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Quit Smokeless Hall of Fame Archive

Name Date (YYYY-MM-DD) Speech Location
Paul Ross 20001003 I WAS a smokeless tobacco user for about fifteen years. Although I never considered myself to be a heavy user (approximately 2 dips/day), I knew that I was: 1. Doing something wrong (lying to myself, my friends, and my family) 2. Exponentially increasing my risk of developing cancer 3. Allowing something to have control over my life 4. Holding myself back from becoming the person I have the potential to become I must admit that although I was spending about $500/yr. supporting my habit, it was never about the money.....it was about my desire to live. Quitting was one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my entire life. Here is how I quit: 1. Decided on a quit date and amassed all of my "forces" to help me quit FOREVER. My forces?? A). I fortified my relationship with God and asked HIM to give me the strength and the courage to quit. B). I told my girlfriend (who, incidentally, did not know I was dipping during the 2 yrs. we dated) so that I no longer felt guilty for being dishonest. I also told her so that I could have a close friend who I knew would support me. Not only did I not want to let myself down, but I could not let her down, could I? C). I visited the Quitsmokeless site religiously, and it served as constant support. D). I ordered the DipStop Program (Bacc-Off). The program REALLY helped me deal with my nicotine withdrawal symptoms for the first month or so. After that, I have been completely on my own. I have not had any setbacks since I quit, but I can tell you that a few times I heard that voice in my head ("Come on Paul, you've beat this thing, you can have just one dip and it won't hurt you"). I have never succumbed to that voice because of the commitment I made to myself, God and my girlfriend. Well, that's my story. Whether you believe in God or not, amass your own personal forces and get on with it!! Good luck to you all, and God Bless.  
Joe "Bass" Sanders 20001224 Hang in there gang! If i can doit after 25 years of letting the can control me, YOU definately can doit. Get Mad, get healthy and your family, friends will love you more. You will see after a few months, just how stupid you must have looked with that brown stuff dripping and spitting everywhere...Screw the U.S. Tobacco company. God bless!  
Jeff Buturff 20001231 You have to convince yourself that you can never, ever dip again. Not one single dip. Once you convince yourself of that and live by it, you've beat the monster. Charlotte, North Carolina
Glenn G. 20010108 Quit the day after my 30th b-day. Carried around a picture of my family and pulled it out everytime I wanted a dip. If I can do it, anyone can.  
Chris Gee 20010110 Dipped Copenhagen for about 16 years. El Paso, TX
Jogi Pattisapu 20010125 If you know yourself and you know the enemy; you can fight a thousand battles and NEVER lose -- The Art of War (Sun Tzu).  
Renny 20010208 Failure only exists when you stop trying to obtain your goals. NJ
Spike 20010220 Thanks to everyone who has helped me take my life back from the Bear. For those starting out, just remember: you can quit - you just can't do it alone. DC
Scott Williams 20010224 I know I'm only one dip away from being totally hooked again, so I just don't take that one dip. Two keys to quitting, first YOU have to be ready, not your wife, or girlfriend, or mother or father, but YOU. Second, you have to commit totally to it, and never think you have the battle won. Cleveland, OH
Crash 20010225 I guess the best thing that I can say is "Enjoy the Pain!!!" Learn to associate the pain with a new beginning, not the ending to an old friendship. The withdrawal symptoms are just the effects of nicotine leaving your body, like the feeling of evil spirits leaving the body during an exorcism. When it hurts bad, stand up, scream at the top of your lungs, curse, get in the car and beat the steering wheel, beat on your chest, eat like a horse...just enjoy it. Sometimes when we look back at hard times in our lives, they actually seem like the good old days. Quitting will be one of those hard times that will be remembered as a good time. Enjoy the pain!!! Missouri
Fred 20010228 I started chewing in the late 70's and tried to quit only a few times. The habit only cost 50 cents a can back then. Now you need a second job just to support the habit. Cope was my drug! I loved every minute of chewing. I described my habit to friends that don't chew that "it was like shooting nicotine with a needle direct in the vain!" I probably am not far off the mark. Nicotine gum help me get through the worst part. I started smoking a few cigars...not good. Backed off the cigars and the gum and will now go without any nicotine. I think it will the first time in 25 years without some sort of nicotine. I never thought I would get 117 days behind me! Believe me if I can go 117 days everyone out there has a excellent chance! I will never chew again! Michigan
James 20010308 I can honestly say I feel better now than I ever did with a dip. It only took me 4000 cans of Copenhangen and 1 website to figure that out.  
David Kotler 20010311 Somedays I still can't believe I actually quit. I never thought I had the strength. I know if I can do it, anybody can. Good luck.  
Calgary Mike 20010318 When you first quit it's scary. Because, you just don't know. You feel like you're saying goodbye to an old friend, and it depresses the hell out of you. There are some big "unknowns" but you do know one thing....it would be easy to run back to it. But you should know this too....like any controlling relationship, it was never your friend. It robbed you of your self-esteem. It gave you a false sense of pride. The smokeless mystique was all bullshit that we bought in to. Every dip was a lie. Believe in yourself, and be good to yourself. KICK ASS!!!  
Jim 20010320 Thanks to some plain old determination and this site, I finally quit. Freedom is a good thing.  
Bob Delaney 20010327 Dig deep within yourself and you will do this. Get all the support you can, and you WILL surprise yourself. Quitting will change your life!  
Charles Largay 20010414 1. Stay mad and determined to quit. 2. Get healthy first and have holistic approach to quiting (it takes body and mind) 3. Get a good Dr. to work with... 4. Accept that there is no such thing as zero stress in life...adjust! 5. Dip in any form serves only on purpose, UST Profits and an early demise for you! 6. Stick to the plan....and quit!  
BillB 20010503 I've tried to quit at least a hundred times over the past fifteen years. I've always caved into the "one dip won't hurt" cravings. The camaraderie of the guys on this site and their constant reminder of what I'm trying to achieve finally pushed me to quit. Visit daily and you'll be amazed what you can achieve as a group.  
Mike 20010517 Thanks. Simply put. Congrats to everyone here, above and below me in the HOF. And to everyone else reading this, it's a great feeling. Stay strong brothers. It will happen. Denver
Eric 20010518 Nature gave man two ends - one to sit on and one to think with. Your success or failure is dependant on the one you use the most. I'd like to thank all my brothers in addiction for the continual support, especially the Calgary contingent and you Matt for making this work. I hope those of you that are just starting the long journey stay strong and keep vigilant, the rewards at the end of the tunnel are beyond words. Calgary
Blair 20011030 I want to thank all the guys here for their support & friendship. Wouldn't have made it this far without help. I had every intention of naming those responsible for me reaching the 100 day mark, but holy moly! ...the list would be endless, & so I won't. Also, that decision comes from my fear of omitting someone. A hearty Thanks Guys will have to suffice.

This is one heck of a group you've assembled here, Matt. You should be proud. I thank you. ...Especially for the foresight you had when you built this website, & for the time you spend making it work. I know I'm a better person to have been a part of it for the last 3+ months. I intend to continue to visit, though I plan to post less often. It's time to pass the torch to the next group of fighters.

There's no way I could come up with a complete list of things that helped me get to the Hall of Fame. It's a combination of a lot of things. ...Desire comes to mind... So does Dedication & Determination. I am convinced Matt's QuitSmokeless Forum helped me because of it's unique approach to fighting my dip habit. Not only did I commit more strongly to myself, but I made a commitment to total strangers... souls battling the same demon I was ...& still am. It's hard to explain. ...It created a bond that is almost impossible to break, even if I had wanted to.

Here's some of the things I've learned along the way:

Q-uit for yourself first & foremost.
U-tilize this website.
I-nstill self respect & self discipline.
T-hank those who help you.

S-mall steps lead to larger ones.
M-inute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.
O-ne day at a time helps stop dip-rage.
K-now your limitations, & don't exceed them.
E-xercise helps to end cravings.
L-earn what works for you, & know what doesn't.
E-veryday it gets easier.
S-ometimes you just gotta cuss.
S-uccess is the only option.

O-thers are here when you need them.
R-eward yourself for milestones reached.
G-et back on the horse if it throws you.

Realize nothing I've mentioned or listed here is new. It's ideas I was introduced to when I first discovered this website, or things I picked up along the way. I've dipped over half my life... 21 years, & it worked for me. May it work for you. Anyhow, if there's anything anyone on the QS Forum can do for you, please don't heistate to ask. That's why it exists. And if anyone reads all of this, then they deserve a medal! Fight on, men!
Moulton, AL
Trey 20011029 I had used smokeless for over 16 years before finding this site. I had also tried to quit 10 times a year for the last 5 years. I can't quite put into words how it works, but it does. Everyone here is going through the same things. My friends and family could not begin to understand the hold that this crap had over me. Coming to this site everyday makes you realize that you are not alone. Finally to the guys finding this page for the first time always remember this "NEVER QUIT TRYING TO QUIT". Houston
Voyageur 20011015 Wow. I'm finally here. Back in Oct. when I first found this site the HOF seemed so far away. Somehow though, I always knew I'd make it here. I knew because I was ready to quit. Don't get me wrong, I would still love a chew, but I finally quit ignoring the possible outcome of my addiction. I finally faced all of the cancer pictures and facts, I was possibly killing myself.

I chewed roughly a tin of Kodiak wintergreen a day for 13-14 years. I always knew I'd have to quit sooner or later, but you know what procrastination can do. One huge factor in my continued success has been this website. I can't praise it enough. Matt's selfless efforts here have helped countless people. Props go out to him! Thanks man.

To all the newbies: You can do this. It IS hard, but you can do it. You have to be ready to stop lying to yourself about what you're doing and quit procrastinating. Steel your nerve and hunker down. Dip your shoulder as you dig your paddle deep, and you will come out on top.

As somebody before me put it best; "I will not be tobacco's bitch."

Good luck.
 
Mules 20011014 To Everyone at Quit Smokeless: Thanks for your support throughout the last 100 days. Especially to Matt for creating this forum. Matt, you can go to sleep at night knowing that you have added countless years of happiness to people's lives. But it doesn't stop with Matt.... everyone on this site as helped one another in some way. By banding together to show encouragement when needed and simply leading the way by example it shows that quitting is possible. So thanks to everyone. I think I now have a much better chance of seeing more of life. A few words of wisdom:

- Take the first step and take it an hour and then a day at a time. The hours will turn into days and the days into weeks.

- Realize that every minute packing takes two minutes of precious time away... the minute that you are spending ignoring friends/family and the additional minute you're taking off your life.

- Be honest with yourself. It's not the things in life you do that you regret, it's the things you don't do that you'll regret. I'm not sure if you'll look back with pride for your tin a day habit.

- Do whatever it takes. If it means gaining 30 pounds then do it.

God Bless- Mules

 
Darrell 20010926 I could not do it to my kids anymore. You could see how worried they were when I took a dip of Skoal. They knew the dangers of this nasty habit, and they thought Dad was going to die from it. I tried quitting several times with no luck and then I found www.quitsmokeless.org. I did not really think it would help but I was desperate. After about an hour of reading, I decided to give it a try. I made it nine long days before losing to the cravings again. After a couple of weeks a tried again. The first 30 days were the hardest of my life. I had a constant headache and was so depressed. I had no idea I was addicted and really thought I could quit anytime with no problems. At about 50 days, I had a rough couple of days and would have caved if it weren't for this forum. Well, I did make it and am tobacco free. I have had no cravings since about day 52 and feel better than I have felt in many years. I do not think about dipping much anymore. It has been replaced by smiles on my daughters' faces and the satisfaction that I made it. Matt, I would have never made it to this point if it weren't for your forum and the wonderful people that participate in helping each other with this addiction. To you and all the other quitters, THANK YOU!!! TX
JSW2759 20010918 At that time of my first posting I never thought I would make it to the Hall of Fame, but with this website and my determination I have made it. After reading all of the posts of other people that were addicted to smokeless tobacco I found out that I'm not alone when I've had a hard time giving it up. But with the encouragement of the others, I was able to do something that I never was able to in the past. Yes it has been tough but it has been worth it. I also know from reading others posts that I can never again take just a little pinch of tobacco, otherwise I would be hooked once again. After talking to a friend of mine that is a member of AA, I found out that we have a lot in common in our addictions. They both can kill us, we can never have a little bit of them again and we are better off without them. Thanks again Matt and also to all of the guys on this site, without all of you I would never have been able to quit. Now I'm looking forward to day 365, I know I can make it now with all of your help.  
Tex 351 20010918 I just want to thank everyone that has helped me fight this addiction. Those people include everyone that has enough courage to write about their personal battles with this terrible killer. I hope that everyone who reads the pages of this site relizes that this fourm saves lives. Matt, you have provided a service like no other. I could never thank you enough for what you have created and I am very proud to be part of it. Thank you all and please stay strong. Tex 351  
Aiken 20010917 Thank you to all my friends here at Quit Smokeless. If you are just starting the journey to freedom don't give up. Remember you are now a Non -Dipper. Convince your self of this and you will really increase your chances of succeeding. There is no trying to quit, you have either stopped chewing or you have'nt. I just want to dedicate my 100 day mark to my new son, born 12-13-01. Spencer, Dad will be here for you for a long time. You were more important to me than dip and now I have prooved it. And if I ever catch you with a chew yer in so much trouble!  
Slider 20010915 On day one of quitting I couldn't have imagined going through even a few hours without Skoal. The cravings would just kill me. I thought dipping made everything better. In fact, I was just spending alot of money wearing out my gums and using a drug to give me a false sense of security. Today I am my own man again!! I'm not always patient, not always calm, not always able to fight off frustration, but I am NOT on nicotine and not feeding the habit that would eventually take me away from my wife and three great little kids. Thank you Matt for this web site which was a big help even though I really didn't post much. I still fight off cravings - usually they come around after a beer or two, but they're less powerful now than they used to be. The monster's dying cause I'm not feeding it. I quit with Nicorette and toothpicks. You guys that are starting out should understand that if 3 months ago I thought I had no will power. If I can quit, so can you. Just tell yourself that for the next 100 that nothing in your life is more important than what you're about to do, then do it. Good luck and God Bless!  
Scott 20010909 I made it to day 107. There was one critical incident that proved to me that I could do it. I was in a bar and had a couple drinks when I noticed that this guy I was talking to had a dip. I asked him what he chewed and he said skoal. I am glad to say at that moment it was "either/or". I did not take that dip and I woke up the next day feeling more determined. It really has made a difference in my life mostly because this was controlling too many of my decisions. I have not visited the site in quite a while and it was pretty cool to find out I have gone 107 days. I have quit for over two years before and gone back, but this time I think I've kicked this habit.  
Jeff 20010901 To Matt and all the others who contribute and share on this site, my thanks to you all. I had tried several times to quit and all were, for one reason or another, unsuccessful. After finding this site, and being open and asking for and getting support from my family and others, I quit for good on September 1st of this year. I remember reading the postings of others who had quit before my final quit date came and drawing inspiration from your success stories and from your struggles. To all who think it can't be done and they will never make it, we here in the HOF are living proof that it can be done. Once again, thank you all. Indiana
DanF 20010831 Thanks Matt for creating this site and to all of the brothers for their stories and experiences. There is a lot of wisdom and support for you freshman out there. All you have to do is take it one day at a time and those days become a lot easier over time. Texas
Steve M 20010827 Making it to the HOF has been a struggle at times. I am grateful to have found the site and I used it as motivation. Matt has given all a place to be a part of a team. For all who are wanting to quit and all that are in the first days stay strong. If you have read back through all the messages you will quickly see that everyone is different in what works to help them through the craving times. Who cares what you use as long as you quit using tobacco. Bottom line. Use the site as a friend. It is much easier to stop when you have a friend pushing you and everyone on the site is a friend. YOU have to want to quit! Once you get that in your head it is only uphill to the HOF from there. Congrats to Mexico Bill for his HOF induction also and thanks to Matt for all of his help! Indiana
Mexico Bill 20010827 My first dip of Copenhagen was while playing a high school baseball game at 15 years old. I took a pinch between innings from a guy who was a former standout at our school that had recently signed a minor league contract. Soon after, I came up to bat and was so dizzy that I got hit in the head by a fastball. 22 years and thousands of dollars down the spitoon later, I happened quite by chance on upon this site. I quit the same day and thanks in large part to frequenting this site for help, advice, a good kick in the butt at times, and encouragement always, I am doing what I before thought to be impossible for me. Matt, if you ever need an endorsement for a humanitarian award, give me a shout! To all of the fine people who have encouraged me during the journey, thank you. I owe you big time. To those of you who are new to the struggle, you CAN win. Keep the faith. Mexico City
Bryce 20010820 It's been said that there are only two types of regret- the regret from having to do something that you wish you didn't have to, and the regret from not doing something that you wish you had. The first type of regret is temporary, it passes as quickly as it came. The second never goes away, it will eat at you forever. You can believe that when I quit the cravings had me experiencing the first type of regret. I would question who I really thought I was kidding: I can't quit this I would say. How will I write this report or mow the lawn? How can I possibly sit through a good movie, or take a long road trip with my friends? How will my life ever be whole again??? These are all things that I would say to myself. But I pressed on anyways. The pleasure that I got from dipping just simply couldn't outweigh its costs anymore. I didn't want to have to experience the second regret. And! as I got more time under my belt, those screaming voices became tiny whispers and now they almost cease altogether. I now wonder how the bear held me in its grasp so firmly for all that time. I finally realized that it wasn't the dip that got me through those days when nothing seemed to go right, it was me all along. The empty whole that I had after quitting has slowly diminished. I'm now able to put more effort into my favorite activites. This site is the one factor that allowed me to succeed in quitting this time, where before I always failed. Now I hold the attitude that if I can quit dipping, than there is nothing I can't do if so inclined. Greatness is simply a culmination of consistent excellent acts. Give an honest effort each and every day and in the end you will succeed. CA
Ted 20010815 The spring of 1974 was my start date. After 27 years and countless cans of Copenhagen, this is what I have learned: if you have quit, congratulations on a very difficult but very positive achievement; if you are in the process of quitting, hang tough, take it day by day, it will get easier, life will get better and it will be worth it; if you have yet to quit, it gets more and more difficult as the years go by; this site works; and finally, Crash was right. Thanks to all the posters on this site: those before whose successes inspired and those after whose pain and determination served as a constant reminder and motivation. Thanks for the site Matt. p.s. My next 100 day goal is to lose 1 lb every 5 days (dip free of course) CA
James Hamilton 20010813 Appreciate the website. It was an important part of my quitting. The helpful hints, suggestions, and sense of humor of everyone in the forum made it easier. My personal quit crutches: nicotine gum for first five days, eclipse polar ice chewing gum after that, a crapload of water and exercise. Had been on nicotine in one shape or another for more than 10 years. Glad to be free of it. Never got any customer appreciation from those bastards anyway!! Keep at it guys! NC
Adam Knapp 20010804 Probably wouldn't have made it without Smokey Mountain Chew ... and this fine website!  
TommyJ 20010802 Thanks to Guru Matt for this much needed website and also thanks to his friend (my co-worker) Mat Knutson for showing me this site. The day I quit I was sitting at my desk enjoying my post morning coffee chew when Mat K stopped by. Noticing that my bottom lip was sticking out an extra inch, he simple said, "Dude, let me show you this cool website". He brought up quitsmokeless.org. I thought "here we go, another one on my case". But I knew deep down that this habit was a bad one and I desperately wanted to quit. I spent the next hour reading through the posts on the forum and the HOF. I realized that I was not the only one who had problems with trying to quit, and that in my best interest I should quit. The more I read the more I got pissed at myself. I was a fraud and a coward. Now I am in the HOF with no more lies and sneaky habits. Thanks to everyone posting on this site and special thanks to Neil, Blane, Dan, Babe, Hoss, and Ernest T. Bass for helping out in the beginning. For those of you just starting out reading this.....dig hard and fight to make it to the two week mark. Once there you will have a clean head and can make it the rest of the way. Stay the course. MN
notdeadyet 20010715 For a hardcore dip junkie, 100 days seems like an eternity. I never thought I could go 100 days without chewing, I thought I would die first. The battle continues on each and everyday.  
Rebelyell 20010713 I just checked my counter on quitsmokeless.org, and it says today is 112 days since I quit dipping. I thought I was in the clear, but a co-worker of mine who quit for 6 months recently started dipping again because of the World Trade Center tragedy (or at least that's his excuse). I guess we never get over the cravings, so I'll keep looking over my shoulder to make sure the nicotine cravings don't sneak up on me. I've found that the new, super strong chewing gums designed to keep you breath fresh help keep the cravings away, especially the wintergreen flavored ones. AL
Kroch 20010710 I feel like it's graduation day. My diploma is my healthy mouth. My wife will congratulate me and is my biggest supporter. Matt was wise in his choice of 100 days as HOF entry day...short enough to be an attainable goal and be a springboard for your future, and long enough to work your butt off for. For all of us who made it this far, it's not hard to get nostalgic remembering all the people along the way who offered encouragement when the road got tough and all the damn funny posts. I'm proud of my accomplishment but I recognize I'm a tobacco addict and I won a battle. Every day that passes I add to my armaments. Be proud of each day you remain tobacco free and live your life. Denver
Blane 20010707 At the age of 45, I decided to grow up and quit dipping. It's been so long, I don't even remember my first dip but I began when I was 16 or 17 in high school so that's over half of my life. I slowly graduated to a can of Copenhagen a day. Everyone close to me told me that I had to quit dipping. I tried for their sake and failed several times. This time I did it for me and no one else. The only two people I told were my wonderful wife and my twin brother who is also battling the tin. I found this site a couple of days before I quit dipping and it has helped tremendously. But I know I cannot let my guard down because I am not out of the woods yet. Like they say, "Once an addict always an addict." My drug of choice just happened to be nicotine. I hope that those of us who made it to the HOF will inspire those who are still struggling.  
Dan 20010628 I am 30 years old and chewed for 19 of those. I tried dozens of times to quit but until I found this site I always failed. Not this time! Thank you Matt and all who post on this site. God Bless all of us quitters! Iowa
Kevin 20010608 I began dipping in high school -- sort of a rite of passage for a young man. I strengthened my addiction through college and by the time I entered a professional career, I was up to over a can a day. I was grossly ashamed and haunted by this addiction. I vowed to quit soon, using that as an excuse to hide my addiction from those who I cared for the most. Friends, I am happy to report that tobacco has made a liar out of me for the last time. Somewhere in the process of quitting, the shame of dipping was overshadowed by the pride of winning this war. Don't get me wrong, the battles were never easy, but I did gain a deep appreciation for what a drug addiction really encompasses in the process. To those contemplating quitting, do not delay. That initial genuine resolve to quit is perhaps one of the largest mental battles to overcome. Stand up now, fight that initial battle, and win. That sets you up to move forward with a great victory behind you. Constantly push forward and you're destined to prevail. SC
Dave 20010606 I would like to thank everyone at this site for their support. Thanks go to Matt for the vision of this site. To anyone who is trying to quit, the physical withdrawals are not pleasant, but if you truly have the mindset to quit, you will make it. Think of your health, family/friends money. You were not born a slave to this drug; you have the power to defeat it. I wish the best for anyone battling this addiction. IL
Hoss 20010606 May God bless all the guys who have used this fine website to do something that's DAMN hard to do. And may God bless the United States of America. Nebraska
Tom AZ 20010530 All thanks to God, and all of you. "Never give up, and good luck will find you." There's no way in hell I would have made it without this site. Pass it to all of your dipping friends, your doctors, your dentists. Stay Alive. Take care.  
Ryan 20010529 It's funny because when I first quit and the "Hall of Fame" was created I thought to myself that there is no way I could ever make it to 100 days. Now, here I am. 100 days. I feel like I have been in a brawl and have come out on top. I conquered the dip demon. I kicked the can. Thank you to Matt for this site and to all of you who helped me when I didn't think I could do it. To all of you new guys, whatever pain you are going through will slowly fade away. You have to accept the fact that you are going to be a different person in some ways. Don't run from the differences, embrace them. Life is different without the can. Life is better without the can. CA
g 20010529 I dipped for about 15 years. As long as I can remember I was always going to quit tomorrow, or Monday, or the 1st of this month.(you get the point) I never had the courage to give it a legitimate shot. I never went more than 3-4 days with out a dip.

Then I found this great website. Thanks to Matt and everyone who has posted here whether they have succeeded or failed. I strongly believe that this place was the biggest factor of my success.

100 days down, life to go...

St. Louis
Kat65 20010522 First of all I would like to thank Matt for developing quitsmokeless. I feel so much better now without chew. Only thing I have to say is anyone can quit. I also want to thank everyone who backed me when I was down. And here is to those who didnt make it yet but let me tell you, your time will come and you will be free.  
Bluesman 20011104 Every single person in our little brotherhood has been a part of the solution for me. The list is one and the same as Blair's Roster. If you are annoyed by the Bimbo-Actress-Academy-Awards-Acceptance-Speech, stop reading now because I am now walking to the podium ... "To the HOFers who inspired me, educated me, chided me for weakness, monitored my progress, and welcomed me to a new tobacco free life, I thank you (and, in particular, Jogi, Bryce, VictorE, TXag, TommyJ, Holt, Notdeadyet, and Crispy). Thanks for lighting the way ... To my mentors, Aiken and Kroch, it was your personal interest in my struggle, and the accountability I felt to your return postings, that compelled me to stay. Thank you. To the Class of February 2002 (including Waltster, Trey, Blair, Brett, mburgess, Bigred, Shane, Otown, Mr. Hyde and Darren): I quit using tobacco for myself and my family, but I stayed committed because of your postings and interaction, each and every time I needed you. Thank you for staying committed and congratulations on your own personal life-changing accomplishment. To the Class of April 2002 and still struggling in the first half of the HOF journey, I thank you for your posts and being part of the brotherhood. I have found that it is impossible to crave tobacco while offering leadership, encouragement, advice, and moral support for others. Really, you are what the QS.org is all about: making an important personal change together when we could not do it on our own. To Matt, notwithstanding all of my education and my renown long-winded nature, I have no words that can adequately express my gratitude to you and this site. Quite simply, I am tobacco free because you created and maintained a website called quitsmokeless.org. And finally, despite the fact that they will never read this posting, I must thank my wife and children, who inspire me, every single day, to be a better husband, a better father, and a better person." ... And as if I do not talk enough, one final post-script: Yes, I will have a HOF Statement by the end of the week (I am working on it), and yes, Blair, I will draft the letter for the paper later this month. Everyone stay true to your commitment and you too will be free, truly free. The Bluesman [orchestra playing, break to commercial] ... Buckeye State
Bigred 20011105 What can I say, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART! On November 5, 2001 I ran out of my last chew and I told myself that I was going to quit cold turkey--fortunately, one of my friends showed me this page after day one...Since that day, I have never looked back. Today, I am going to buy myself something with the over $300 I probably saved in the last 100 days. I am going to do that every 100 days from here on out, just to remind myself that I have worked so hard to quit. I can tell you one thing guys, I am happy to inform my family and girlfriend that I have quit and I can feel good about that. I just want everyone to know that it seems like an addiction, but it is a weakness of the mind---beat the weakness, and if you have to put on some weight, then do that, I did, but you can work your butt off in the gym losing it.....Do what is best for you and for the future of your family...just believe and you will achieve! WI
Just John 20011107 WOW...It's been a long and bumpy road, right now it's smoothing out quite nicely. All I really have to say to all you newbies is that IT DOES GET EASIER and.... YOU CAN DOO EEEET!!! VA
HP 20011110 I would like to start by saying thanks: thanks to the Lord for His help in this battle, thanks to Matt for running this site and doing it so well, and thanks to all the brothers on the board for support and being a friend. When I started this quit, I knew it would be the final one - just had the right mind set, after 21 years of dippin and 8 years of trying to quit. It was not easy, but so far, so good. It is one day at a time and always watching out for a sneak attack - like the ones that have taken me down in the past. That won't ever happen again. Be strong fellow addicts, make this a dipless day in your new, dipless life. Again, thanks to all you guys out there continuing the battle and supporting each other, including me. CO
Shane 20011113 It's an honor to a part of a select group of fighters, those who have managed to stay away from the tobacco demons for over 100 days. Highest thanks for Matt for starting this free site, it has changed my life in ways I couldn't have possibly imagined. Sincere props to the boys near me in the quit track, especially Darren, O-Town and Mr. Hyde. To the Bluesman...still waiting on that beer, as well as the rendition of "New York." Thank you, my brother, for everything. You told me once that the people on this site are revolutionaries who can help you free your mind. You were right on. To new quitters: check the forum often, as everyone in the HOF has been where you are. Fill your life with non-dipping activities such as excercise and reading. And drink lots of water! Most importantly, hug your wife, GF, significant other, kid, or parent and thank them for supporting your choice to be tobacco-free. As a 9/11 lower NYC survivor who was came very close to the end that sunny morning, I am reminded every day how precious and fleeting life is. Please don't take it for granted. Always remember: do or do not. There is no try. No dip today. NY
Slee 20011115 I started quitting on the Great American Smokeout (Nov 15, 2001), because I wanted to make a point and set a good example for my staff. Then I decided that if other pantywaist quitters have been successful, then I surely could too.

Then I hit day three.

And I realized I needed help to quit this evil habit. My help came from this great forum, and from the Lord. I've come to the conclusion that I've reached my maturity as a man by fighting and winning this battle. God bless everyone here fighting the same battle.

PA
Otown Dave 20011118 I am Dave and until November 18, 2001 I was addicted to smokeless tobacco. I chewed Copenhagen from 1989 to 1999. Quit Cope for 9 months and then started chewing Skoal Fine Cut (stupid move, I know). Many others have described their addictions and efforts to quit before and better than I ever could, so I'll try to be brief.

First, anyone can quit smokeless tobacco. It is no harder on any of you than it was for me or anyone else in the HOF. Do not wait for the first of the month, when things calm down at work, etc. Do it now.

Second, as long as you're not using tobacco, there is no wrong way to quit. Nic. Gum, patch, fake stuff, whatever. You will eveuntually be tobacco and nicotine free.

Third, embrace the fellow quitters on this forum. Your struggle is our stuggle. We are all in this together.

Fourth, don't let your crave become a cave. A crave will pass whether you dip or not. A crave will not become a cave unless you buy snuff; open snuff; pinch snuff between your fingers and put snuff in your mouth. Its about choice.

Fifth, don't ever fall into the "one dip won't hurt" mindset. As set forth above, I fell into that trap big time. Hopefully it won't cost me.

Sixth, when you're feeling depressed, be proud of quitting tobacco. I made partner the same week I made the HOF and I can honestly say that I am more proud of quitting tobacco than my promotion. (just don't tell my firm).

Seventh, and this is purely optional: Support this site. After I finish this message, I'm going to pay a little visit to the "PayPal" and make a donation. How many of us have bragged/noted how much money we've saved by quitting snuff. I'd like to give a little back to the site so more people can make use of this resource and get off the tin.

Well so much for being brief. Thanks Matt and God Bless you all.

Orlando
Dan 20011119 I am so thankful for all the support I have gotten from this site and all the people that post on it. Thanks Matt for offering and maintaining it. Not using Copenhagen is something I thought I could never do. Now on to the next 100 days. WI
mr hyde 20011123 When I decided to quit chewing on Thanksgiving of 2001 I felt that I was only humoring myself. I couldn't see any reason why this attempt would be any different than the 100's of other times. What I didn't know then that I do now is of the power that using this forum can add. It wasn't physically any easier than before but it gave me the drive and faith in succeeding that I never had before. In the beginning there is no avoiding the suffering, it has to be gotten through. As the cravings, depression, rage, and doubt hit us along the way there are many others who are either going through it themselves or others who have been there to tell us it will go away and get better. This is what we never had before. All the other times I quit I thought I was the only guy in the world who was addicted to chew and that there was something wrong with me because of all the freaky things I was feeling without my fix. When I came here and saw that I was not alone , that others felt the exact same thing as me it was a breath of fresh air and I think that is what gave me the guts to fight it out and make this attempt the one that "took". My one bit of advice I would give someone quitting is that just when you think you can't take another day of the cravings and feeling like hell, just when you think all your strength and willpower is gone, that is the time that makes or breaks your quit attempt. If you can hold out through that time more than likely you are going to wake up the next day feeling free. If I can do this anyone can, thanks to all the brothers on the forum.  
Ponyboy 20011120 It has reached the point where I will go a couple of days without even thinking about the cope. I feel a lot better, and certainly feel free. My girlfriend told me a story about her cousin. He has cancer of the throat and tongue. He chewed for about 20 years I guess, and wound up with a sore throat that the doctors could not fix. He has been through chemo, and radiation, and now is just healing. His chances for survival are around 30%. He has lost all sense of taste, and will never get it back, and may lose his hearing and ability to smell. If you ever heard the term "scared straight" that is me. I quit that day and have not chewed since. My girlfriend is so happy, I would be willing to bet she is happier then I am.

Your site helped a lot. I hope that I can help at least one person quit chewing. Once you get past the hump of about 35 days, it just gets easier.

 
Darren 20011126 Whether you call it dip, chew, snuff, lipper, wedge, rub, pinch, or worm dirt - it was my worst vice. After using tobacco for over 10 years, I was completely addicted. I would manipulate dates, meetings, relationships and lives, just to get my fix. Because I knew it was a disgusting habit, I hid it from most people in my life. I always had to have an excuse to run errands when we had company or hide in my office to get my fix. The worst feeling in the world, is the anxiety I felt when I knew I would be trapped and unable to dip.

Then my life changed. My wife and I had our first child in September. I can remember the first few nights just watching her sleep. But the memory that changed my life was when our baby was screaming at the top of her lungs while we were both asleep in bed. I jumped out of bed and went running straight for my can of Copenhagen. My wife followed me out of the bedroom thinking I was going to help the baby, when she realized what I was doing. I had to have a dip before I could take care of this precious, needy, and wanting child.

She did not say anything to me, just walked past me to the baby's room. It was at that moment I realized my priorities are out of line. I vowed to get control of my life again.

After some research, I vowed to quit for the um-teenth time. This time I could not fail. Now I was not only failing myself, but my wife, and my unknowing daughter. With the help of this site and my own determination, I have been able to regain control of my life. Because of the support of men I will never meet, there is a 0% chance I will dip today.

That has been my mantra through this entire journey. There is a 0% chance I will dip today. Yesterday is gone and out of my control. Tomorrow is not yet here and may never arrive. I can only control my actions and reactions for today. Today, I choose not to use tobacco.

Dallas
Mark 20010212 Quitting is truly one of the hardest things you will ever do. Be prepared for how you will feel, and if you need to, take some days off from work or start quitting over a holiday weekend. For 3 or 4 days, my head was floating and I couldn't accomplish anything. I was irritable, confused, and downright suffering. My family, but more importantly, my peers from this site helped me get through the first week, then the second, and here we are today. Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it! Good luck to you all and we'll see you on the HOF soon! Denver
Tim 20011202 It's been a slow 100 days, but I made it. I'm down to four to six cravings a day. Zero by 200? Mozambique
Hungry Wolf 20011204 Glad to be part of this group... 100 days, almost $400 still in my pocket! I am truly a better person for quitting. God bless anyone who is going through this- It is well worth it! MI
EricP 20011201 To all those struggling with this addiction I can offer these things.

#1. I've quit twice before. This will be my last time going through this torture. The reason I failed before was in succumbing to the "just one dip" thing at a party and the second time by starting up gradually through smoking cigars (then chewing them!). Face it, we're addicted to nicotine. You can't have it anymore, period! You do, you'll find yourself back where you were.

#2. I woke up December 1st, 2001 and said I don't do this anymore. There was no question in my mind that I'd fail. If you're approaching it with that type of commitment, you won't either. You're not TRYING to quit. BY THE GRACE OF GOD, YOU WILL QUIT! Nor will you ever go back to it.

May God bless us all as we try to take better care of one of the most precious gifts He's given us--our bodies, our lives.

OR
John Drake 20011221 You will have to excuse me, but I just can't help but shout out a boastful victory cry ala "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair aimed directly at UST's C.E.O. today- WHOOOOOOOOOO!
Being a quitter never felt so good!
Seriously, it does strike me as a real honor to enter the QS HOF as member #100. I'm going to use this unique distinction as the motivation to help another 100 guys leave the dope called cope behind them on the trail. The one thought that hits me strongest today is that anyone, and I do mean anyone, who can make it through ten days tobacco free can in turn make it through 100 days. It isn't easy and the battle is never officially over, but it does get easier, little by little, and you can win the war- one day at a time. A person need only scroll down the HOF list to see how 100 days builds to 365 and on and on...for life. Paul Ross started with one single quit day just like everyone else, after all! Remember what the warden said in "Cool Hand Luke" about "you've got to get your mind right". That really is what it takes. You've got to get your mind right to beat the demon into submission. I don't want to list a roll call of all those from the QS family who have helped and inspried me. The list would be far too long and I'd be greatly remiss if I were to accidently leave anyone out. Suffice to say, I would not be here without the steadfast support from you all. THANK YOU! I've got to send a very special thanks out to John Gray up in Pittsfield, MA, though. John first told me about this place a day or two after Mark Howell (congrats on day 100 Mark!) and I took the pledge to quit together just as we'd started together all those years ago. John, I know that with your sons arrival you too will find the desire and drive to quit for good, also. God Bless you, my brother. Matt, I've said it before and I'll say it again- You are a true visionary. I can't thank you enough.
Athens, GA
Quanah Gilmore 20011225 I am twenty seven years old and I am from Amarillo, Texas. I started dipping Copenhagen when I was 7 years old. My older brother and his friends used to dip snuff so I thought it would be cool to do the same. I have let Copenhagen contol me for 20 years of my life, dipping everyday all day long. When I was 19 years old I was diagnosed with Hodgekins Disease (lymph cancer). I went through 63 radiation treatments and I still could not kick the habit. My throat was so sore that could not eat or drink and I often spit up blood but I could still have that wonderful pinch between the cheek and gum. I have tried to quit several times but always reverted back because "I liked the taste" or "it helped me think", whatever! On December 25, 2001 at 5:00 p.m., I quit dipping Copenhagen for the first time in my entire life. With the help of Nicorette, Trident, and the support of my beautiful and loving girlfriend, I have quit dipping. I now enjoy food like I have never been able to before and my teeth are the healthiest they have ever been. I now know the freedom of being nicotine free. Thank you for having this web site because it has given me strength on more that one occasion.  
Hoss from Bama 20011231 If I can quit, anyone can. Alabama
J.T. 20020101 It is great to hit the 100 day milestone, which I have to say would not have been possible without the support, advice and camaraderie of all the quitters that visit the hallowed halls of the QS forum. While the cravings are gone for the most part, the occasional whisper from beyond urging me to take just one dip for old time's sake reminds me that the battle rages on, and we all have to continue to take it day by day. My story is basically the same as everyone else's, and I have "quit" and caved so many times that I can no longer count. In December 2001, I quit for a few days and chewed the nicotine gum like mad, then started right back up again. I promised myself I would quit (again) on New Years and for motivation, I surfed the Web for motivation. I stumbled on QuitSmokeless, and the rest is history. It has made all the difference to be able to be part of a community that understands just how difficult killing this monster can be. In tough times, just the knowledge that I would have to come back and admit to caving, setting my quittrack to zero, gave me enough of an edge to make it through.

For the new quitters, my advice is pretty simple -- read everything you can on this site. Read the archives and spend some time in the HOF. Pick any of the HOFers (or more than one if you have the time), do a search and follow them through their quitting process. Finally, hold yourself accountable - post, don't just lurk in the shadows. Remember, you have to take affirmative action to start chewing again, you make that decision and you can resist it. Despite what your urges might tell you early on, tobacco can't remedy something that made you angry, sad, depressed, etc. And know that the next dip may be the one that causes the sore that won't heal, and there's no going back after that. None of those are original thoughts - all are borrowed from the experts at QuitSmokeless.

Thanks to Matt for the site and to the numerous members that have supported me (even if it was unknowingly as I read the old posts). There are too many names to list, so thank you all.

WA
Tom 20020101 What started out as another half hearted attempt at the New Years resolution turned into the one that stuck, thanks in large part to me finding this board. My story is no different than a lot of people here, start young (12) chew more and more and it get's to be an addiction, like any other. Then after 16 years you find yourself scared that you fucked up your whole life, and for what? Same story, change the age started, the years dipped, whatever, we all fit in it. We all fit in this quit thing too. Whatever brought us here ( I think mine was a drunk night surfing the web for help) we are here and you are there reading what I wrote, and what everyone else is writing. Get what you need to get from here and do it. I look at guys chewing now and think that they look like idiot inbreds. As I put in a pinch of green tea that is. Someday they will see it also.

Well, I don't have much else to say, thanks to all, Don and Mike for there support, and talk to you later.

WI
ScooterG 20020101 Thanks again to Matt again for this website. 100 days is nothing to me as I did it last year The real test will be the next 100 days and so on. After I quit this time, I can really see the good things that have happened in my life. My body and mind are both in great shape. I can now play a 90 minute soccer game and not get winded, and also play 18 holes of golf without falling apart mentally after 7 or 8 holes. To all of you who are trying or have quit, keep on trying...you will never succeed if you do not try!!! Laters...ScooterG TX
Gumby 20020106 Got to thank Matt for the site first of all, Great Idea and a great service for all. I have made it this far before so I am not going to celebrate too much, must always remain on guard. For someone like me there is no "weekend dip". If I have one I will slide back quickly. I would also like to say cheers to the people who were around the most when I first started coming to the site. Cubby, hope you are in here with me one day later!! I will keep the beer cold!! Kroch, thanks for the help early on. My rugby team is one game away from nationals. If we win Saturday we are in!! Blair, Dutchman, Jogi, thanks for all the advice and words of wisdom. I know I am not posting as much lately, don't seem to have much to say. I am reading from time to time. Keep the faith everyone, you CAN make it.

