing the 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 the 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 the urge to use tobacco becomes intense. The taste will not only reduce desire but also keeps the mouth moist and free from dryness.
Hard candies, sugarless gums, and sunflower seeds are also effective and helpful ways how to quit chewing tobacco. These relieve a strong desire to chew something.
Regular use of tobacco forms a habit that 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 that 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 the intake of these vitamins generates cells at a faster pace and allows the body to repair damages caused by the bad habit quickly.
The use of cayenne pepper is also good way how to quit chewing tobacco. Cayenne pepper has effects on the body which suppress the urge to use tobacco.
Its taste improves the flow of blood and stimulates salvia’s secretion. It can be used with meals and sprinkled over snacks to overcome the strong desire.
Drink herbal teas a few times in the day. These teas are sources of antioxidants that are necessarily needed by the person in the habit of tobacco use to regain health.
These teas also improve the metabolism and condition of the mouth. The use of herbal teas reduces the 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 that are high in fiber 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 the body of any quitter is suffering from a particular deficiency unless there are specific symptoms.
So consuming an overall healthy diet is recommended to a person to overcome the ill-effects of a bad habit.
Foods that are rich in antioxidants shall be given proper weight in the diet plan. People using tobacco load their body with carcinogens and free-radicals which can be devastating for health.
Antioxidants inhibit the activities of these compounds and flush them out of the 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 the body hydrated. Avoid foods that are hard to digest, spicy and processed.
Tobacco Withdrawal Treatment and Prevention
There is no specific treatment that can be recommended to a person facing withdrawal symptoms. There can be numerous mild to moderate symptoms of tobacco withdrawal like irritability, dryness in the mouth, light absentmindedness, etc.
Taking the support of non-tobacco products and natural agents which have tingling taste is soothing and reduces symptoms.
There are centers that also provide help to people trying to quit tobacco. These centers have programs that follow a step by step process to allow a person to come out of habit.
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