Also, I am still keeping my deal with myself. If I decide I must dip again, then in order to have the dip I have to buy two cans. The first can I have to eat, all of it. Then I can have a dip out of the second can. Visualize it, it helps me through a crave. Take care all...

PS - The HOF bunnies are all that they were said to be!!!

Alabama
JP Texas 20020106 Not really sure where to start here with the famous HOF speech. I am just so happy to be here amongst some of the greats before me. I owe many things to Matt for this site and to all those that have helped me along the journey. Some of you may not have always directed your comments to me specifically but your words of advice, encouragement, funny stories, and enlightenment have hit me directly and that is the fundamentally purpose of this forum and site. I do apologize that I do not have the vernacular to give you some inspiring speech on quitting but can only give you what worked for me.

First. Don't be afraid of quitting. Make up your mind, then do it. Secondly: Visit this site daily. Read, soak, understand and POST. Third: 1st 48 hours are the hardest. After that, it's really manageable. (At least for me so stay positive) Forth: Most important-Change your behavior........if you do this, you will beat the demon.

My experience has been really modifying my behavior to all the things that I did while dipping. There is no reason to dip while driving, golfing, working at the computer, fishing, hunting, and so on and so on.

As for a confession. These past 100 days for me have been my second attempt at quitting, (I quite a few years ago for over a year) The main difference here is I wanted to stop this time. I have dipped a can a day for 10 years and it has ruled my life. I didn't want that anymore so I quite and you can to.

If you are reading my post and you are still dipping and on the fence. Jump down and quit today. NOW.

If you are reading my post and you are on you way to the HOF............good for you, You can do it. I'll hold the door open for you.

Thanks again to all that have helped me. Quitting does not end at 100 Days, you must keep on quitting every day from here on out.

I'll be back to check on you guys/gals

Keller, TX
Fuzzhead 20020107 I chewed tobacco starting at the age of thirteen up until January 7th, 2002. This was probably my 7th or 8th attempt at quitting. This time it finally worked. Here are my 10 secrets to success:

1. I siked myself up to quit. I kept thinking about the future, and how great it was going to be to be dip-free.

2. I decided that no matter what, I was done chewing. I told myself over and over "I don't chew any more".

3. I ordered the Dipstop program, and began doing it the day I got it.

4. I visited this site every chance i got.

5. I quit for me, and my health.....nothing else.

6. I set small goals for myself and rewarded myself for each goal I met.

7. I told everyone I know that I was quitting. This was very important because I turned into a real asshole for the first couple weeks.

8. I made a dentist and cancer screening appointment.

9. I decided I would start bleaching my teeth when I was done using Bacc-Off and SMC.

10. I took pride in my Quit Track and thought about how it would suck to have it go back to 0 and have to start all over again.

I could not have quit without Quitsmokeless.org, the Quit Track, the Dipstop program, Bacc-Off, Smokey Mountain Chew, and the patience and support from my family and friends.

Today is my 4 month anniversery and I can safely say that I have done it. I will never chew again. Instead, I will keep rewarding myself for not chewing.

Don't put it off any longer, psych yourself up and quit now !

SD
Cubby 20020107 I have spent the last 27 years of my life feeding an addiction that I could not satisfy, trapped by a demon inside my own body. It can be overcome. One hundred days ago seems like a lifetime ago to me now, but I am stronger, happier, more self confident and healthier in every way. I didn't think it was possible, but it is. Cubby Out Atlanta, GA
Keith 20020107 100 days of no dip feels great. I could never have gotten through the first four weeks without this website. Never wanted to go back to 0. Even when I thought, "well I could have just one dip." That is the lie that never allowed me to quit before. Could not let the brethren down!

I would like to thank everybody who ever posted and understood about all the trials and tribulations quitting this brutal habit. I especially want to thank my brother Darren. Darren, had you not encouraged me, and encouraged me and encouraged me to keep going to this site I would not be HOF today. I am sorry that the pack we made (that you stuck to) to quit together was broken by me back in November. Thanks for understanding. So you made HOF 41 days before I did and I am proud of you for that. Thanks for all the support.

And for all those who are wondering out there if Darren is really gay, HE ISN'T. I made the whole thing up.

Keep up the good fight. Congrats to all my graduating class, hope you all post today. CHUBBY IS OUT!

Raleigh, NC
JR 20020108 Scientific Facts, Antidotal Observations, and the Meaning of Quitting

Friends, there are only two things I can tell you here with any scientific certainty. First. Quitting tobacco today will greatly enhance the probability of your living a longer, healthier, and more prosperous life. Second. Scientists and laboratory mice across the country are just discovering the oral-cancer combating properties of green tea. But if you're reading this you already knew the first one (even if you don't care to admit it) and you probably need every advantage you can get with regard to the second. So what the hell, you've put stupider things into your mouth, drink green tea. Chew green tea. Gargle with green tea.

Viva antioxidants. Neutralize the free radicals. It's a Jihad against cancer.

Otherwise, the rest of this is just the meandering of a guy who is a 100 days ahead of where you need to be in a 100 days. So take it for what it is worth. There are no magic bullets here - just time and tenacity, both of which will be on your side if you let them.

But first things first.

You must know that starting today the gig is up.

In life there are but a few certain inalienable truths: "what goes up must come down," "E=mc2," "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction," "death and taxes." The one inalienable truth you should know about today is "everyone has to quit - eventually." Oh sure you may not quit today. You may not quit tomorrow. You may not quit for another 20 years. You may quit before you have to quit, or you may quit 10 minutes before the surgeon lops off a chunk of that tobacco chewing face of yours.

But you will quit. Everyone must quit eventually.

Today is as good a day as any other day to quit. So quit today. Quit tomorrow, quit yesterday, quit once, quit twice, quit five times if you have to. Quit cold turkey, quit with seeds, quit with candy, quit with whiskey, rum, and tequila. Quit with patches, gum, pills, hypnosis, magic crystals, transcendental meditation, or hyperbolic extension of intergalactic space travel. There must be 50 ways to quit tobacco. So choose one way, choose 50 ways but . . . . QUIT.

Quit now or quit at the urging of your oral surgeon. I did it the latter, you be smart and do the former.

Celebrate.

Don't be sad, don't despair if I did this you can too. Tobacco is the false friend who stabbed you in the back, robbed you, beat you, raped you, and left you for dead in a gutter on an unfamiliar street, in a country who's language you don't even speak. Mourn the passing of your friendship appropriately. Take yourself, take your loved ones, take your dog, or take your best friend out to dinner. Today, the day you quit tobacco - in all the adult years of your life - today, this day, it is the day you made the wisest decision you ever have, and may ever make. So celebrate.

Pray to your God. Seek the wisdom of your science. Do both! It can't hurt.

Breath deep. Exhale. This too shall pass.

Capitalize on the power and resolution of your conviction. Get mad, stand up, say your piece, shake your fist at the devil, talk the old bastard down. It's therapeutic. It's rejuvenating. But don't even worry about I'm saying today. You won't appreciate it until you stand back and look at yourself a 100 days from now. 100 days from now you will see yourself in a way that you simply cannot grasp today. Its something I just cannot communicate. You will see where you've been. You will see where you've come. It is beautiful. Trust me. I've been there. I've been here. It's better here than there.

But there are dark sides.

You must know full well there will be those who wish to undermine you. Weaken you. Justify their own weakness, addiction, and shortcomings. Understand too that friends come and friends go, but you only get one life. So act accordingly.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Don't quit for anyone but you. Who was it that was stuffing your face chock full of tobacco for the past twenty whatever years? Your wife and your children? Your girlfriend and your lover? It was you. And who is going to shout down the hobgoblin demon that belts you square between the eyes at 3:30 in morning shouting, "give me nicotine?" It is you.

Oh don't misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with wanting to quit so you can live to see your children's children, so you can spend more time with that beautiful wife, so you can retire and build a condo in Orlando or play golf in Arizona. But there is nobody but you to blame for getting you into this mess. There is nobody but you that is going to get you out of this mess.

So lets keep that straight.

Don't worry about cancer. Or worry like hell about cancer. But know this, as Mary Schmich once said, "Worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum." So make an appointment. See a dentist. In the law we call this mitigating your damages. In life we call it taking care of business. And here I call it stupid if you don't.

What if you have cancer? What if you don't? Maybe you'll get it. Maybe you won't. Maybe you'll climb Mt. Everest on your 100th birthday. Seriously my friend, life's consequences are half chance. Maybe you have good genetics. Maybe you don't. Maybe you quit in time. Maybe you didn't. Maybe you showed up for work early on September 11th maybe you didn't.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't shake, rattle and tilt the table as much as you can. So like I said G*R*E*E*N T*E*A

Remember what your Mother said.

Drink water. Lots of water. Take a vitamin supplement. Exercise. You will gain weight. But dead men tell no tales and fat men can loose weight. First things first is what I say.

And finally,

If you haven't visited Arlington National Cemetery once in your life, you should someday. It is an indescribably humbling realization to know you owe your life to so many whose faces you do not even know.

Of course I write as if tobacco is a uniquely American addition. It is not. If you come by this posting in a land, which is not mine, insert your own point of national pride here.

Either way, in time, you will regard the Quit Smokeless Cafe in the same way.

Oh sure, some Brothers and Sisters here will whine. Some will boast. Some are weak and some are arrogant. But in time you will know - so are you. This battle brings out the best and the worst of you.

In time you will need the Quit Smokeless Cafe less and less. But then at 5:30 in the afternoon, on a day that's yet to be announced, you will be blindsided by a sucker punch to the kidneys, t-boned at the busiest intersection in town. And when that day comes - and it will - know that, QuitSmokeless.Org will always be here for you.

I once thought I could list the names of every person who helped me in this journey. I realized I could not. Every man, every woman who has posted before today - I have read your post. If you post here tomorrow - I may read your post. To all of you I must thank you from the bottom of my heart. I do not even know your face but you may have saved my life.

This, my friend, is the circle of life. Welcome.

Good luck. God bless. Keep fighting the good fight.

John "JR" Proper April 17, 2002, 3:15 pm mst (100 days)
Scottsdale Arizona

Arizona
WS 20020108 Although Ive never posted, I read forum posts through out my 100 days. Thank you Matt for making it possible. With out this site, I dont know if I could have made it.

I wont bore everyone with a typical HOF post but to say that if I can beat the beast, anyone can. I agree with most of the posts Ive read throughout the 100 days. Especially those that said that the only way to quit is if you really want to.

Like many people, Ive tried multiple times over the past 12 years and could never do it. Not for a girlfriend, or later a wife, or even family. This time was different.

4 differences that led to my success:

#1 I deliberately waited until Jan 8th so that I could differentiate it from a typical New Year's resolution.

#2 In the first 2 days I cut way back (3 dips/day vs. 1 can/day)

#3 Because dipping is so psychological, those 3 dips I took, I made sure were at odd times. None when I woke up or after any meals.

#4 No one forced me to quit. I did it because I wanted to.

Just those 4 differences enabled me to quit this deadly habit absolutely cold turkey. No Smokey Mountain or BaccOff. No Nicorete gum or even the patch. Just a heavy helping of water, green tea (drinking not packing) and regular chewing gum.

The first week is hell and not a day goes by without missing it. But my will is so strong now, I couldnt possibly go back. Not even a "just this one time" dip. That is trouble.

SO, thank you all for your help. I owe it to you.

Denver
Jimmo 20020113

"Quit dipping"

I typed those two words into a search engine and it changed - possibly saved - my life. At the time I was 70-something days into my 137th (?) attempt to quit in the past 10 years. Like most of you, I had set quit dates based on special events: every New Year's Day, my birthday, my wife's birthday, the births of both of my children, etc. And, of course, I caved every time. Then, on 1/13/02 - a random Sunday - I ran out of Copenhagen. Needless to say, this was extremely distressing to a can-a-day, 18-year addict. But something in me said, "This is the day to quit. You had your last dip last night." No great fanfare, no red circle on the calendar, no ceremonial "final dip" (I'd already had about a million of those)…just a mental commitment to make it work this time.

My crutch was Nicorette. Some here feel that you haven't really quit if the nicotine demon is still coursing through your veins, but it worked for me. I promised myself that when the cravings got unbearable, I'd chew at least one piece of gum before I broke down and bought a can. I kept that promise and it's kept me out of the 7-11 every time, my friends. And like they say, "Whatever gets you through the day, as long as it's not a dip."

Then, through the grace of God and the technology of Google, I found myself at this site. I couldn't believe that there were so many people like me, fighting this addiction. I read and posted like a madman, marveling at how we all suffered the same mental and physical challenges and milestones on this journey…and how we all had similar stories about how we got hooked on this junk. I got some great advice from my newfound cohorts, including a strong suggestion that I get off the gum - and so I did. I found myself emailing "newbies" and offering my advice, and I felt a profound sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when they replied that my support was helping them. In truth, it was helping me as much as them. Because the true magic of this community - the thing that makes it work for all of us - is the fact that we feel committed to our fellow members as well as to ourselves. It's easy to let ourselves down, and we've all done it countless times in failed quit attempts. But coming here, sharing our struggles, offering support and advice…all of this raises the stakes and gives us the additional motivation and conviction we need to keep on quitting.

For those of you just starting on this journey, my only advice is to devour everything you can on this site. Most important, develop a relationship with your friends here and take the journey step by step with them. Raise your own stakes - it will make it easier to re-commit if you fail, and it will make it all the more glorious when you succeed and share your success with your fellow quitters. Check the Cancer Gallery every time you come here. Read posts from the HOF veterans describing how completely different your life will be when you're not spending so much time focusing on where/when you're going to be able to work in that next dip of snuff. Drink tons of water, exercise, eat mint, chew seeds or gum, stand on your head, whatever it takes…just do not ever put tobacco in your mouth again. And when you reach the HOF I challenge you to join the "Hundred for a Hundred" club by donating $100 to this site for helping you put 100 tobacco-free days behind you.

Now I've been nicotine-free for the longest time in my adult life and I owe it all to Matt and the community that we've all built here. I've never felt better about myself…physically and emotionally. I know I'll continue to have challenges and I'll have many opportunities to cave, but I won't let it happen because I've made a commitment to myself and to all of you here: I don't dip anymore. So here's my final farewell to that miserable old friend of mine who tried to kill me:

Ode on a Tin of Cope

What is about that little tin can,
Whose contents made me feel like a man?
Why is it that I got started on dip?
Whose idea was it to stuff that crap in my lip?

I started with Skoal like so many others,
Then stepped up to Cope with my fraternity brothers.
I loved the elation brought on by the snuff
Soon a can a day was barely enough.

Before I knew it, dip was just part of life.
It helped me to deal with everyday strife.
And the glorious feeling as it coursed through my veins,
My heart would be racing, causing minor chest pains.

And at work - how fantastic - hiding spit cans and jars,
How cool - I spilled brown spit in both of my cars!
The stains won't come out, and the odor still lingers
And how did I get the yellow stains off my fingers?

Yes, it was truly my own slice of heaven,
When I'd find an excuse to hit 7-11.
I'd pick up a can (but nothing to eat)
And a one-dollar Coke to dump out in the street.

And before I even pulled out of the lot,
I'd stuff in a fatty: "Ah, that hits the spot!"
Then it was back to the house, after the craving was fed,
But there was usually time for one more dip before bed.

When my first child was born I said, "No more dipping!"
Five days went by, and I found myself slipping.
I said to myself "One more week sure won't hurt."
And I filled up my lip with the cancerous dirt.

When our second came along, I knew it was time.
"I'll quit for good - 18 years is a crime!"
And I really stuck with it - for a month and a day.
I just couldn't do it…at least not that way.

Then I found this site, and it became clear
That people like me had found their way here.
United by fear, and one common goal -
To live a life free from Cope, Kodiak and Skoal.

We were all shocked by the pictures we saw,
Of dippers who'd lost a tongue, cheek or jaw.
And we all responded with a similar plea,
"Oh please God, don't let that happen to me."

So we "meet" here online, and offer advice
On how to keep clean, to conquer this vice.
We all want to quit, and we all have our ways
And we all keep close tabs on each other's days.

So pull up a keyboard, boot up your PC
You, too, can quit, that's a promise from me.
Though methods may vary, there's only one way:
You must tell yourself "I will not use tobacco today."

The days will add up - you'll be shocked at how fast
And your cravings will become a dull memory past.
But let me tell you the real truth my friend,
You're always one dip away from being addicted again.

So what do I now say about that little tin can?
I don't need you to make me a man.
And listen old friend as I make this prediction:
You'll never catch me again with your deadly addiction.

- Jimmo, Los Angeles

Los Angeles
Tom 20020125 100 days seems like a lifetime. The QS cafe is the reason I made it this far, and the reason that I will enjoy the rest of my life dip free. The QS cafe is you, on your good days and your bad ones. Props to all of you who are battling. Most of all props to Matt for this site. Must be pretty awesome to know you helped so many people.

There is no way I could personally name all the people who helped me, you all know who you are. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. For some truly eloquent prose and good advice, do a search on the Bluesman. He could always say what others were thinking, check out his HOF post.

Bottom line: Anyone can beat this addiction, just make it a priority. Explain to the people close to you, that it will be very hard on you and on them, but in the end it is the best thing you can do for yourself. Remember you owe the QS cafe, help those out that will follow you.

Seconds turn into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days... Enjoy them my friends. Thank you all for the positive impact on my life. Peace. Out.
OH
david j 20020126 My addiction to smokeless tobacco began when I was 25 years old; an age at which I should have known better. Most of us that have successfully quit agree that only one dip will likely lead back into a full-fledged addiction. I also believe that only one dip was necessary to begin my addiction, and that I spent the following 11 years trying to recreate that wonderful, spaced-out, relaxing yet exhilarating feeling I experienced from that first dip. As you all know, trying to achieve that "first-time" feeling is a fruitless endeavor and in the process I became fully addicted to nicotine while exposing myself to more cancer-causing toxins than I care to envision.

I have tried to quit many times, such as when I got married, when the wife and I moved to our first house, when each of my kids were born, and just about every New Years day. I'd last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, but always fell victim to the lie that "I could have just one dip" and not fall back into my normal dipping routine. This time, a few things were different: I trusted God to help me, I began training for and running marathons, and I became associated with the great people on the Quitsmokeless.org website. For those struggling to become or remain free of the tobacco addiction, never underestimate the power of prayer, a regular exercise program, and the support of people who understand your struggles. I am indebted to everyone on this website for encouraging me, motivating me, and holding me accountable to my promise to quit dipping. Special thanks to Matt for making this site possible.

Whenever it feels like the battle against the nicotine demon is getting too tough, DON'T GIVE IN, and remember: The pain is temporary, but the glory of accomplishment lasts forever.

Thanks to all--Dave

MI
Steve Davis 20020127 Thanks and love to my wife for supporting me emotionally and for your faith and patience. Quitting was not easy; I was a rage filled mess, as only you truly know during those first weeks of hell. Thank you my love!

My deepest gratitude goes to Matt van Wyk for creating this site. Matt, I could not have done it without your incredibly resourceful website. Thank you so much.

Thanks to all those wonderful people at the QS-Cafe who helped me with words of encouragement, and even chastised me when I deserved that. Thank you all more than words can say. There were times that reading a single post, saved me from myself. Again, thank you all!

Lastly, I just want to say that it is do-able. You can quit. I did it for my wife, my son, and myself. I love the life I am living now. Dip and smoke free is the only way to live.

CA
Mike 20020126 I finally made it to 100 days. I would like to thank all for the support I received. It is still a hard fight but a good one. The biggest support comes from the family. Thank You Michelle! SC
SJS 20020125 Big thanks to this website. I hope others will find there way to this website. It certainly gave me the boost I needed to stop dipping.  
mike261 20020127 100 days is the blink of an eye. 10 days is even less. The trick now is to make those ten days stay fresh in my mind. If i can remember the anguish of that time, I will keep my will strong. The farther you get from a dip the closer you get to a dip. I would like to thank all the guys who helped me, especially matt for the site and tom for his emails when i was jonesing big time. my next goal is to get through today without dip, and then it will be tomorrow, and that is how i will beat cope. I wish i could offer something more eloquent than this, But I just feel wicked good about this...mike261 NH
Brant 20020129 Wow! If there was one thing that I thought I could never do, it was to quit smokeless chew. By the grace of God, I found Matt van Wyk's Web site, QuitSmokeless.org. This Web site has literally changed my life! Thank you so much Matt! There aren't enough words to express my appreciation. Thanks to my wife, LaDonna, who put up with my crappy behavior while I was being weaned from nicotine and who is now happier with my personality that ever before.

Thanks to everyone who posted in the Cafe, and a special thanks to: J.T., Otown Dave, John Drake, Gumby, Blair, Shane, Hoyt, Tom, Mike261, Flippin, FuzzHead, Dutchman, Peter, Wally, Angler, Toadster, Steve Davis, Rick from Tampa, Plantercat, Steveman, Gizz, JP Texas, Viceless, Bates, Hankster, D K and JR. Without you guys, I would have never had the courage to quit. Thanks for pulling me through the hard times.

Alabama
Danin 20020131 I made the decision on 1/31/02 that I would never chew again. Yes, I had made this decision thousands of times before with no success so I thought maybe this would be like the others, however, something was very different this time. I had hit rock bottom! At 46 years of age and knowing I had smoked for around 12 years and chewed for about 12 or so, I bottomed out. Yes, I am college educated, have a white collar job, and drive a BMW but you know what? That doesn't mean shit to this filthy nasty addiction. I am no better than the junkie laying on the corner in a box with no home to go to! I was overweight, did not exercise, had high blood pressure, and spent most of the time very depressed! My little secret was unknown to most and silently killing me. The lies and torture and the destruction of quality time with my family was slowly eating at me like a cancer. I could take no more. February 1,like thousands! of times before, I threw away the shit and vowed to never touch it again. As I read back through my posts, I sound like an idiot, but you know what? I was an idiot. I would have rather died than give up chewing but something, somehow kept me going. With the help of this site, somehow I made it. A little at a time but the days began to grow. I became obsessed with quitting. Today at day 100 I am happy to say, that I have lost 28 pounds, given up caffeine, started exercising 4 times a week, and have a completely brand new outlook on life. I no longer am depressed, I feel like my skin looks better. I am not embarrassed by my teeth, fingers, flakes in my car, breath, etc. I can now enjoy life. I have smelled spring for the first time in many years. I do not have to make excuses to drive places alone. I probably have not posted as often as I could have, but I have not missed reading any posts in the 100 days since I quit. I know I will never return to tobacco as I now love my life. Thanks Matt for your gift of life! IN
Pup 20020201 I wasn't sure that I should write anything for the Hall of Fame. So many men have come before me and made such eloquent statements that I didn't think I had much to add. But there were two things that I have heard here lately that changed my mind. Jimmo pointed out last week that now that he is in the Hall of Fame posting gives him an extra reason to stay strong - that he would look bad if he ever dipped again. He has a good point - if I don't go into the Hall of Fame quietly it will mean that I will lose face if I slip again. If that thought keeps me from dipping again and thus I don't literally end up losing my face, so much the better. Another was when I wrote that a poster should continue to write in the forum because you never know if saying what you say the way you say it might be the key for one of our brothers. I would be shocked if that were true for me, but you never know.

It's been a struggle for these last 100 days, especially the first few weeks, and I know that I am not out of the woods yet, but I feel so much freer and more alive that I'm certain that I do not want to go back. I don't have a stupid tin dragging me down, turning passionate kisses to pecks on the cheek because I have a dip in, fouling my teeth and breath, causing soreness and perhaps the big C, and making me shake and squirm if I go a few hours without. I certainly do not want to go through day three of quiting again and I know that one dip or one cigar could be enough to throw my addiction switch and get me back into dipping full time, so I am going to avoid it at all costs.

Here's what I did to get to day 100:

  • I picked a quit date and rallied support of my family around it. I chose a Friday on which I didn't have to work so that I wouldn't have to face the world for the first three days and I had my quit aides ready.
  • I used the nicotine patch. I used it for the full recommended course listed for heavy smokers exactly according to the instructions. As an addict, I really had no business regulating how I consumed the drug so I figured I had better just follow instructions. This made it quite a bit easier at first, but also stretched out the amount of time it took to kick.
  • I took it easy on myself. I let myself be a big crybaby sometimes. I let myself be angry. I let myself take the day off from work and hide a couple of times. I let myself eat like a pig. I let myself use SMC and Altoids like a security blanket. I let myself do ANYTHING BUT use tobacco.
  • I posted on here every weekday from about 9 weeks on. I didn't find the site until I was eight weeks in, but since then it has been invaluable. I wish I had found this site for day one. Posting on here has helped keep me in line and it has been motivating to support my brothers here.

Thank you Matt for the site. Thank all of you for your support. It's great to be free - if you are not free, get here. It will be worth it.

Peace,
jef

Los Angeles
Peter 20020202 I had some cool speech all planned out for when I reached the HOF. It was gonna bring a tear to your eye, and determination in your brow. But as I began typing out my masterpiece, I realized I was the one with a tear in my eye and determination in my brow. The tear was for all the times I just couldn't quit tobacco. The times I felt that cancer and death were all that awaited me. The times when new sores in my mouth didn't bring about the cancer fear. The times I didn't care about the spilled spit bottles, the yellow teeth, the embarrassment. The times my closet habit was almost exposed. The times, the times, the times.

I wasted so much time on smokeless tobacco. Time that I will never get back. There were nights when I would leave my wife's side just to get that one last hit. There were times I would leave early from a dinner with my parents so I could pack one. There were times I would not ride my scooter, not tend the yard, not call a friend just so I could pack my lip one last time. And what did I get for my devotion to the can? Nothing. It was time I couldn't control because I was, and am addict. So it came time for God to help me out.

Thankfully, He showed me to Matt's site. And that was when a miracle happened for me. Even though I wasn't 'ready' to quit and had given up on quitting, I did quit just days later. The first few weeks were tough. There is no denying that. I fought with everyone, packed on the pounds, developed insomnia, obsessed over the persistent mouth sores, packed fake dip in my mouth like it was bubblegum, and toughest of all: Made the call for a dentist appointment. You see, up until I quit, I figured if ignorance was bliss I wanted to be ecstatic about my chances of having cancer. But, the Good Lord had given me determination in my brow. He had done so by using fellow quitters on QuitSmokeless to keep me honest and to face my fears. And while it was difficult to quit, every morning I woke up tobacco free made me proud of myself. And that was good medicine.

So now I look back over my 100 days and realize how much I have accomplished. I am no longer a slave to tobacco. I no longer have to fear my 'secret' getting out. I don't have to check out the convenience store to make sure no one I know is around. I no longer have to do a lot of things I don't like because I am no longer owned by tobacco. And the pride I feel in myself and others who have chosen to quit lets me know I have made the right choice. And it helps that I am just happier with life than I ever was when I was dipping. It is a good feeling when someone knocks on the door at our house and I don't have to spend frantic minutes spitting and washing up. What a feeling.

I started like most people. One dip at a time. I was in control and could quit any time I wanted. And I was going to after one more dip. That was almost 20 years ago. I wasn't in control until I came to QuitSmokeless and found other folks like me who hated what was happening to their lives. And thanks to fellow quitters like Gizz, Hankster, Danin and Tom, I can say that I have quit tobacco and regained control of my life.

 
The Hankster 20020203 The day that signifies a rebirth so to speak. A day that validates one thing that I thought was never achievable! Determination. Discipline. Commitment. Those words, for a large part of my life, were just that, words. They did not have meaning, I had no real experiences to relate them to, no history that allowed me a sense of ownership. That is until the day I found Matt and his site.

For so many of my years, I have felt alone with the personal demons and battles that waged inside my mind. I knew dipping was a coping mechanism, a dependence I had created to compensate for a lost coping skill. In college, I was invincible. The cancer won't get me! I am too young to die. Then I met the woman of my life and "promised" to quit when we got married. Can you believe I had a dip in my mouth two minutes before my wedding! Next came the first daughter, the singular most defining moment in my life. Being adopted (I have often wondered if that was the void the dip filled), I had never seen a person of my own flesh, of my own blood. Before my eyes was the first human being in 28 years that was a blood relative! What a thrilling moment in my life. It was at that moment that quitting first became real to me. The facts of my life were undeniable. I had to beat this monster.

I quit for ninety days after the birth of my first daughter. I also began the search for my biological parents. My biological mother would not meet me, but my biological father happily agreed. Thirty minutes before I was to meet him, I cratered in a little town outside of Yellowstone National Park. Bought a can of skoal long mint and was back at it again at full force. Ninety days were gone, the sense of self-defeat, the shame associated with returning to the can. Instead of fighting back by quitting again, my sense of shame led me further into the can, so much so that after a couple of weeks, I pushed back into the dark parts of my mind the thought of quitting. It would not raise it's ugly head again. I needed the can in my life. It was the "power" that allowed me to get through each day. Damned if I was going to give up that "secret life sustenance".

But you see, it never went away in my mind. From little whispers some days to loud and blood-curdling screams on others, the battle for my soul was waged each day in parts of my mind that I dare not visit often. The dread, the guilt, the pain, the sorrow, the weight, the ugliness, it all wore me down each day to the point where it was difficult for me to find joy in life. I had to get free of this monster. And then, the birth of my second daughter. So much more fulfilling because we had a miscarriage a couple of years before. The joy that was missing returned in a strong and passionate way. It allowed, for a brief moment, a window into the true meaning of being here, of walking on this earth.

Not too soon afterwards, I learned my (adoptive) Dad's prostate cancer had returned. It had returned after a two year absence and the diagnosis was not good. It was a matter of time. But time was shorter than we had ever dreamed. This news reinforced the notion that I "needed" the can to get through life. It was how I was going to be strong for him, how I was going to be strong for those in my family. As the oldest and the son, the weight fell to me to lead. The pressure was immense from a career perspective. At the time I was 1000 miles away. I had to make the decision: return home and sacrifice a blossoming career or stay and listen by phone as my Dad faded away. After six months of mental battles, the decision was made. My place was with my family. It was the call for me in my life. It was time to go home.

I returned home and found Dad living with a cancer that would kill him. He struggles with his mortality each day. Through it all, he laughs, smiles and loves, taking in the great things about being alive. It was at this point that I saw the courage and strength in my Dad and realized that we all are faced with our own unique battles in life. One of my battles was with the skoal can. It ruled my life when there were so many more things that should be the focus.

Then it happened. I was sitting at home one night at 10pm and found Matt's site. I then discovered I only had one more pinch left in the can. This had happened to me hundreds of times before. I wanted a dip now and one first thing in the morning so a decision had to be made. What I thought was the only decision up until this point: Do I go now to the store for my can or first thing in the morning? But this night, something moved through me. The stories of struggles by folks just like me. The words of pain, support, struggles and victories. I know many of you will think I am strange, but I can only speak the truth. The Holy Spirit moved through me via Matt's site and showed me a different choice, one that seemed very right and true: I could quit dipping all together! Oh how I had thought about quitting over the sixteen years. But this time it was different. I felt the strength to succeed. The passion to succeed.............................

And here we are, 100 days later and I am free from the can. Folks, for my entire life, I have been a rational, logical, realistic man of this world. But I can only say that God through the Holy Spirit brought me to Matt's site which allowed me to realize that there are many wonderful people out there caught in my same addiction. Matt's site gives us all the opportunity to be open about our feelings and challenges from the comfort of our own homes. It is truly a shining example of the power of the internet age.

To those of you just beginning, it can be done. It will hurt and there will be difficult times ahead. Just remember, to date, I have never heard of someone dying because they DID NOT have a pinch. I know many have died because they did! To those of you mid-way through, you should be seeing the light. Don't give up. It feels great to hit the 100 day mark. To those of you who went much longer and fell, there is no judgement here at quitsmokeless. We all welcome you back with open arms and stand ready to assist you in your continued struggle.

I thank all of those at quitsmokeless (too many to name) for their honest, open, personal stories about their journey. I want to thank Matt for his great wisdom and love in creating this site and making people's dreams come true. My last thank you to the quitsmokeless crowd is to GIZZ! Gizz, you were my quit brother. You held me accountable each and every day along the way to the HOF. I want to thank you for that and wish you all the blessings in the future. I will always remember you and think of you. We are quit brothers. May we never fall!

I want to thank my wife and two daughters for their unconditional love, patience, support and concern. Without them and because of them, I would not have had the inspiration and motivation to act. Lastly, I give thanks to Jesus Christ for loving me and dying for the forgiveness of my sins. All things are truly possible through the Lord!

Ride Hard folks!

The Hankster

TX
gizz 20020203 Hmmmm, where to start........

How bout "Thanks Matt". Yeah that fits. For some reason you hated the addiction to the point that you unselfishly started this site. You knew how hard it was to quit cause you had to do it alone. I now feel a little ashamed that I wasn't there for you when you were struggling. Those times must've been a real test of your soul cause it was only "You against it". Nobody to email back and forth, no answers to those tough "when is..." and "when will it..." questions. I owe a pile to you for creating this site for people like me. A very sincere "THANK YOU".

By the grace of god and good fortune I stumbled upon this site last October while looking for the Holy Grail of Quitting smokeless tobacco. I took me until February to come back cause I never did find that "easy way out" Holy Grail plan or method but i did find something even better....I found Quitsmokeless.org and a bunch of guys and gals just like me; tobacco addicts trying to kick the can. At first I thought "what's this guy trying to sell?" then as i clicked the FORUM I opened the door to the place that would end 20+ years of addiction to skoal.

My present and future quit brothers, I truly am humbled by the help and encouragement i received from everyone, without you this site would be MEANINGLESS and i know I'd still be addicted. You are the reason i have broken the 20+ year chain. To you ALL(Past, Present, Future), I am forever indebted. Call on me anytime for anything, I'm there.

For some reason today seems different than most of the other 99 quit days. I don't feel the jubilation like i thought I would or the "it's finally over" feeling. Rather, I think I now understand what it takes and what it will continue to take in order to stay on top of this wretched addiction. I stand ready to take the battle to the next level, this is serious life altering business and I understand it for what it is. I am committed to winning this war and my resolve remains unaltered.

"Life is so much better without tobacco". A statement i didn't understand and couldn't even comprehend 100 days ago. That gut wrenching feeling of "How am i ever gonna be able to......" without tobacco has been answered. The answer is simple, I still enjoy them! Yes, the first time i started working on my old truck in the garage i did so by reaching in my pocket for the can. I chuckled to myself when i realized that I didn't dip anymore. I DID NOT go back to the house wimpering about how it wasn't gonna be fun anymore but rather i took it head-on and in a matter of minutes the urge passed and I was enjoying my hobbie more than ever. This has been the case with all of my activities. So my understanding of this association we all have with dip and activities is that it only exists in our minds. My new view of this association goes like this: Tobacco gets no credit for how much i enjoy my hobbies and activites - NONE.

I don't like to single out anyone cause this has truly been a team effort....but.... A Special "Thanks" is in order to "The Hankster". Hankster took it upon himself to carry me through the toughest times. His timely emails always seemed to be what i needed at the utmost time. We made a deal and that deal is lifelong going forward. For you dude i say "Ride Hard".

Those contemplating on quitting: You need to do this for yourself, first and formemost, and if that ain't enough then think about those around you that depend upon you and your daily interactions. If you continue to dip sooner or later that may all change. I don't like to preach and so i won't. I know firsthand how hard it is to quit and there is NO SHAME in the struggles that quitting bestows upon us. My motto from the start was and still is "Whatever it takes"......Onwards we go, Gizz.

5/13/02

PA
ice 20020207 day 100 a miracle that would have never happened without this site! i want to thank anyone and everyone associated with this site as well as everyone who supported me on and off of this site. there are alot of goals and dreams we set and this site gave me the ability to realize a life without copenhagen. i wont lie it is somthing i miss from time to time the action that is. i dont miss the addiction by any stretch!there are still triggers that i have but i manage them because it is no longer an addiction but a choice.i chose no copenhagen! thanks to my wife and my family for going through the month of hell i know i put them through but we made it togeather! and thanks to quitsmokeless.org

sal(ice)farina from phoenix

Phoenix AZ
Matt 20020211 Today I have reached the promise land!! This process all started during the first week of February after I had hernia surgery. I knew I had a problem when I was home from the hospital for about an hour when i painfully hopped into my car and went to the gas station to buy, what turned out, to be my last tin!

On February 10th 2002, I wrote in "quit dipping" into a general search and came upon this site. The next day February 11th, I vowed to never dip tobacco again. A miracle? divine intervention? luck? Call it what you want but this site helped me to quit a ten year addiction and probably saved my life! THANK YOU!

CT
BTB 20020213 What an incredible accomplishment. Fifteen years of a habit is not easy to stop. Without the incredible wealth of knowledge, advice and support of FRIENDS on this site, I would not have made one hour. My motivation that finally got me to put down the tin was the big guy above and a close friend getting diagnosed with cancer. Both are still with me today and continue to be my main inspiration. Matt, thanks. What a great idea and network for support. Thanks to anyone and everyone who has posted during the past 100 days. I think I was able to either learn or relate from each post. Every thought matters. GIZZ, RICK, CUBBY, BLUESMAN, THE CALGARY BOYS, HANKSTER, DANIN to name just a few. Thanks for the help along the way. I know this is the first step. How many floors are their to the HOF? I know three for sure and can't wait to keep moving on up! I have to remember, once an addict always an addict. Yet, I found one instance where quitters are winners!!! The battle will never be done as I will always be....

BeatingTheBear

MN
64Spitfire 20020216 I am not the most eloquent guy so it is hard for me to express the joy I feel on kicking a 24-year snuff habit. I truly believed I could never quit, I was afraid of the person I would be without tobacco. But, I was more afraid of the person I would become if I didn't quit.I feared for my long-term health, my family's welfare if I was no longer able to provide for them, and I feared that if I did not lead by example my boys would pick up this god-awful habit in the coming years. These feelings are what prompted me to begin a search for a method to quit smokeless tobacco.

That search led me to this site and this site placed me on the path to success. They say with knowledge comes power and this forum provided the knowledge that empowered me to succeed. Reading all the posts from those who both succeeded and failed clearly defined the coming battles and strategies required to win this war. I cannot thank Matt enough for creating this site. I truly believe that this site coupled with all the people that participate in the forum have saved my life. I pray that some day I'll be able to give back half as much as I've taken from this site. I am a far better husband, father, and person without tobacco than I ever was with it. I will not dip again, I AM DONE!

 
J Allen 20020211 I'm at 104 days and surprisingly, the last 30 or so have been the hardest. Unlike most, I rely on the quittracker, rather than the forum, for motivation and to keep me honest. I have this page referenced as "demon" in my favorites list and whenever I feel an urge, I click in to track my progress. I'll check in at 200. . .  
Mr. P 20020219 How to start with the HOF speech? I spent 15 years of my life doing just about everything in life with a big dip in my mouth. The last 10 years my addiction was up to at least a can of day. Like many on this forum, I wanted to quit for years but just couldn't get there. I wasn't showing any symptoms of cancer or other health effects but it was only a matter of time. Only a matter of time until I would have to explain to those I love that I couldn't control my addiction and I willingly decided to destroy my life. Then one day the price for a can went to over 4 bucks, my wife was about 8 months pregnant, and I started a new job. The spark was fired. I decided to quit.

It was my decision and really I did it for myself and no one else. It was my choice to leave tobacco and it was my own actions that were causing the anxiety and withdrawal symptoms I was experiencing. I wasn't suffering because of some oppressive action by someone else. This is my decision. I was choosing to do this and I was in control. Everyday got a little easier. A few bumps here and there, but I got stronger and it got weaker.

So now after 100 days I am in the Hall of Fame. What does this mean? Am I cured of my addiction? Are the cravings completely gone? The simple truth to the matter is no. One hundred days is just a benchmark and the success of my continued quit can still be considered to be balanced on the head of a pin. Although the back breaking cravings from the first week one are far behind me, one little slip and I will fall back into daily routine of feeding a monster that will slowly take my life. I actually woke this morning after 100 days and briefly thought about getting a can to celebrate my hard earned accomplishment.

Having said all that, I challenge any of you reading this to join me. I dare you to reach 100 days without the can. Make the decision and fight like you have never fought before and turn the temptations into your inspirations. You have the ability to take control and make the decision to quit. The QS Café is here to help you but it is the end, you have to decide. Life out from under the can is possible and you really do have the feelings of being free. Thanks to all for the support. Mr. P

KS
Steveman 20020219 About 20 years ago in a small town in Kansas I made the mistake of buying my first can. I was in Jr High and it seemed like the thing to do, besides, I'm invincible right. I was known for dippin in high school, some teachers even let us dip in class, can't quit now. College, oh I'll quit after I graduate, because college and dippin go together like cancer and chemo. Grad school is tough, I'm gonna need to dip for just a couple more years, plus it helps me study. You know, I think I'll try quitting when I have kids, wouldn't want to be a bad example and all. This quitting stuff is harder than I though, I'll wait till my son is a little older. I'd better wait until things slow down at work, it would be way to stressful to start now. Oh damn, I forgot, I'm going fishing this weekend so I'll just quit next Monday. ....Sound familiar? When it comes to quitting, excuses are like assholes, we all have 'em and most of them stink.

How did a guy like me with more excuses than sense finally come to quit for 100 days. Well I'll tell you, I was just getting pumped up for my monthly quit. I had one last can to chew and I told the wife, " I'm quitting, this time I mean it...stop laughing, after I finish this can I'm gonna whoop this thing, seriously it's not that funny." Then it happened, I found this quitsmokeless website and read some of the stories. Hey, these stories sound familiar, and some of these folks are actually making it longer than a week without the weed. I must find out how they do that. Well that was it, I started reading the posts and getting encouragement from the other quitters, when I had the rage I could come here and type and when I was overcome by cravings I would take a trip to the cancer gallery, yea that's a look I want. Now at 100 days, I'm just looking forward to tomorrow. I still have cravings and I'm sure I always will but I've learned how to deal with them so I don't rip my fingernails off anymore.

So what's my secret? I will not dip. It's as simple and as complex as that. I will eat a dozen doughnuts, chew a pack of gum, drink a quart of water, or bang my head against the wall, but I will not dip. I drink ton's of water and in the evenings when the cravings hit, I put on some music and work out or run until I'm too tired to dip. My wife thinks I'm addicted to excersize now, that's ok because she also says I look better than ever. I rarely chew seeds and at 100 days I've lost all the weight that I gained from the doughnuts. By the way I couldn't find a website to get me off the doughnuts, I had to kick that habit alone.

Thanks to Matt and all the wonderful folks who grace the pages of this website. It's been said before, but I couldn't have done it without you. After 20 yrs I finally found something that works, oh and I will not dip again. Thanks again.

KC
Daddy 20020217 2472 Hours, $660 spent on other things. Spending more time with my family. Realized that I wasn't spend time with my family before, I was chewing tobacco and my family just happened to be there.  
Rick 20020225 This is my story and I'm stickin to it.... I really can't remember an exact day that I first tried smokeless tobacco. I know that I was about 13 years old and I started with Silver Creek. It was sweet and it couldn't even come close to being as bad for you as smoking, right? I am sure at some point in time there was peer pressure and I caved into it. So did a few of my friends. For some of them it stuck and they kept dipping for others they were lucky enough that they never got hooked. It was something that bonded us together. An activity that we shared and had in common. To become a 'man' we spat tobacco. During school, after school, hanging out it didn't matter. We perceived it to be cool. Back then, there was little or no talk about it being addictive or dangerous. That was 21 years ago.

Soon it was Skoal and just before college it was Copenhagen. I was a serious athlete. I swam competitively, played football and track. Dipping was enhancing my performance, I was certain of it. Those burnout's that smoked cigarettes were stupid, they didn't know how much better Copenhagen was. I felt unbreakable as most teenagers do. If anyone ever thought to tell me it was bad for me, I defended my actions. I told them that I wasn't harming them. That dip was much better than smoking because it didn't give off any second hand smoke. It didn't harm anyone. The rings in my jeans showed my strength as a male. It was a badge of testosterone. Dipping was who I was and defined me as a strong, heterosexual male.

I was lucky enough to meet and marry a beautiful woman. She rarely questioned my habit. I remember her telling me she thought I looked cool when I dipped. She had to accept my habit as part of the package deal and conversations about me quitting were short. I would always nip them in the bud with excuses like.. "Its my only vice" or "No one really gets cancer from dipping" or "It's not hurting anyone". I truly believed these things. After seven years of marriage we had a baby boy and 3 years later, another boy. Neither one of those events inspired me to quit chewing Copenhagen.

To this day, I don't recall what it was that made me want to stop. I think it was a feeling that came over me that I was tired of it. I was sick of being tied to a can of tobacco to derive so called 'pleasure'. I had come to hate the way my gums ached everyday. I hated the fact that my teeth never really became white when I brushed them and they bled if I brushed too hard. The fact that I had cup after cup around my house to make it convenient to spit. I hated the idea that when I had about 3 or 4 dips left in a can, I would feel nervous if I didn't go get another can to 'back up' the old one. I hated the grains of tobacco all over my car interior. I hated the fact that I couldn't carry my new born son, his bottle and my cup at the same time. I would sit there, with a mouth full of spit, mad at him because he didn't eat fast enough. I didn't like that my 3 year old would get out of the tub and pretend to spit in my cup next to the bath tub because he saw Daddy doing it. I hated that if I went more than an hour without a dip and snapped at my wife or family about something stupid, my wife would tell me that I am being jerk and to go get a chew. (now she just tells me I am being a jerk, without the last part).

I was sitting at my desk when I decided to surf the web. Honestly, I had found the Quit Smokeless website once in the past and had book marked it. I read through it, looked at the pictures and read the articles before. But this time, I did something different. I posted on the QS Forum. I told whoever was out there that I wanted to quit, that I hated this addiction and I didn't know how I was ever going to stop. Within minutes I was overwhelmed at the many responses I received not only on the web site but through personal emails. The fact that these people took time out of their lives to email me suggestions on how to make it through the night without chewing absolutely blew me away. They wanted nothing from me other than my honest effort to free myself from this horrible addiction. It was the first time I had ever heard of other people experiencing the same struggles as me. I was hooked into quitting almost immediately.

But I had "been-there, done-that" many times and I had no idea how to quit. I read through the web site and all the links and there are suggestions and things, but no where is there a book or a manual that says, 'Day 1.. do this'. Thats where the web site came in handy. See everyone quits for different reasons and different quit-aides work for some people and not for others. There is no secret success formula. I knew for me, there was only one way to do it and do it for good. I decided that if I was going to make this last I had to change alot. I stopped eating foods that were bad for me. I started on a high protein, low carb diet. (Before this, I didn't even know what had protein in it and what didn't). I stopped drinking soda's and coffee. I joined a gym on the way home that evening and signed up for a few sessions with a personal trainer that would set me on a workout routine. I started drinking water like there was no tomorrow. Water, water, water and more water. It took my mind off it. I was drinking more than 10 bottles of water a day at 17 oz's each. Everytime I thought about dipping Copenhagen, I took a swig. Of course this led to alot of trips to the bathroom, which occupied my brain in other ways too. I never went to the patch or nicotine gum, my opinion was that I didn't want to replace one habit with the other. I used Smokey Mountain Chew for about the first two weeks, to accompany me when I was in situations where gum and seeds just couldn't cut it. Like golfing, cutting grass, movies, sitting at my computer, driving, breathing, shaving, sitting on the toilet and just about any other time that reminded me of chewing.

But even the best laid plans won't work without determination. Alot of people come to the web site and expect to find a miracle. There are none. What I found was that ultimately, I was the one quitting. I was the one driving past the gas station and not buying the dip. I was the one saying chew or don't chew. I had to change my mindset so that no matter if the world ended today, there would be one constant in my life... and that was the idea that I was not going to put tobacco in my mouth that day. No one can put that determination in you, except you. No wife, no girlfriend, no family member will ever talk you into quitting until you are ready. Believe me. So, I printed out the emails from fellow quitters and carried them with me. I kept pictures of my kids with me. I played mock conversations in my head, explaining to my wife and children that Daddy wouldn't be around for them because I was not strong enough to fight off the temptation of a can of tobacco. I imagined not being there to see them grow up, graduate, get married and have kids. Try it sometime. Every single morning when I looked in the mirror I told myself 'I will not dip today and I will not dip tomorrow'. I still do that. As many times a day as it takes.

I have to admit, it was not easy. I had it all going on. Night sweats, withdrawal symptoms, "Dip-Rage", constipation, nervousness, lack of concentration and panic attacks. I faced each one with more and more determination. I posted on the QS Forum like there was no tomorrow. (Those of you that have read my information know that I was never short for words, re: The BLUESMAN). But it helped ease the pain. I felt stronger with each post. I stayed close to the web site. I was lucky enough to have Matt accept my suggestion to add the "Dollars Saved" to the Quit Track and it gave me a sense of giving something back to my fellow quitters. Everytime I see my dollars climbing higher and higher, I feel a small sense of accomplishment.

I owe alot to the people that helped me in my battle... Without specifics they are THE BLUESMAN, Shane, Gary, Brant, Plantercat, JR from Arizona, Gizz, Dan in PA, TomW in OH, Jon, Indy Scott, Mark in NM, LFH, Bryan, Hoyt, Dave Savoca (Pres of Smokey Mountain), BeatingTheBear(BTB), Cubby, Randy in Indiana, BATES, Tractorman, FISH, JP, MC, Jimmo, Philip, LF, Mr. P, Kevin, The DipSlayer, Law and Kyle.. I am sure I missed someone in there and I apologize. You have no idea how much strength you have given me. I would be extremely wrong to not thank the brains behind the whole operation and that is Matt van Wyk, without none of this would be attainable. I owe my life to him as well as all of you that have been there to listen to me ramble. I draw more strength from posting that you do from reading, believe me.

I hope to have had my last dip on Feb 25th 2002. I hope to never have to worry about the rough patches in my mouth. I hope to never have a sore throat that I have to wonder about. But most of all, I hope that my involvement here has inspired someone else to give up chewing tobacco and Stay Strong!

Tampa
Brad 20020225 When I first quit things were difficult. I had a lot of depression almost hourly. I would be in a great mood then things would be crappy. I chewed a lot of sunflower seeds sometimes until my mouth was sore. I went through the SMC like crazy at first. As many others have said the dependency on these things will diminish. Things got better and the mood swings started to go away. I have less dependence on my crutches including this site.

Today I got an e-mail from Bates telling me I had reached 100 days. I had a friend from church who had quit smoking and chewing a few years ago ask me how I was doing. I told him I was at approximately 60 days and he asked why even keep track anymore. After that I think that my mindset changed. I got busy at work and home and my time on the computer dropped to where I checked the QS website about once a week or less. I bought two cans of SMC about two months ago. I have barely touched the second can and will probably throw it out soon. Sunday afternoon while working at a demolition derby one of my fellow firefighters opened up a can of Skoal about 15 feet away from me and it made me sick. I think that I have reached the point where I can say that I am winning. The fight is never over though.

To those just starting it can be a rough way to go when you quit but trust me, in the end it is worth the effort. I've said it before and I will say it again, no more of this sh*t for me.

IN
JM 20020227 As children we learned to chew and dip. As adults we have chosen to learn new behavior, without tobacco. The path can be hard but it is worth the try. For each reason that can be found to justify caving in there are a dozen better reasons to justify staying the course. If quitting were easy, who would UST be selling to? CO
Bates 20020301 100 days. 2400 hours. 144000 minutes. 8640000 seconds. Who knew!!!

I, however, deserve only so much credit for this victory. You see there are many individuals much stronger than I, whose contributions, in their totality, enabled a simple man like myself to achieve such a lofty goal. Individuals such as Matt Van Wyk himself.

Matt, there is positively no doubt in my mind that I would not have quit had it not been for your site, your vision and your compassion toward your fellow man. This site is quite simply the deciding factor in the lives of many. The ONLY deciding factor for those addicted to smokeless tobacco. To you sir, I owe an awesome debt.

Individuals like Rick in Tampa, who was positively invaluable and remains a true friend, a person with which I have weathered a mighty storm. Individuals like JR, who reminded me that dipping is a dangerous, dangerous decision, with heavy consequences. Individuals like Mark in NM and Luke and Ranger in West Virginia, who taught me that adversity is no match for a strong will and fierce heart. Along the way, I met Plantercat, who taught me about what it means to conduct yourself with class. And Bluesman, who taught me a little something about the importance of "giving back". And let's not forget Jogi, whose knack for diplomacy and good will has made this board a better place for all. How about Gizz and Dutchman in PA, who gave me role models to identify with. And how about Zach, whose stories I so closely identified with that I was at times almost frightened. There's Pup and Jimmo in California who came on board late in my quit and showed me that the 80 day craves can be successfully traversed. What about Bassin, with whom I shared stories about my true passion, the great outdoors, to pass the time during craves. Out-of-bounds, who taught me to open myself up to my fellow quitters, risks be damned, for the reward can be great. I will never forget his email after my very first post, in which he gave me his telephone number. I never called him, but I never forgot it either. Viceless, who I shared "closet-dipping" tales with. How about Otown Dave, who unselfishly stuck with me (and many others) long after he'd passed the 100 day mark. And Cabbagetowner, who took a special interest in my quit right from the start. Then there's Fish (my PA brother) and Bribot (a Browns fan, but still a decent enuf guy) and LF (the coattail rider himself) and the poster-formerly-known-as-MikeY and olywa Mike G. (who just HAS to be my separated at birth twin brother) and Jerry (Big Gimp) (who will never be my agent) and Otter (the Vitamin & Herb Nazi) and all of the other younger quitters who reminded me, as Jogi likes to say, just how close the rubber is to the road.

I would like to thank all who tolerated my sometimes annoying, sometimes incoherent, sometimes condescending, always smart-assed posts without so much as a complaint. It is you folks that who are as much responsible for this as I, and it is a debt that I cannot even begin to repay. I will begin, however, by not letting you down. By not tarnishing the integrity of this site. By not using tobacco ever again.

Finally, I would like to thank my wife and son, who will probably never read this. You have endured 100 days of hell because I chose, many years ago, to experiment with a stupid can filled addictive, cancer-causing, life-shortening plant matter. I wish I could give you those 100 days back and all of the days that preceded them, when I was often more concerned about getting my fix than focusing on you. You two are my everything. I will spend the rest of my days paying you back.

That is all.
Bates is done.

PA
Mark in NM 20020303 I'll try to be brief but it may be tough. For me this is a day I thought I'd never see. For you guys that don't know my story, I'll summarrize. I had dipped for 24 years. I started by slipping around my parents and sneaking a dip wherever I could. Before too long I noticed that it was cool to say that you were hooked and I began using that phrase. Before too long I was addicted and I began one of my seven thousand quit attempts. Nothing seemed to work, but I really didn't care. Walt Garrison and me still knew how to r-e-l-a-x. I had no problems until graduating from college as a teacher and a coach. It was then that I became more serious in my Christian walk with the Lord. In a short time I felt like God was calling me to be a preacher. Now there was trouble! A preacher addicted to Copenhagen that had to preach about the evils of addicition. I was in a pickle. Anyway, I trusted God and figured he knew what he was doing. Instead of being honest with people I just figured I would face rejection if anyone knew I had a chink in my armor. So for 17 years I hid my addiction. I had to lie on my entrance exams to my Seminary. I was prepared to lie to anyone who ask if I chewed or dipped. There was the guilt, the shame, the embarrassment that I had gotten to this point, and I was trapped. I used a can to a can and a half each day. In addition to guilt, this stuff was getting real expensive. 107 days ago I decided I would try one more time to quit. Through a series of crazy events, I felt it was time to try again. I hated the feeling of trying and failing so for the past three years I quit trying to quit. I contacted my doctor and he was a recovering dipper. I found a couselor in Missouri who has stood beside me. She was a former addict. My family surrounded me and I didn't know it but my church had surrounded me. (see yesterday's post). Without shame, I used patches, medicine, fake snuff, seeds, and anything else I could find to get away from this desructive habit.

Today, first I Thank Matt. A huge man among men who found away way to help men restore their dignity and character. Matt all I can say is thanks, you are awesome. I thank Rick in Tampa for the personal e-mails in the early days when you spoke as though you knew me and cared that I quit. Plantercat, you are truly a brother, you knew exactly what I was going through and were able to communicate that to me. Bates, you are a wild man. I woke up every day and read my Bible then turned on my computer to see what incredible experience you would describe today. Luke in NM, I remember your struggles early on...Keep walking, you have been an inspiriation to me. Toadster, Gizz, John P., all of you men have saved my life. Chaps, I don't know if you will ever read this but I hope to be at your induction in just a few months. You were so inspirational to me. We grew up in the same country and in the same culture. I know your struggles and I hope to see you keeping the fight. Never quit quitting.

Above all, I thank my beautiful wife who put up with this nasty stuff for Nineteen years longer than I told her she would have to. I told her that when we got married I would quit. Sweetheart, the lie is over. And to my precious kids, no more spitcans full of copenhagen rather than Dr. Pepper. I am sorry for the indescretion I used. But I do look forward to seeing each of you graduate from HS, I look forward to seeing my grandkid's with a full face, and I look forward to a lotta life left outside of a self imposed prison. We will Party!!

To all who think it cannot be done.....I am a living testimony that the can "can be overcome". With The Lord's help, the cafe, and your family it can be done.

Thanks to the QS Cafe and all who drink from the bar. The friendships and relationships offered here are the best.

Adios,.....Mark in NM

 
Darrin 20010801 I quit dipping 10 months ago after 20 years of 4 cans a week. At my worst I would actually go to bed with a chew in every night. (Bandits-so it would'nt get everywhere)I actually had a chew in 24 hours a day for about 5 years. One day I said to my wife after looking at photos on the net-I QUIT. Started chewing Orbit gum about a pack a day but that beats using tobacco. It took about a week to get past the cravings and after that it wasn't as bad as I thought. I won't lie to you I still feel the urge to have a dip but I promised myself I will never do it again and I won't.The key to quiting is beating the urge months down the road. If you take that one dip you will be hooked again. It's amazing how that shit gets a grip on your life. Sad thing is for some lose life due to this crap. It's not worth it. Anyone who can look at those pictures and still dip needs serious help, you have no willpower. Try a product called Bacc-off, it is a non tobacco chew that is totally safe and really after you quit dipping for a couple months and lose the nicotine addiction that stuff is almost exactly like dip-only it won't hurt you. Good luck folks - I BEAT THIS SHIT OH
Dave 19981231 After a 17 year daily Copenhagen habit, I have now been "chewless Joe Jackson" for over three years. For all of you attempting to quit, I can testify that the longer you go without, the easier it gets. As long as you realize that you can NEVER have another dip, no matter how harmless it may seem, you will be ok. I don't have any cravings to speak of and am free of the guilt associated with slowing killing myself with that vile crap. Seattle
Zach 20020308 "Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer." -- Winston Churchill

I have made it! 100 days straight with no chewing tobacco or nicotine flowing through my veins. My story is most likely familiar to many of you. Started chewing tobacco my sophomore year in high school when my buddy gave me a dip. Started out with Skoal Wintergreen, moved on up the nicotine strength chart to Kodiak, Skoal Long Cut Straight, and then to Copenhagen. I have been addicted to chewing tobacco for 22 years. I have spent well over $10,000 on chewing tobacco products. I haven't been to the dentist in over 5 years due to fear of what they might say - gum surgery, tooth loss, or cancer. I have hid my addiction from my wife and kids for over 10 years now. Does that make any sense?

"There comes a time in a man's life when to get where he has to go -- if there are no doors or windows he walks through a wall." -- Bernard Malamud

After trying to quit unsuccessfully over 50 times on my own I was fortunate enough to find this site which, in my opinion, has saved my life. I posted regularly, read others' posts, congratulated others in their efforts to quit, and felt a part of a family of individuals struggling with addiction like I was. Without this site, and the help and encouragement of others here, I would not be where I am today - enjoying a life free of the clutches of chewing tobacco. Although it has been said many times, if I can do this, anyone can. I quit for me but also for those that love me and need me - my wife, my kids, my parents. The bottom line is that chewing tobacco is a selfish, self-destructive, expensive, and extremely addictive habit. It took all the strength I had to quit and the first few weeks are always the most difficult. I was dizzy, tired, irritable, depressed. But anything that is worthwhile achieving is never easy. And I have now achieved a life that is free of guilt, free of compulsion, and free of addiction. I can now fully focus on the things that are, and should be important to me - my family, my work, my health, my life.

If you're reading this story, I hope it helps you in your efforts to quit chewing tobacco. Stay strong, keep quitting, and enjoy life!

"Press on: nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." -- Calvin Coolidge

Boston
Bassin 20020312 My story of addiction is neither unique or uncommon, as most that have suffered from the same addiction will attest. I started using Skoal wintergreen at age 14 and had an Iron clad addiction going in the first year. I "dipped" in class where I learned to swallow the juice instead of spitting. Like a smoker that doesn't realize how much his or her second hand smoke iratates those around them, we dippers do not realize how disqusting the habit appears to others until we are able to stand on the outside and look in. When we are able to do that we quickly realize how devastating and controlling this addiction has been over the years and that should be all the motivation we need to kick this thing in the nads for good.

Speaking of motivation, What better motivation than to look at the people in our lives that care about us and desparetly want us to be around to see future graduations, weddings, births of children and grand children. I can not bear the thought that if I continue to use tobacco products that I will not only deprive myself of watching my children grow up and settle into their lives, but I will also deprive them of having the father that they deserve. I have already given tobacco enough of my time and money and it feels great to finally dedicate that time to my family, where it should have been spent all along.

I have faced the fact that I will be a "junkie" and an addict forever and that I can be lured back into this addiction with any mental lapse, and that is why I continue to visit and post on this forum because I will need the support for some time to come. Guys like JP Texas, Bates, Jogi, Bluesman, Mark in NM, Rick Tampa have inspired me every step of this journey, but the ultimate thanks goes to the creator of this unbelievable forum Matt. Thanks a million Matt.

STOPPED KILLING MYSELF ON 3/12/02 !!!!!!

Indiana
olywa mike 20020318 Amazing. Had you told me 100 days ago that, not only would I not be chewing tobacco, but that I wouldn't even want to chew it, I would have laughed in disbelief. Yet here I am. I will never forget the struggle I went through, because if I do, I could end up believing the Nicodemon's lie: "just one won't hurt," and I'll be hooked again.

For the benefit of the new quitters, I'll tell you what I've learned. Your mileage may vary, but I've see other quitters in the forum with similar experiences:

  • The first three weeks are the absolute worst. If you can make it that far, your chances of making it to the Hall of Fame (and beyond) are very good.
  • Your addiction will lie to you every chance it gets. "One dip won't hurt. You've made it this far, you can quit again. You can't quit now, you have to (insert important task here)." Don't listen to the lies!
  • Green tea helps. I don't know why. I'm not even sure how it helps. I just know it helps.
  • Get something to keep your mouth busy. I like Bacc-Off, but try everything until you find something you like.
  • Post and read every day. I firmly believe that, had I done everything else to quit, but not used the forum every day, I would have failed. The support system is the key ingredient, the X factor, the missing link.

Tempus fugit, memento mori. (Time flies, remember death.) This is not meant to bum anybody out, but it underscores what a bittersweet accomplishment this is. Yes, I am overjoyed by my newfound freedom from nicotine -- BUT -- just how the hell did I let this go on for 20 years? I don't have an acceptable answer. My life is scarred by the constant poisoning of my body. So, here is the biggest reason of all to quit: Someday, you will regret not quitting. Don't pass up that golden moment, when you are ready to quit, but you only have to take that leap and toss the tin. If you stumble, come to the forum and we'll prop you up.

Thanks to all who have shown me their support and patience: my wife, and the rest of my family, and those of you who had to read (scroll past? :) my posts. Thanks especially to Bates, Bluesman, JR, Andrew, Rick, who, with their emails, helped me take this personally. Thanks to Matt for maintaining this site. (Does anybody know how that Nobel prize nomination thang works?) Thanks to that stubborn little bulldog in all of us, helping us quit everyday. See ya in the forum!

WA
Vdubman 20020319 When I first started to dip my roomate and I would split a tin, and it would last us about a week. As time progressed tins started to last only a couple days, then soon only a couple hrs. We were convinced that that we weren't addicted to the shit, but little did we know. the end of the year came along, and I went home. I started buying the tins on my own, which would contribute to a close to a tin and a half a day habit. My mouth started to hurt soon after, I and tried to stop. Only I found that I couldn't. I stopped once for a week. But started back up. Stopped again, but then I met up with my old roomate, and had one for old times sake. That started me right back up. Well the third time I Stopped, I stopped because of my health. I Knew the stuff was bad for me. Everytime I got a sore in my mouth I just knew it was mouth cancer. I started having nightmares about it. and thankfully it scared me straight. I only chewed for about 2 years, and it was terrible quitting. THe first week was pure hell. I sympathise with the people trying to quit after 20 yrs+. When I first started the big quit, I came to this site often, and marvled at the guys with the big numbers, I thought it would be forever until I got there. It seems like it, but it comes. It does come!

What I can try to offer to you, the people reading this passage, is to keep with it. Dont give up. Visit this site often. There are a lot of people who are willing to help you out through posts or email. Do everything in your power so that you dont dip, eat sleep, exercise etc...The first few days are the worst, but then it gets easier.

MA
Josh 20020325 100 DAYS! I absolutely can't believe it. This site really motivated me to stick to it even when I didn't want to. There were times (even recently when I thought about caving. But knowing that I could come to this site and post that I had quit for 10, 21, 37, 45, 75 days etc... was enough incintive for me not to cave. I think one reason that this site works (aside from the obvious support side of it) is that it's nice to know that no matter how short it's been since you've quit you are constantly reminded of how tougher of a time another person is having. There were times when I was on day 10 and about to pull my hair out and another guys would post how he's on day 2 and he can't sleep. I remember having a tough time around day 30 - 40 and reading how another guys is going to quit tommorrow. Reading that makes you realize how truely far you've come and then reading posts from guys that had quit for 200 plus days shows you how far you still have left. IN
KM 20020331 It's hard to say a lot here that hasn't already been said. I am a writer, so I know well the premium that rides on originality, but I can't deny any of it. The cliché's are all true:

1) I never thought I would make it to 100 days.

2) The first weeks are tough but it gets exponentially easier.

3) Nicotine clouds your mind and limits your life prospects, because addicts live dip to dip.

4) The tobacco industry is an evil beast brandishing a drug whose addictiveness is comparable to that of cocaine. It's goal is to incorporate you into its profit margins at the price of your relationships, personal freedom, and eventual but near-certain early death to cancer.

5) There is always a reason not to quit. Sometimes they are negative reasons, like needing dip to deal with [marital stress, death of a family member, important assignments at school/work, bad weather, financial crisis]. Sometimes they are positive reasons like, "I can make an exception and dip a while longer because [I'm on vacation, my buddies are in town, I've dipped this long/will quit soon, watching the game/seeing the movie/driving the car/going golfing just isn't the same without dip, I need to reward myself for success at work/school/golf/boy scouts]." Don't think there will ever, ever come a day when you can't come up with a good reason not to quit. You'll die with your last dip in your mouth.

6) Corollary to [5]. The irony associated with all of the above rationalizations for not quitting is that the ex-dipper soon realizes, after his mind is clear of nicotine, that far from being a coping tool or an enhancer of any of these situations and activities, dip had a trying, destructive effect on all of them. Golf is better when you can smell the fairway and not dribble brown juice on your white shirt. Family crises are easier dealt with when you don't have to break awkwardly away from important moments to have your secret dip. Finances wouldn't be as tight if you weren't spending $100/200/more(?) each month on tobacco.

But we all know this already. So I'll say one new thing here. I never told the story of how I got hooked. It's common enough, but it proves a point. I was a college student. I went to a frat party. There was a Rooster table. Two free cans just for filling out a little card. I'm sure the dippers of my school were thanking their lucky stars. But the two free cans aren't for the already-hooked. They are for the Me's of the world. The merely-curious. It's free so there's really no loss. Hell, I can even put down a fake address so I won't get any junk mail. These fools won't know the difference. Suckers.

Yeah, they were the suckers. At that time--I remember this very clearly--I didn't even know how to dip. I thought since it was chewing tobacco, you were meant to just throw it in your mouth and chew it like you chew food. A wise [!] friend showed me how it was properly done, and one day I went to the 7-11 and bought some cans of Skoal. Remember, this was all still just an experiment. Man I was a city boy, I just wanted to try to understand what this country stuff was all about. I tried Wintergreen and liked it. Burned a bit. Cherry wasn't my style [since when did I have a "style" with regard to dip?]. And one day I discovered Skoal Straight, and I fell in love. Everything was better with my lover there. Movies were more fun. Car trips were more fun. Reflective moments on the balcony and roof of my Philadelphia row house were more fun. Sitting in front of the computer writing papers was way more fun. And all of a sudden you hit a moment where you realize that you cant just lie anymore and pretend that its just an experiment and you can quit any time you want. You realize that you have become that fool, that addict, that sucker for your hourly nicotine injection. and that its eventually going to kill you.

There's not a lot more to say. You know how the rest of the story goes. Years pass. Zillions of quit attempts, often lasting only a few hours. And one day my self-respect as a dipper hits rock bottom and I find the site and find the inspiration and the support I need to NEVER DIP AGAIN.

Thank you to Matt Van Wyk for his vision and hard work, and thank you to all the people that supported me along the way, even if they didn't know it (Bluesman, Gizz, Jogi, Mark in NM, Bates. you know the list). I wasn't the biggest poster but I read a hell of a lot and I posted now and then. I'll still be kickin' around now and then once I get settled in Japan (!). Anyone on the board is welcome to email me if there is any way I can help them. As always, Peace.

PA
Lambo 20020401 Well folks the day has came and it truely is wonderful. 100 days in the free and clear of tobacco. So for the first time I will recap (in writing) my journey towards self destruction and then resurection.

My first dip came while in High school track practice. We would run with bandits and suck on them on the way to track meets. It wasn't untill My freshman year in college that I took a big fat dip of Kodiak. It made me fall over it was so strong. It didn't take long to start chewing Cope. I was chewing at a rate of 1 tin a day in College and at the time one of our favorite bands was 311 so we would get up and have a dip at 3:11am. I would never chew in public and hid it from my girlfriend. It wasn't till after we were engaged she found out about the habit. So like any other worthless addict I did what came natural, I lied and told her I would quit. So then I had to go underground. That was the worst place to be. Constantly hiding and chewing. When I think about it, I wasted so much time chewing when I could have spent time with my wife. So then came May 1st, 2002. The day I woke up and said enough is enough. It was my wifes birthday and I just said that I wanted to cele! brate more with her. So I begain to crawl out of the basement. Now, 100 days later I'm here, feeling so much better. I will not lie - It is hell going thru the first couple weeks, even months. I had the rages, (got mad because there was to many hashbrowns in the casserole) had a bad case of the retards, and sleepless nights with headaches. But I have prevailed and will live to fight another day. I just want to say that this community has made my quit a reality not a lie. I have a new love for life and those around me. Keep strong everyone and keep your goals short with good rewards. If you put your mind to it you can do anything.

IA
GB 20020402 Listen, what you are currently going through is extremely tough. I chewed and dipped for 26 years before I finally decided it was enough. That was only after my 11 year old daughter pleaded with me to stop. I went on the internet and typed, "God, help me to quit chewing." The "quitsmokeless.org" site kicked up and I went to it. That was on 04/02/02 and I quit that day. I thank God and give Him praise for leading me to this site which enabled me to quit. What ever your reason is for stopping now, hang on to it. Frequently visit this site and read the similiar battles others are under going. It helped me to do that. Also, I regularly use SMC regular flavor. I don't think I could make it without that. I needed something from time to time for the oral fixation and that has helped. One day I'll quit this to but only when I'm ready to. I use SMC maybe three times a day so it's nothing like what I was using. Other than SMC, chewing on straws or toothpicks really helped. I drove over 400 miles back from South Florida last weekend and the only thing I used was toothpicks. I never would have thought that was possible prior to my quit. I mean, I would have used 1/2 a can of cope making that trip previously. While at work, I would use hard candy; peppermint candies worked well. Eventually the craves went away for the most part. I mean, I still get them sometimes and probably always will to some degree but then I grab some SMC or a toothpick and the craves leave fairly quickly. My point in all of this is to do what ever it takes to quit. I know it is hard but if you stick it out, things will get much better in just a few weeks. Just do it; your life is worth it to quit the dirt habit now. And I'll be holding the HOF door open for you and we'll have a big party when you get here. FL
Jason 20020329 A lot has happened in the last 100 days (oddly enough, I had my first dipping dream on day 100. I thought I blew it, but was relieved when I realized it was just a dream.). The biggest thing was that I separated from my wife of 13 years. Had the divorce papers written up and the child support/vaginamony payments deducted from my paycheck and everything. But we're back together, now. To those that say they need to dip at stressful times: BS!! I know stress and you don't need tobacco to get through.

I compiled a list of reasons to quit and carried it in my wallet. It separates the money from the receipts. I put it there so if I got the urge to splurge, I would see that list and hopefully discourage me from going through with it. Here's the list:

Reasons I want to quit:
1. What chick would want to kiss me?
2. The lump in my jaw line is unattractive.
3. Since I don't swallow, my throat gets too dry.
4. Bad breath.
5. Yellow teeth.
6. Receding gums.
7. Maintaining spit cans.
8. I don't get a buzz from it anymore.
9. Lower blood pressure.
That last one is more important than I thought. You see, my older brother chewed heavily (no, he was not the person who introduced it to me), but was told to quit nicotine and caffeine by the doctor who amputated his leg. He had a clot and it could've killed him. I too have quit caffeine, well coffee anyway.

A few of the lies I kept telling myself:
·Chewing is better than smoking. If I get cancer, I would be able to tell right away.
·I don't have to go outside to get my nicotine fix.

A few of the defining moments that finally convinced me to quit:
·My 5-year-old daughter handing a can to me. I never want to see that again.
·My 10-year-old daughter spitting on the ground, copying me.
·Washington raising the tax on tobacco. You can easily pay $6 for one can.

There's a whole lot more to say, but I'll just leave it to future posts. Big thanks to Matt and this site.

Puyallup, WA
The Dip Slayer 20020403 100 days ago when I started this journey, I never thought I'd get through a day without thinking about dipping. Now I actually make it through several. Don't get me wrong, now and then I think about how good a dip would taste....but it's a fleeting thought...as I know that even one dip would lead me back into the clutches of nicotine addiction.

Some of the things I've noticed since I quit dipping...food tastes better...my breath doesn't stink of tobacco...I have more money (which this year is going to corrective gum surgery necessitated by tobacco causing my lower gums to recede)...I'm not compelled to find spitters anywhere and everywhere, my car doesn't stink in the summer of dip. My house doesn't stink of dip. My hands and clothes don't stink of dip. It's nice to be able to have a life that doesn't revolve around tobacco. I can enjoy a movie with my son. I can enjoy coaching baseball without having the jitters near the end of practice because waiting to dip out of the shame of dipping in front of the other kids.

Thanks to Matt for setting up this site...I would never have been able to quit without it. Thanks to the old-timers who were great at offering me support (especially the first 2 weekends...arggghhh...I NEVER want to go through that again).

I now can really see that life is better without my life revolving around that stupid tin and when I need that next dip!!!!!!

Michigan
Tony L 20020401 -Green tea rules
-The addiction is to nicotine, cigars are just another form of nicotine
-Concrete is poured
VA
Buddy B 20020412 To my friends at quitsmokeless.org..Thank You

THE LAST 100 DAYS
So why did you decide to stop chewing? For me it was simple. Fear. After years of chewing and knowing that it was bad for me, I was sitting at my computer with my customary "after work dip" (not to be confused with the "on the way home from work dip"), when I stumbled upon a site called QuitSmokeless.org. I checked out some of the posts and the cancer gallery. That did it. Nothing more, nothing less. I spit out the dip, went for a walk to think about things, and have not put one in since. I've tried to quit over the years several times but always came back for more. Didn't have the will power I thought. I realize now that I had the will power but not the motivation and support that is so critical when one attempts a journey like this. Had I not found this site and begun posting, Id still be killing myself today.

THE NEXT 100 DAYS
Looking forward, I'm pretty damned excited. So many things in my life that I took for granted now get the attention they deserve. I used to avoid going to see my girlfriend after work so I could go home and have a dip. What a moron. I love this girl and Id rather cradle my spit cup! Now she is thinking of getting a shock color to keep me at bay. Yet another benefit of a tobacco free life, your sex drive goes through the roof! I'm working out again and plan to continue until I get rid of this pony keg I'm packing around. Too many things were missed or avoided to get that fix. That part of my life is over. The new Bud is a sex crazed, work-out-aholic, green tea pounding machine and I love it. Watch out baby!

THE BEST 100 DAYS
The past 100 days have held some of the most challenging moments of my life. Kicking this habit is no easy task, even for the strongest of us. It takes determination, will power, and above all else, it takes friends that can support and advise you every step of the way.

To: Jogi, Bates, Rick, LF, Olywa Mike, Jimmo, Kroch, Calgary Mike, Steve, JM, and so many more that have helped me: I've never seen any of your faces but the kindness in your hearts has blown me away. Without your support, Id still be chewing. Most of you are old timers in the cafe who would stay off the stuff if you didn't come back on here. Yet day after day, here you are helping out the new guys or giving them a kick in the ass if they need it. All I can say is Thank You, for everything. To Mr. Matt van Wyk: I know you have heard it a million times but it's as true now as it has ever been. This site is amazing! Without it, I could not have beaten this addiction.

100 Days and counting.

The Bud

Portland, OR
Steve 20020404 I am not the normal type quitter. I was dipping for around 18 years a can a day. This was my first time quitting and will be my last. Hang tuff new quitters and you will make it. If you are failing to quit there is a reason. You do not want to quit. When you decide to quit, then you will fight through all of the crap/horror/pain/sleeplessness/carpentry associated with the poison in the dip and stay quit. I am far from quit although I passed a milestone for this website and myself. I know its tuff, my family and I went through it. Cincy/KY
otter 20020411 I am sort of hestitant to add my 2 cents, especially after ____ days since reaching the HOF.., because I've been saying to myself: "You missed the magical 100 day entrance speech deadline! Matt might not accept late submissions." or: "What else is there to say that hasn't already been said?"

True, a lot has already been said, here in the HOF, as well as in the Community, but the difference is in the 'how' of sharing our words and our stories. So, here's mine.

Not for a second did I ever doubt that I'd not reach the HOF, although in the beginning of my Q-u-i-t, I wondered how such a thing would be possible.. but, it was and it is.

Like so many other Quitters before me, I honestly believe that it was Providence which led me to find QuitSmokeless.org. I could not have made it this far without Matt's site. That's a blue-print fact. No kidding. !! Of course, the Community has helped me greatly, as well as my Quit Journal.. Thanks everyone!!!

I'm proud of my recent success.!! But, I have to tell you that I have felt that ol' demon- whose- name -begins- with- an "N", slip DIP DREAMS into my nightly slumbers, again... And, I think I know why. I've been saying to myself: "Ok, otter, so you made the HOF. Yippee for you, but what's next?"

Well, the 'what's next' part means living the rest of my HOF days nicotine free. It means not resting on my laurels, but rather, being responsible for myself and others through word, action and deed. I think that's tough. For anyone. I have come to think that living in the Community for the first 99 days was nothing but a training ground for what lies ahead. The Community was easy! The HOF doesn't stand for Hall of Fame for nothing. It was sheer hard work and strength of human will that got me and others here. We're not giving up our freedom without a fight, I can tell you! So, I just answered my own question. I'll be fighting my "what's next" all the way to those pearly gates..

Keep the Faith, everyone..

SD
RustyJack 20020412 I started chewing and dipping when I was 9 yrs. old. I use to sneak up behind my Grand Pa and steal his Beach nut out of his back pocket. I was young enough and he was old enough that there was no way he was going to catch me. All he could say was if it makes you sick don't come crying to me.Well as you can guess it never did make me sick, although I wish that it would have and then I would never have had to know the pain it takes to quit after 34 yrs.or the pain it really causes. Not only did it cause me pain it also caused my family pain. I started getting sores in my mouth and on my tongue so not only did I worry but so did My wife and family. It is a very sad and hard thing to see fear in the eyes of your family, the fear that you could have cancer and the fear that you may not be with them any longer. The fear that you have in your own heart that you may not get to grow old with your wife and see the great things your kids and grand kids will do. This is the worst fear you will ever have, thinking that you are letting your family down by not being here for them. It is a fear that I never want to face again. Thank God that my sores just turned out to be ulcers. I really believe that God gave me a warning and a second chance. Thank God I found Quitsmokeless.org. Thank God I found friends at this site to help me with their advice. And most of all Thank God for a caring and patient family and a very encouraging wife for with out them I would never have been able to do this on my own. So Diana, Josh, Katisha and the rest of my family that stood behind me and encouraged me, thank you. Quit smokeless cafe, thank you friends. God Bless everyone and have a very long and happy nicotine free life.

God bless,
Rusty

TX
Hammerhead 20020408 Its tough but can be done. I have quit several times before, some for quite lengthy periods, but relapsed. For some reason, I know this time is for good, and that feels great. MS
Chrishead 20020423 The History:

My journey toward a dip-free existence began 21 years ago when I was in the 9th grade in Colorado. It cost $0.89 a can for Copenhagen back in those days, and the clerk at the store would sell it to you as long as you were tall enough to slap that dollar on the counter. Thinking back, it seemed like I went through a can every 3 or 4 days in the early years. As I got older, more financially independent and "mature", I increased my usage up to a plateau of 1 can of Copenhagen per 24 hours, which I maintained until I quit over 100 days ago.

The Quit:

I only made one other quit attempt before this one. My wife became pregnant with twin boys 5 years ago and I decided it was a good time to quit. I used the patch for 5 days and quit on Superbowl Sunday. I stayed snuff-free until the kid's were born. Then the mother of all triggers rolled into town: My mother-in-law. LOL! I started back up in a clandestine sort of way (on the commode, in the shower, on the drive to pick up a few things from the grocery store, etc). Eventually, I was back to a can a day and back to the unempowered mindset that I was not in control of my life; a can of dirt held that distinction. Then the price started going up. I could afford to do it, but was having trouble coughing up that much money to slowly kill myself. That's not to say that killing yourself slowly at a cheap price is the route to go, but I digress. In the meantime, I notice 2 areas on my lower lip with a rather dramatic receding gum line. Those area's would be the left and right lower corners. You all know where that spot is, right? I told myself it was time to quit for health, my family, money and most importantly, for my personal maintenance. I did not like the feeling of being a slave. I was afraid of the weight gain I would invariably incur. I had been slowly gaining weight over the last 5 years. My job does not foster the ability to be mobile or exercise and my hours are off the charts. I was staring at going from 225 to 240 or worse during my quit, based on all the other testimonials. I did not want that to happen. So here is what I did: Stopped the Copenhagen and grinded hard mentally and physically for 8 days until "the fog" left me. The nicotine was no doubt gone by that time also. Then I started a workout regimen, which on day one consisted of walking on a tread mill for a mile, then practicing the lost art of power barfing into a small trashcan. I also tried a caffeine free soda (I was 4-6 20oz. Cokes per day). I don't drink coffee, unless it has "grandpa's cough syrup" in it, so basically I quit nicotine, caffeine, started working out daily and completely changed my diet in an 8 day time period. Talk about wiggin' out. I didn't have time to crave Copenhagen, I was too busy spazzing over my missed caffeine or working out. ( I got over the dry-heaves real fast). I came to this site everyday. In the beginning, I posted every couple hours, and that helped. My quit brothers are LF and MayDay. I gleaned help from a lot of the peeps that come here. I received 3 emails right after I quit giving me confidence. They were from Tom in OH, Rick in Tampa and JR in AZ. Apparently, Rick was the only one brave enough to give me the city he lives in. I appreciated the e-mails guys, I still have them saved. Others who helped along the way are (in no particular order and I am sure I leaving some out): Bates, Mark, Chris, Jogi, Bluesman, Mexico Bill, Planter Cat, Sender, Trout, Olywa Mike, Otown Dave, Matt and a ton of guys who are making their way to the HOF. I salute every one of you!

Arbitrary Stuff:

I never had a dip dream. Not one.
I don't miss it, and haven't had a bonafide crave since about day 50.
I never called it a "tin", "box", "snoose", etc. It was always a "can" or "snuff".
I once ate 3 small powdered donuts with a dip of Copenhagen in my mouth.
I once put an entire can of fine cut Copenhagen in my mouth.
I started my younger brother on it when he was 12. He quit last year.
I cannot express how much more I enjoy life now that I am free.
I lost 35 pounds through exercise and good eating from the time I started my quit until day 100.

There are a ton of other things related to my former habit that I wanted to expound on, but so many before me have already hit those nails on the head, and done it much more eloquently than I could.

Last, but not least, Copenhagen does *not* satisfy. If it did, you wouldn't want more. If you are thinking about quitting, take the plunge now. It is a life change for the better that you will forever be thankful you took. If you need guidance, assistance, support in your quit, I am here to help. If you are worried about the weight gain, as I was, then I would be more than happy to share with you what I did to shed 35 instead of gaining 15. Do not procrastinate. You will make someone that loves you love you even more for taking a personal interest in staying on the earth for a little longer by not putting cancer into your mouth. That's all for now. I will continue to read and post, and I look forward to reading all the post's from the future HOF'ers.

Later all.....

Chris in Dallas!

Dallas, TX
Schiester 20020416 I had chewed for 25 years and had no ill effects other than the financial cost of chewing a can a day. Whew! That stuff was getting expensive. I had no reason to quit I thought until my 6 and 3 year old boys starting walking around the yard spitting trying to immitate their father. Then and there I knew it was time to quit! My only wish is when I was 7 years old my father would done the same for me. I look back on what I have spent in chew, it makes me sicker than I have ever been from swallowing a little every now and again. Thanks to my wife and family I have made it 110 days. Wichita, KS
Steve 20020427 Day by day the warfare continues, but today the first battle has been claimed as a victory! Making it through 100 days seemed extremely imposing when I first viewed this website. The challenge to make it to this point was a valuable goal, and a great motivator in my quit process. I first need to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus, who patiently waited for me while I worshipped the nicotine god, and also kept me healthy and cancer-free. Second I thank my wife for putting up with years of lies and broken promises about quitting the dip, and directing me to this website and planting the quit seed into fertile ground. Third, Matt, thank you for the Quitsmokeless.org website and all that you've done to help hopeless people have some hope. May God bless you in all your efforts! And to all my fellow quitters, keep fighting the good fight - every day!!!

I didn't post the first month of my quit because I thought as a newbie I had little to contribute. By doing this I wasn't there to help and encourage the other folks that were quitting around the same time as me. Only after daily participation in the group did I realize the true impact potential that each member has on the whole quit community. Each one of us may be the only thing that keeps another person from failing their quit and killing themselves. You never know what inspiration you are giving to others - Notdeadyet giving his # days dip free, was one of mine. Everyone post often, and read even more.

The nicotine addiction is really a terrible, evil thing... until you are free of it physically you believe the lie that it's your friend. Only when you're a month or so down the road can you see that it's all untrue - an addiction that controls your life, steals your time and thoughts, and kills you. That's no friend by any stretch! Reading the pain and hurt expressed by fellow quitters shows that there is no "middle ground" in this war... either you choose to keep dipping and be a slave for the rest of your miserable shortened life, or you say NOPE TO COPE and be free. An alcoholic cannot have another drink, ever. It's the same for a nicotine addict... never again. Not that it will instantly plunge you into the pit of the addiction again, but the downward spiral will have that beginning momentum from that first dip (I don't smoke so the occasional cigar is a non-issue for me). Judging from the extreme guilt and feeling lousy just from a dip dream, having a dip isn't worth it, ever.

So what worked for me? I set a quit date 3 months in advance (last day of classes was my last day to dip), got agreement with my wife on that and no trying to get me to quit earlier, and vowed to God that I would stop on that day. Then I threw the ½ can left over Friday night after my last dip down the drain, and made the final resolution to NEVER use nicotine again. Saturday April 27th was not only my quit day but graduation day also. No gum or patch, seeds hurt my mouth too much, fake chew would only stimulate my desire for a real dip. So cold turkey it was. I did drink a lot of diet mt.dew, which seemed to help me for a while. God made it real easy for me... no headaches, nausea, rage, sleeplessness, or shakes. Prayer works!!! The only headaches I got were a little later on quitting the nutrasweet and the caffeine. My biggest problem in the whole quitting evolution was a lack of concentration for about the first month. I spent a lot of time reading posts. I expected all the symptoms on this quit that I'd experienced ever other time (probably 200 times attempted). Avoiding the rage was the biggest benefit this time. All I can tell you is it was a "God-thing" this time, and from the very beginning I knew it was forever. I believe by putting Him first in my life, praying, and having that absolute resolve about quitting allowed this quit to be "easy".

For those just beginning their quit, take heart - life is so much better now that it's "my" life, and not the can's. Problems are still here, but I'm able to handle them a whole bunch better because I'm thinking through them, not just getting angry and chucking-in a dip. My wife likes to kiss me again (a great bonus with a lady as good looking as she is). My kids respect what I've done, and it serves as a positive example for them to follow. And finally, I like myself a lot better, and feel I can accomplish just about anything now that I've moved this "problem" out of my life!

No going back. Nicotine free, one day-at-a-time, FOREVER!!!

Tallahassee, FL
LF 20020430 Day 100

Well, here I am crossing the threshold to what was once thought, to be an impossible endeavor. (Warning: this may be longer thank Rick's speech)

Just like so many others before me, I was a slave to a can filled with cut up leaves and a potpourri of chemicals. It controlled my every waking moment for 17 years of my life. Days, vacations and holidays were planned around this former habit. It was supposedly a friend. It would always be there for me and nothing could come between me and my former habit. It was a powerful drug that treated me like a puppet.

One of the most sobering times that made me realize how powerless I was, was when I had my wisdom teeth pulled several years ago. I had a very bad experience with getting those teeth pulled and yet when I got home I still wanted a dip. My cheeks were swollen out past my ears and my mouth was stuffed with gauze and guess what? You got it, I took a dip. Yes, with gauze in the mouth and everything, I did it. I couldn't spit; so I would just hang my head over the sink and let gravity do the rest. The brown and red juice was especially sobering. You may think that this would be a catalyst for a quit attempt, but it wasn't. It just instilled how powerless I felt. Nothing really bothered me for very long though and I would forget all about quitting. I was content on letting this drug beat me. That was the lie that I was living.

There was never a good time to quit and there was always a bad time to quit. Whenever I did decide to quit, it was always so easy to justify caving. If I got in fight with the wife, too much stress at work, the planets weren't aligned correctly, etc. These were all great reasons stop my quit. That was the lie that I was living.

Sooner or later you come to the realization that you need to quit and that this time you need to quit for yourself. All of the other reasons, your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, kids and family are just the icing on the cake. I think the way we reach this realization is different for all of us; as is the time it takes us to make this realization. For me, it was a combination timing and courage. The timing was my friend Rick telling me about this site (yes, long winded Rick from Tampa) and the courage came from seeing others like yourselves succeed. I feel this was all made possible by God. I truly feel that God works in mysterious ways and I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason.

So, could I have done this on my own? I certainly couldn't in the past, so I'm not sure what would have changed. In fact, I am 100% certain I couldn't do this on my own. So, some thanks are in order. First and foremost I would like to thank the Lord for giving the strength and courage to do this; as well as giving me the tools such as this site to be successful.

To my wife, thank you for supporting me and believing in me and most importantly the unconditional love you gave me. I would also like to apologize for all of the little white lies and the deceit that was caused by my former habit. Thank you for understanding.

To Rick in Tampa, a 1000 thank you's would never be enough for introducing me to this site. You helped me in the beginning of my journey and your support has continued throughout my first 100 days. Thank you. You are a true friend.

To Matt van Wyk, you will have my vote for the Nobel Peace Prize or some sort of humanitarian award! You are a special person and I thank you for creating this site. I hope you realize the impact you have had on all of us. You should be proud.

To Jogi: it amazes me that someone in the 5th floor continues to be play such a roll in helping people quit. Once again you are what this site is all about. I will be taking you up on that 5th floor scotch.

To Bates, ahh hell you just make me laugh! Ok, all kidding aside I appreciate all of the encouragement and support you've shown me; as well as the pleasantries we've exchanged (ahem). You too have become a good friend.

To Tom in OH, Bluesman and Mr. P, thank you for taking the time in the first couple of weeks to send me an email. It meant a lot to me and it taught me early what this site is all about.

Otown Dave, Calgary Mike, Buddy B, Plantercat and Mark in NM, you guys gave me inspiration and you made it through some difficult times. Thank you for helping me.

Steve in Tally, Mayday, NyRanger, Kevin in ATL, Chrishead, Mr. Yams, Justshawn and the rest of our class: Thank you all. We are winning the fight. Thank you for the camaraderie and for pulling each other through the difficult times. I am looking forward to seeing you all in the Hall.

Lastly (I know FINALLY! and no, Rick did not write this for me), to QFK, Big Tex, Matt11targa, 12yrdipper, trying, Rich, Catskin and 4woogie: you guys must continue to give back and help the newbies. Stay the course and you will be joining us. I'm proud of all each one of you.

If you are reading this site and wondering if you can do this, you can. I am proof of it. Will it be difficult? Yes, but you will become stronger and a better person because of it. Life is so much better without tobacco in your life. Everything you did with tobacco can be done without it and it will also be just as enjoyable. This was a life changing experience and will affect every facet of your life. Gut out the first week, it does get much better after that. Stay the course and reaffirm your resolve daily. Remember that craves will pass whether you take a dip or not and most importantly don't ever quit quitting.

To everyone that has ever posted on this site, a sincere thank you. I would not have made it this far without you sharing your struggles and successes with me. If I can do this, anyone can do this. Stay strong and keep fighting the fight. I no longer dip.

Keep the faith, Amigo's

LF

Tampa, FL
MayDay 20020431 Well I can't believe that 100 days have FINALLY passed. It is really strange to be writing this for the esteemed HOF. I knew I would feel good when I made it to the HOF but I guess I didn't really expect to feel this proud of myself. I think that perhaps I wasn't letting my expectations get too high incase I fell off the wagon or something. The truth is that I still struggle with the urge to dip - sometimes I think about it quite a bit every day for several days in a row, other times I'll only think about it in passing a couple times in a week. While it is still with me, it isn't anything like the first month of a quit.

I started smoking 16 years ago when I was a freshman in college. Quickly got to a pack a day and then I started dipping Cope. At one point I was dipping a can of Cope AND smoking a pack of Camel Lights every day! Fairly quickly the smoking dropped away and the Cope stayed. Eventually I changed to Skoal Long Cut Mint, which I dipped over a can a day for the last 12 years until May 1st, 2002.

There is never a good time to quit. Here is a list of what has been going on these last 100 days. The first 3 weeks were hell, couldn't really focus or function. Just as I was coming out of that, on day 21 my father asked me to go have a drink with him. He told me he was having surgery the next day because he might have lung cancer. It turns out that he does have lung cancer, they removed 1/3 of his right lung and several lymph nodes the next day. He is now 6 weeks into chemo & radiation treatment and he looks and feels awful. At least he has given up smoking! Meanwhile, his fiancé's father has been in the hospital with end stage lung cancer from asbestos for the past several months - he died last week. On the other side of life's pendulum, we had our 2nd daughter on June 17th. She is terrific but keeping track of an infant and a 16 month old on top of everything else has been a challenge. Fortunately my wife has been wonderful and very supportive with our daughters as well as everything else. All of this is to say, that the only "good" time to quit is when you won't let all the crap that is part of life and living and dying get in the way of your quit.

The truth is that without this board and the help of all of you, I would have caved several different times. However, I just couldn't imagine coming to the board to restart my quit track at day 1. I couldn't imagine writing a post that started, "well I caved because......." I just couldn't do it. My struggle right now is the thought that I can have just one. Just one on my terms at the time I pick. You know just for old times sake and to see how it tastes. I know that this doesn't work. I had quit for 170 days in 1996 and had "just one". Before the week was out, I was back to a can a day.

Some of the things that I don't miss: 1) Going into a store with a dip in my mouth and getting stuck in a line while the spit builds in my mouth until I can't talk and can only mumble. About that time someone would try to engage me in conversation and so I'd tilt my head back and to the side and try to talk without drooling all over myself or covering them with the lovely brown sludge. Option B (if you didn't know the person) was to just act like you were Mute! 2) Similar to # 1 but this time your stuck in a car without a cup and you keep hitting all the lights just RIGHT (damn it) until you feel like you will erupt. 3) Sneezing dip everywhere, car windshield, phone, desk, shirt, computer, wife, etc - it was such a great spray! 4) Spilling a dip cup all over the desk, floor, car or worst of all myself. I don't know how many times I was startled in a movie and spilled the cup in my lap; talk about feeling and looking stupid! I would leave the movie promising that that was the last straw and I meant too, at least until I got some clean pants on. 5) Spitting in the wrong Dr. Pepper bottle and then taking a big swig of my favorite refreshment. 6) Stopping at the store, wasting $5 on a can and another $1 on a drink only to dump the drink out so I'd have a place to spit. 7) Park a fatty in the car while I ran into the store to get something (didn't want a repeat of # 1), then reload the tepid stinky crap as soon as I got back to the car while my wife looked at me like I was the stupidest, most pathetic person she had ever seen. 8) Sneaking out of a wedding or party or whatever so I could go walk around outside alone to have a dip while all my friends were inside having a good time. How stupid was / am I? I don't miss any of these things, but I do still have an urge to dip. How does that make any sense at all? It doesn't, so I guess we all have to decide, again and again every day, how stupid am I? Today I am not THAT stupid! NDT

For me, I believe it is as simple as either dipping or not dipping. I either choose to engage in activities that promote my health and life, or I can choose to squander my health with activities that poison my mind & body. It really is that simple, it's just that the road can get awfully steep and narrow at times. When the road gets really steep and narrow remember all of your friends here at the QS Cafe and remember that Tobacco Really Kills. If that isn't enough to help you along, just come back and read all of your posts, especially the ones from the first couple weeks when life really sucked and ask yourself if you want to do that again!

Thanks to Matt, everyone in my quit class, and everyone on this site for helping me make it to this point. I am grateful to all those who have paved the trail ahead of me, and to all those who are following along, we'll keep the light on for you just like Motel 6.

"... the surest failure is the unattempted walk." Lucille Clifton

"Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark."

Dallas, TX
Headcase 20020511 I have no real new words of wisdom... it's all been said before by those better with words. My two cents to this vast knowledge base called the QS Cafe is "quitting will mess with your head". Many will experience depression, pains in the mouth, jaw, tongue or tingling in the head face scalp, etc. It took me many... many visits to doctors, dentists, specialists, medical tests and finally a phsychiatrist to convince me there was nothing physically wrong with me... all the pains were real but manifested from my own head as a result of the depression. So my only advise is if you experience wierd symptoms watch it for a few days... if it doesn't get better get it checked out... but more than likely it just your mind playing games with your body...

I am a better father, husband father and friend since quitting. I no longer run off to be by myself to feed an addiction.

But what I'm most proud of is I have gained control. Before the dirt controlled me. Now it is my choice whether I chew today or not.

All those early in the quit trust us when we say it gets better and getting control over your LIFE is sooooooo worth the short term pain. It ain't easy but it can be done.

Michigan
Justshawn 20020513 While mowing my yard one evening this past May, I reached into my pocket to get a dip and noticed that I only had about one dip left in the can. I immediately panicked because it was Sunday evening and the local convenience store was closed. I knew I would need at least two more dips that evening, another just before bed, one right after a cup of coffee in the morning, and one as I drove to work. When I realized how stressed I was about not having enough dip to last me until I could make it to the store, I felt terrible. It was like I was looking at myself through someone else's eyes - and I didn't like what I was seeing. I then said a prayer...Lord, please help me beat this before it kills me. Well, I didn't get a dip the rest of that night and even made it to work the next day without taking a dip. But a few hours later, it really started to get to me I didn't know how I was going to make it through the day. I thought about going home sick, but for some reason decided to search the internet to see if I could find anything about using a nicotine patch to quit dipping. When I typed "quit dipping" in the search engine I found this site. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, but I knew it was an answer to prayer.

I didn't post until the second day, but I immediately knew I was at the right place! Guys like Andrew, Kevin in Atlanta, Jimmo, Bates, Gizz, Bassin, Jogi, beth jr's wife, Mark in NM, LF, Headcase and many others replied to my posts and sent personal messages to my email address. I couldn't believe I had found a support group for people wanting to stop dipping! The support I received from this site gave me the feeling that I was really going to make it.

This has been a crazy 100 days. The first week was miserable - I couldn't sleep at all but somehow I made it. The second, third, and forth weeks were somewhat better but I was in a constant "fog". Before I knew it I had made it to the 30 day mark. I thought to myself "Hey this wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be". Then day 31 came and it was like I had started all over again. Lesson learned - Keep your guard up. As the folks who have gone through this with me know my darkest day was day 90. I was craving so bad that I almost gave up. When I tried to talk about it with my wife, I literally broke down in tears. Once again though, the members of this community did nothing but get behind me and keep me on course.

My favorite story of this journey came when my 7 year-old son went on a trip to Disney World with my mother. He was shopping for souvenirs and ask my mom to take him to the grocery store to buy my gift. Of course mom couldn't understand why, so she asked and he said "Daddy's friends on the computer said that sunflower seeds might help him quit tobacco". Here he was on an awesome vacation and was thinking about his dad's tobacco addiction and how much he wanted him to stop. That's when I knew there would be no turning back! As someone on the site said, we'll do anything not to disappoint our children.

Well, I'm getting too long so I'll end with this. Thanks to God for answering my prayer. I know I couldn't have done this without Him. Thanks to Matt for maintaining this site. Thanks to those of you who have supported me along the way. You wouldn't know me if we were standing face to face yet you supported me 100% and I'll always remember you for that. Thanks so much to my wonderful wife and family for putting up with my disgusting habit and then standing behind me while I was in the middle of withdrawals and dip rage. I am a better person than I was 100 days ago and each of you have helped me save my life.

I WILL NOT DIP TODAY!

Tennessee
sportdraft 20020515 I go by sportdraft in this group. I don't post much but I do read everyday. I started dipping cope when I was 13 years old and never stopped for 25 years. 100 days ago as of 8/22/02 I put it down and never looked back. I do use smokey mountain chew classic but plan on stopping it no later than Christmas. The hardest part about quitting was the fishing and hunting trips. Have a good day from Colorado. Colorado
Nick 20020531 Although I did not post as much as I could have I read the posts everyday. I hadn't dipped as long as most on this site but I did long enough to realize it is not a good thing to do. I quit on May 31, and life has been great since then. You will feel better about yourself for kicking this nasty habit. The hardest part is being around your group of friends that still dip but I managed to get through it. Always remember, when you get a craving it is going to go away whether you dip or not so DONT! Keep on quitting!!! Pembroke Pines, FL
JeffD 20020602 I started chewing in college. At first it was during finals, when I was partying, something I did with my friends. I started and stopped many times. After 5 years like this, I quit. The story should have ended there.

But unfortunately, after a 2 year hiatus, I returned to the can when I was planning my wedding. I didn't tell my wife/fiance either. I became a closet chewer. I tried to quit many times. As the years went by, a failed quit attempt became so demoralizing that I would block quitting out of my mind for months. Skoal Straight Long Cut was now my drug of choice, and I needed it. No substitutes would work, not even a different brand or flavor. I was also formulating what I thought were really complex rationalizations about why I must continue chewing. I looked forward to chewing; it was the highlight of every day. I'd rather chew than spend time with my family. The years went by. I was beginning to need a huge dip after a day at work, and I'd get incredible headaches when I was under stress at work and couldn't chew. Later I would find out that stress causes the nicotine level in your system to fall, and therefore you crave worse than ever under these circumstances. I supposedly only chewed at night, but I was sneaking in "emergency dips" on the way to work, on the way home, at lunch, and when I was driving on business. I was buying a fresh can every few days and throwing out my old can because I wanted the freshest chew possible. I'd slam a few drinks before each night's chew to get more of a buzz. I was starting to lose it. Some nights I would come home from work and think - oh god just let my wife and baby go to bed soon so that I can chew. My stomach was giving me problems. My cholesterol was up. Looking back, I now know what was happening. I'd developed a physical addiction and I needed more nicotine. I'd always been able to control my intake, but the drug was finally just taking over. Years of moderate chewing developed into a full-blown addiction.

Two years ago, we had a daughter and I quit for 7 weeks. However, I returned to the can. Then, one day about 4 months ago, my wife was 7 months pregnant and she had a doctor's appointment. She called me at work asking where her car keys were. The night before, I had accidentally stashed my chew, and her keys, in my jacket. I didn't want her to find the chew, so I lied and told her that the keys were lost. She had no way to drive her car and therefore missed the appointment. She cried. I felt lower than you can imagine. I had acted to protect my secret, putting my chewing habit before her health and the baby's health.

At long last, my successful quitting attempt started when I was on vacation with my family. Getting away from work and home was a good place to start. Then, shortly thereafter, I found this website. Upon joining the Quit Smokeless Community, I started to get genuinely excited about quitting.

On Day 49 of my quit, we had a new baby. The cravings completely left me! And then I had a complete meltdown - crying, on days 51 and 52. From that point onward, each week has been better than the last. In the last month, I stopped eating like crazy, started working out, lost weight, and generally started to feel great physically and mentally.

My top reasons to quit:

Freedom
Peace of mind
Health
Better stomach function
Better self esteem
Less paranoia
Family
It is the right thing to do - search your conscience, you know this to be true!

Thank you Matt and all the Quit Smokeless members for helping me to quit. In particular, thanks to Bates, Jogi, Trying, Jimmo, JC, Steve, many others, and the great article "The Secret of Our Success" written by the Bluesman.

CA
JRinNC 20020606 I was addicted to nicotine for over 15 years. What took me months to actually build up a tolerance to use Dip, has taken me over 15 years to quit. I have tried many times to quit before all leading to failure. This time with the help of this site and God I have made my quit last longer than it ever has. I realize that I am an addict, and I can no longer touch any nicotine. That has been the key so far is to post on this site, never dip again, and pray. JR in Arizona was a big help to me, as well as many on the QS web site.

Thank you Matt for establishing this site. I am proud to be among the many winners here in the HOF. I will no longer be a slave to nicotine. It is wonderful to finally be back in control of my life.

North Carolina
TJ 20020610 My bio is pretty typical of others at this site. I started chewing when I was 17. It started out as curiosity more than anything. My friends didn't even offer me one, I was just curious. I tried quitting numerous times over the past 7 1/2 years but never lasted longer than a week. Dip really became my best friend through college where my life was full of highs and lows. I chewed for 8 1/2 years of anywhere from a can a week to a can a day (Probably about 2 cans a week the last couple of years) until one day a friend of mine called me and asked "Are you still trying to quit chewing". "No" I replied. "I'm going to wait until summer's over and we slow down at work". My friend then began to tell me he had found quitsmokeless.org and was going to try to quit.

I was surfing the net the next day and decided to take a look at the site my friend was so excited about. I was amazed to find so many people who had quit or were quitting dip. I only know two people who have ever quit dip. I know several people who had quit smoking, but I think smoking's a different habit. I began thinking I would quit before the end of the month (June) that way I would have chewed for 8 1/2 years. The next day I stopped into the Cafe and read more and even got brave enough to look through the cancer gallery. All the years I had chewed, I had convinced myself that cancer wasn't going to happen to me. That was all it took. I moved my quit date up to Monday.

That night as I was driving to NE to see my parents and golf in a tournament the next day, I couldn't get this site out of my head and kept thinking, why wait until Monday, it's never going to get any easier. I pulled into a WalMart along the highway and got two cans of SMC, since alot of people on the site had mentioned it in their posts. I had tried other fake stuff and didn't really like it. I told myself, this is it. Stop chewing now. I was amazed at how much better I liked the SMC than any other fake stuff I had found. A quick note on fake dip: if you're thinking it will be just like dip only good for you, you will be disappointed. It was, however, a great tool for me to keep my mind off dip, especially through that first month. Now days I use it maybe once every two or three days.

So the next morning I gave my brother what was left of my Skoal Wintergreen Long Cut and told him to "get rid of it". I also told my family, girlfriend, and friends that I was going to quit. I think this was paramount in my quit attempt. On previous quit attempts, I was afraid of failing and wouldn't tell anyone that I was quitting. As it turns out, I wasn't afraid of failing in my quit attempt, I was afraid of quitting. I wanted to leave myself an out to go back to dip. I also made a vow to get on this site on Monday and quit lurking and start participating.

After going almost two days without chew, I broke down Sunday night when an old dipping buddy of mine stopped over after a hard day of drinking and golfing. I felt bad when I woke up Monday morning, but I also woke up with a renewed spirit that I was going to beat this addiction. As soon as I got into the office on Monday, I got on to QS and introduced myself. I knew from that point, this would not be a quit attempt but rather a quit.

Days 1-5 sucked real bad, 6-19 were tough but not so bad, 20-35 getting better but still some rough spots, and 35 on is just battling lingering depression of losing my best friend from the last 8+ years. I think everyone probably has a "turning point" where they could easily go back to dip but choose not to. Mine came on day 12 when I found an old can of dip in my bat bag. I threw it over the fence when I found it. My first thought when I found that can was "a dip really sounds good - How can you play ball without a dip?" Those thoughts were quickly erased with "how am I going to tell everyone at QS that I caved just because I found an old can of dip?" Once I got passed that I knew there was no turning back.

Anyway, if you've read this far, I am finally going to make my point. I read a lot of "If I can do it, you can do it" in the HOF speeches. While I agree with that to a certain degree, I think "If we all can do it, you can do it too" fits better. Everyone is different when it comes to quitting. Certain things work for some, don't for others. If you are quitting or thinking about it, this site is the best resource for you to find what has worked for some people and try that. I think everything in the book has been tried here.

What worked for me? A variety of things. I went cold turkey with the help of all of the following: Seeds, hard candies, gum, SMC, chewing on straws, toothpicks, drinking green tea, even dipping green tea. Some people use the nic gum or wellbutrin - Whatever keeps you from putting tobacco in your mouth. They all helped keep me occupied while the craves passed. If one of them wasn't fighting a crave, I would switch to another one. The craves always passed. They will for you too if you remember "If we all can do it, you can do it too". Use this site as a resource and experiment to find out what works for you.

And last but not least I must thank I few people who helped me out along the way. First and foremost, Matt, thanks for the site. Without your vision, I would still be dipping. JR in AZ, Steveman, Bates, and others I may have forgotten, thanks for helping and encouraging me through those first few hell weeks. Your emails pulled me through the worst of times. I also would like to thank Professor and LF for their continued encouragement. Also, thanks to Jogi, Steve, Rick and all the other posters. While I may not have emailed you, I have read your posts and gained valuable insight that you can't get from reading from articles on the effects of nicotine. I feel like a free man!

Kansas
professor 20020611 Back in May, I went on a weeklong hike up the Appalachian Trail. Before leaving, I had vowed to kick the can. Afterall, I couldn't buy Copenhagen in the wilderness. Well, it turned out that I could. On the third day of the hike, we ambled into a small Pennsylvania town where I proceeded to purchase and use Copenhagen. Feeling guilty, I dumped the can before nightfall, vowing that it would be the last can I ever buy. I went a few days without using but, the moment I got home, I stopped in a late-night gas station and spent the night binging on Copenhagen. I only went to bed after I got so nauseous that I couldn't take another dip.

I spent the rest of May depressed about my helplessness in the face of this addiction. The Trail was only one in a long line of failures spanning over 20+ years. I was sick of being victimized by this drug, feeling powerless, and out of control of my life. I didn't like spending all of my energy thinking about my next chew, trying to steal time away from my kids to relax with a dip, eating only with the objective of having a more satisfying post-meal dip, always battling stomach problems, wondering when the tip of my tongue would turn cancerous, etc. At the same time, I feared life without chew. Many times in the past I would find that my life's meaning had become wrapped up in this nicotine injector, and I would tell myself that a life without this one vice was didn't leave much to look forward to.

I saw my doctor for a regular check-up. He mentioned how my cholesterol was unusually high, especially for someone who exercises regularly and has no family history (now I know why). I mentioned how I was struggling a bit with mild depression, and that's when he said "do you smoke?" I said "no, why do you ask?" He said he had a drug for depression that had the added benefit of helping people quit smoking. This I saw as my chance-my LAST chance to kick this addiction that was running my life. I vowed that, with this added tool (Wellbutrin), I would stop this shit for good-there was no going back.

To make a long story short(er), I found this site 2 or 3 weeks into my new life as a non-user. It wasn't until I got onto this site that I truly realized the truth about my addiction and, for the first time, I had people who could understand. I truly don't know if I would have made it without stumbling upon quitsmokeless.org. I was lonely in my new life as a non-user (not to mention the added stress of a recent divorce). I'm sure I would have finally succumbed to my own warped logic. This site has changed my whole outlook on this and, for that, I am truly grateful. I am especially grateful to TJ, LF, Steve, and Rick in Tampa for leading the way for me, and to 12yeardipper, Gopher, and Trying for following in style. I've also enjoyed Flintlock, JeffD, Renovate, Tuba, BigDave, Buckeye, and many more who have made this a fun place to distract me from my addiction.

I've heard it said that recovering from divorce takes half as long as you were married. So, for a 10 year marriage, it takes 5 years to truly recover. I think that a similar rule may apply to my addiction. Although I am truly happy to have made it 100 days, I know that I have a long fight still ahead of me. Indeed, it may take as many as 10 years before I am truly out of the woods. I can never allow myself to forget what that life was like, or to falsely romanticize my days as a user. I am this close to freedom. I don't want to go back.

Bowling Green, Ohio
CopeDaddy 20020421 Quitting Copenhagen was hard. It was hardest thing that I have ever done. I failed many times throughout the years and was at the point that I thought I would never quit and that I just had that addictive kind of personality and it was impossible for me to quit. It was not until I found quitsmokeless.org that I began to think that it was actually possible for me to quit. For this last quit and more permanent quit, I think that if I had known some things about my addiction and the quitting process before hand it might have been just a little less hard. These are as follows:

1. If you can make it past the first 4 days the battle is 75% won. The second day for me was the hardest. I made it past the first day three times and failed on the second all three times.

2. Be prepared for when the cravings hit. They will hit hard. Use a tobacco substitute to get you through the hard times. I used Bacc Off mint flavor which in my opinion is the best tasting and nearest to consistency to the real thing. I tried them all so I know (smokey mountain chew, Bacc Off, hempdip, root100). Bacc Off mint is the best hands down. Usually cravings last about 5-15 minutes use this to make it through these times. I don’t think I could have made it without Bacc Off.

3. Commit to each day rather than saying you are quitting for life. Commit to quit each morning. Post on the forum every day and look at the gallery.

4. Stay away from convenience stores or wherever it is usually by your snuff. I failed three time just because I was at the store buying gas. Don’t tempt yourself. It is amazing the flawed logic you will use just to overcome your defense system. Be prepared for this as well and realize what you are doing when you do it. Make a deal with yourself before you buy that you will use Bacc Off (or whatever) for at least 5 minutes before you buy that can.

5. And most of all if you fail, pick yourself up and quit again.

Reasons I am glad that I quit:

1. Health: The fear of getting cancer is not ever present in my life anymore. My gums don’t bleed when I brush my teeth anymore. My stomach problems went away. I used to get small panic attacks and they are completely gone now (this was something I didn’t even know was related to my tobacco use). My mouth doesn’t hurt all the time and food tastes better.

2. Money: I have saved boat loads of money. I never realized how much money I was flushing down the toilet every day.

3. Image: I feel better about myself in general. I never realized this but I stopped smiling simply because I didn’t want people to see the Copenhagen between my teeth. I smile as much as possible now. I don’t miss people telling me “you got something between your teeth”. I don’t miss being ashamed to show my fingers because I have Copenhagen underneath my fingernails. I don’t miss spitting on myself accidentally or spilling dip cups or having brown stains on my pants because I have been sitting on cope that I dropped while I was driving.

There is a ton more reasons to quit. The impetus for my quit was the impending birth of my son. I can honestly say that without the forum I don’t think I would have made it. I was as bad as it gets, dipping 24/7, swallowing, eating drinking and even sleeping sometimes with a dip in. I got a lot of support from people on the forum I didn’t know telling me that the impossible was possible, especially after I failed. Once I made it after about 60 days I stopped posting and reading because honestly I wanted to stop thinking about Copenhagen every day. This doesn’t mean the “urge” doesn’t return from time to time but every day that I go it becomes that much easier to resist. I know that I am still addicted and will likely always be addicted (17 years of using doesn’t go away in 6 months) and if I falter at all I will be right back at the beginning again. Above all I want you to know that no matter how bad you are it is possible for you to quit. Once you start trying to quit the battle is half won. If you don’t try you will never quit.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
Jarrett 20020701 I quit on 7-1-02 and I have never been happier. No more closet dipping. I don't even think about snuff anymore; I sleep better and feel better. This website is truly a great thing. Austin, Tx
QFK 20020710 Well I've been thinking about writing this for several days. I've been trying to remember all the people I need to say thank you too and worrying about leaving some one out. I've also been really thinking about what this means to me. I've made it to the Hall of Fame, but what does that really mean and were do I go from here.

So why am I at this point? Well as my display name says, QFK. Quit for Kirkland. He is my 2 year old, and my pride and joy. For all you parents out there you know what I mean when I say I love him like nothing else in the world. Until he was born I didn't know I could love anyone that much. I knew that if I continued to use tobacco that there was a chance it would take me away from my son. I can't let that happen. That is why I'm here. To make sure my son has his father around as long as possible. I have used him many countless times over the last 100 days to keep me from caving and to keep me strong. He has been my most used quit aide. I think of him when I need that little extra strength. Some great things have happened over the last 100 days. 100 bedtime stories without interruption so daddy could spit. A ton of shared sticks of gum. Extra time at the dinner table with dad, because he is not in a hurry to get a dip. A birthday party where daddy wasn't annoyed at how long the cake, ice cream and presents took. They seem trivial, but they are in reality the best things that have occurred since I quit chewing.

Have I beaten my addiction? I sometimes try to tell myself that I have beaten it. But then I bring myself back down to earth. The fact is I'm addicted to nicotine. I've been addicted to it since I was about 13 years old and I will be addicted to it until the day I die. The difference between now and one hundred days ago is now I'm a non-using addict. Nicotine addiction is the same as any other addiction. Once an addict, always an addict. One dip and I would be back to a can a day. Don't get me wrong, it does get easier to fight the addiction, but it is a fight that must continue.

So what's the big deal about getting to 100 days. Well if you make it this far you have been through some serious shit and you feel pretty good about yourself. Let's face it the first three weeks really suck. I was tired, but couldn't sleep. I was angry, but at what I'm not sure. I couldn't concentrate, sit still, shit, etc, etc. I can remember around day 7 or 8 I was talking to my wife. I told her what day I was on and she kiddingly replied “ Do you want a Bozo button”. I told her that not only did I want a Bozo button but I wanted him to come to my house and do a song and dance as he gave it to me because I was going through hell and deserved it. Of course at that time the dip rage was so bad that if he had showed up at the house I would of beat the shit out of him. And then there was the depression around day 30 and 60 and 75. Up until about day 75 I would have times when I felt like I was in the first week fog again. And even at day 100 the dip rage will show up occasionally. But I really do feel better than I have in a long time. My blood pressure and pulse rate is down. I'm sleeping better. And let me tell you the food taste 1000 times better. Plus I don't run out before dessert because I have to have a dip. That has caused me to gain about 15 pounds, but I will worry about that later. I have seen both my doctor and dentist and have been given a clean bill of health. I think everyone who is quitting should go to the dentist. Let's face it if you were anything like me, you didn't go to the dentist much because you didn't want to here the lecture.

There are a ton of people I want to thank. Without the support I have received I'm not sure I would be here. I've tried in the past to quit on my own and haven't had any success. So the difference this time must be the people I have leaned on.

First and foremost, I would like to thank my family. You bore the brunt of the depression, dip rage, confusion and everything else. You were always there for me. Thank you and I love you all. Kirkland, thank you for being the special little boy you are. Without you I would not be here. I love you.

Matt, thank you for putting together and maintaining the best quit aid any of us could have used. Without your vision I don't think I would have made it to this point. I remember finding this site and after about an hour I couldn't believe how I felt. The strength and power I gained from this site and those that post here was amazing.

A special thanks to LF. Your daily support in the first few weeks of my quit where uplifting and strengthened my resolve. Thank you my friend.

To Rick in Tampa and Calgary Mike your posts and personal emails to me where lifesavers. Thank you.

To Jogi and Bluesman, thanks for your wisdom!

Quitat50, Trying, Big Dave, Cstone, Gopher, Rich, Cody, Mallowguy, 4Woogie, tryingAgain thanks for going through this with me guys. You have been there everyday during the last 100 and I thank you for it. You are my brothers and I am proud and honored to be associated with you all.

To everyone else that posts on this board or anyone that I have missed thank you for your support. I couldn't have done it without you.

Manhattan, Kansas
Rich 20020709 To all of my October HOF brothers we've made it. I feel liberated. I hope we have a convention soon. I can't wait to meet everyone I've corresponded with on this site. It seems like all of us have contributed to everyone's lives in some way.

I'm going to be a Dad in Feb. 2003. I don't have to worry that I might not be around long enough to see my son grow up, go to school, drive, date, and become a well rounded person. I've put the odds on my side now. It feels great to be in charge of my life again.

To all of my October buddies thank you. You have helped me so much. I think you guys would be cool to hang out with and talk about how our lives have changed.

I look forward to 200 days. Everyone keep up the good work.

Thank God for this web site.

Peace

Rich.

Aurora, Oh, USA
12yeardipper 20020711

today feels better than any birthday. i'm not kidding. this quit was different for a couple reasons and i think these reasons are why the outcome was different and permanent (knock on wood).

1. i admitted that i am addicted to nicotine. i always used to say it was a habit or i wanted to dip or whatever. i know now that i am an addict and an addict cannot play around with his drug of choice. since july 11, 2002, i am a non-using addict.

2. i decided that life was better without nicotine/dipping than with it. i used to consider a dip a vacation from the day's turmoil. that was why I did it. i used to love taking a break from the day's silliness and hang back and get a fat rush of nicotine flowing through my body. (man, i re-read that and it reconfirms point number 1; those are an addict's words.) no mas. no more hiding from social situations. whenever i would go visit family/friends, i would always worry about when i would get a chance to get my fix. truly sad. those days are over.

3. www.quitsmokeless.org - a friend pointed me here; i don't think he knows how much it helped. many aspects of this site are helpful. it gives you: something to do while you're quitting in the early days, a forum to re-affirm your resolve, a support group of genuine people who really care and who are going/have gone/will go through the same experience as you (the whole bond through shared pain thing). i posted A LOT along the way (124 times!) and i read every single post on the board. i probably could have wiggled my way to this point without this site but there is no way on this earth that i would be so commited to the future and so aware of why i want to be free without this forum. thanks, matt.

special thanks to: Professor for leading my way, Trying & Mark for showing me how to fight, and The_Kid for letting me play on the hockey team!

the October 2002 HOF Class knows how to party!

peace out, brothers and sisters! here's to a nicotine-free existence!

NC
Cody 20020712 My day has finally arrived. Let me tell you fellas, this place is unbelievable! I mean I had heard stories but wow!

First and foremost, thank you Matt for your vision in creating this website and support system. It has truly been invaluable in helping me stay quit. I would love to shake your hand someday.

A little background on myself. I started dipping snuff when I was about 9 years old. I can remember sneaking up the monkey bars at recess in the 3rd grade to take a dip. Why? I guess I saw my older sister's boyfriends dipping and wanted to be like them. It truly blows my mind now to think of how young 9 years old is! And so began my lifelong journey of tobacco use. By 9th grade I had evolved into a genuine can of Copenhagen a day user. Now, here I sit having spent 70% of my life thus far dipping snuff. That changed July 12, 2002.

I've tried many times over the past seven or so years to kick the can. I tried cold turkey, the wean down approach, the patch, the gum, the fake snuff, cigars, on and on. I was never able to make it past a few weeks. Take heart though. You have heard it said many times here...KEEP ON QUITTIN! Sooner or later it will stick.

So what's different this time? First, by God's grace I found this website and have used it daily, I have a true desire to make this my last Quit, I involved my wife deeply in this battle (she is a frequent visitor to the site and it has helped give her insight into the addiction she had never understood before), I told all of my family / friends / co-workers about my quit, and most importantly, I remind myself daily that I literally am one dip away from being a full blown can of Copenhagen / day junkie again.

Why quit dipping? Quit dipping to enjoy your family. Quit dipping to cease being a slave. It is so nice to go for an evening walk with my pregnant wife and 2 year old son, versus making up an excuse to stay behind and dip while they go without me. What a loser I was. The good news is, at this point for me, dipping is becoming more and more of a distant memory. Don't get me wrong, I still occasionally miss having a dip. Who knows, maybe I always will. Thankfully, I can tell you that the associations (hunting, fishing, after a meal, etc.) are fading. Now, I am enjoying reinventing myself as a non-dipper. The previous sentence was something I read in somebody's post that always stuck with me. Sorry I can't recall who said that, but just another testament to gleaning something from this website.

Thank you to all of my friends here at QuitSmokeless. You are truly friends.

Thank you to the October Crew.

God Bless,
Cody

"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour - this greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear - is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle victorious." --- Vince Lombardi

Houston, TX
Mike Hammer 20020712 I hope that all the people who are posting on QuitSmokeless and striving for the HOF make it, so they can feel the exultation that I am feeling now. This is one of the proudest days of my life, behind only the birth of my daughter and my wedding day. After 15 years of one to two tins of Cope a day, and basically being a slave to dip, victory and freedom taste even sweeter than I'd imagined (especially since my sense of taste has returned to 100%!).

So many people who have entered the HOF before me have given such great advice that I will not belabor those points. My one piece of advice is simply this--don't be fooled into thinking that dip makes you a better person, or a more productive worker, or better able to handle problems. It doesn't. The things I loved when I dipped--fishing, football, etc.--are still great. The things that I loathed when I dipped--stress, working late, yardwork--still suck. I think part of the reason I didn't quit sooner was the misguided fear that, without the extra "kick" I thought I was getting from dip, I'd be less productive at work, or not get up so early. That was completely wrong.

Thanks to Matt for putting this site together. It is a fantastic resource that helped in many ways. I got great information from this site on quitting techniques and devices. I took comfort in the fact that I was not alone in this struggle---my friends in Louisiana, Texas, Michigan, Tennessee, etc. were also quitting and fighting alongside me. It is a constant reminder that we're in this together--whether you've quit for a day, a month, or a year--because the truth is that we're all one dip away from resuming the addiction.

But you have to want to quit. And so I really owe the most thanks to my family. My wife and daughter, who can't quite pronounce "addiction" yet, much less spell it, fill me with so much love that I knew I had to quit for them, and that finally made it possible. My wife's patience should get her enshrined. And the possibility that my addiction, and my being too weak to conquer it, might kill me and deprive me of extra years with them, was all the motivation I needed. My in-laws also deserve no small amount of gratitude. They were supportive and patient with me thru some of the hardest, darkest hours, and have taken me on as their own son. And my father-in-law gave me invaluable advice, that helped me quit and will help me stay quit, based on his own experience quitting smoking. With my daughter, wife, and in-laws behind me, as well as this great website, I had no choice but to succeed. For all of that, I thank God.

Green Pond, NJ
trying 20020715 I'd like to address the first part of my HoF speech to new quitters and those that have found this site and are considering starting the Big Quit. When I first found this site, I read and reread every HoF speech to get an idea of where people had been and what they went through to make it to 100 days. It helped me to read about how others picked up this crazy habit, so here's my story.

THE GATEWAY
I bought my first can of Skoal Bandits when I was 16 or so. I probably bought 10 cans altogether over the next couple of months, then dropped the habit (if you could call it that). The story should have ended there, but 3 or 4 years later I found myself in a WaWa on a "study break", saw the display of snuff getting refilled, and, more out of a sense of boredom then anything else, decided to try Bandits again.

This time, the habit stuck, and I continued to chew Bandits for a few months. I really enjoyed the habit and thought it was the best of both worlds - the nicotine buzz with no cancer consequences (I've since discovered that I was living in a fools' paradise). One day, my local store was out of Bandits and I bought a can of Skoal Long Cut. Talk about taking it to a new level! The nicotine rush knocked me off my feet, and I found a new love in life.

From there, I followed the typical junkie path with the harmless Bandits as my "gateway" drug. The day eventually arrived when the store was out of Long Cut and I bought Fine Cut with the same kicked-up nicotine rush. I substituted Copenhagen for Fine Cut one day, and stayed with the Cope for the next 11 years. I tried many other kinds of snuff over that time, but always went back to Cope.

QUIT ATTEMPTS
So, there I was with a habit begun in late '89 or early '90. My first serious attempt to quit was New Year's Eve of 1994. I didn't make it through a day. I tried again in February of 1994 and lasted a few weeks before caving in again. Got a scare in 1995 when my dentist sent me to an oral surgeon, but everything was OK, so I breathed a sigh of relief and continued to chew. I met my wife in '95 and tried to quit again and failed, tried again New Year's 1996 and failed, tried again in the Fall of '96, then again before I got married in Fall of '97, then again before I got out of Grad school in '99, then before my son was born in '00, etc. All failures.

The funny thing was, I didn't see myself as a chewer. When I pictured myself in the future, 5 or 10 years down the line, I never pictured myself as still having the dipping habit. I knew I would quit someday, but someday never seemed to come. I always found an excuse to go back, you will too. If you try hard enough, and this habit will assure that you try hard enough, you'll find a reason to go back to the tin. Work is busy, you have a paper/test/project due for school, you're out on a bachelor party/tailgate/fishing trip. I was 3 weeks quit in 1996 and bought a can because I was stuck in traffic during a hurricane and needed nicotine for the stress. More than once, I quit, got sick within a couple of weeks, and bought a can, figuring I'd keep chewing until my illness passed then quit again. The illness would pass and I never would get around to restarting the next quit.

I was nervous when I approached my 10th year as a can-a-day addict. Then I figured "With 10 years down, my risk isn't going up that much with an 11th year. After all, what's one more year going to hurt?". Then the 11th year went by, then the 12th. I was getting close to 13 years when I got another scare: pain and swelling in my jaw that lasted 4 days before I finally called a doctor and got checked out.

The report was unbelievable: everything was fine. The tissue in my mouth was all healthy, and there were no worrisome signs that suggested cancer. I walked out of the doctor's office with an "all-clear" and immediately loaded another dip. However, I knew the end of the line was approaching. I didn't need any more signals, I needed to quit before it was too late.

I started to cut down, found this site on July 11th, quit, caved, quit again, caved again, quit again, caved again, quit again, caved again, then quit for good on the 15th. It was a rocky road in the beginning, but eventually the days started to pile up and the can began to recede from my life. In the end, it was a simple process:
  1. DO NOT put snuff in your mouth
  2. Repeat
It really is that easy. Were there times I thought I'd die? Yes, but here I am. The days passed, cravings passed, and before I knew it, I was 100 days beyond my quit date.

MY BEST FRIEND
Like most quitters, I LOVED this habit. I enjoyed every chew, the taste, the nicotine rush, the mini "vacation" from my day packing a dip gave me....
  ...or DID I?
When I thought about it, I had to admit that I really only enjoyed one out of every ten dips, if that. Many times I was just feeding the monkey perched on my back. I slipped out to the parking lot at weddings to dip. I headed to the men's room when out with my wife to have a dip. I showered sometimes 3 times a day to pack a dip. How many days did I drive out of my way to buy a can? How many trips did I take where the first thing I verified was packed safely away was my Copenhagen? I enjoyed a dip the most when I was already buzzed from alcohol. I remember fondly my last bachelor Summer when I'd stay in every now and then on a Saturday night with a 12-pack and 2 cans of Copenhagen and watch 2 or 3 movies while relaxing on the couch with a light breeze blowing in the windows. I couldn't stand the thought of leaving my friend after all those memories.

NOSTALGIA
Years ago I read an article in Men's Fitness magazine entitled "Should You Call Your Old Girlfriend". It was geared toward guys in their mid to late 20s contemplating getting back in touch with a girlfriend from their college days. The purpose of the article was to point out the dangers of nostalgia. It offered the opinion that you don't really want to get back together with your ex, you just miss a certain time in your life and your ex is merely a relic from those days. We all miss the days when we were experiencing unfettered freedom in college, or the first couple of years after graduation when we were making our own money and the future was bright with potential. An ex-girlfriend is a great reminder of those days, but we have to remember that the times weren't ALWAYS that great.

This habit works the same way. For 12 years I chewed through every happy moment in my life, to the point that I can't remember happy moments without chew. I remember chewing on road trips, late nights in seedy bars, and tailgates. Dipping was a link to my past, to the old me that had no responsibilities (spouse, kid, mortgage) save to himself. I finally had to wake up to the fact that I was 33 and 11 years removed from the kid I sometimes still thought I was. Don't let nostalgia keep you imprisoned in addiction.

GREEN TEA/FAKE STUFF/QUIT AIDS
I drink green tea every day. I'm convinced it cuts cravings, but it doesn't. Its all mental. Green tea is said to cut your risk of oral cancer. Maybe I believe that, maybe I don't, but if there's a chance in 100 that drinking a couple of cups of green tea a day will offset 13 years of tobacco as far as the risk of oral cancer goes, I'm willing to chance it. Besides, I actually kind of like it.

As to SMC/BACC-OFF/ETC - I don't know. I didn't use it. When I made the decision to quit I also decided to let my gums heal ASAP. Some people used fake snuff, some people didn't. If it helps, go for it.

I didn't go the route of the patch, nicotine gum, or prescription drugs, but again, some people did with great success. If you want to quit straight-up cold turkey, I'm proof it can be done. However, whatever it takes to quit you should be willing to do. Beat this addiction FIRST, then worry about gum, patches, fake dip, etc. As long as there is no snuff in your mouth, you will be on the road to beating the addiction. No one here thinks any less of you if you use quit aids, and there are no special prizes for quitters that went cold turkey. 100 days is 100 days. Just quit.

THIS SITE
I wouldn't have made it without this site. I posted almost every day, more than once a day in the beginning. By day 75 or so, I didn't need it as much, but I still read every post every day. The support is incredible, as much or as little as you need. Stick with your quit group. I didn't like the idea at first (the quit groups) but the enthusiasm of fellow quitters like QuitAt50 and Big Dave was infectious and I was proud to make it to 100 days in their company.

FINAL THANKS
Thanks to Matt for this site, Steve from Tallahassee for responding to my early posts (it really helps to have someone far along acknowledge your posts and offer advice/encouragement), LF for encouragement, JeffD for sharing an incredible amount of similar past experiences and posting every day to and beyond 100 days, Flintlock for building up days, failing, and quitting again the next day ("its not how many times you fall down, its how many times you get back up" - I will continue to hover around this site until you make the Hall), Professor for being ahead in the quit game and blazing a path for the rest of us who found the site in July, to 12yeardipper, QFK, and Cody for starting this journey right around the same time as me, and to the rest of the October class who were lucky enough to be led into the Hall by the best point man out there - The Goph. Thanks to those who quit before me (especially notdeadyet whose posts I got a kick out of reading in the swirl of longwinded and verbose entries in the archives), and posted a record of your struggle - they were a great map to follow. Thanks to those who quit after me, your struggles make me keep my eye on the goal. I look forward to following the trials and tribulations of the November, December, January, and February classes, and Mark, and look forward to welcoming all of you to the world of 100 tobacco-free days.

Philadelphia, PA
Big Dave 20020719 100 Days. The very words that I have strived towards for the last, well, 100 days. And here I am. My wife and I are giddy when we talk about the last 100 days. Neither of us ever thought that I would ever be able to quit chewing. None of my family or friends ever thought I would quit chewing. For the last 19 + years, I have been a dipper. When I have needed to, I have been a closet dipper. In high school, I started to swallow the juice in order to be able to dip while in class. That habit carried on with me until 100 days ago.

If I had a job that banned tobacco products, I would sneak it in my pants and use the restroom a lot. I would have the dip on the side of my cheek where it was all but invisible. Unless you were also a dipper, you had no idea I was chewing. I now have 5 daughters. Many times over the course of years, I have dreaded the thought of not being there, of dying of cancer and missing out on their lives. I want to be there for everything... Their first day of school, graduations, prom, dates, weddings...I don't want to miss a thing. Still, it wasn't enough to make me want to quit. I have tried it all over the years, but until 100 days ago, I truly never had any desire to quit.

Having made that decision, I started hunting for quit aids. I actually was surfing the net, on Google, looking for the Kodiak Snuff manufacturers site, so I could send them a nasty-gram, and this is the 3rd site that came up. I came, lurked for a half hour or so, and signed up. I had been quit for 5 days when I found this site. Now, here is the real curious part...I did a very simple search: Kodiak snuff, that's it...again, this was the 3rd site listed. Now, 100 days later, I run the same search and got 13 pages deep and still never saw the site listed again in my search result. Now, I have always believed in a power higher than myself and do not preach, but something guided me here that day. And, this site has strengthened my resolve a thousand fold. Being a part of a group of people, all of whom I have never met, but knowing we are all going through the same struggle...it has been a blessing.

100 days. My daughters are proud. My wife is proud. My family is proud. I am proud. Of myself, of what I have accomplished...of defeating what seemed to me to be insurmountable odds. My daughters will have me around a lot longer now. There seems to be so many people to thank. I wish I could remember everyone, but I know that will never happen...so, if I forget you in my speech, please, do NOT be offended. It's just my age.

First and foremost: My wife, Debbie. You have been my rock. You have always been there with a supportive comment, a special look, a hug. You have put up with my dip rages. No more will you ever have to not kiss me because of the crap in my lip. I Love you now and forever. Thank you for being you.

My daughters, Marisa, Breanna, Kaitlin, McKenna, & Saige: How you ever managed to put up with me, I shall never know. You are my reasons for living. I love you all!

Matt Van Wyk: I doubt there is anything I can say that you haven't heard. So, to you, I say THANK YOU!!

My Fellow Octoberites: QFK, Quitat50, Trying, Cstone, Gopher, Rich, Cody, Mallowguy, 4Woogie, tryingAgain, Big Tex (You are STILL an Octoberite to me)... Rev, Roosterless, BuckeyeMarcus, Mark, northcreek, Lillydale, Big H, ddgrmchgr...not Octoberites, but thanks, just the same... you guys have all been with me from the get-go. Without all of your posts and wisdom, I wouldn't be here. I am proud of you all and I thank you!!

Some Special Thanks: 4woogie: What can I say, my friend. You have always been there to make me laugh or smile... and to always be on guard from that nasty little Skoal Demon. You have lent support when I most needed it, even though you may never know it. It has always made my day that you have taken the time to inquire about my abnormally large family!! 5 daughters are rough, but knowing I have support like you...well, that makes it easier to deal with. Give Smitty a slap on the back from me, would ya?

Yoshi: Yoshi is a fellow that works with me. He has never been to this site, has never dipped or smoked. What he has done is congratulate me almost every day for the last 100 days. He is, out of everyone in my office, only one of a couple people who have ever even asked me what day it is. Every day, he is there with a high five and a hearty congrats. You have also been a huge support, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To all the guys that have led in style and have gone before... NYRanger, Jogi, Professor, JustShawn, LF, CalgaryMike, Cubby, OlyWaMike... I miss seeing you all and look forward to sharing room in the Hall with all of you. Now, move over and make some room!!

Oak Harbor, WA
QuitAt50 20020720 The thanks ---
--No question about it, the biggest reason for my arrival at 100 days is this site. I can't thank you enough, Matt! What a HUGE difference you make in the lives of so many!! How often do we *think* we can go it alone? What does it take to acknowledge the help of others? I believe it takes GRATITUDE. Deep, sincere appreciation for complete strangers coming out to BE THERE for you. Wow.

The story ---
--All through my 40s I thought about, and *wanted* to quit, but I never did anything about it. So, at age 49 I made a commitment to myself to quit by my 50th birthday. When I mentioned it to my dentist, he said, "So, you want to see age 55?!" I quit 3 days before my fiftieth.

--Two very significant reasons contributed to my success: The first was the realization that there was NO WAY I could quit cold turkey. I knew that I didn't have the guts, fortitude, attitude, conviction, or whatever it takes to do that. So over 4 months, I mixed a weaker and weaker blend of Kodiak and Smokey Mt Chew, to where I had so little tobacco in the can, that going to zero percent mix was a cinch. I remember saying several times during the first month - when so many are struggling with the cravings - that I should have done it sooner (like 15 years sooner!). Seeing so many Members cave has reinforced my choice to work it that way.

--The other key to my success is that I *finally* let go of a self-image that I created at about age 20. I failed to admit how badly I wanted to hold on to a perception of myself as an independent, foot-loose, young, robust, athletic sh*t-kicker who didn't take no crap from nobody. I was the Marlboro Man, Rocky Graziano, James Dean, and Clint Eastwood all rolled into one. Invincible. Unbeatable. Pretty typical for a 20 year old, yah? So I grew up. So I got a clue.

The secret ---
--I realize that the biggest hurdle is not to just BUCK UP and tolerate the cravings, although that's necessary. NOT to just go minute to minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, although that's also essential. The secret is to welcome a NEW YOU into a world you're not familiar with -- the world of non-chewers. The hurdle is that you need to create that NEW YOU, and YOU DON'T KNOW HOW!! For me, I had to say goodbye to a skinny kid with a big buckle and a hat, and a beat up truck, and a fatty in the lip and a care-free lifestyle, and admit that the *adult* that I had become no longer fit with the whole tobacco/cowboy thing. It wasn't that hard, it just needed to be done.

The future ---
--The next 100 days will be spent weaning myself off of Smokey Mt Chew. I' ve chewed it the past 100 days like the poisonous stuff, pretty much. Dentist says it's got too much molasses in it to be any good for your teeth. There are a bunch of great suggestions right here on this site to overcome something as innocuous as SMC. The cool thing about tapering off to zero is that you can concentrate exclusively on being tobacco *free*, and deal with the physical addiction to a fatty later.

--I'll be around to post regular. The October Quit Group is my place until day 365 when there will be a new October QG.

The inspiration ---
--QFK said it better about reinventing yourself; gopher3546 and I are like gray matter brothers; Buddy B welcomed me as a fellow Oregonian and our in-person meeting was such a delight; Thanks to otown dave, Ted and jogi for being elders with guidance and wisdom; CStone for admitting like everybody else, we all have a checkered past; TJ for regular callouts; LF for being out ahead on the trail and giving consistent support; JeffD for the following wisdom: ".you love pizza, but you don't stuff a pepperoni in your lip every 10 minutes because it's a stupid thing to do." Buckeyemarcus and northcreek for humor (sorely needed while on this path!); mallowguy for his effort in helping to keep quit groups together; trying for succeeding; Big Dave for being big-hearted and being BIG enough that you could slice him up and pass him all around for everyone to love; Lilly Dale for classin' the joint up a little; renovate616 for being such a pal to your brethren and especially to newbies; 4woogie for being a true friend to Smitty, and a TRUE ENEMY to the demon!.

--Everybody who answered my email: Catskin, Bookman, Rich, Eric, JamSqueak, goosespirit, Tractorman, Ira Bliss, Gavin, DarkHound, Marty, Ricky. To all: please feel free to contact me any time.

Bend, Oregon
mallowguy 20020722 Well well well. 100 days. The rest of my life to go. Thanks to Matt and all of the members at QuitSmokeless, "the rest of my life" will be much longer than it would have been if I hadn't stumbled across this site.

Now, I get to make my speech to all of you, and as a bonus you will get my life story. It is not the best story, and I am not proud of it, but it is necessary to know in order to understand just how evil the demon is.

I started chewing in 1984 when, of all people, my (at the time) girlfriend introduced me to the wonders of Kodiak. She and her friends were goofy high school girls who thought it was pretty funny to sneak around the back of the building and dip for 10 minutes to get the big falling down Bear rush. It was a social thing for them. Never being one to do anything halfway, I worked my way to a complete addiction within a month. And that continued for the next 18 years.

The next five years were very lean years for me, as I was trying to decide what to do with my life. I bounced in and out of jobs, got behind on bills, was forced to sleep in my beater car on several occasions, all because I "didn't have enough money" to pay the debts I was responsible for. Luxuries like rent, utilities, gas, traffic tickets, etc. Somehow, I still found the money to buy my two cans of Kodiak a day throughout this. There were times when I didn't know where my next meal was coming from, but still I always had a dip. It is strange how you prioritize things, but looking back I see what I couldn't see then... that, as my HOF bro 4woogie calls it, the "demon" was in complete control of my life. I could rationalize putting a dollar's worth of gas in my car and running out the next day, but I couldn't give up my friend, the Bear. If I was awake, I was dipping. It makes me sick when I think about it.

Finally, because some very special people believed in me and gave me the breaks I needed, I was able to turn my life around and become a productive member of society. I went back to school, started a career instead of a job, got married (since divorced), had two wonderful sons, and became "a pretty good guy". The one part of my past I was not able to shake, however, was my old friend the Bear. No matter how I tried, he couldn't take the hint that I wanted to move on without him. So, as my life got better, the Bear was there to celebrate with me. In the back of my mind, I was saying "I want to quit" but that thought always seemed to get pushed aside when something would happen to make me say "OK, I will quit NEXT week, or NEXT month, or after this can, or after vacation, or...". You all know that routine. I thought I was making a big stride when I switched from Kodiak to Silver Creek about 8 years ago. I was still dipping, but at least I was saving money, right? That was my big noble gesture for the 90's.

Finally, this year, my wonderful fiancee let me know, very gently, that she really wanted me to quit so she could be assured that we would have a long life together. So my boys would grow up with a healthy father. So she could trust me... for she had heard the "I AM going to quit, soon!" line so many times that she was wondering if she could trust anything I said anymore. I thought about it, knowing she was right (she always is), and on July 22, 2002, right before supper, I dumped my last can down the crapper. Somehow I just knew it was time.

The next few days were pure, unadulterated hell. Somehow I managed to make it to the ninth day, but I could tell that I was close to caving. On a whim, I went to www.google.com and typed "quit snuff" into the search box. The first site that popped up was this one. I spent the next two hours reading the posts! I couldn't believe that there were other people out there going through the same thing I was... it was unbelievable. I would read a post and think "That is me talking! All this time, I thought it was just me, but this is how the demon affects everyone!" I joined QuitSmokeless, and the rest is history. The quit was not any easier... the headaches, the fog, the sleeplessness... but at least I now knew that there were others out there going through the same thing. Being able to ask questions of others who had experienced the same thing was like a gift from heaven. And that, more than anything, is the reason that I am writing this today.

And now I enter my second 100 days, with a lifetime to go. I will be here, doing what I can to help you all, as others before you helped me. This has truly been a life-changing experience for me, and the only way I know to repay everyone that has helped me is to help others. I will personally hold the HOF door for everyone that follows me.

To all my QS compatriots... Goph, 4woogie, Big Dave, QuitAt50, QFK, 12yeardipper, northcreek, buckeyemarcus, roosterless... ok, not enough room to list everyone. You guys are the best! Each and every one of you is the reason I am here now. Since I can't find the words to express my thanks, please accept my simple "thank you!".

To Matt... our guide, our icon, our leader. Again, I can't express my gratitude enough. You are the best. I only hope that someday I am able to make such a difference in someone's life.

And to all of you quitters... congratulations to all of you! Overcoming the demon is a great accomplishment and you should be very proud, whether you are on day 2 or day 200.

Appleton, WI
4woogie 20020722 First of all, I need to thank Smitty765 for asking me to help him quit. You see, we work together, and after he found out he was going to have a biopsy done, he came to me and asked that I not flaunt my can in his face. (Like many of us have done to friends who have tried to quit in the past) News of his biopsy scared the bejesus out of him and me, I told him I would try to quit as well. His plea was my wake up call, and I am glad I had the sense that God gave a goose, to answer it. So he was the catalyst for me to really quit.

Secondly, I would like to thank myself for finally growing up, and realizing that Skoal was bad for me. I would also like to thank myself for pulling my head out of my ass and having the balls to finally quit. Don't get me wrong guys, I quit for me, that way if I failed, I could only blame myself, and have no one else to resent. If it weren't for me (dipping for 25 years, and quittin'), I would not be here in the first place. All I know is that my sarcastic, selfish attitude and this website have worked for me, so far, for 100 days.

It is very hard to sum up how to quit a 25-year, can a day, addiction, and how it has changed me as a person. All I know is that I am no longer a slave to that wicked, fat ass, slimy backed, three-toed Skoal Demon, and his stupid green can with the shiny lid, that convenience store clerks could not locate anyway! I feel better physically and mentally. I do not feel panic if I am without tobacco. Through this experience I have learned a lot about myself, and the power of smokeless tobacco addiction. I will attempt to impart some of that knowledge for anyone who reads this and thinks that it is hopeless to quit.

When I dipped, I knew two things:

1) Tobacco was addictive.
2) One day I would have to quit.

What I did not know was:

1) I was an addict
2) The addiction was always telling me that I could quit after the next can, tomorrow, the next roll, or find a better day to quit, etc.

If you are ready to quit. Stop putting tobacco in your mouth, and do not listen to the addiction, it will lie to you each time. The addiction will use anything, anyone, or any means possible to keep you a slave to tobacco, and UST. The only way to fail is to load up your lip with cancer weed.

One of the most important aspects of making the quit stick, is to reinvent your identity. You need to mentally have the image of yourself as a quitter, and not a dipper. No one ever congratulated me for dipping, but everyone I know has congratulated me for quitting. So when you wake each morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself that "You are a quitter, and that is cool!" To succeed you must have a mental self-image of that! "You are not a dipper, you are a quitter." If that doesn't work, (Say this in the most sarcastic voice you can when looking in a mirror) "Oh, what shall I do today, without my lip packed with cancer weed? Will I become less of a man, or more of one?" Sounds silly but it works. Nothing, no one, or any situation in your life requires you to fill your lip full of cancer dirt. So why do it? Over time you will realize you can think in greater detail and handle any situation more clearly without your lip full of snuff.

All the new quitters are worried about how bad the fake snuff is? Well, I can tell you that it isn't bad as Skoal, Copenhagen, or other UST cancerous concoctions! Fake snuff is designed to help you quit chewing tobacco. Use it for what it is made for and quit fretting the little stuff about it. The alternative is dipping real snuff or nothing at all! Your usage of the fake snuff will subside in time. Every time I use it, I just kinda chuckle because I know I am not getting anything from it.

Fake snuff (my opinion) Bacc-off dips, feels and tastes more like tobacco than any of the fake snuffs out there. Bacc-off extra wintergreen tastes just like Skoal fine cut wintergreen. Oregon Mint Snuff is to hard and sweet, and tears the crap out of my lip. Smokey Mountain (at all Wal-Mart's, in the tobacco section) has energy boosting stuff in it, that I do not care for. The classic flavor tastes more like cope than Bacc-off does, the red clover stems also tear the crap out of my lip. Try them all, and you will find one you like. Green Tea is also great for stopping cravings, dip it, drink it, eat it, but give it a try, it might be the choice for you.

It is a comfort to me to know I can go to any Wal-Mart, and find SMT if I had to. To me, If you really want to quit, there is no reason to cave back tobacco when you can get the fake snuff 24 hours a day in most places.

4woogies' three phases of addiction:

1) The nicotine is what keeps you in a fog for about the first 2 weeks of the quit. Most of the nicotine will leave your system in about two weeks. Then for the next two weeks your body will discover little pockets of fat that have nicotine in them, and cause wild, out of the blue cravings. After 30 days quit you should never have a true nicotine craving. I have always said to do whatever you have to do to make it two weeks. This will give you time to come out from under the brain fog of the nicotine, and start feeling better about quitting, and see the addiction for what it is. The first two weeks are the most critical part of your quit, because this is when the tobacco demon will lie, cheat, and steal and try to use everything, and everyone to keep you addicted and dipping for UST.

2) The oral fixation is always feeling like you need to have something in your lip. This is the part of the addiction where the fake snuff comes into play. To me, this is one of the hardest parts of the addiction to break. I love to chew, I don't miss the nicotine one damn bit, and fake snuff helps me through these times. Fake snuff also will help you through "trigger" times. ("trigger times" = after meals, drinking alcohol, mowing the yard, hunting, fishing, golf, TV, etc) Use of fake snuff will diminish over time. Some days you go to bed at night, and realize you haven't used it at all.

3) Habit - This is where the fake snuff doesn't help. This is the easiest part of the addiction to cure. I sometimes find myself dipping out of habit (usually boredom) just because I have a can of fake snuff in my pocket. Most of the time you can catch yourself doing this before you actually put it in your mouth. The more days under your belt, the easier it is to control this habit.

YOU DO NOT CURE A LONG TIME ADDICTION IN A MATTER OF DAYS, WEEKS, OR MONTHS. I see to many people come to this site, quit, worry about getting addicted to fake snuff, not use it, and failing. I used Skoal for 25 years, and I know that even after 100 days that I will not be cured. I am a smokeless tobacco addict, and will be for the rest of my life. The only difference between today and the day I quit is that I make the choice to dip or not to dip. The can does not lead my life anymore. I know I can never have another dip again for as long as I live, and it's OK with me. Coming to peace with this idea, is what keeps me from going back to the can.

Baby Steps at first - Take your quit one-minute, day, or crave at a time. Set small goals that can be obtained. One of my first goals was to make it 24 hours. I had failed so many times in the past at 24 hours, just to get past it was an accomplishment. My main goal was two weeks. I figure that I owed it to myself to go for two weeks just to see what happened. You know what happened? It worked. If you made it today without cancer dirt in your lip, you can make it tomorrow.

Never let your guard down, because the demon will use any reason, person, or thing to try to convince you that tobacco is the answer to all of your problems. It is not the answer. The battle for today might be won, but the war is just beginning. You do not cure a 10,15,20, or 25+ year addiction in a matter of days, weeks, or months. I do not know about you, but I never want that fu*kin' Skoal demon to lead me around by the lip ever again. I have read more than a few posts of HOF'ers falling victim to the demon again. Most have cowboy'd up and dropped the can once again. Just as soon as you think you have a handle on this quitting stuff, that's when you are at your weakest point. Do become overconfident in your ability to quit, remember you are an addict for life.

Dip Rage - "We all say things we don't mean." It is OK to apologize to people, friends, and family for boughts of dip rage. When quitting, you are reinventing yourself, sometimes just getting to know yourself again, without snuff, is frustrating. Try to focus all that rage into something constructive. I decided to go to the driving range and hit golf balls each day. (I did this for 75 days straight, and my golf game improved, I have cut back to 3 times a week) Mow the lawn twice if you have to. Wash and wax your car each day. Just focus the rage somewhere else, other than people. I have found that Dip Rage diminishes over time as well. I have not had a bought of dip rage for at least a month, before I decide to blow up in front of my family, I will go to the driving range and pound balls.

One of the greatest aids that I have found on this journey was this website. Most of us have quit and failed many times over, because we thought we were alone. Through this website, I found I was not alone. Life is a journey. Some roads we choose to take. Some roads are chosen for us. Some roads seem impossible to pass. Some roads we walk alone. But today I am walking down a road, that I did not think possible. I am glad to be walking with others. A special thanks to Northcreek, Buckeyemarcus, Big Dave, and the entire class of October 2002 HOF inductees, you have made this journey fun, and a reality for me. Now whenever I see a can of snuff, I don't think about dipping it, I think about this website, and the people who I know who have helped me to stay away from it.

Thank you Matt, for creating this forum, and to all those who have been here before me, whose words have inspired, taught, and helped me change my life, for the better.

TX
northcreek 20020727 Before I let loose with my usual spray of ignorance and idiocy.

Matt - Thanks for everything. Your insight and drive to make this site what it is, is not only inspirational but down right heavenly. You put so much time and effort into helping a group of people that faced what you had faced and we are winning the battle. Thanks to you this is a reality. I am not catholic but they say that this pope has appointed more saints than anyone and I think you deserve the credit. Saint Matt, I owe you for what you have helped me accomplish.

100 days ago I started this journey to overcome an addiction. I had no idea how much of a hold it had on me. The beginning just like anything you go through is the hardest part. Once you get accustomed to not having that part of your life there then you can begin to make changes in how you act and react towards life. There has been considerable debate in the last few months on how to quit, what is the best way, damn how crude can Northcreek be in a post, does 4woogie really wear Salami underwear, does Buckeyemarcus have secret training sessions with his dog to learn the Zen like quality of self crotch licking, is that a banana in Northcreek's pocket or is he just happy he quit dipping, and too many others to really bother listing. Many of these questions will never be answered without the help of extensive research and video surveillance. Others though are quite easily answered. The best way to quit chewing is what ever works for you. I did Welbutrin and posted on this site constantly (much to the dismay of some). My sense of humor is twisted and I am a disgusting individual but I like me and so I used my twistedness to make this quit the last quit. This doesn't work for everyone. The most important thing is to find your own way and do your own thing. But the only thing that really matters is that you do quit. The quality of my life has already improved immensely and I would personally like to thank every single person that posted during my first 100 days. If you wrote it, I read it, and appreciated it. I would once again personally like to thank Matt the genius that put up a website that has touched and helped so many people. Matt it must feel good to lay your head down at night and think about porn…I mean think about the fact that you are actually making a noticeable difference in this world. You have changed the lives of so many….I can't say enough about what a wonderful person you are and I owe you more than I could ever repay. You gave me extra time with my wife and my son and my family and friends and the list could go on forever. You have inspired people like LF and Jogi and Bluesman to keep connected to the site and stay involved so that they can help others. I regret to inform you that I to plan to hang around and be a sick perv and help people quit tobacco. Everyone handles the addiction differently and you all will come to a point that the only time you think about a face full of cancer is when you are here at this site. There are many fine individuals that posted a lot and they took time away to make sure they quit. I have had my own battles about this daily and I can honestly tell you that I do not think about dip unless I am reading a post about it. But I will remain coming in here from time to time to make sure that the site is still working and people are still quitting and I am always here for anyone that needs a hand. I quit tobacco for me and my life is better because of it. Hell the supermodels are lining up waiting for dates because I don't dip anymore…Damn I dozed off again…what happened… Well they ain't supermodels and as I like to say they ain't skinny but they sure ain't pretty.

Thank You's
LF, QFK, Mallowguy , Lillydale, Renovate, Jogi, Bluesman, Sender, Mark, Rick in Tampa, Big Dave, Goph, Calgary Mike, Sevenzen, Big H, Going Insane, roosterless, jrad, Tuba, All the Octoberites( still sounds like something the clinic fixes..only kidding guys), the November crew, the December crew, January crew, February crew, all crews pre-octoberite…I think your getting the picture that all of you helped and I really appreciate all the help. This list could go on and on and on 670+ members and all of you have helped in some way..

4woogie - thanks… wish I could write a HOF speech like that… You are damn fine person and I appreciate all that you have done to keep me laughing through the quit pain. When we get the convention thing going we will have to play some golf, drink some beers, and act the fool. Thanks again.

The Mighty Buckeyemarcus - I miss you man…. Can't wait until you get here in a few days… I will be happy to see you post the HOF speech and I really appreciate the comedy…Sick minds think alike…. Great job buddy…

In closing: What goes around comes around, work like you don't need the money, love like you never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, sing like nobody's listening, drive it like you stole and if you stole it and your flexin' then sit the eff up. I wish you all the best.

Someone posted this along time ago on the boards and it just is the most fitting quitting quote I have read yet.
"Any fool with fast hands can grab a tiger by the balls, but it takes a hero to keep squeezing" - I don't know who said it and cannot remember who posted it.

Thanks,
Northcreek aka "the golfingest mfer in America"

Southaven, MS
Lobo 20020624 The HOF, Wow it's even more spectacular than I thought it could be. First off I want to thank Matt for creating a website that is the greatest support community in cyberspace. Your site is an invaluable tool, and the sole reason for many people's success at quitting. You should be very proud of what you have created here, and although we have never met, I consider you a friend.

Anyway my story is that I started dipping when I was about 15 years old just to see what it was all about. Who knew that for the next 16 years I would be a slave to a small tin can. See I can say that now "I was controlled by a small tin can". For years I never believed that. I always thought that I could quit if I wanted to, but I just didn't want to. The truth was that I was terrified to even try quitting. Dip had been part of my daily routine for more than half my life, and I didn't know how to live without it.

I use to think about quitting all the time. Of course like most, there was never a good time to quit, and I blew through a never ending list of "quit deadlines". I tried the "I'll quit for my wife" thing, the "I'll quit for my children" thing, and truth is I never succeeded until I decided to quit for myself. While searching the web for quitting tips one day I ran across quitsmokeless.org. I started reading some of the posts and I couldn't believe how much support there was, and The Secret of Our Success by Bluesman, was what sealed the deal. The first time I read it, it blew me away because he had me pegged. And at that moment I knew that I wasn't alone and that I could do it.

I would like to thank my wife and kids for all your support. I couldn't have done it without your love, patience, support and daily encouragement. Stopping the use of tobacco is one of the hardest things that I have ever done, and I am very proud of myself. I know that I am addicted to nicotine and always will be, but as mentioned by others the difference is that I'm now a non-using addict. Again I would like to thank Matt for what you have created. Thanks to Bluesman for The Secret of Our Success, and showing me that I am not unique. Thanks to everyone that posts on the board, I couldn't have done it without you.

Remember to win the fight one day at a time.

NM
Jason 20020329 Well, I still think about it. Briefly. Then I remember all the good things about not chewing. Even simply, how expensive it is. Puyallup, WA
Chevy 20020729 It's been a long battle in some ways but wonderful in so many other ways. Today I enter the Hall of Fame. I have so many people to thank but I'm afraid I'll miss somenone. I really don't think I could have made it without this website and the posts. I didn't post as often as I should have but I read the posts every day. Thanks for all the uplifts and encouraging words from everyone.

I was able to get this far cold turkey which may not be the best for everyone. It worked for me but I would suggest do whatever it takes to quit the awful habit. Life is so much better without the chew. Thanks again everyone.

GA
TUBA 20020730 Better late than never with the HOF speech - so here goes...

First of all, thanks to Matt and my fellow Novemberites, without whose support and encouragement I would not have made it thorough the first 100 days and beyond.

I began chewing when I was 17 years old and have been trying to quit since I was 20. I am now 35 years old, going on 144 days without chew. My previous longest quit had been about 20 days. It is amazing how much life I had overlooked and given up in dedication to the can. In hindsight, I feel stupid and embarrassed - What the hell had I been doing for the past 17 years and half of my life?

As I recounted in a couple of posts, I was on my third quit in the month of July when I found this site. It was a Friday and I knew I couldn't stop myself from buying a can on the way home from work (sad, huh?). I had previously found another site that had an electronic book with some good information. At lunch, I was trying to find that site through a search when this site also appeared. Lo and behold, there were other people going through the same ordeal and after reading, I did not feel alone anymore. Needless to say, I found the encouragement and confidence I needed to make it through that Friday and beyond. I am currently at 144 days and never looking back.

On day 16, my wife found me viewing this site. This was kind of an awkward situation because for the first 16 days, she did not know that I quit chewing. Hell, she thought I quit 3 years ago (of course a failed attempt) when our first child was born. So, I came clean and told her all about my habit and addiction. The first thing she did was hug and kiss me. She then pledged her unending support in my quit. I love my wife very much and she never ceases to amaze me!

The first 30 days were a real challenge, it was a struggle every day to stay focused. The next 30 days were easier, but I remember a strong crave around day 55 or so. The remaining days to 100 seemed to sail by. To date, life is better without chew knowing I'm giving myself a chance to be around to see my grandchildren. Do I miss it? Every once in a great moon, I will reminisce about chewing, but I can honestly say I don't think about chewing much anymore.

About day 80 or so, I got a clean bill of health from the dentist. I also scheduled an appointment for brightening my teeth with the money I had saved to date - kind of an early 100 day present to myself. I had always been self-conscious about the color of my teeth knowing chewing probably did most of the discoloration. I was fitted and wore molds filled with a peroxide formula to bed for two weeks. What a difference!!! My teeth are now a few shades whiter and I am no longer ashamed to smile. I highly recommend this procedure to my fellow former chewers!!!

Bottom-line too anyone who is reading this right now, YOU CAN QUIT THE CAN. If I can do it, so can you. You just have to want it and be willing to fight for it.

From someone who thought they would chew to the grave, I can honestly say that life without addiction to nicotine/being a slave to the can is BETTER than I ever imagined!!!!!

Thanks again and stay strong all

TUBA

Sacramento, CA
jaledi 20020803 To whom it may concern.... it should concern you if your reading this!!

Heres a little background on myself I'm 24 and I "had" chewed for 11yrs. Let me say that again had had had ok... It feels great to make it to the hof, it really does, huh I just looked out my window and seen a guy open his door to spit lol... anyway I am a father of one 2yr old and one on the way. That does give you motivation to quit when your child picks up your spitter and brings it to you. Dadda wats dis oh nuthin just trash thankyou. I did the whole hold the baby and baby bottle, spit bottle thing not a lot of fun. I hope I'll like feeding the next one without my bottle in hand better "I'm sure I will". Along with another baby on the way I am going for a career change also, whoever said once you quit you reinvent yourself was right I have so much going on now I have no time to chew, and I sure don't need to increase my risk for cancer my grandfather has prostrate cancer its terminal, my father has prostrate cancer and throat cancer he smoked for thirty some yrs. So I have plenty of reasons to quit. For anyone who is curious about my name ja-le-di is the first two letters of every part of my name.

Ah yes I can't help but mention a day of chewing in my life..

outta bed still rubbing, scratching, etc. put in a chew
take a shower with a chew in
take a shit "sorry" with a chew in you know the ol spitting between the legs thing
brush my teeth then put in a chew like that makes sense lol
after breakfast chew
driving somewhere chew
working chew
playing chew

chew chew chew, just about every thirty minutes I would have a new chew not a big one just a new one. I always new that someday I would have to quit but I just didn't care when. I guess you just have to be so burnt out and bored with it your just ready to give it up. I read an article in a newspaper about a sports editor that quit and he mentioned this site, I was actually quit for like 15 some odd days before I registered to QS. But let me tell you what when I did sign up and started posting and reading that was the best possible therapy I could have gotten in the early days. I had the "stiff" jaw aches tiredness during the day, restless during the night, cranky all the time. I still snap pretty quick sometimes but I try to keep good control over it. Thanx to my wonderful wife who really had no idea what it was going to be like when I quit, (besides her father said oh shit when he found out, he chews) yes I have told him about QS he is just to damn stubborn to quit. My wife is pretty damn understanding when I snap, but guess what its my turn to be understanding now lol...

To all you quitters thank you all of you. I have never met any of you but I can tell you off the top of my head Big dave has 5 girls bless him, 4woogie and northcreek are avid golfers ok so northcreek isn't just avid hes insane, rev just had a baby, mark has had a really tough time quitting but he'll get it you can do it buddy, flintlock has bigger balls about coming back after failing than I think I would that means there huge and you'll be quit for good to, lillydale loves to cook and she's only the second female I know to chew, revkoz is a highschool kid that hasn't been back but he'll quit someday, mallowguy is a talented programmer, big H is hurricane prone but always pulls through, gopher got everyone fired up that one time because nobody was serious but look at us goph we are this man has contributed alot read his posts, damn I know I'm forgetting alot but that's just off the top of my head don't feel left out your all quitters to me ha ha...

matt van wyk you r the man god gave you a mission to help people in the same battle you fought and you are succeeding!

remember read post read post this is your best quit tool

god bless all of you keep quitting and if you need a kick in the ass e-mail me @ jaledi@sctelcom.net

KS
rev 20020804 On August 3, 2002, I decided that it was time to give up dipping. It was probably the 20th time that year, with quits ranging from 8 hours to 10 days.

I started dipping in college in 1990, after watching some fraternity brothers. I didn't think about addiction back then, nor was I bothered by the prospect of becoming addicted. It wasn't long before I was hooked. On my first summer home from college, my mother found a dip in the toilet that I'd forgotten to flush. She was furious, but offered her help in my quitting. A few days later I lied that I'd quit. She didn't mention it after a week or so, and soon after I went back to school. And so my lie to my family began.

I quit for 3 months the following summer when I was a camp counselor. I started up almost immediately after the last kids left. And I quit for 3 months about 3 years later. But at the start of my final year of college, I didn't believe that I could study without dip. So I bought a tin, and settled back into my old rituals.

I didn't quit after graduation or marriage like I'd promised myself. Or on so many other occasions.

In early 2001, I found QuitSmokeless.org. I spent a few hours reading it, and found there were other folks like me! I quit the next day. I read a few posts the first night to help out. I lasted maybe a week.

So on August 3, 2002, I realized that I'd been hiding a filthy habit for nearly 12 years. There were several things that made this quit different. On that Saturday, I spent the day in a baby preparation class at the hospital where my wife was due to deliver our first child in 2 months. We came home at lunch and I took a good look in my mouth. I didn't see much in there, but my salivary glands looked like cancer to me. I was terrified. The only thing that kept my mind off cancer that afternoon was the bloody child birth videos! I was about to be a father! I wanted to be around for years to come, and I didn't want my child to watch as I slowly destroyed myself. I had one final dip after class, told my wife I was quitting, and went outside and prayed. I registered with QS and started posting the next day. Many people say that you have to quit for yourself. In a way, I did. But I also did it for my wife and daughter, and they were a big motivating factor in keeping clean.

My advice to new quitters: Quitting is possible. Post and read, read and post. Then read some more. Pray for strength. Build a support network - whether it be coworkers, friends, loved ones, or board members. Drink or dip green tea, or at least a lot of water. Sleep as much as possible and watch your alcohol intake. If you cave, suck it up and start quitting again. If you start to show too much rage or your quit is interfering with relationships, talk to a doctor. If you have a symptom you're concerned about, see a dentist. Brush and floss.

As I write this, I've been free from tobacco for 168 days. I'm a different person. I'm less selfish - when I come home at the end of the day, I want to talk to my wife and play with my daughter, instead of sneaking away to have a dip. I value life and family more. I enjoy dreaming about and planning my future - and I don't have to worry when and where my next dip will be. For years, I thought that dip made everything life good. Surely my friends that didn't dip weren't really "living"! Now that I'm clean. it's clear that it wasn't dip that relaxed me, made for enjoyable trips with my bride, made the days beautiful, made activities pleasurable. It was simply the beauty of life. Instead, it was robbing me of time with loved ones. Now, I'm living again.

Mrs. rev - I'm sorry for wasting away so much of our time before I quit, and thank your patience, understanding, and support. Thank you to everyone at QuitSmokeless - without your help and encouragement, I'd be drooling into a cup at 4:30 a.m. instead of feeding my little girl. And Matt van Wyk - thank you for your vision, my friend.

Austin, TX
kal 20020810 Unlike most of the guys on this site, I got addicted when I was in my late 20's. I can't blame my addiction on the ignorance of youth. For the first couple of years, it was just something I did once a week or so. I usually dipped Skoal Wintergreen, or Skoal Classic. But sometime during my second year of dipping, I tried Skoal Straight Long Cut. I was hooked. It was no longer something I did just when I was mowing the yard, but something I did everyday.

I was a closet dipper. No one knew about my addiction. To satisfy my craves, I isolated myself from the rest of the world. I would have a dip in the car on the way to work. Sometimes, during lunch I would go out and drive around just so I could dip. Of course there was always the dip on the way home from work. Most of the time, I'd take the long way home so I could enjoy it longer. Then sometimes I'd make up a reason to drive to town after supper for another dip. Then there was always the last dip of the day, which was after my wife went to sleep. Most nights this was after midnight. So I'd have my last dip of the day somewhere between 12:30 and 1:00 in the morning. I'd be so wired from the nicotine, that it would usually be after 2:00 before I'd go to sleep. After just a few hours of sleep, I'd get up feeling like hell, and looking forward to that first dip on the way to work.

I hated what Skoal was doing to me, but I couldn't live without it. Every time I bought a can, it would be my "last one." Then I'd come up with some reason to buy "just one more." Fortunately, my eyes were finally opened. I finally realized that I was an addict and I finally saw what my addiction was costing me.

I realized the cost of my addiction one day when I was contemplating the fact that my oldest son's 13th birthday was approaching. I began to think about how it wouldn't be that many more years before he moved out and was on his own. I was thinking about how I needed to make the best of the time that I had left with him, when I suddenly realized just how often I avoided him so that I could be alone with Skoal. I was stunned. How could I have been so blind?? Right then and there I decided, "No more!!"

I asked myself, "who do I love more, Skoal or my family?" I knew that if I really loved my family more, I would break this filthy addiction. That has been the challenge to myself each day, who would I rather spend my time with?? OK, prove it!!

My son's 13th birthday was a couple of days later on August 10th. I chose that as my quit date, and haven't looked back. I'm not saying it was easy, but after I finally saw what I was doing to myself and to my family for the sake of Skoal, I knew I had no other choice. I knew that I had the power to break the addiction and I chose to do it.

Sometime during the first week of quitting, I ran across this site. I was amazed to find out there were other people like me. People who hated themselves for dipping. People who hid their filthy addiction. It helped me to know that I wasn't alone. In times of weakness this was a great place to come and learn from the successes and failures of others.

So thank you Matt for your vision and effort in putting together this site. You're making a difference in this world. Thanks to all my QS brothers. Thanks for the advice and thanks for the laughs. You made this trip enjoyable.

To those of you who are reading this with a big dip in your lip, and perhaps see yourself in what you read: Yes, you can do this. Yes, you can be free. It won't be easy, but I assure you it is a worthwhile struggle. Life is better without the dip!!

This is already longer than I (and you) wanted it to be, and I'm not good at preaching, but I read something this morning that I feel is so applicable to me as an ex-dipper that I will close with it:

Romans 6:20-22

When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Thanks for listening brothers.

TX
Sender 20020811 I guess this was destined to be a year of change for me.

Dipping snuff was an eighteen year habit that started in high school and encompassed my entire adult life. Why I let a decision made by a 17 year old dominate my life escapes me. I'd never pulled it out and looked at it in the light before.

The seeds of the idea for quitting first started two years ago. Up until then I had no desire to quit. I finally decided enough was enough, a switch being thrown as some have described it. For me cutting back was just lip service (so to speak ;)) , and a complete break was the only way to go. You all know the struggle and commitment it takes. It was rough no doubt, but I licked it. So I thought anyway, because guess what, they still keep fresh cans on the shelf at the corner store.

Six months after being completely nicotine free, a work aquaintance gave me a can of copenhagen. That's all it took, I enjoyed a few dips on a backpacking trip and got sucked right back into a can/day habit.

This April I was diagnosed with diabetes. Big wakeup call. It got my full attention as you might imagine, and I went through the classic denial/anger/rationalization sequence. It came down to this, I now knew how I was going to die in x many years. Whether I did what was possible to make x a big number or not was completely up to me.

In three months I lost 30 pounds, started an excercise program that works, and brought my blood sugar under control. I gave up Mountain Dew, candy bars, pasta, bread, and a slew of things including BEER!, and always at the back of my mind was Copenhagen.

Nicotine has a whole additional set of bad effects for diabetics. Neuropathy and renal failure, nicotene damage and constriction of blood vessels, ulcerations and infections lead to limb loss. Nicotine actually raises blood glucose levels.

Copenhagen had to go. Forever. And I'll have to fight it forever.

Inter-mountain West
cardsfan 20020901 I am Cardsfan, and I am an addict.

My addiction was snuff, chew, snoose, dip -- whatever you want to call it. Most call it tobacco; brand name, Copenhagen. I first picked up the habit late in college. Yeah, I was that old and that educated, but still apparently that stupid. I had a roommate that dipped. We often went drinking together. It wasn't long before we were dipping together. Sometime between then and now, the habit became the addiction. I couldn't say when; probably most of us can't. I'm not even sure I recognized it as an addiction until I tried to quit. It was always a habit. A dirty, disgusting, unpopular habit (at least as far as everyone else was concerned), but a habit nonetheless. In hindsight, of course, I fully recognize the symptoms of addiction. The constant worry about whether I had enough in the can to get me through the night. Knowing that I'd drive to the corner store (of which the closest is about 6 miles from my house) in the middle of the night to make sure I did. Packing an entire roll in my gear on trips into the mountains just to make sure I wouldn't run out midway through the trip. Going from two cans a week to one can a day. Spending the last dollar in my wallet on Cope, and skipping lunch as a result.

Sadly, for most of the 15 or 16 years I chewed, I truly enjoyed it. I of course recognized that it was bad for me. I read the reports. I saw the little 'warnings' on the ads and on the cans. But, like most, I was able to discount their applicability to me. I was different. I wouldn't get cancer. I was healthy. I was young. I was invincible. I was my father's son. Dad smoked for almost 50 years, and outside of a 'little' high blood pressure, had had no real ill effects.

Then came February 2001, and one of those middle of the night phone calls that no one wants. Dad had suffered congestive heart failure and was in intensive care, barely clinging to life. In actuality, while being life-flighted to the regional medical center, he actually died, and they managed to bring him back. He eventually recovered, but during his recovery something even more miraculous happened. He quit smoking. He didn't cut back. He quit. Cold turkey. And he never looked back. Forty-plus years of his addiction to nicotine, and he just up and calls it quits.

We talked a lot about that in the year that followed. The cravings, the rage, the aches and pains. As he will tell you (and I can now back up wholeheartedly) it sucked. But what we have come to call his "episode" made him realize he's not invincible, nor is he immune from the effects of tobacco.

It also made me realize that I wasn't invincible, nor was I immune. And continuing to use tobacco when he had shown so much courage in quitting weighed heavily on my mind. How could I justify to myself continuing to load my lip with Copenhagen when he had overcome his battle? I felt like a total hypocrite, cheering his quitting because it's so much better for him, and then throwing in a dip on the drive home.

Yet for the next year, I still managed to justify my cowardice. If my jaw ached, it was stress. If my gums were receding, it was because I was brushing too hard. It's only a habit. I'm still young, and have time to recover from any ill effects. I enjoy it too much. I'm only hurting myself. I can always quit later.

But despite all of these excuses, whenever I saw my father, the truth of my hypocrisy was brought to bear. Finally, in August of 2002, on a trip back to Tulsa from visiting my folks, I faced up to the truth, and realized that there was no longer an "if" in the otherwise short sentence "I quit." If Dad could do it, I would, too. I walked in the door, logged on, searched for "quitting tobacco" and was promptly directed here. I spent about an hour reading. I read articles. I read Hall of Fame entries. I read posts. I read everything. And within that hour, I was imbued with the confidence I needed to tackle this addiction. A couple days later, I logged on for the first time, and was welcomed with open arms. I became a quitter on September 1, 2002, and I've been one since.

I can't say I've never looked back. I've looked back several times. Hell, I still look back. But the important thing is, with the support I get here, I know that while looking back is acceptable (even unavoidable, really), turning back is never an option. I now am a quitter, and a very proud one at that. I have a future, and it is free from tobacco.

To those members who found this great place before me....thanks for laying the foundation, and providing me the courage to continue. Knowing you had been where I was headed was an inspiration that made all the difference.

To those members who came behind me, particularly those in the December class....thanks for pushing me along and giving me that gentle nudge when it looked like I was slowing down or falling. Knowing you were behind me gave me the incentive to keep moving in the right direction.

To Matt, the man who built this beautiful thing, simple thanks aren't enough. You've made a difference in my life, and that's a beautiful thing. But you've also made a difference in the world, and that, simply put, is priceless.

Tulsa, OK
johnnyk 20020916 On Christmas Eve, my quit track said, "100 days quit." I have to admit I was a little bit in awe. You see I had given up trying to quit, I had admitted to myself that I couldn't do it. I wasn't even going to try. Sure I had quit a number of times in the past, once for an entire year. That was years ago and subsequent attempts to quit had failed. I always returned to the tin. I promised my daughter (my wife and two sons as well) I would quit in April, I think I lasted 2 hours. I was a pathetic, beaten man.

I didn't even try to rationalize it anymore, 28 years a slave to copenhagen. Two-thirds of my life! I couldn't quit, so what was the point in trying. I even convinced myself I didn't want to quit. I stopped thinking about it. Then a couple of things happened, my friend and neighbor Fish quit (He's in the HOF, but hasn't posted a HOF speech yet). My wife told me that Fish had found some website that had helped him. Yeah, like that would ever work for me.

A few months later, I caught a cold and didn't chew for a few days. That was probably my longest quit in the last 10 years. That wasn't so bad I thought, I actually confused some of the withdraw symptoms for the flu. As soon as I was healthy enough, I finished my can. Then I decided not to buy another, at least not right away. I became a closet quitter (coward), I didn't say anything to anyone, I figured I would cave soon enough. A week later I found this site, I knew right away that this was the site my buddy Fish had found. I read, and read. I decided to register, this was the best thing that I could have done. Now I was accountable, even if only to a few faceless nicotine addicts on a website, I was officially quitting. Shortly there after, I let everyone else know.

Matt thanks for quitsmokeless.com. This is a remarkable site and you are a special person. There is a power in the written word that is hard to explain. How faceless strangers can have such a positive impact on one another is really amazing. Thanks to my December classmates. Thanks to the September, October and November Groups - You guys were posting when I first came on board. Thanks to everyone who posts.

What I learned most from this site:

  1. Chewing snuff is an addiction, not a bad habit. Nicotine Addiction is hard to beat. A good support group (QS Community) is key.
  2. Copenhagen has lots and lots of bad stuff in it (see BMK for details) and it can kill you.
  3. Withdraw can be ugly.
  4. As soon as you quit chewing, the UST truck driver will offer you free samples, Copenhagen will go on sale (buy one get one free), you will find an unopened can under your car seat, and everyone at the bar will be chewing your old brand (even the girls). That's why he is the dip demon, he doesn't fight fair.
  5. You will get times where incredible craves come from no where.
  6. After 50 days, the stuff will taste like crap, if you chew it you will regret it.
  7. If you develop bumps, sores, and other crap in your mouth see a doctor. This is not uncommon, most likely it isn't anything, but you will sleep better knowing for sure.
  8. Anyone can quit. If you read the HOF speeches a lot of them start out, "If I can quit, anyone can quit." Just don't stop quitting.
  9. Read and post frequently, you never know what a positive impact your words have on others.
  10. Don't say "There is never a good time to quit." Right now is an excellent time!!! There is never a good time to get oral cancer.
Western PA
DepMac 20020916 100 days ago I was a serious cope addict. I would wake up every morning and reach for the can. I would dip all day long, until I had to go to bed. I was at the point where I had no problem drinking with a dip in my mouth, yuk, just think of what is was doing to my stomach. my wife would refuse to kiss me, because of my dipping, but I could care less, as long as I had my dip. I can remember when I was about thirteen, and my cousin a dipper, skoal straight had me try it for the first time. I thought he was so cool, so I decided to try and copy him. I would dip and get so dizzy and sick, but would continue dipping until one day it did not phase me. I was addicted from that day forward. 20 yrs. later and I was up to a can a day. Like everybody else out here, I would think about how this crap would someday get me. I have the most wonderful wife and three kids, who had put up with this crap for a long time. I would quit every New Year and it would last about a week. I finaly quit for the last time after finding this site. Like everyone else I went through the gruling struggle of the withdrawls. I quit cold turkey, with the help of David Sunflower seeds, which I still chew the hell out of. I still can't believe that I have stuck out this constant everyday battle of staying away from the can. It does get much easier, for all the new people out there. It has finaly gotten to the point to where I don't even think about the nasty worm dirt from one day to the next.For those of you who have had tobacco rule your life like I have, that is a great accomplishment. I just want to thank everyone who has supported me through my stuggle, there is so many of you out there. It has truly changed my life. Thank's Matt without you and the people out here I would never be where I am today. Spring,TX
TomP 20020918 It is hard to believe that I have been able to go more than 100 days without tobacco. Not long ago, I would not have thought this possible. I had been using skoal for more than 24 years. I first tried tobacco when I was about 11 or so. I became habitual when I was 18 and working at a petro-chemical plant between semesters in college. I really enjoyed using tobacco and would have continued if not for two reasons: first, it is harmful to your health and, in fact, can kill you; and two, it is a very disgusting habit to all those around you. Apart from that, it was great. It SEEMED TO relieve stress, intensify the ability to focus mentally, helped to pass time on long drives, etc. In reality, after not using the stuff for several months, I know that I do not need tobacco to help me in any regard. Most people do not use tobacco and many are doing just fine without it.

There were some additional observations of negative impact as well. I tried many times to exercise on a regular basis. I have always kept a gym membership, I own a treadmill, etc., but it always ended the same way. I had to choose to use my precious alone time to either exercise or use tobacco. Except during times of extreme effort, I always chose the tobacco. I could not use it at work, and chose not to use it around my family so the options were very limited. Which brings me to another negative effect, less family time. Although I love my family, I often would make excuses to take my own car, work late, or work outside - any excuse to get more time to use tobacco. And no matter how much I tried to hide the tobacco, the family knew and I felt that I was a terrible example for my children. I was doing something bad for my body, and I was too weak to do anything about it. Both of my children and my wife were constantly after me to quit.

My mantra for sometime was that it was easy to quit - I did it all the time. I made many quit attempts. Even though I would convince myself that I had gone 3 or 4 weeks without tobacco, in reality I was rewarding myself on Saturdays for a job well done. Every Saturday night it got harder and harder to throw out the can. Eventually it was Saturday night and Sunday until I was back to full time. The two biggest demons for me were: (1) "you can take one more dip on your terms because you have this beat, besides you deserve it"; and (2) "what could one more dip do to you after all of the millions you have had before, why suffer?, one more wont hurt". You are all familiar with these demons and many more.

And then one day I decided to quit. I really believe this is the secret. Once you decide to quit, it's over. You ignore the demons because your mind is made up. That's it, end of discussion. I decided to quit. All the other times, were quit attempts. I would say, "I'll throw this can away and see how long I can go", or something similar. I never before believed I was quitting. That solid decision led to the next positive step, I found this website. I don't recall exactly what I searched for, but something along the line of "tobacco cessation". I came upon this site and read here for more than 4 hours. I covered everything but the pictures. I was too scared to see those, and I wanted to save them for after the quit, when I would need them the most. I decided then that I would use every crutch I found mentioned and I did. I took zyban for 2 weeks prior to the quit and then for 3 months. I also used nicorette gum and the patch.

As has been said here many times, the benefits of quitting are enormous. The obvious change is the mouth, gums, etc. I no longer have suspicious abrasions or bumps, My skin is much improved, I exercise without reservation, I spend more time with my family, I am more focused at work (because I am not looking for the next opportunity to use tobacco), and I have beat the demon that tried to kill me for 24 years. For some reason (not so obvious from this perspective), quitting was the hardest thing I have ever done. In reality, the first couple of weeks are bad and then things improve rapidly (if you have truly decided to quit). Early on, when the going got tough, I would read posts from this site and sometimes post myself. And, occasionally I perused the pictures here for additional motivation. Since the quit, I have had many tests, many firsts without tobacco in decades. The first business trip, hunting trip, long alone car ride, working outside, stress at home, stress at work, etc. But, I had quit and I did not fail the tests. I have been around the tobacco demons enough to know not to get too confident, to keep my guard up against their limitless trickery. Having said that, I honestly believe I have quit for the last time.

I Thank all of you who post and offer encouragement and I particularly thank Matt for developing and then maintaining this site. It is making all the difference to many people. Keep up the fight!!

 
jrad 20020919 100 days ago kodiak ruled my life, I started chewing my senior year of high school 1987 and up until 100 days ago I thought living without kodiak could not be done, man was I wrong! It all started about 1 year ago when I first met my fiance and her 4 year old twins, girls no less. Well they started almost immediately with "hey Jared do you need your mouth caca?" from then on it was always brought to my attention that I needed to quit by the girls and by my fiance. But, being the stubborn a-hole that I am I just shrugged it off and laughed about it for over 1 year, until finally 1 night I was having my typical coors light and kodiak fix at my fiances house I decided to take a shower and noticed my mouth and tongue were really hurting and swollen, as soon as I got out of the shower. I informed my fiance that I was quitting, and that was that, "cold turkey". I went to work the following day and searched the web for help when I found this site, the rest is history. Looking back I really cannot believe how bad my habit had gotten. I went from 1 can on the wekends to basically having a dip in 24hrs a day 7 days a week, it became an obsession always worried about how much money I would need each week just to make sure I would not run out of chew. I too would go days without lunch just to run and buy a can, everytime I left my house it was the first thing on my mind whether or not I had my chew and upon returning home it was always my first worry wether or not I had enough to last through the night. That was me 100 days ago. Thanks to this site and all people on it I now think very little about chew!

I would like to thank: Matt for having this great site/ 4woogie for for making me look forward to checking everyday!, The_Kid,Northcreek,Ddgrmchrgr,Patsfan,Cardsfan,Big Dave,Renovate,and all other December members. Without you guys I could not ever had made it this far....................................Thank You!!!!!

Denver, CO
The_Kid 20020921 ...Through these fields of destruction
Baptism of fire
I've watched all your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms...

by Mark Knopfler
From "Brothers in Arms"

Reading back at my first post is scary, but one thing that held true from that first day of this amazing journey was that I quoted Tom Petty, "well, I won’t back down..." Well, I didn’t. Once I decided to post here and stop just "lurking" reading posts, I knew that I had to be serious this time. After 20 or so years of backing down when things got rough, I stood my ground. There are many who helped me along the way. There are those who made it through and those who caved- it’s not just about those who competed their milestones, but it is all of our BROTHERS IN ARMS. Those who have HAD ENOUGH and who want to quit.

I want to give special recognition to the members of Team Ebola who played hockey with me for 100 days. Jrad #68, BiggyD #4, 12yeardipper #10, Mookiedykstra #25, Northcreek #22, Patsfan #7, Ddgrmchrgr #72, and Ophay #00. On Team Ebola, I wore #30 and tended goal. Special thanks also go to DepMac (security) and Jwm (SLAMBONI driver) for supporting the team and joining in our foolishness. Also to the rest of the December class including D, JohnnyK, Mark and TomP. Donny for keeping me inspired even though he was only there for my first 50 days. Big H for his words of wisdom and big heart. Matt van Wyk for caring enough about us all to make this all possible. Last but not least, I wish to thank Cardsfan for helping me see the light on my darkest days of my quit. All of you... ALL OF YOU... saved my life. May those who did cross the line and stand in the great hall continue to be an inspiration to those who continue the struggle. May those who stumbled, GET UP, and try again. This is freedom, pure and simple.

Why did I do it? I wanted to quit because I love my wife and want to grow old with her. I found myself at 35 obsessed at when I was going to die and what that would be like for her. I love my family and don’t want them to see me suffer from a hideous disease of mouth cancer. I love my life and want to live it to the fullest. I love God and have faith enough to know that he would help me through this, my final quit. Finally, as it turned out, I loved my Brothers in Arms at Quitsmokeless.org and did not want to let them down. This battle was worth fighting. May all who long to, help win the war.

Central NY
DT 19970103 It will be 6 years in January for my quit, and not a day goes by that the little bastard on my shoulder doesn't try to spoil my life. I am surrounded by the dip all day in my line of profession (baseball coach) and it's often tempting. The little bastard says often, "hey, you quit for this long, why not take one. You can stop anytime." Well, for all of you that think at one point the quit is permanent let me tell you--after six years I know that one will lead to 2 and 2 will lead to a can and a can will lead to the full blown addiction/habit that consumed my life for 15 years. Reading some of the old posts from Bluesman (I highly recommend these posts to the newcomers) have comforted me and I learned quite a bit about myself (Read--The Secret of Our Success by Bluesman sometime). People that have never chewed don't know who WE are--that's why this site is so successfull. YOU ARE NOT ALONE in your quest, and you can read and learn about yourself through other posts everyday. We are all fighting the same battle, just at different stages. At 2,177 days I see myself as no different than a brother who QUIT yesterday. I remember the first few days--the world was out to get me...the first few months--can I really do this EVERYDAY?...the first real test, the bastard on the shoulder at a drunken party six months into the quit--my DEFINING MOMENT...the first 100, 200, 300, 1 year! (don't we all count like a junior highschool girl counted every 10 day anniversary?). Believe me, there will be a point where you can convince yourself that you will never take a dip again, but I prefer to remain vulnerable. Vulnerablity to the addict is a challenge, and a challenge to me means that I have the choice of being stronger than the bastard that will remain on my shoulder forever. After six years, I still use Baccoff to help me deal with the surrounding temptations, and I still look at my little girls every night and hear them thank me for quitting. They were my final motivation, and the reason that my DEFINING MOMENT was a victory for me. Thank you all for reminding me everyday of who I am. As Joe Gargiola wrote to me the day I quit--"HANG TOUGH" DT NorCal
Rudy 20030928 My story is the same as just about everyone elses so I won't bother to repeat it. What's important is that one day I woke up and said to myself "What do you think you're doing?". I'd made insincere quit attempts in the past, but this time it was different. I actually *wanted* to quit. That's the key.

This is actually my second time making it into the HOF. I made it in Jan 2003 as well, then caved. Without this site and my brothers in the Jan 2003 group I'm not sure if I would have had the motivation to quit again when I did, and I'm not sure I would have had the strength to make it in the first time either.

So, I would like to give a HUGE thanks to Matt for providing this wonderful community that fosters the support and caring we all need to conquer this addiction. I would also like to thank all my brothers in the Jan 2003 group for welcoming me back into the brotherhood after I'd fallen off the boards. Thanks Jan 2003. Especially Spongebob, erikasdad, and Breen77 for all your wisdom. And DrNate for hanging tough with me. And all the Jan 2003 brothers who laughed, cried, cussed, and smiled with me. Finally, I would like to thank the entire QS.org community. We truly are an example where the WHOLE is greater than the sum of the parts.

 
ForMyKids 20021001 Well, here I sit at a milestone I never expected myself to reach. I think back at the numerous quit attempts and never had the power within myself to not only quit but to stay quit. To give you a little history on my nicotine filled life, I started out at about 12 years old with Gold River. Did that for a few years and quit about my Junior year in High School. Didn't pick up another can or anything. Wished I would have stayed that course, but I didn't.

My freshman year in college was a little rough, with the move away from home and the break-up of my girlfriend of 5+ years. This threw me into a tailspin and made me realize that there was still one friend I could count on. By then, I was a little too old to go into the local stop and rob and ask for a can of gold river so I asked for a can of skoal mint and a pack of smokes. Went on a binge one weekend and never looked back. Mainly took up smoking for the next 4+ years until I decided that I was extremely out of shape and wanted to start running again. At that point, I threw away the cigerettes and devoted myself completely to Skoal. I thought I had made great steps in my new stop smoking program, just switch to Skoal!

Always told myself after my first child was born, that I would quit and never look back. Well, my daughter was born back in 1997 and as you can see, that never happened. Then I had a son this past year and thought that I would quit before he was born, but he was born in July and as you can see, my quit date is October 1, 2002. Why October 1, 2002? Good question! I was sitting at my computer one morning and decided that I had just had enough. I got tired of that crap in my mouth all the time and the feeling I would get when I would realize that I didn't have enough to get me through the workday or enough the next morning. Something in my mind told me that enough was enough! Wife didn't believe me because this wasn't the first time I said I was tired of my old friend and wanted to walk away. She knew that I would go crawling back to the old can and would never have the strength to say goodbye forever.

But, here I sit writing my HOF speech 2 days before my 100th day. Still in awe at myself that I actually made it this far. Not only is my wife proud of me but I'm quite proud of myself as well. Matt, all I can say is thank you for this site, thank you for the time you have invested in caring for people you can only relate to by the terrible habbit we all shared, and thank you for giving me a few more years of life to spend with my family. I start my new job on the 13th and you will be getting a donation from me when I get my first check, count on it!!

Don't think I would have made it through my first 2 weeks without the help of the following people: Thanks Ken1899, D, roosterless, jaledi, QFK, Big Al, renovate616, and GP for being there for me during the early days. You guys were the ones that helped me get through the toughest times of them all. Thanks mallowguy, gopher3546, and Big H for being not only a great inspiration to me but too many in the December and January classes.

Special thanks to GoingInsane for keeping me sane, father of three for the countless words of encouragement, and eirkasdad for being the cornerstone of the January group. You were the biggest inspiration of them all. With the countless things in your life that could have caused you to fail and cave, you marched forward and continued the fight and that determination kept me marching right along side of you!!! Last, but not least, thank you Breen77 for the very inspirational stories and tidbits of your life!!!

TX
erikasdad 20021006 Well, guys, here I am at just over 100 days without tobacco. That is a huge accomplishment for me, yet at the same time, I know it is simply the first step toward my true goal of staying quit for life. You see, this is my second time to quit tobacco. On my last quit, I lasted for 6+ years and then allowed myself to be fooled by the demon. I actually believed that I could get away with using tobacco "just this one time". Well, as many have discovered, it just doesn't work that way. My "just this once" turned into a full-blown, daily habit. I have dipped since I was a very young child. I have also been a heavy smoker and have chewed tobacco and snorted powdered snuff. I never spit and always swallowed the entire dip. I frequently smoked while dipping, dipped while drinking, and slept with a big fat dip of Copenhagen in my lip. I was a true nicotine fiend; the worst I've ever known! I have wanted to quit since I was a teenager (I'm 37 now), but was never able to do it until I was about 30. Then, I quit for a while and started again. Then, about 113 days ago, my wife informed me that we were getting divorced. I was heartbroken for my beautiful little daughter, who's life was about to be abruptly changed. I suddenly felt an urgent need to stay alive for her sake. I knew that tobacco was killing me and so I knew my only hope of survival was to quit again. I first quit smoking and stayed off of cigarettes for a week or so before tackling the snuff. Then, I went cold turkey. I had been through it before and thought I was an old pro, but the withdrawals kicked my butt just as bad as the first time. In fact, I caved several times during those first few days. Then, while corresponding with an old friend from high school, I discovered that he had just quit snuff and had been reading posts at a website called quitsmokeless. Well, 2 days into the quit, I logged on, read a few posts, and thought, "I can relate to this place; I'm signin' up". That was the wisest decision I've ever made regarding tobacco. At first. I tried to motivate my fellow quitters with words of advice and a display of confidence, but before long, my divorce situation started taking a toll on me and I found that I was the one needing the advice and encouragement from my peers. And you guys provided it! Without the support of everyone at this site, I don't know if I'd have made it to this point. Tobacco was something that I knew I could always fall back on if I couldn't handle reality, but then my QS brothers gave me something other than tobacco to fall back on. They gave me support in the form of genuine care and concern. My group of January brothers were, of course, one of the greatest sources of strength for me. There were days during this quit when those guys have not only helped me stay away from nicotine, but they pulled me through some very emotional situations that I was dealing with. Just imagine a 6'2" biker from west Texas needing to ask his internet quitdip buddies for help in surviving the emotional roller coaster of divorce. But, that's what happened and you guys came through for me. Father of Three, ForMyKids, Breen, Spongebob, Ollie, SBrulet, Rudy, DrNate, Ira Bliss, Alchemist138, Rotten, KJ83, KYBubba, Hawkman, and all the rest of the January group: You guys provided me with something that was absolutely priceless. I couldn't have asked for a better support group than what I have. I know it's not over yet, but I feel confident that I'm gonna make it last a lifetime. I'll continue visiting this site and will undoubtedly need your support again in the future. I'll do my best to do the same for each of you anytime you need it and will try to repay my debt to this site by providing insight and encouragement to the newbies who seem to be arriving in ever increasing numbers. That brings me to you, Matt. I've thought about you a lot during my stay at this site. During my previous 6 year quit, I honestly believed that I had done something absolutely amazing by getting myself off of tobacco. In fact, I thought that I had pretty much accomplished the impossible. I had lived all those years feeling like there was no hope to ever really stay clean of nicotine. I had accepted the fact that I was a slave and would be a lifelong slave.. But then I had a successful long term quit and I thought it was astonishing. I knew that there had to be thousands of people who struggled with this addiction who would love to know how I had done it, but I had no way of sharing the secrets of success. Then , I found this site and I knew that you were a genius. You did it, man! Your idea is saving us from a horrible end. Thank you!

And most of all, I want to thank my daughter, Erika. You were my motivation when nothing else mattered to me. You are precious and I thank God, everyday, that I have you in my life. Mostly, Erika I did this for you. You are completely innocent in all of this. You had nothing to do with the divorce of your parents, yet you must suffer the consequences. You had absolutely no part in getting your dad hooked on tobacco; therefore, you deserve none of the consequences. I quit mostly because I'm Erika's dad and you deserve to have me around for as long as I can stay. Erika, you are only 7 years old and you will probably never read this HOF speech, but if you do, I want you to know that I quit tobacco because I love you.

West Texas
KYBubba 20021007 Even though it is said everyday, it can't be said enough. Matt, thanks for the vision to create this site. It is unbelievable to think that there are tens of millions of websites in the world and this is the only one made up of a community of smokeless tobacco quitters. Also thank you for the slick concept of the Hall of Fame. It is an absolutely marvelous motivational tool. With the site, but without the HOF, I might not have made it this far. This website has helped me develop a hatred for dipping and the tobacco industry. Why should I do something I despise? This site and the people who participate in this site are critical to all quitters, especially closet dippers (such as myself) who don't have the support network of family and friends.

Dipping was always my crutch from becoming a better person. Now that crutch is gone and I have the confidence to do anything I put my mind to. I can lose the weight, I can be the better husband, I can be the better father. I used to look at others and feel sympathetic when they would say "I just can't quit smoking, dipping, overeating (insert bad habit here)" I couldn't offer much advice, because I knew I didn't have the guts to quit myself. I no longer have much sympathy because I know that if I can quit so can they.

I would never have thought 100 days ago that I would be where I am now. One thing is for sure: Do whatever it takes to make it through the first week, I would even consider taking off from work. I worked my first week after quitting and did not get one single thing done. Use seeds, SMC, gum, whatever you need to help you get past the physical addiction. Once past the physical addiction, work on getting rid of these aids, because (at least to me) they were mental crutches and made me feel like a dipper still. I know many don't agree with this statement, but I haven't had seeds or SMC in several months and it feels great.

Finally, good luck to everyone who attempts this challenge. Thank you to all on the boards and especially to my January brothers. We all are better people for even attempting this feat. It is not for the faint of heart and more than likely you will fail miserably several times before it finally sticks. But the key is, deep down in your heart, you must want to quit. If you still feel like a dipper, but would like to quit, it wont work. I have been a non-dipper for the past 100 days and I will be for the rest of my life.

Good luck to all!

I will not dip today!!!

OH
spongebob 20021008 In honor of every quitter at QS, I quote some lyrics that the real Spongebob once sang. I hereby nominate this for the Hall of Fame's official anthem:

And it's sweet sweet sweet victory,
And ours for the taking, it's ours for the fight.
Oh it's sweet sweet sweet victory, and the world is ours to follow.
Sweet sweet sweet victory.

I really like this place and this NEW ME. Being a Slurp-Faced-Drool-Lipped-Shit-Toothed-Bear-Breathed-Stinky-Fingered-Closet-Dip-Head for 26 years was just too stupid to take one more minute. I wanted to quit for so, so long; and I failed so many times. This site empowered me to ride out the withdrawal and to reinvent myself. Thanks for the Knowledge, Validation and Mutual Support in what I was going through.

I humbly bow to Matt in heartfelt thanks for creating this safe harbor. This is the place I could hide, re-group and re-commit whenever (frequently) I felt I was losing my mind and crawling out of my skin.

I want to point out the genius in Matt's style. Matt did not construct this site to preach what he learned from his own quit. Instead, he hangs back, thus forcing each quitter to examine himself, to help himself, to accept the help of others, and to help others. This place breathes and grows of its own accord; all it needs is the active and honest participation of its members. Genius.

Everyone here has benefited from this site. I know it literally saved my life. Everyone has also saved mucho money (not buying dip, not buying spitters, avoiding future medical bills, etc.). Now pass the karma forward boys. Make your donation so that this site can be maintained, improved and promoted to save even more lives.

Tips on how to quit have already been well written by so many others. Ex: read Bluesman's article, "Secrets of Our Success" and his "One Year" post in Roll Call on Nov. 4, 2002 (11:48 am). My personal take on the essential commitment is in my article, "What Price to Save Ourselves." My biggest obstacle was being so fogged out as to be useless. And my fogs always lasted well-beyond that much-hyped 2 week benchmark. In truth, things are still a little misty. That's why I wrote my mantra. It gave me the patience to trust in the QS process:

"There is only one thing that I must accomplish today, and that is to not chew.
If I get other things done today, great. But everything else has second priority for now.
Soon I'll be able to focus on those other things too. But for right now, for today, this is the only thing that matters.
I won't demand more of myself, and I won't get down on myself for not doing anything else if I don't get to it.
This is damn damn damn hard work, and it's the most important work that I have right now.
I'll be truly and sincerely proud if I meet no goals today other than keeping that crap out of my mouth."

Obviously, I do much better now. But I still use the mantra daily because I never get to everything I want to, and I still hear that goddamn demon lie: "take a dip, it'll help you focus and concentrate and catch up." Bullcrap. And even if it would, the cost to my health/life would be unacceptable. So, I still give myself express permission to get behind, so long as I don't put dirt in my mouth.

Thanks for letting me post in absurd numbers and silly lengths. Posting was one of the few weapons I had in fighting for my life. I consciously elected to substitute a QS compulsion for my old Skoal addiction. For me, that was the right strategy. A special thanks to Ddgrmchrgr who (without knowing it) posted the perfect message on my worst day and saved me from the abyss of my third-quarter crisis. Thanks to all of my January brothers, each of whom brought his own gift and dynamic to the group. And thanks to all the old farts who would drop in with something like 239 or 567 days to say hi, and to remind us to keep dreaming of the promised land while we concentrate on our baby steps. In all sincerity, thanks to everyone who posted even once from 10/8/02 to 1/15/03.

-- Bob.

 
mcdragon 20021010 I'm writing this on the one-year anniversary of my quit. As long as I'm never foolish enough to take another dip, I know that I can stay quit. For me, as with most of us, I can't just take one dip. One would quickly turn into a can a day. I will not let that happen. I've waited this long to write my "speech" for a couple of reasons. The first being that I've blown quits longer than 100 days more than once. I knew for quite a while that this quit was different, but I still wanted to actually have a year in before putting something down. I've seen quite a few members stumble and request to have their speeches removed. I will not be one of those. Another reason for not posting this sooner is that I wanted to see if I developed any relationships with my fellow quit smokeless "brothers." The truth is that I haven't. There's not a single person on this board that I can count as a friend. I have no enemies here either, please don't misunderstand-I would count everyone here as friend before saying that. It's just that I haven't experienced the camaraderie that others report. I'm not complaining, I probably have something to do with it. Just don't be surprised when I get to the "thank you" portion that there will not be many names mentioned. I'll get to that later. First, I'd like to say a few things.

I was an absolute Copenhagen junkie. I didn't pack in half a can with every dip, but I had one in almost every second of the day. I was anything but a closet dipper. I dipped at work, in meetings, at school, at home, outside, inside, and even during sex on more than one occasion. I didn't feel complete unless the shit was in my lip. Copenhagen was everything to me and no situation was free from it. I became addicted to it almost immediately. In fact, I had a failed quit attempt after my very first can. Already, I was learning to rationalize. "I like it and not everyone does it--it set's me apart, so I really don't need to stop." I lasted about a day and then bought my second can. I never looked back. Occasionally, I would try to quit, but I would always go back to the can. Nicotine was wonderful. Life was wonderful. Wonderful, that is, until I tried to quit. Then I would find myself standing before a terrifying chasm-terrified at the prospect of giving up my nicotine fix. I would never be normal again. Life wouldn't be worth living. Nothing would ever be truly satisfying. I'm not sure if everyone feels this way and has to deal with nicotine withdrawal in this same way, but for me it's a lot of depression and a general sense of hopelessness. It can be absolutely fucking scary. The fact that this is so, though, brought me eventually to where I am today. If nicotine can have me so tightly grasped that I wonder at the value of life without it. Then it must be a very bad and powerful thing indeed. Many here call it the demon. I don't really think of it that way, but it's a very fitting description-cunning, powerful, evil, deadly. However, nicotine is just a drug. Addiction is what it is, and we all have to deal with our choices.

I would like to share some of what has enabled me to quit. At first, I looked for an easy way out-a nicotine replacement, some "secret" that would free me, hypnosis (never tried it, but hey, who knows?), basically anything that kept me from having to do it myself. I never found that easy way out. There's not one. You have to face the fact that quitting is terribly difficult. Read around on these pages and you'll find that many people say how difficult it is to quit. These aren't just words. It is a difficult thing to do. In fact, part of this whole thing is about being strong. You have to have the strength to beat this addiction. You can't go at it half-assed or expect a god or anyone else to just pull you through it. Get the support you need, but realize that if you're not prepared to be strong, then you will fail. I think it's important to realize that. It won't be easy and it won't be pleasant. BUT, it can be done and it does get better. At this point in my quit, it's relatively easy to stay quit. Unlike some, I do still crave the stuff occasionally. Truthfully, it's just more of a feeling that something is missing, that hunger that I felt initially. It returns, but I recognize it for what it is and choose not to act on it. It's that simple. In the beginning it was hard to make that choice, now although sometimes not exactly easy, it is the natural thing to do.

One thing that has made a particularly strong difference in my quit is something I call "severing the romance." I've noticed that many (even successful) quitters on this site haven't really done what I'm about to describe. To be truly successful at quitting Copenhagen, I had to make a point to change the focus of my battle. At first, it couldn't be against Copenhagen, this beautiful stuff in the pretty shiny can, with its nice script and vintage date. It couldn't be against the image on my wonderful hardwood dart cabinet. It couldn't be about the stuff I had shared with infantry buddies in the army or enjoyed while walking through the woods. Copenhagen, itself, had a beauty of it's own to me. Many of you feel that way about your particular brand, but it seems especially strong among Copenhagen users. Most of this is of course an illusion and now removed from it by a year, I can see things more clearly. In the beginning, though, the nostalgia (the damn romance of it) was enough to almost kill the quit. So, I had to devise a way to change the way I felt about Copenhagen. This is a stripped down version of that thought process. Nicotine is a highly addictive poison used commercially as an insecticide. You can obtain nicotine through a variety of ways, but I exclusively get mine through the Cope. I've never blown a quit to go out and buy Nicorette gum. There's nothing beautiful or romantic about nicotine gum. It's simply a vehicle for nicotine delivery to the body. Copenhagen is the same thing. Copenhagen is nothing more than a vehicle for nicotine. Nothing more. It's not magic or wonderful or anything else you may think it is. It is a substance that delivers the poison you crave. Nothing more. In the beginning it didn't matter to me. I was still "in love" with Copenhagen. So, I turned my back on it. Dismissed it as "nothing more" than a nicotine delivery system and focused solely on keeping nicotine out of my body. It's difficult for me to explain this clearly, but hopefully you can understand what I'm getting at. It's easy to get nostalgic about your particular brand and circumstances surrounding it, but it's quite difficult to be like that over nicotine. Sever the romance and you're one step closer to living without the can.

I mentioned earlier that part of quitting is about being strong. Something else it's about is being honest. You have to be honest with yourself especially. There are many lies that you tell yourself about your relationship to tobacco/nicotine. There are examples of them scattered throughout these pages. You have to recognize them for what they are and try to eliminate them from your life. I have never been a "closet dipper" and I have very little sympathy for those who have lied to people over the years about their addiction. Yes, I can understand it, but lying is a choice like any other. Being an addict doesn't mean you have to be a liar. That's your choice and personally I think it's a coward's choice. That being said, let me point out that I've been quite lucky. I've had the support of my wife as a dipper and during my quit. So, I've never felt the need to lie. I've never felt the need to hide it from employers either. I never saw the point. I recently dreamed that I caved and started back. In the dream I chose to lie to my wife about it. I'm not a religious man, but all I can say is "there but for the grace of God go I". I could have made the choice to lie, I just never did. In a different situation, I might be no better off than anyone else. Still, I'm proud that I never lied about it to my wife or family or anyone else. That's something I haven't had to deal with. However, I have lied to myself many times. We all surround ourselves with lies to protect ourselves from the truth of our addiction. We're all liars in a sense. Learning to tell the truth brings us closer to being free.

I would like to take a moment to mention how this website has helped me. I mentioned earlier that I've had no relationships with anyone on the boards. This is true. I've also only posted 44 times or so in the past year. So people's "read, post, read, post," post a million times stuff just doesn't mean that much to me. I've seen people fall that have posted hundreds of times. I personally believe there is absolutely no correlation between number of posts and success on this site. Not that it's bad to post a million times, but don't let people convince you that the secret to quitting is "read, post, read, post." It's not that at all. By reading you learn, by posting you learn and possibly help others learn. The learning is the important part-at least to me. I haven't needed the friendship or the support per se; I just needed to quit tobacco and there were things that I needed to know. There's so much here that you can learn. You will realize that you're not alone. That you're not some nicotine addicted freak. You're not the only one to fish cans out of the trash or the bushes. This information is invaluable and it's scattered throughout every page. You will also find things that will help you think of your addiction in entirely new ways. I figured out early in my quit that "all I need to do today is not use tobacco. If nothing else gets done, so what?" Sound familiar? There's a mantra floating around here that expresses that sentiment. Did I write the article? No, but someone did and now someone else won't have to figure it out on their own. That's what this place is about to me. We all learn and learn how to beat this thing. There's not a shortage of information about quitting anymore, because it's here. This site is one of the most wonderful things I have ever discovered. It helps me to stay quit. It reminds me that people can fall down and get back up. I love this place. It's like a book that never ends.

Finally, I do want to express some gratitude. The obvious person to thank is Matt van Wyk. Thank you for making and maintaining this site. I know it's helping people, myself included. I hope it continues to help you as well. Like others have stated, I don't know you but I wish you all the very best in life.

Also, I just want say thanks to EVERYONE who is a member of this "community." I'm glad that there are so many of us. I'm glad that some people have taken it upon themselves to help people as they come in. Thanks for taking the time to write articles that express what is so useful to know. Thank you for your many posts and shared bits of wisdom. Thanks for quitting. Thanks for not making me the only person in the world struggling with this and thanks for the occasional "don't give up" that I've received when I took the time to ask. Your being here makes this place possible. Thank you.

That's about all I've got to say for now. I've waited long enough to post this and it's not really everything I wanted it to be. I just wanted to share some things. I sit here a year removed from tobacco. I've proven to myself and others that I can beat this thing. So can you. Although, I'm not sure exactly what normal is. I know that life is just fine without the can. In fact, life is can be pretty damn good.

M.S.C.
October 10, 2003

KY
Frank Durham 20010812 Hi-I'm Frank Durham,who recently joined the "society of friends" at the quitsmokeless.org site..now,I no longer need that so-called "friend"(ha),the can(youknowhutImean)! I had submitted my story on the cafe section,and will just reiterate that I'm STILL able to COPE(for real!)WITHOUT THAT %$!*(#.."cope",that is! Congrats to al fellow HOF'ers on here,and to those just startin'out..STAY THE COURSE! YOU CAN DO IT! Believe me,you'll be glad ya did..

Oh,did I say I'm still copin'withoutcope? If I hafta repeat that'til Imake everyone sick..well,would you rather be a little "queasy" with me doing that,or get *REALLY* sick,with that bullSHHH between your cheek & gum,or wherever..KEEP ON KEEPIN'ON!(522 days without ANY tobacco)

 
Scott Besler 20021014 Have been trying to quit for the better part of 3 years. Tried to dip less, but in the end I ended up dipping more. Dipped Copenhagen since 1991. Just decided to quit one day. I just said that is it. I quit on 10-14-02. I feel great, and haven't missed it one bit. I used to do it everywhere so I really didn't have a place to avoid so as not to want to use it again. The only thing I want to do now is live, and help people from never starting. I was up to two tins per week, and I know that some have done more but I just wanted out, I had paid my $$ long enough to US Tobacco. I don't have any problems and I hope I never do, but at least I quit now.  
rotten 20021013 100 days have passed since I stopped using smokeless tobacco. I consider that a great foundation for a lifetime of being free. I found this place one day into my freedom and registered that day. I didn't post until my 40th-something day. (That's the one thing I wish I had done earlier, post! I felt more a part of the community of QS once I started posting.) I did, however, read many of the posts and discovered that most here were like me, longtime chewers, wanting to quit for whatever reasons. That's it. We may have nothing more in common than a desire to stop using this stuff. That's all we need to know about someone here, though. If someone's having trouble one day, we pick him or her up. If someone caves, whether 3 days or one year into the quit, we welcome him or her back with open arms. That's what I love about QS; we are fighting a personal battle, but fighting it together.

The first thing that came to me when I started thinking about this speech was the Saint Crispin's day speech of Shakespeare's Henry V. (Really! I know; I'm nuts or something, but its true!) King Henry V is rallying his troops for the battle. They are outnumbered (by thousands) and a slaughter at the hands of the French army seems imminent. It just seems to fit with what we are doing here, fighting an enemy that seems unconquerable. Here is a portion of it.

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

I have been fighting a battle these past three plus months. It got 'easy' for a while, but then at about day 90, I had some fog and some serious craves. I can't explain why. I just know that I made it through with the help of my wife and this site. It made me realize that being free of tobacco will never be easy. And knowing that, I have to say, "What feats we did these 100 days!" Many of us would have thought it impossible to be where we are now. The names in Henry's speech I would replace with my January brothers. Your posts helped me immensely. Matt, thank you for continuing to keep this community alive. You are Henry calling us into battle.

I am a different man than the one that began this journey 100 days ago. I simply don't have the words to express my gratitude for that change and all that had a hand in it, so I will borrow William Shakespeare's. "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother." Thanks for shedding some blood with me. I will always remember my brothers and what we accomplished on our Saint Crispin's day.

I didn't stop chewing for my brothers though; I stopped because I love my wife and my children. I want to see my children grow old and I want to grow old with my wife. I want to be there to see all the little, silly things that put together make up a life. Isn't that what it is all about, though? Being there, to share life with the ones you love? It is to me and now I can do that more often and, hopefully, for a few extra years. My wife has been amazingly supportive during the past 3 months. The first three weeks were ugly and I asked her how I was during that period about six weeks after quitting. She said, "Yeah, horrible, but you needed to quit doing that to yourself." She never said a thing during that time how bad I was. Thank you Colleen. You are my very soul and your love continues to amaze me. Sophia, you are my wisdom, thank you for helping me to find the courage I needed through these days. Daniel, you are my wonder, thank you for allowing me to see the world as you do every day. I can promise you this; the "rotten" tobacco user is gone forever. Forever.

Thanks to ALL of you, I am one Luke Skywalkin', Darth E-vadin', Demon beatin', non-chewin' guy! And you know what? The English won the battle that day, like we are here every day.

Tacoma, WA
SBrulet 20021013 Well a hundred days have come and gone, doesn't seem possible. I need to thank Mr. Matt for his vision of this site, it has made and will continue to make a huge positive impact on our lives. I, like most of you feel confident that I have overcome something I thought I would take to my grave, (early I might add). It has not only been a great challenge but a lot of fun,(wouldn't have said that in the first weeks). No real names, no faces not even an audible voice but at times I've felt as close to my QS brothers as my own family because of no prejudice, no assumptions, just understanding and compassion and a little tough love.

Not only does the forum carry us through difficult times, it gives us the opportunity to help others, which I believe is part of the healing process, how can you do something to yourself when you are preaching the dangers to others. When I first started coaching, little kids would come and ask, "what's the score? ", we as coaches would always say 0-0, well, some things never change, in our battle against nicotine we must always play as if the score is 0-0, and it's still early in the first quarter. I think it is safe to say that most of us like to be associated with a winner, well January group thank you for helping me be part of a winning team.

This is one of my favorite quotes and I don't even know who said it. "We will not be remembered for what we have but rather for what we have given".

Sioux City, IA
Mike Barry 20020101 Clean for over a year. I started dipping skoal, mint at first and then the other colors of the skoal rainbow. This habit commenced my sophmore year of highschool when I traveled up to Fairfield University where my brother roomed with the son of a major UST distributor. This kid was given hundreds of logs of skoal for free so he could get every one at the college hooked. Well anyway he got my brother first and then me as a byproduct. I was next. I tried it and it was so easy and fun of a habit. I was also a good looking kid and people were always telling me that I resembled all these movie stars. This wasn't a good thing because people didn't criticize my habit enough as they should have. The only one who ever criticized me was my dean of students who caught my friend and I in my car when we were dipping in the High School Parking lot. He said that I would soon graduate to Copenhagen and eventually develop cancer like one of his good buddies that had to get his jaw removed. I didn't listen. So this is my story I dipped for 3 years and quit freshman year of college. I took a look at my gums and decided I could not continue this habit any more so I stopped. I stopped in the summer of 2001. I did not like what the dip did to my gums and the soft tissue of my lower lip. So I lived with the damage until September 8th of that year and I had one last dip with this dude Howard, who said he was trying to quit. Well I looked at him and said you know, that is good that you are trying to quit, and had a dip with him because I felt it was for a noble cause. Well I shouldn't have done that because after that dip I felt that something had changed in my mouth and it wasn't for the better. I had tore the final shred of lower gum connectivity that I had left and now my lip has been puffed out ever since. I tried to deal with it for a year and it has driven me mad. It has made me now mispronounce words and often talk with a lisp. After about a year when I saw that the situation was'nt getting any better. I sought out help from doctors. I went to a periodontist and he said that I needed four soft tissue grafts to restore gum tissue to keep my 2 canine and 2 lower incisors from falling out later in life. So I had that done. But that didn't fix my speech problem. Next I went to the oral surgeon and he didn't understand what I needed. Then I went to my family doctor and he said he didn't see it. After that and I went to another oral surgeon and he said there was nothing he could do for me but he saw how determined that I was in fixing it that he asked me to tell him what I learn when I go to the plastic surgeon. I went to one plastic surgeon and he talked to me for about three minutes and charged me 150 dollars and gave me the name of this Barry Zide. In November of 2002 I went to him and he told me that the only thing he could do would be to make me look silly by lifting my lower lip so it would be resting on my upper teeth. This got me upset because this guy was the man and he didn't know what to do. So I took the matter into my own hands and have been spending nearly six hours a day studying anatomy and such, trying to figure a way how to fix my lip by pulling it in with a synthetic frenulum without severing the muscles, veins, arteries, nerves and gingiva of the lower mouth. I have put about 250 hours into my research and the more I get into it the more difficult it gets. I have recently got back in touch with Doctor Zide and have been communicating to him through email because he's in New York and I'm In Rhode Island. If any of you have had a similar problem email me with a doctor's name that I can get help from. I can only play substitute doctor for so long. Jbarry3@hotmail.com. Don't Dip, If you do your a stupid, inferior, uneducated, neandrethal, stumbling, super moron, that deserves to be beaten with a hammer and then tarred and feather and burned at the stake and your head should be sent to the receptionary desk at the United States Tobacco Company which I have visited in Exit 3 Connecticut. Thank You The worst part of all is that I'm a singer in a band and it has made it very hard to get the groove that I sued to get. Also I used to be called the best kisser, Now I'm like kissing an old man. There's some imagery to get you thinking. Peace and Chicken Grease. RI
Hawkman 20021015 In the summer of 1981 I started chewing tobacco. On October 15, 2002 I quit chewing tobacco for more than a hundred days. I believe that I will never chew tobacco again.

All I have to say to the newcomers is DO NOT EVER STOP QUITTING. Eventually you will win the battle. You have too. The alternative is not an option.

I have been on and off this site many times. I caved, I made excuses, but this time I made it to a hundred days and hopefully 20,000 more to go.

I quit for my 2 year old daughter who used to dig through the trash to find empty bottles or cans for me to spit in. She thought she was being helpful; it made me sick. I quit for my wife who never once asked me to quit, but I knew she wanted me to, who wouldn't? Most importantly, I quit for me. I quit because I did not want to go away early knowing I could have stayed longer. I quit because it costs a lot of money. Do the math. 20 years of money on dip with the interest can equal a college education.. I quit because I no longer wanted to be an addict to a drug that did nothing for me. I quit becuase I did not like it anymore. I quit becuase I had help from Quitsmokeless.Org.

Thank you Matt. What you are doing here is great. Few things in the world changes destinies, but I believe this site does.

I tried to quit 3 times with Quitsmokelss.org, if you look up hawkman in the search feature you will find my first postings in November of 2001. I quit and in just a few days I was back in bed with the tin. I came back in the spring and lost it again. But this time I feel like I made it. I really believe that I will never chew tobacco again.

20 years from now, when I am with my 22 year old daughter and the rest of my family, my daughter will hear that I used to chew tobacco. They will tell her that she would see me put in a dip and run to the trash to find her daddy a spit cup or bottle. She will look at me and say "You used to chew tobacco? I do not remember that Dad," I will probably tear up and say, "Yes, I did chew tobacco. I quit because I did not want you to remember."

Hawkman
January 22, 2003

 
Breen77 20021021 At 17 years old, in the spring of 1993, 2 friends and I took a little fishing trip in Kankakee, Illinois. We stopped at a small bait shop...where I first saw...Skoal Bandits. I bought some because I thought I was a rebel...or "bandit" of some sort. After spending about ten minutes ripping open those little packets of dip and unsuccessfully getting the black stuff all over my lips and tongue, it occurred to me, that maybe I was supposed to put the whole "packet" in my mouth. And wallah...my first dip. I didn't get it...didn't do much for me.
But a week later I tried the real Skoal Mint for the first time at a party...and subsequently spent the last hour or so of the party speaking rather personally about my first true dip experience...with the toilet...while some girls stood outside banging on the bathroom door and openly wondering how someone could "still" be throwing up after all that time. Only two weeks after that first true experience...I was already a pro...trying everything from Kodiak, to Copenhagen...and showing off to my friends how I was such a man because I filled my entire lip with half the can of dip.
Well...I never became the outlaw/cowboy I thought I wanted to become. And those Skoal "Bandits" should have been called Skoal "Idiots"...because that's what I was for ever trying it.

Almost ten years later, after numerous failed quits, numerous mouth scares, and a realization that this addiction had me by the throat and was not letting go...I got on the internet and literally asked to be scared out of my mind so that I would quit. And I found Quitsmokeless.org. That afternoon a friend of mine at work took my can of Skoal and told me he'd hold on to it...110 days later...he still has that can of Skoal...but I don't need it anymore.

To all of you who grace the world of Quitsmokeless...
Thank you for sticking by my side.
You all have no idea how much you mean to me.
You have helped me to achieve something that a little over 100 days ago, I thought was close to impossible.

So I've crossed over Day 100...and the journey still lays out in front of me...more mountains to climb...except......now I'm a believer. I have been in a stupor for the past ten days just sitting around trying to figure out what "magical" thing happened to me when I crossed into my 100th day...and I would love to come off like some wise sage who can give to you some secret and magical gift of enlightenment that I attained when I crossed into 100 days. But I can't...because it's still out there...in front of me somewhere...and it's also right here inside...it already exists in each one of us.

In our moments of weakness...we tend to find strength. And we also learn about ourselves. In my last 110 days...I've grown to understand something about Freedom...and Enlightenment. In some ways, they are one in the same. Both seem to be what we are all searching for, both seem to be incredibly elusive, and yet we still search because we think that we can hold them in our hands one day if we search hard enough. And the pain will then be gone.
Wrong.

Freedom and Enlightenment have one major thing in common...they cannot be attained.

They can only be sought after.

Like life...you can't hold the secret in your hands...you can only chase after it.

And maybe...that's how you beat this addiction.

You keep searching. Keep chasing. Keep moving. Keep living. Don't think you can stop somewhere, build a house of steel, and lock yourself inside. Because that addiction will come inside with you. You can't hide from something that at one time...was YOU.
If you stop, if you become too comfortable, you lose.

"God comforts the disturbed...
...and disturbs the comfortable"
  -(Unknown)

You've made it to 100 days? Great...now chase after 200. Meanwhile, you need to help someone make it to their first 100. Someone helped you to believe.
Now help someone new...to BELIEVE.

"What is done for another is done for oneself."
  -(Paulus)

Keep chasing.

Remember all those things that you "wanted" to do, but were afraid to try?
If we can overcome this, then we can acheive anything.

Keep living.

I know that it's still here...it will always be here...this addiction. But I can accept that. We've all probably got little rocks and splinters in us somewhere from when we were kids and we tripped or fell and got hurt. They became part of us. So this will too. But our focus has now moved past the pain that it caused. So it's time to move in another direction.

Keep believing.
Help someone else, and help yourself.
Do things you never thought you could do, and continue to show yourself you can.

You keep searching. Keep chasing. Keep moving. Keep living.

...And finally...
...know this to be true...
We ALL leave our mark on this world. We leave our mark on every person we touch...in everything we do. But most of the time...we NEVER get to see any of the results...

...well

HERE I AM.

...the result of the mark that you have all left.

I walked in here with a disease of addiction that was killing me.

And now...I am growing strong, becoming healthy again, I believe in myself more than ever, and I am looking beyond the addiction...to the life I want to live...

...because of all of you...I have been dip free for over 100 days...

To Matt Van Wyk
To my very best friends in the January 2003 Quit Group
And to every single one of you in Quitsmokeless.

...I am the result of your efforts...

...I am your mark.

Thank you...for saving my life.

OK...I couldn't just go without at least attempting to thank as many people as I can...
So here goes...

Thank you to my entire family, who have always loved and supported me, and also always let me know just how stupid I was for putting this junk in my mouth. And specifically...Thank you MOM...for getting involved, for making it special by framing my last tin, and for believing that eventually...I would successfully quit.
Thanks to my many friends who offered their excitement and support, especially - John, you showed me it was possible - Janis, you lent your caring support to a good friend in need - and Alex, for taking that last can of Skoal away from me.
Thank you Meghan, for not letting up, and for letting me know that it gave me bad breath...now that's a motivating factor.

To my January gang...
My friends...My JANUARY BROTHERS...we all made this climb together...tethered to the same rope. You're as much the reason I'm up here as my own desire and will. Thank you Brothers...we made this escape together. You kept me focused on US...and all the while we continued to take small steps towards our goal.
Erikasdad, who picked up a lantern and a pick axe, and helped the January Gang break through into a space where we could open up, and where we could begin to heal. Father of Three...our spiritual leader. Spongebob, who tore back his dark cloak, and revealed the big "S" on his chest, (for Sponge). ForMyKids, always there with a bit of humor, a cold beer, or a Texas Cheerleader for motivation. Rudy and Sbrulet......day in, day out...always there for support. Rotten...our nutty accountant whose avatar said it all. Ollie, my wingman from the very beginning. Hawkman, KJ83, KYbubba, Ira Bliss ...and of course Dr. Nate (who better get back to quitting ASAP!!)

More special thanks to...
4woogie, who sewed a kilt for Northcreek, who ran half naked, and half kilted, through the forest chasing the Dip Demon away with a pocket full of SMC...(I now have that kilt signed, stained, and framed in the Samurai Lounge) I need to go golfing with you two guys.
Trimbledad, Gentle_giant, Rev, Sammy, Bluesman, TBM, Eliasone, BMK, Roy, la Pat, Goodbyecope, JR, JeffD, Bo11, Macabs1, Patbeau, Quit@50, ...--- (Glenn, GoingInsane, Trihope, and Mark...who all helped spread the Bluesbrother word). And to the rest of my Quitsmokeless family...thank you.

Breen77
(The Crazy Samurai)

Aurora, IL
roy 20021027 As I celebrate 100 days of freedom from dip, I would like to share my "dip story" here and leave it buried underneath this great and hallowed Hall forever. This is my past. The failures, lies, and self-loathing are over. Today, I forgive myself and look towards the future with a clean slate, a bright, stainless smile on my face, and the belief that there are no limits to what I can accomplish.

MY DIP STORY: As a freshman in high school, I was on a competitive club swim team. Every day, the team would take a long run and the older "cool" guys would sneak off and do something secret. One day, the moment I had been dreaming about came: They invited me to "come try this awesome shit that will get me all buzzed and relaxed." Best of all, it was sold at every gas station, so it's not illegal or anything (I interpreted this as "nothing bad can happen to you from using this.") A guy showed me a tin of Kodiak Wintergreen, showed me how to pack it (Aha! That's what the finger snapping was about!), take a pinch, and put the tobacco in the front of my lower lip. I took a whiff and almost puked. But curiosity and the need to be accepted won over physical rejection. I put it in, and felt the intense burn on my lip and gum. A minute later, I couldn't walk straight. I immediately fell in love with that feeling - that escape - and wanted more.

I started taking a dip with "the guys" every few days or so. About a month later, I started buying my own tins. (I vividly remember buying my first tin, and thinking about what I would say if she asked me for ID). About a month after that, I started dipping at home in the bathroom. Later that year, I started dipping at school. I quickly became an expert at hiding dip from my family, teachers, and girls. They would never understand the beauty behind my "disgusting" new habit. The GREAT DIP LIE had begun.

When I went away to college, it became a lot easier to dip. I even got my roommate and three of my closest friends started, so it became the thing to do together while drinking beers and watching TV. The addiction progressed to a can a day, including one first thing in the morning, on the toilet, in the shower, etc. Every activity became a good excuse to dip. I didn't even notice that I never got a buzz anymore - I just dipped because that's who I was, and I couldn't imagine my life being enjoyable without it.

Deep down, I always knew I would quit someday, but it was never a good time - so I would just lie to myself and then make justifications for dipping. I went to Europe, quit for 3 months, and then needed it to study when I got back to school. "I'll just use it when I'm studying." LIAR! I was in a rock band and told myself and my band mates I would quit before our next tour / album / big show. LIAR! I found painful sores in my mouth, panicked, and ran to the clinic... the whole time imagining myself on my deathbed, painfully confessing to my family about the secret addiction that led to my young death. I told myself and the nurse, "I never want to go through this again. I'm quitting now." "I'll quit when I start law school." "I'll quit when I start my internship." I'll quit when I move in with my girlfriend." "I'll quit when I get married." ALL LIES. I just adjusted any new situation to accommodate dipping, no matter what. The lie got so big that ending it began to seem hopeless. The insane things I would do to hide my dip (I hid it from my wife!!)... and the extremely painful experiences I had because of dipping kept adding up, but I still didn't quit. I felt alone and defeated, and my self esteem was shot. I knew that the pain of not getting my dip fix was nothing compared to the pain of hating myself for not having the willpower to quit. I was desperate, but I still didn't quit.

Then I found this website. I read Matt's "About Quit Smokeless" and a glimmer of hope began to grow in my gut. I read the Articles. I read the speeches of the great warriors who came here before me and paved the way to freedom. I was no longer alone. There were people like me who used this place to successfully get rid of the can forever. I signed up, introduced myself in Roll Call, and guys like Ollie, QuitAt50, Northcreek, and Breen77 (sevenzen) gave me exactly the kick in the ass I needed. Within a few hours, my last cans of dip were thrown over the rooftops. No "last farewell dip." No more bullshit. I made two signs: One said in huge letters "I WILL NEVER DIP AGAIN." The other was a chart with columns for the date, days quit, money saved, and a place to write down my daily experiences. I started stacking up hours and days, step by tiny step, victory by tiny victory, on my chart. I went through the hell of my first two weeks along with my February class, and I posted daily about the crazy things I was going through. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't crap. I couldn't concentrate. My efficiency and production at school and work went down to near zero at some points.

But I was not going to put up with it anymore! I was not going to let a little can rule and ruin my life! I had said "never again" and I meant it. I made quitting the most important thing in my life. I began to picture myself as a happy and fulfilled person without dip. I began treating my mouth like holy ground, so that it might someday be a clean, healthy place again. My personal integrity and self image - MY LIFE was at stake!! So I simply kept on not dipping. I went through the day 50 slumps during my final exams, and forced myself to confess to my wife about my dip habit so that the lie would be over. (After the initial shock, she was very cool and supportive.) I went through a battle with alcohol (a battle that I am still fighting). I found a full can of Kodiak Wintergreen in my gym locker around day 35. Irony!?! That was the moment of truth - the moment the demon looked me in the eye, and I had to decide who would be running my life. I smelled it, got that rush in my brain, closed the can, threw it, and walked away. After that, I knew I would win. I got back in shape, my grades skyrocketed, my relationship with my wife became much more open and honest, and I started liking and respecting myself in a way that was impossible while under the influence of the can. I got through it all, and made it here, the crowning moment of a 100-day experience that has revitalized my life, and a day I will remember forever. THE END.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who has ever posted on this site, but especially to my February brothers: bo11, Macabs1, skemen, GoingInsane, PATBEAU, charger1992, jstrong, Afritz, rockboy, and our frequent and welcome guest, Spongebob. The February board was my home, and you guys were there with me, supporting me every step of the way. Thank you. Now get your asses in here!!

Finally, I have never said anything to Mr. Matt van Wyk during my time here, and it is high time I did so. Thank you Matt, for creating this vessel for positive transformation and making it public. Your kindness, vision, and hard work have inspired me every step of the way. If the joy you get from making such a positive difference is even a fraction of the joy I feel from the way my life has changed, you must be one very happy man. You deserve it.

St. Louis, MO
bo11 20021028 Well here I am dipfree , 4 months away from being a daddy, boy is my life changing for the better.

My story is probably similar to a lot folks on here. I started dipping when I was 14 or 15. I would go to the store tell the guy my granddad needed his Redman and then go ride bikes, chew and act "cool" . I even remember crashing and swallowing some spit and then going home and laying in my bed sick as crap thinking "ohhhh I'm not doing that again" but I did. Somewhere around 15 I went to skoal, I would go to the high school football games take a dip and get a buzz, man was that fun. I dipped skoal until I went to college, Tennessee Tech University home of the Golden Eagles. When I got there I switched to Copenhagen because I was now on my own and thought my dipping might get out of control. Copenhagen was nasty, tasted bad,smelt even worse, noway I would dip as much as I used to. WRONG. 20 yrs later after buying that first pack of Redman I had a can a day habit of copenhagen and considered anybody who didn't dip cope a wuss.

I got a sore in my mouth in March 02 and got scared. I got on the internet to look for cancer pics and found this place. I joined, lasted about a week and I cracked , softball started and "I can't play ball without a dip" the more I thought about it the more I realized I can't do anything without a dip and that pissed me off. I mean I couldn't take a shit without finding my dip can. If I was out of dip I would go to the store to get a can and then come home to poop. That's just pitiful. So I set a quit date and I never deleted this website from my Favorites so I would look a little at a time. When my day came I quit and I haven't dipped since.
Without a doubt this one of my greatest accomplishment. Its definitely the proudest I've ever been of myself except for losing my virginity, but that was easy compared to this because that only took 30 secs this took 100 days of pure torture sometimes. I know 100 is a drop in the bucket, but I think I'm done for good because I don't ever want to have to go through this again.

To the rookies I just want to say you can do it if you just use some discipline and knuckle up. READ, make this your home page and READ some more.

To the FAB FEBS. Roy, Charger1992, jstrong, afritz, patbeau, thanks for being there. Going Insane , I 'm glad you cracked and had to become a FEB. You are a true leader and you know a lot of bad women.
Rockboy if you read this get in there a change your life. this is the most rewarding thing I've ever done for me and you can do it.
Love all ya'll THANKS
BO11

Hermitage, TN
Charger1992 20021028 VINI. VIDI. VICI. Thanks Matt! Little Rock, AR
macabs1 20021029 A hundred days ago I felt as if I was on a sinking ship. My can-a-day Copenhagen habit was siphoning my bank account and making my gums and mouth hurt. To top it off I was in the closet with my addiction. The good news was I really wanted to quit and was prepared to go it alone. I had never any success before, yet when I threw in that last dip and tossed away my last can, I had a good feeling about this quit. The first two days were very difficult, as everyone here knows, made even worse with my closet quitting. It was on my 3rd day of quit that my prophetic feeling on day one was justified: I had found Quit Smokeless. The rest is history!

My story is not unlike many other stories that have been told on this website. Boy takes dip, boy enjoys dip, boy continues to dip and never stops. I won't, can't waste anytime here dwelling on the past; missed opportunities to quit, decisions made based on my need to feed my addiction. I refuse to point any fingers. The future is now--started the day Matt threw that lifejacket out to me. Thank you sir. The vision that led to the creation of this website has quite possibly extended my life. You are allowing us to change the ending of these stories.

This speech is one of maybe 5 speeches I had written for this special day. I wanted this at first to be about my life with Copenhagen. I quickly discarded that draft. My next stab at an HOF speech was entitled "An Unopened Letter to My Wife". I decided to keep that one to myself. Maybe someday it will no longer be unopened. My true desire the past three drafts was/is to impart some sort of legacy here in these records. Some piece of advice I can impart on those just starting out. If this speech has an effect on one person, makes one person decide to continue on with their quit...it would be a great joy knowing that I was able to help someone in need of help. When I look back on those first crucial days of my quit and my time at the QS what stands out in my memory is the fact that there was so many others in the same situation as me. I was not alone. The place was full of closet copenhagen dippers like myself. I dove right into it all. I pored over HOF speeches, daily cafe chats, articles, and monthly group chatter. After I was done I reread them all again. I looked up sometime during my reading and I was at 50 days, halfway to the HOF, and pretty much done with this terrible habit. Don't get me wrong; packs and packs of gum (Orbit), bags pumpkinseeds and boxes toothpicks were put to use along the way. What I'm trying to say to anyone out there lurking, reading and wanting to quit, this site could be the difference between a successful quit and an unsuccessful quit. It was the difference for me.

In closing, I would like to thank the February quit group for all their support during this battle with the demon. Roy, Charger1992, bo11, going insane, jstrong, afritz, patbeau, and rockboy thank you so very much! Special thanks go out to an old time HOFer, Bluesman, recent HOFers, breen77and spongebob, and future HOFer, Gentle_Giant. Your eloquent prose has been truly inspirational throughout my journey. I am forever indebted. Thanks to everyone. Spread the word about this place and DON'T DIP EVER AGAIN. I'm on my way to Disneyland now... without my can.

Jersey City, NJ
Iron 20020101 It is almost unbelievable thier are days that I actually do not think about taking a dip. A stupid new years eve bet has taken me from a can a day. That was a lot considering I teach high school and can not chew during class, At least not most of the time.

It is awesome not having it around. I owe it all to God, I prayed to Jesus that he would take the habit and he did. Anytime I would have a bad craving I would say a little prayer and it would go away.

 
Kingfisher 20021108 On Nov. 2 I really thought about quitting the Skoal habit. That same day I found this website and thought it was pretty cool. On Nov 8, 2002, I used my last can. The first 3 weeks were a bitch but I logged on every day and received tips and encouragement from many quitters who has been though the same pain or were still in the same withdrawal pain as me. I do know it helped. Today is Feb. 4, 2003 and it seems like a fantasy that I haven't had a chew in 88 days! I still use an occasional "Beaver Chew" mint snuff which has also been a great help.

Thanks to QuitSmokeless.org!!!!

Chazy
Scott_M 20021112 I realize that 100 days is a fine achievement, but I want everyone to know that I have no big speech for I know that the fight goes on well beyond when you think it was won.

Maintain Vigilance

MN
PATBEAU 20021115 The HOF at QS.org (the only place to be)

I have a story. Everyone here has a story. The stories are all different and yet they are surprisingly similar. Here at QS our stories are told. We tell them, one craving, one fog, one rant, one joke and one day, at a time. We tell our stories before a vast audience in roll call and we quietly talk with our families in our quit groups. The stories are full of drama. The full range of emotions are selflessly displayed daily on these hallowed pages. The overwhelming joy of someone reaching a personal milestone is kept in check by the sorrow and disappointment of another falling victim to the demon. Yet as each story unfolds itself here at QS, countless other stories are touched and affected by the telling of that story. Therein lies the beauty of QS. We stand together, intertwined. The likeness of our stories proves to us that we are not alone and binds us all together in our struggle for freedom. Although we each tell our own story, together we all tell one story. It is a beautiful story, a story of determination and triumph: a story that not only teaches us that the demon can be beaten; but proves to us that he is beaten every day. One only has to log on to QS a single time to see the proof. Ah, but once you do that, once you open that book and begin to read; to comprehend, QS becomes more addicting than all the UST in existence. With this new addiction, however, comes fellowship, knowledge, and power. Yes, the power. The power to embrace total freedom from UST: The very essence of that power is that which brings us all together and binds us here.

My Story...

Frustrated, disappointed, angry, depressed, and yet again, unsuccessful. I had failed for what seemed my thousandth attempt to quit.

In the past I had committed all the sins of the chewer. Lying to loved ones, hiding the addiction, sneaking around to chew. I was best at lying to myself. My wife had heard me say that this would be my last chew so many times that she no longer even hoped for it to be true. A faint Yea, Whatever!!, is all that I would hear. It took me a long time to finally wise up to the truth. I am an addict. I did not truly understand what that meant, but I would learn soon enough.
I tried to quit chewing the first time and found that I would rather give up air then my Copenhagen. I had myself really believing that I loved everything about chewing. I grew angry with this assessment and tried to focus the anger into yet another quit. But the wind would go out of my sails after a day or two. One time I grew so angry that I quit for 7 months. Then I thought I would have just one chew one day and was back to square one. I kept trying to quit and failing again and again for 5 more years. But my story changed on September 15th 2002.
I was at it again. Two whole days on the wagon and losing my mind. I was screwing around on the computer trying to do anything that would get my mind off the desire. Now, I am not a real religious man. I believe but do not practice. But when I absent-mindedly went to Google and typed, "God, please help me quit chewing", the first link that came up was QuitSmokeless.org. I clicked on it and what I saw changed my life. I had only read a little of it when an urge made me move somewhere, anywhere. I had my hideaway from everything; my wood shop, my haven. I scrambled to get there before insanity overcame me. I began to work on various projects but everything that I touched, I destroyed. Hundreds of dollars of oak reduced to scrap. Anger like that which I have never felt overcame me. I threw my router, (my precious router, my 2.5 hp Porter Cable 1/4" Plunging router) across my shed. Threw it. while it was running. My beautiful 10 year old daughter came running out to see what all the noise was and if I was alright, and I started yelling at her. Screaming, like a maniac. It was all that I could do to tell her to get into the house and away from me. After about 30 minutes of stomping around my yard and kicking things, I started to calm down. I began to realize what I had just done. The guilt of how I had just traumatized my daughter rained down upon me. I went into the house and she backed slightly away from me. She asked if I was better. I said that I was. I was about to apologize when she told me that she would rather have me yell at her then chew Copenhagen. I almost cried right there. From the mouth of babes. I went back into the house and started reading posts on the new site. Before I knew what I was doing I had logged on and was typing messages to strangers who seemed to know exactly how I was feeling. It was eerie. It was strange. It was exactly what I needed, and right when I needed it most. I had found the fellowship, knowledge, and power necessary to take back control of my life. It became simple, not easy, but simple. Every day that I did not put Copenhagen in my mouth was a victory. (Someone posted that philosophy here and it has become my motto or creed. Simple, not easy, but simple)
As time progressed, I found that I was getting support everywhere. People at work were congratulating me, my wife and daughter were both as supportive as they could be. And my hero's here on the QS.ORG, well they were larger than life.

Proud, Learned, Happy, Aware, joyful, Thankful and Successful. 100 Days Quit. Enduring a little pain and suffering is just part of the road that leads to freedom

I COULDN'T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT....

MY WIFE, Christine. She is the greatest part of my life and through her I gain strength.

MY DAUGHTER, whose wisdom and understanding surpasses her scant 10 years

The courage of Every single person who has ever contributed to this site.

Those individuals from whom I dared to gather hope. Bigdave, quitat50, 4woogie, mallowguy, northcreek, jaled, rev, ddgrmchrgr (I still can't figure that means) Ericasdad, Spongebob, and Breen 77. For me these have been the elite of the elite. I gained long term knowledge and drive to make it to the HOF and thereafter. To these fine men... My most sincere thanks.

The Fabulous February Hall of Fame Class: Roy, BO11, Macabs1,Zxert, Going Insane (GI), darrin2risk, Jstrong, Afritz and Skeman.. You all have kept me honest. I learned strength and perseverance from you all. I also learned that believe it or not.. all craves will pass, the fog is not so blinding, and raging can be controlled.

Matt van Wyk- Your site has helped so many people like me. Thank you for providing us with this powerful tool that allows us to fight, learn and grow.

Thank you all . if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything ; as I always say ..

"ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING"

Patrick J Beaudion

Panama City, FL
McRae 20021202 This will be short.
I’m on day 159 according to my quit tracker. I am 37 years old and have dipped Since I was 13 years old. I really learned to dip when I went off to boarding school In Virginia and found out it was easier to dip than smoke.
I’ve quit on and off countless numbers of times. My dentist showed me some pre Cancerous places on my mouth and my General Practitioner told me that with type I diabetes it would really be a good idea to stop. So I stopped – I found this site and Joined my March group – it is still a struggle sometimes. I still get cravings out of no Where. I use sunflower seeds a lot. I have used the fake stuff too. I try and check in with My group a lot although most are busy doing there thing.
I check in, eat seeds and live dip free – thanks for the site Matt, thanks for the help fellow Marchies.
Asheville, NC
gentle_giant 20021213 I'm sitting here on day 100 of my quit and I am filled with wonder. I don't intend to over glorify what has transpired, but at the same time, I want to give credit to this amazing format.

Someone once said that the process of quitting is not easy, but it is simple - just don't ever put another dip into your mouth. Not EASY, but SIMPLE. Best of all, NOT impossible!

I began this journey with great trepidation. In new situations I am typically reserved, quiet, and somewhat shy. I remember when I typed my first message, once I finished I had to quickly hit the post button before I talked myself out of it. What I got in return was a friendly welcome and so much more.

First I give thanks to the Lord. God has been so good to me. His word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105. The Lord is my strength and my song. Isaiah 12:2.

My journey began with the article by Rick in Tampa. That one article gave me back something that I had been praying about for over a year - forgiveness and understanding - the results from that article is something that I could never put a price tag on. I have always loved my Husband beyond measure. Rick's article was the key that unlocked an intimate part of myself that had been in bondage for too long. I'm so thankful that not another moment of loving, sharing, and true happiness has to be lost. I love you SparkyShorts. I have hope that one day you too will join me here in the HOF.

Matt thank you for this wonderful forum and all that you have put into it. It's truly amazing what is being done here.

SpongeBob, Breen, Quitat50, Ericasdad, GoingInsane, NorthCreek, 4Woogie, MallowGuy, La Pat, David Kodiak, and too many others to name...you guys have been a great inspiration. Your posts have been filled with laughs, wisdom, and encouragement. Thank You.

Now to the group closest to my heart during my quit, my March brothers. I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. She has just learned that by clicking her heals together, her wish to return home will be granted. She then turns to her dearest friends who have helped her along her journey and bids them a tearful good-bye. By sharing your laughs, joys, sorrows, and encouragement you have helped me remain faithful to my commitment to quit. Where my other attempts have failed, being held accountable in our group and having been given the sense that it really mattered whether I succeeded or failed - having somewhere to look beyond myself - through this, you have shown me success. I don't think it was just by chance that I happened! to join such a fine group. You are proof that it doesn't take a large group or a lot of posts to achieve this goal - just a dedicated few to cheer you on or to lift you up when you need it most. You have all written a page in my memory and have become a part of my quit story, a story that I began 100 days ago. It's a story that I will continue to write for all the days to come. A story that now has a wonderful chance at a happy ending. Eliasone, Tdawg, Scotty, Sammy, McRae, Swing, Edog21, Caghs, BozInFla, BMK, Josh and Joe - My March Brothers....Thank You, with love, your sister, GentleGiant.

For those of you reading here....those who have marked these pages in the HOF before me and those yet to come, I am reminded of a song by Clay Walker, Titled: Chain of Love...

She said how much do I owe you? Here's what he had to say: You don't owe me a thing, I've been there to and someone once helped me out, just the way I'm helping you, if you really want to pay me back, here's what you do...Don't let the chain of love end with you.

 
CBW 20021231 I hope this HOF speech will help a few of you along with your quit, so here goes!

Well, well.... here I sit at almost 100 days nicotine free and I know I'm finally done with the little bastard.
I never thought in a million years I could ever break free from the nicotine demon, but I did.
The little bastard still calls me up and harasses me from time to time, but I can ignore him easier than ever now.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd ever benefit from a support group either! Was I ever wrong...because here I am!

Thanks Matt for such a great place.

So here's my story...

I've been addicted to nicotine for about 31 years. (Changed again after writing this!)
I first started chewing tobacco when I was a little kid. My dad would give me some leaf style tobacco when we would go fishing. I don't even remember what kind it was. I was only about 6 or 7 years old. He would say to me "It's ok to do when you go fishing" Little did he know I really liked the BUZZ and I wanted it more and more.
I grew up near the water and I went fishing all the time. Little did dad know that I was swiping his chew every time I went fishing. Fish and chew ...chew and fish.... it's all I did as a kid, unless the waves were good, then I'd chew and surf and chew and fish... you get the pic.
Hasn't changed much either, except for the chew part.
When I finally got caught taking my dad's stash of chew I was old enough to go to the 7-11 and get the cashier to sell me my own pouches of tobacco. I'd tell her I thought it was disgusting and the old man was making me come down and buy it for him. Worked every time and I think I was the only surfer that chewed at the time.
I can't remember when I made the switch, but somewhere in that time frame along came Happy Daze. Even tho it made me puke the first few times I did it, I kept on doing it. It was cleaner than the big wad of chew and the buzz was much more intense.

Well...by the time the summer of sixth grade was around, I had already made the jump to SKOAL. The girls loved the way it smelled and I could even get a few of them to try it. I found myself buying a can almost every 3 or 4 days day by then. I would even skip lunch just so I could use the lunch money to buy a can. I think a can was about 45 cents then. I could get milk for 10cents and use the rest for a can of SKOAL.
I started playing baseball and at that time spit-tobacco was thought to be a safe alternative, so no one thought much about us using it. I kept on using and using, more and more.

The summer going into the 8th grade I was almost a can a day user. I wasn't getting the fix I needed from SKOAL anymore, so sometime during the summer I had made the switch to Copenhagen and was in full dependency of nicotine.

Here's a message for the folks at UST.... Your marketing technique worked like a charm on me... I went from the weak, sweet-tasting Happy Daze to the hard stuff in less than 3 years...Just like I was suppose to do. It worked on every kid I dipped with. I know they will most likely never read this, but there's always a chance they will.

I can remember reading somewhere in here about someone saving the empty cans. I use to save them myself. I was proud of my collection of empty SKOAL cans I had saved. I don't even remember how many I had. I was then even happier when my Copenhagen can collection quickly passed my collection of SKOAL cans.
Anyone remember this happening?

Sorry, went off for a bit....Back to the speech....

I'd go fishing on the way to school and on the way home. The whole time with a big fat lipper in. I'd even have a spare can stashed on my bike just in case the teacher found my can on me during the day. I'd always have a spare. Never wanted to be without my little buddy!

Fast forward a little.........

The longest I previously went without nicotine was about 15 days when I was in boot camp back in 86. Wish I had quit then.
When I resumed dipping I also started smoking too. I just couldn't get enough nicotine to satisfy the need just from a dip anymore.
I would go off and on smoking the cigs saying the whole time "man, I gotta quit this shit!"
I would quit smoking only to boost my dipping up over two cans a day, so I started smoking again and knocked my dipping back down to a can and a half a day. This went on for years.

So...at that time not only do I feel and smell like shit from smoking, but my teeth and middle finger are brown from dip and the whole time saying to myself and friends "man, I gotta quit this shit!"
WOW! Writing this sure makes me realize just how bad I was hooked!!!
The first part of this story took around 25 years to develop!

Now lets fast-forward the scene again to sometime after 1995.

By this time I had quit smoking as much, but I've learned you don't have to pack your lip slam full of cope to get a fix. I would put in what we use to call a "Walt Garrison dip" I could keep a dip in all day long and just change it out all the time.

Dad had quit smoking and dipping long ago by this time and was hounding me to quit for years, along with my mom.

When my mom's sister died from lung cancer (yes, smoking) it kinda scared me into quitting smoking for good. Thinking great! Now I won't get lung cancer.
Finally done with smoking, I thought about quitting the dip.
I thought about it all the time.
Every time I took another dip I wished I could quit.
This went on for a few years this way.
I had tried to quit a few time before, but by the end of the day each time I caved and had a lip fest at night.

Ok all you old timers out there remember this one??? ............Ready?
I can remember saying, "I can't believe it. This stuff is almost a buck a can now. I swear.... If it hits a dollar a can I'm gonna quit! Well... I said the same thing before it hit a buck, then two, then three then four then five....shit...if I had all the money I spent on snuff, cigs, cigars and chewing tobacco I'd burn all I've got now and be able to retire!

Man, this HOF speech is getting long.......

Anyhoo..... To make a short story longer, I think you can see just how addicted I was to the little bastard.

Fast forward to 2002 so I can end this speech quick!

I was told I needed to quit for 28 days so I could get new cheaper life insurance.
I thought... Damm! I gotta quit for 28 days????
I was scared to death about going that long without my old buddy, but I told myself I could do it.
I figured the money I saved in the insurance and a 28-day break I could have a hog-wild lip fest with myself as soon as the 28 days were over.

So there it was.... The last week of the year 2002.... I had never made a new years resolution in my life, but I was about to. I said to myself I was going to quit for 28 days in the month of January 2003. Told myself that if I could quit for that long it would be no problem to quit when I really wanted to quit.
I had all intentions of going back to the can after I got the all clear from the insurance folks, but..............
About the 3rd day into the quit I was surfing thru the Internet and came across this site. I didn't plan on joining, but after reading a ton of post I realized I hadn't thought about Copenhagen for about 30 to 45 seconds. I thought, "Hey, that was pretty cool. I didn't crave there for a little bit." So I kept on reading and reading and reading.
I read that if you post how you felt it would help even more. LOW and BEHOLD it did!!!!!!!
I was thinking then, "Hey, this 28 day thing is going to be easy!" I'm gonna have the biggest dip party with the fish when this is over".

Then, I think it was around day 20 to 25 when the fog started to lift, I started feeling weird..
I had posted and read and I was actually feeling better. I even felt some self-esteem and was proud of myself for making it this far. I felt so good and I wasn't even thinking of how good my lip and gums felt.

When I hit 28 days I realized I hadn't even set up the appointment up to get my blood work done for the insurance company yet.
The fog was too thick.
My 28 day quit just had a few more days added because of the doctor's appointment.
I thought.....Damm.... O'well... since I made it this far...another few days won't matter..........so I thought.

I had read a few times in here after 30 days the nicotine is all out of your system, except for a few small pockets left if the fat cells, so I figured lets see how it goes after 35.

When I hit 35 days quit I felt so good about the quit I said to myself once again. "Hey self.... look at you! You've gone the longest you've ever been without nicotine in about 31 years. You always said if you made it 30 days you could quit forever, so quit for good... NOW!"
I joined the gym with the money I saved and I'm getting into the best shape I've been in, in years and I feel great!

I know I still have a full lifetime to figure out what it's like to live without nicotine. What I mean by that is... I used nicotine for about 11,315 days and until I can match that with as many days away from nicotine I know I'll always be an addict.

I really didn't want to let anyone know who I was because I really didn't think I'd be able to keep up with the quit.
I believe I've quit for good and I hope I can help someone else quit.

I don't blame my dad for starting me on it because at that time it wasn't thought of as dangerous. Everyone always said, "at least he's not smoking" or " at least he'll never get worms"

I say now... " at least I wont die from lip or lung cancer from tobacco!"

Good luck with your quit everyone!

Now I want to introduce myself.
My name is Capt. Blair Wiggins. I'm the host of a fishing show that airs on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN) starting this month. Our first airdate is April 4th and a repeat on the 6th at 11:30 am. for the next 26 weeks.
We've been airing here in FL. for the past 3 years on Florida's Sunshine network.
Some of the shows you'll see this year I've got a lipper in because they were shot last year. So sorry if I throw a crave your way. Hell, it'll probably throw me into a crave. lol BUT IT"S BETTER THAN A CAVE!
I just wanted to say something that has been said here more than once.
"IF I CAN QUIT THAN SO CAN YOU"

Every waking moment I use to have a dip in my lip.
I really don't know of anyone who dipped more than me and that's the truth.
I've read that some here have fallen asleep with a dip, but to put one in so it'll last till morning????? That was sick and I use to do it!

UST you no longer have your hooks in me! Kiss my ass!
Good luck everyone and don't ever give up the fight!

Capt. Blair Wiggins

Cocoa, FL
farside 20030101 We who lived through our first 100 days can remember the men and women who walked beside us, comforting others, giving us courage. For all their support and kind words, I say thankyou.

It is possible to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. There are always choices to make. Every day, every hour, every minute, offering the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become molded into the form of the typical addict.

You can, decide what will become of you. A wise man once said, "There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings." I look upon my 100 days and view my sufferings as a genuine inner achievement.

The way in which a man accepts his decision to quit and the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity - even under the most difficult circumstances - to add a deeper meaning to his life.

There is meaning to suffering.

Adapted from "Man's Search For Meaning" by Viktor Frankl

Lakewood, CO
upton5nc 20030102 First off my thanks. Thanks to Matt for creating such an amazing tool to use to kick the Demon's A$$. This site is better than the patch, better than nicorete, hell at times it might have even been better than sex.....No not really, but I will admit since you are all my brothers, I did post to it after sex because I couldn't get a dip! It's amazing all the things we have associated with dip. I hit 100 the other day, but about 2 weeks ago out of now where my grass got green and started to grow. I walked out side fired the lawn mower up and I'll be a monkey's freakin uncle I wanted a dip! Thought I had whooped every situation that I associated with the Demon, but no, he had to show his ugly A$$ head again! Next, thanks to my April Brothers, and everyone else in the site who kept me strong, and held me to my word of quitting. So here I go with my story, my speech, and to put it bluntly, the rest of my life with out worm dirt in my damn lip!

I started dipping when I was about 16 years old. got into it because of playing ball. Then I went into the Marines Corps and it seems like being a Marine Grunt and dipping are like peanut butter and Jelly. I actual quit before, but did it by taking up smoking. Then quit that by dipping again, and so a vicious circle started. Then it got to where I would do both! Talk about killing myself! Then about 2 years ago I quit the smokes and went back to cope full time. Just to let those doubters know how powerful that little Demon Bitch can be, and this is with the smokes, but I want to tell it anyhow. I just got done smoking before going to bed one night, was thinking about quitting, had only one smoke left in my pack, I was praying to god...."Lord, I need to quit, I can't do it on my own, I need your help, please help me! give me a sign or something" Something to that effect. Then I told myself, man just save that one smoke for the morning, and was getting into a fight with myself about throwing out a smoke or keeping it until morning. So I start to pray again, "Lord help....." I am literally lying in my bed crying because this has taken such a control over my life, and next thing I know, my little girl comes into my room, she had been asleep for hours, she crawls in bed with me and my wife, hugs me, says I Love you Daddy, and gets out and goes back to her room. Well, I got up and threw out that last smoke, Thanks for the sign God! Now I know this is site is all about the Dip Demon, but you see, he's in many forms, and is strong, he's even stronger than his cousin the Heroin demon! I got what I took as a sign from God to get the Demon out of my life, but instead, I threw out a cigarette, and woke up the next morning and went to the store and got right back on the Copenhagen!

So, fast forward to Jan 1, 2003 I'm quitting dip! yeah that lasted one day! Hence my quit date of Jan 2, 2003. Someone actually told me about this wonderful site while I was posting to another one looking for advice on quitting, and well the rest is history. The first weekend was hell, and damn did it feel good! You say what! It felt good? You damn right it felt good, it felt good to have all that pain, because I went with an attitude of Pain is Weakness leaving the Body! And it truly is! This helped me tremendously. I even to this day have that attitude. I would even talk to the Demon (don't let that get out, I don't want to be put in a rubber room!) Egg him on, tell him to bring it on. I actually still do that at times to test myself cause you see I will not forget that first weekend as it was indeed hell. I drove to about 10 different Wal-Marts in about 3 different towns in search of some fake chew, with you know who riding Shot-Gun, that's right the Demon! Just trying his damndest to get me to stop and get him some Cope! I wasn't going to do it! Never found any Fake Chew. I was so close to breaking, so close to the cave and it was only like 2-3 days into my quit. No way not this time! I was done with the Demon beatin' my A$$, this time it was going to change! I ended up buying some Green Tea, and some Seeds, and locking myself in my room, watching football, posting, sleeping. My family was so helpful in that they stayed away from me. Hell my wife and oldest son changed a power steering pump on one of our cars! I needed to do it but told my wife it would have to wait, you see working on a car was just another association with the Demon! So into my room like a kid being punished I went. I actually wish I could have taped it all. Some times it was so funny, I would come out of the room and everyone would scatter! One time I was just walking around the house screaming at the top of my lungs, or screaming into a pillow. My little 5 year old girl thought it was hilarious. Well as you all know I made it through that first weekend, and 100 + more days and the rest of my life to go. I feel so good now. I workout now, 4-5 days a week, I am healthy, and more importantly I accomplished something that people fail every day, that I failed many, many times before. I don't worry now about caving. I really don't. There is no way I would start up again, and it's mostly because I don't want to go through that first weekend again!

So for all you old salty, ex-dippers out there that helped me along the way, I say thanks! I owe you my life! To Matt, I say..."You Da' MAN!", to my Family, thank you for all the Support, and to the good Lord up above I say thank you for never giving up on me, thank you for picking me up when I fell.

Now for all you newbie's, get some seed's, some fake Chew, some green tea, and most importantly, Get a NASTY A$$ ATTITUDE about it! Lock yourself in a room. Look at it like a game. That's what the Demon looks at it like, and he has been kicking your A$$ for a long time! Well it's crunch time, and this is where the boy's get separated from the Men! Enjoy the pain! Say "yeah, that feels good Mrs. Demon, is that all you got you over-bearing piece of Shi*, is that all you can bring to this game?" There's no doubt it is hard. But not only will you benefit from having better health, you will grow as an individual. I use to think Marine Corps bootcamp was tough, I use to think being a Marine Grunt was tough. beating the Demon made all those look like summer camp! Once you get passed the physical portion of beating the Demon (the first 5-10 days, for me anyhow) then it's all the Mental game! And that Gentleman is fun! Pain is weakness leaving the Body! It's mind over Matter, and if you don't mind it damn sure don't matter! Thou Shall Not Dip! Stay strong, you are in the right place. Now apply yourself and Just Do It! Good Luck!

NC
JR 20030104 Hello Sportsfans,

I started working on my HOF speech on about Day Two. I was concentrating on the quit and looking ahead to see if I could "feel" how it would be to be looking back after my induction into the HOF. It was a great alternative to staking myself out in the woods until the first couple of days had passed.

The first few days were VERY intense and I felt oh so alive to feel myself picking up the reins to resume control of my life. Went to the gym and saw a woman wearing a shirt that said "PAIN IS THE BODY LETTING GO OF WEAKNESS", took it as a "sign".

I apologize in advance for being unable to quote properly from the many posts that have inspired, challenged and lifted me up. I have opted to draw from the best and finest that inspired me rather than submit my own blatherings. Where an excerpt wouldn't do justice to the poster I have quoted more liberally.

With that caveat and all thanks for the abundance of good heart that has come together around the catalyst that Matt has provided I'll give you my best shot.

Here are the sentiments that I have collected and have meant the most to me. Take one to heart each day and think on it.

1. Life is too short to ruin relationships over a can of dip.

2. Is anything more important to me today than saving my life?

3. Pain is weakness leaving the body.

4. I got myself into this habit and I will get myself out!

5. What's important gets down to a real simple act: "Don't take that shit out of a can and shove it in my face."

6. What kind of behavior do I want to role model for my child?

7. I had been afraid to quit dipping - or was it afraid to fail at quitting again?

8. Quitting is easier than the alternatives - lying, spending, signing up for a painful, disfiguring, and premature death.

9. Always remember, when you get a craving it is going to go away whether you dip or not so DONT! Keep on quitting!!! (Nick's HOF speech)

10. Get used to the idea that you're going to be on an emotional roller coaster quite intensely for the first few weeks. You're going to be up/down/cheery/blue, you'll think your girlfriend doesn't love you anymore, life sucks/life is grand and EVERYTHING is subject to change at any time, for no reason and without notice. I had to recognize that this state of mind was NOT REPRESENTATIVE of how I felt overall and that how I was interpreting things was NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF REALITY. I decided not to make any big decisions until I felt like I was thinking clearly again.

11. You have stopped loading your system with a powerful mind-altering substance - nicotine. If you think about it you will realize that for years just about any emotionally charged event had you reaching for a dip. Put another way, we have all self-medicated our way through a huge number of events, usually during the period of our lives when we begin to take on our adult personhood, and now we have to learn to sit with and deal with our feelings instead of loading up with nicotine. Part of "reinventing ourselves as non-dippers" is the not entirely pleasant process of catching up on our growing up.

12. Copenhagen does *not* satisfy. If it did, you wouldn't want more. (Chrishead's HOF speech)

13. I began taking notes to assist me in "locking in" my quit. As the days passed I noticed that my perspective was evolving pretty quickly and I got interested in that as well.

The reality hadn't changed. I was doing the same thing on day 1 as on day 100, not packing my face with toxic worm dirt. The reality was the same, my perspective was changing significantly each week so I decided to reduce my thoughts to the 100 that I thought best tracked my own journey through my 100 days en route to the HOF

14. My doctor tells me that each can of high-test dip has enough freely available nicotine to kill a cat. For me that's about 13,140 dead cats.

15. As far as your quit is concerned, "attitude is everything". Look in the mirror and declare "I have killed that part of me that was trying to kill me by dipping. That part of me is gone forever."

16. My thoughts determine my attitudes.
My attitudes determine my perceptions.
My perceptions determine WHAT IS REAL for me.

If this is true, then HOW I TALK TO MYSELF is critical.
How many "reframings" in thought can I think of?
It's not: "I'm trying to quit", HELL NO, it's "I have quit!", etc..

17. Talk out loud to yourself. Making yourself speak out loud, especially committing to yourself looking in the mirror . Speaking aloud will guarantee that your thoughts are better organized and will engage more of your brain that just silently mulling things. Speak and let you hear yourself say, "I quit nicotine forever." Let the speaking and hearing parts of your brain get into the act.

18. Associate massive pain with failure and massive pleasure with the success of your quit. Congratulate yourself every morning for logging another successful day.

19. Talk to yourself about your quit in simple, declarative terms.

Don't say: "I'm working on trying to see if I can quit."
Do say: "I quit", "I can do this thing" and "I am saving my life". Simple.
Powerful.

Go to the gym. What a great idea! Take the stress and heavy-duty nervous energy of de-toxing and go to the gym with it. I found myself thinking what a great metaphor the whole process of going to the gym and doing the physical training was. Each day, go in, assess or reaffirm what I'd like to change and work at eliminating the inessentials - fat, dip, or whatever.

20. If I cave now then the pain of my quit will have been in vain.

21. I can now take advantage of being able to become someone I was formerly unable to be. "You talk about starting a new life as a totally reinvented person, and that you've grown into someone who could beat this addiction. I feel the same way as you - it's like we become someone we were formerly unable to be!" (Thanks to Quitatfifty)

22. "WE HAVE ENTERED THE PROMISED LAND NOW WE MUST REMEMBER JUST AS LOT'S WIFE FOUND WE CAN NOT LOOK BACK, LEST WE ARE TURNED INTO A CAN OF SNUFF". (A Classic from LA Pat)

23. What happens is... one day, desperation opens your eyes and you can suddenly see your life and behavior without the filter of lies. You see how, when viewed objectively, your actions are plainly stupid and self-destructive. You say:

"I will not put up with this anymore. I deserve better than what I am getting out of life right now. I only get this one chance to live, and I'm not living well. Whatever it takes, I MUST change." (From Roy, one day after making HOF)

24. It is what you do when you are truly tested that matters. It will determine how you feel about yourself forever. If you have the fortitude to quit the can for good, then there is not one challenge you cannot overcome. You will know this as a fact in your mind - that's how quitting has benefited me the most. All I can say is to take it hour by hour- don't think to far ahead. Soon those hours will start to accumulate into months and then you can ride the momentum all the way home. (From Bryce who wrote this on his day 535)

25. When the ascent of Mount Dipfree seems to be impossible, hammer in your pitons and cling fast and take into your heart Spongebob's mantra.

"There is only one thing that I must accomplish today, and that is to not chew. If I get other things done today, great. But everything else has second priority for now.

Soon I'll be able to focus on those other things too. But for right now, for today, this is the only thing that matters.

I won't demand more of myself, and I won't get down on myself for not doing anything else if I don't get to it.

This is damn damn damn hard work, and it's the most important work that I have right now.

I'll be truly and sincerely proud if I meet no goals today other than keeping that crap out of my mouth."

26. Cody: "Why quit dipping? Quit dipping to enjoy your family. Quit dipping to cease being a slave. It is so nice to go for an evening walk with my pregnant wife and 2 year old son, versus making up an excuse to stay behind and dip while they go without me. What a loser I was."

27. Justshawn: "My favorite story of this journey came when my 7 year-old son went on a trip to Disney World with my mother. He was shopping for souvenirs and ask my mom to take him to the grocery store to buy my gift. Of course mom couldn't understand why, so she asked and he said "Daddy's friends on the computer said that sunflower seeds might help him quit tobacco". Here he was on an awesome vacation and was thinking about his dad's tobacco addiction and how much he wanted him to stop. That's when I knew there would be no turning back! As someone on the site said, we'll do anything not to disappoint our children". This one made me cry.

28. 100 days is the blink of an eye. 10 days is even less. The trick now is to make those ten days stay fresh in my mind. If i can remember the anguish of that time, I will keep my will strong. The farther you get from a dip the closer you get to a dip. (Mike261's HOF Speech)

29. It was pretty bad as I approached my quit date though I didn't know at the time that it would be a quit that would stick or just last until the next trigger. I was growing rapidly more and more frantic to quit, more and more depressed to find myself repeatedly failing. I probably bought 100 cans in the month before I quit and threw away half of them. Something weird was going on with my stomach too and I was starting to puke if I waited even a second too long to unload my lip.

Whether you call it dip, chew, snuff, lipper, wedge, rub, pinch, or worm dirt - it was my worst vice. After using tobacco for over 10 years, I was completely addicted. I would manipulate dates, meetings, relationships and lives, just to get my fix. Because I knew it was a disgusting habit, I hid it from most people in my life. I always had to have an excuse to run errands when we had company or hide in my office to get my fix. The worst feeling in the world, is the anxiety I felt when I knew I would be trapped and unable to dip. Then my life changed. My wife and I had our first child in September. I can remember the first few nights just watching her sleep. But the memory that changed my life was when our baby was screaming at the top of her lungs while we were both asleep in bed. I jumped out of bed and went running straight for my can of Copenhagen. My wife followed me out of the bedroom thinking I was going to help the baby, when she realized what I was doing. I had to have a dip before I could take care of this precious, needy, and wanting child. She did not say anything to me, just walked past me to the baby's room. It was at that moment I realized my priorities are out of line. I vowed to get control of my life again. (Darren's HOF Speech)

30. "With the help of this site and my own determination, I have been able to regain control of my life. Because of the support of men I will never meet, there is a 0% chance I will dip today. That has been my mantra through this entire journey. There is a 0% chance I will dip today. Yesterday is gone and out of my control. Tomorrow is not yet here and may never arrive. I can only control my actions and reactions for today. Today, I choose not to use tobacco". Darren's HOF Speech)

31. Short of hurting someone or yourself, or committing a serious crime, there is nothing you can do to yourself today that would be worse than taking a dip. Like Ice Cream? Go ahead, eat a half gallon - still better for you than having a small pinch of cope. Like booze - get plastered CAUTION - YOUR JUDGEMENT WILL NOT BE WHAT IT SHOULD IF YOU GET LIT - THEREFORE TRASH THAT IDEA. You don't want to wake up with a hangover and an ugly can of dip laying next to you. The point is we all know that we are incapable of having a small dip, a celebration dip, a sorrowful times dip, a nostalgic dip, just one dip, just one more dip, as well as whatever bullshit name the demon wants to put on the dip that is tempting us - it will lead right back to full time dipping. It's like playing russian roulette with bullets in all but one cylinder - not real bright. Hey, someone quote me on that one, I think it was pretty good. (From Scotty of the April 2003 Quit Group)

32. Short and Sweet: "Stay Strong; Get control of YOUR life back!!" (Trimbledad from the April Quit Group)

33. Imagine what your words will be like for the occasion of your 100 days. "Finally, I would like to thank my wife and son, who will probably never read this. You have endured 100 days of hell because I chose, many years ago, to experiment with a stupid can filled addictive, cancer-causing, life-shortening plant matter. I wish I could give you those 100 days back and all of the days that preceded them, when I was often more concerned about getting my fix than focusing on you. You two are my everything. I will spend the rest of my days paying you back". (From Bates HOF Speech)

34. Bluesman on One Year......... from that....... "Tobacco addiction is a mortgage on your future and your family's future! Be intellectually honest ... if you found out that you had cancer today, what would you do to NOT have cancer, to NOT have that death sentence. What would it be worth to you to NOT have your son looking into your sick, unrecognizable, chemo-bloated face as you took your last breath? You would do anything."

35. My own musings.......In 24 years I never bought a roll of dip. I couldn't bring myself to accept that I'd do that many cans so always paid the convenience store premium price. Yep, big conflict started early on.

36. UNDERSTAND what is going on for you in your withdrawal. While "the demon" is handy shorthand for a concept I didn't want to set myself up to lay blame somewhere else if I caved. "The Demon" sounded too much like "the Devil Made Me Do It" for my comfort. Understand that you are resetting your own neuropharmacology.

37. AND THIS, is where QS really shines. I don't HAVE TO go through all manner of conversational permutations with my sweetie to have her empathize with me, to understand what the first couple of days were like, what the cumulative effect on my self-esteem was like. I was just able to oh-so-perfectly and deftly remark........"It was interesting......" and leave it with that.

38. I will not dip today...

39. I had a pain that made me want to dip. I had the pain because I dipped.

40. Mark said it wonderfully well in his HOF speech, "What happened was that I realized that I would forever be miserable and forever be unhappy if I didn't quit tobacco. I would forever be miserable and forever be unhappy if I didn't give it my all, once and for all."

41. We all have power. We have power over ourselves that we can cultivate and use to positive ends.

Sometimes our lives offer us circumstances that allow us the challenge and opportunity to use and cultivate reserves of energy and resourcefulness that we don't know we have. Think of quitting as an opportunity, not a "problem".

This is one of those opportunities and I am grateful for it.

42. This is what I know.

What I think determines my attitude. My attitude determines my perceptions. My perceptions determine my reality, what IS REAL is my life.

43. I like the feeling of withdrawal. I don't like the term.

"Withdrawing" has the connotation of "disengaging" or "retreating".

I wish we had our own term for quitting dipping that was properly charged with some manner of resonate intensity that those still out there in the dipping community would recognize. Some term that we knew meant "ENGAGING" and "RISING TO THE OCCASION".

44. When a big crave comes rolling in IT IS UP TO ME TO MAKE THE FIRST CRITICAL CHOICE and that is HOW I CHOOSE TO EXPERIENCE AND INTERPRET the feeling. It is "to dip or not to dip".

I can say, "Damn, I sho' does need to pack my mouf wif a big, fat, juicy looks like a dung hand grenade went off in my mouth super premium three fingered fatty Gagzilla"

......... or,

I can say to myself, "This is an interesting feeling, so this is how it feels to shake free. I got myself into this and I can get myself out."

45. That person who dipped, who crammed OVER A TON OF TOXIC SHIT INTO MY MOUTH, IS GONE.

46. This was not a "process".

This is not a New Age period of personal evolution. This is stripping off a old skin and dealing with the needed delicacy as my new skin takes form and utility.

THIS WAS A F****NG EVENT. I'm not "GOING THROUGH IT" I am through it because I will never dip again.

47. You know what else I like about quitting?

I've had some hot summers here when I'd come in after a day in the weather and put a washrag to my face and it would COME UP BROWN, not with dirt but with dip juice coming out of my pores !!!!!!!

48. I gave my lower brain stem something simple and binary that it can understand as my higher brain inhibitory functions come on line, I just try to tell it, "the person who dipped doesn't live here anymore."

49. Intellectually honest or not, the "this is a process" approach hasn't worked for me before, since "any stage of quitting" isn't the same as quitting 100%.

I'm just gonna jump to this rock of quitting and hang on 'til my new skin gains sufficient utility for a full range of real world conditions. What's important gets down to a real simple act: "Don't take that shit out of a can with my fingers and shove it in my face".

50. Dip turned me into a machine. I had a real job, life and relationships that are hugely important with my girlfriend and son BUT WHAT WAS REALLY GOING ON is that this part of me THE VISIBLE PART, was only a front for the chemically dependent robot..... ME, a person who had been reduced to the repetitively programmed behavior of stepping out to get a can, send money to the merchants of death, pack my face, repeat over THOUSANDS of cycles. My life wasn't really mine any more and it was driving me nuts. I decided that quitting would drive me less nuts.

51. Point/Counterpoints

Point = P Counterpoint = CP

P. This is one of the hardest things you'll ever do.
CP. Glad to know it. Quitting hasn't killed me yet and if this is one of the very hardest things I'll be real glad to have it behind me and to have the learning from besting the Demon.

P. Your brain will be in a fog..
CP. How about in a freaking blender? Seems about right though, I spent about 25 years packing my face with very heavy duty psychoactive crap that some profiteering legal drug pusher had specifically modified by ammoniating it to make the nicotine a free-base MORE addicting.

P. "Associate success with pleasure and failure with pain."
CP. No problem.... here are a few of the most key associations.

Pain

1. Thinking that my son would have to watch me turn from "Dad" into a corpse in a matter of a couple of weeks which is what I just went through with my Mom in September.

2. Having to live with the fact that I was going to have to keep on lying by my silence to my girlfriend (like all the others for the last 1/4 century).

3. Showing my son, by example, that I lacked the ability to control my life or to set a good example for him.

Pleasure

1. Having MY LIFE BACK! So, the Pain list is a lot longer.

52. The biggest pain. Asking myself how much more I could have done with my life had I not had the continual and ongoing experience that I was unable to do just one simple thing - not packing my face with Skoal. Failing at quitting over and over, feeling that my life was fundamentally out of control was just too painful to accept on a "going forward" basis.

53. Miscellaney and grins: Guilt is GONE. Now all I have to deal with is whether or not to tell my girlfriend, who I've known for two decades, that my habit predated getting to know her. I don't think she ever knew. She's not the type who would have ever put up with it for a moment.

54. Not spitting on my noble manhood when hiding out dipping in the john.

55. Not losing half of a three finger dip while trying to put it in driving down the road and having it blow in my eyes and everywhere else.

56. Actually beginning my day without first thinking of packing my face.

57. Being able to return a smile to the person in the car next to me without it looking like a lowflying tanker just dumped a tankful of turdage in my mouth....

58. I quit because the PAIN of NOT QUITTING was going to be greater than the Pain of Quitting. I just couldn't live any longer with my mounting experience of being someone who had tried over and over and over to quit but couldn't about something so simple - "Don't dip today".

Austin, TX
Glenn 20030106 There was no single weapon as valuable in my quit as this site. The first thing it did was educate me. Then it motivated me and held me accountable. Finally, it kept me persistent in my goal to quit chewing for the rest of my life. I learned more about my addiction than I ever would have believed. I learned how it worked, how it had lied to me, and that quitting was NEVER going to be easy or convenient. That was one of my biggest problems. I was always waiting for the "perfect" time to quit. After four years of waiting, I was still holding on to the ridiculous belief that I'll quit when the time is right. It took me one day of reading posts, hall of fame speeches, and articles to realize that there was never going to be an ideal time to quit. And that's the day I quit.

I registered and felt silly about myself. Shouldn't I be able to just quit without joining some web community? But soon I realized that my need for help far outweighed any hang-ups I had about bearing my most personal feelings to complete strangers. I can't tell you how many times I checked this site in my first few weeks, but I may have read every HOF speech in that time. It was so bad that I tried to space out my reading so I wouldn't get through all the articles and HOF speeches too fast. Read and post is my best advice. Even when you think no one's listening, remember everyone out there is reading your posts and I guarantee you're helping someone even if you don't know it.

Fear was my biggest obstacle in the quit. How could I drink or work and not chew? Will I ever be able to drive 3+ hours without wads of cope? Is it possible to fish, hunt, shower, shave...(insert never-ending list) without a chew? The answer to all of the above is obviously yes but less than a year ago the mere thought of it would have sent me running for the can. I've everything stated above repeatedly in the past 100 days and this is what I've learned. It's never as bad as you think it's going to be. The addict sets himself up to fail by making everything out to be impossible. My first time drinking was harder on the ride to the bar then once I was actually drinking. Once I was there, I just didn't focus on it. The first hunting and fishing trips seemed unbearable while I was rigging up at the car, but once I got involved in the activity, it wasn't nearly as bad as anticipated. I'm not saying it's easy, because it isn't. Quitting chew may be one of the hardest tasks of yo! ur life. I'm just saying we make it out to be so impossible that we dare not even try. So have confidence in yourself and don't let fear control your actions.

I used a lot of other member's ideas and words to get me through this process. They gave me sayings, mantra's, and support that helped me more times than I can count. I've listed a few of these thoughts below and hopefully someone reading can use them as I have. Thanks everyone for all your posts. You're words were my motivation and you were my accountability. Thanks in particular to the April group and all the contributors to its pages. Thanks especially to Matt for making this site possible. As I've said, it was the MOST important factor in my success.

  • Bluesman's "Secret of our success" was a huge influence in my decision to quit. I read it for the first time and quit later that day. It's available in the articles section.
  • Spongebob's Mantra was instrumental in my survival of the first few weeks. This is also available in the articles section.
  • "Pain is the body letting go of weakness" --JR. This helped me through the worst craves.
  • "I guess that we all have to choose between two pains: the pain of not getting your dip right now, or the pain of hating yourself for not having the willpower to quit... and risking a horrible death."--Roy.
  • Rationalize = Rationing + lies.
  • "Get busy living or get busy dying."--Shawshenk Redemption.
Philadelphia, PA
DaveB 20030107 Here I am, 100+ days later. Flash back to the beginning of addiction. It was 1988 or 1989. Hanging out with friends drinking a few beers, dipping seemed like a perfect thing to do in my rebellious stage. It started as some leaf Redman, or some Hawken. I was allowed to buy it (18+), and it was cool. I always knew at some point I'd quit. I just never realized how much harder and later It'd be. A few dips here and there became a few cans a week, and then more than one everyday. Id progressed to Kodiak, and the fiberglass hell it entailed. Dipping became part of my identity. I'd basically have my day mapped out around dip. Find time to sneak it on the way to school, during school, after school, and later that night. I'd sneak outside to dip, stay up late to sneak a dip or just hide in the car and dip.

Over the past 12 years, Ive tried to quit numerous times, unsuccesfully. I always put it off. "After this tin, I'm quitting." I'd throw away tins right and left. Buy one only to have one dip and throw it away promising myself to quit. I always felt too weak and wondered how I would quit. I eventually believed that I would not ever quit. I began to realize that tobacco would be my demise.

I had "quit" in the past SOOOOO many times. After HS, I quit, after college I quit, after the birth of my son, I tried to find a way to leave so I could have a bear. I began to realize that I needed help!

The final straw was one day at work. I had quit for a few days, but I was fiending and bought a can at work. I had one dip and threw it in the dumpster, promising once again to quit for good. Hours later, I decided I NEEDED a dip, so I tried to get the tin out of the dumpster. Realizing I couldnt reach it, I thought up a plan to get it out of the dumpster using a yardstick and some tape. I got it, had a dip and felt so guilty I swore to end this miserable habit.

Fast forward a few months....I've found QS.org, some great people going through the same thing, and its been well over 100 days since Ive touched any form of nicotine. I believe now that I will NEVER touch any form of tobacco again.

While I was dipping, Id often look at my son and wonder if he'd know me as he grew up or whether he'd hear ories about me long after Id died. He was and is my reason for quitting, I just regret that it took until he was almost 3 for me to be enough of a man to conquer my weaknesses.

I'm proud of myself and all who have quit. The april group inspired me to be strong and quit. My only hope is that at least one person reading this will realize that quitting is within their reach. I honestly thought I could never quit, take that as a lesson and throw the crap away. US tobacco and conwood company suck. Dipping sucks. Quit.

IN
cjsteiner 20030108 Well here it is 102 days without a dip of Copenhagen. Just typing that gives me the chills. I like so many here was a serious veteran dipper. 22 years of putting that evil weed in my lower lip. I had begun to believe that I was never going to break free of this awful addiction. For far too many nights I lay awake in bed praying for the strength to quit for good.

I started dipping when I was 15 years old. My parents had separated and I went to stay with my dad in a rural area of MI. Well I met some of the locals at school who quickly introduced me to the wonderful world of Copenhagen. Of course I thought it was the greatest thing then. Fast forward 22 years later, and I'm on my way home from work (1:30AM) when I realize like so many times before that I'm almost out of dip. Well, here's the problem. I don't have enough cash on me to buy a can. But I do have cash at home, but that would mean having to come all the way back to the gas station. I can use my atm card, but that costs $2 for the transaction, bringing the cost of the can to $7. That stupid situation was the last straw for me. I blew by the gas station at went straight home and got online to try and find some websites for the fake chew, and as they say "the rest is history".

I have tried many times before to quit, and have failed many times. The difference this time? QS and the great support that this site offers. It is the only reason I'm writing this HOF speech tonight. Like Fitzspits, I did not have any close friends that dipped. Most of them couldn't understand why I was addicted to such a disgusting habit. QS was a Godsend. Here everyone was fighting the same demon. It is a group effort, and there lies the reason I believe, that the QS system works. You never feel like your on your own.

I would like to thank my wife, Heather for tolerating me in the early days of the quit, and for supporting me the whole way thru.
Thanks go out to Matt for having great insight in starting this forum, and to Spongebob for being a great leader and contributor to this site. The famous "Spongbob Mantra" got me thru many a cravings (they never lasted for more than 10 minutes). And of course thanks to all my April Brothers: Fitzspits, Hunter, Brandt, David Kodiak, Trihope, Cam, Trimbledad, Buddiboo, Glt, Upton5nc, Lapat, Dave B, Bapbanger, and everyone else who posted in our group. Special thanks to Socal who was my quit partner and the first guy to welcome me to the April group. Gil, get your butt back in here and make it stick this time!

Newbies: I know it's been said many times here but it can't be said enough: If I can stop dipping for 100 days, so can you. You can't be more addicted to this crap then I was. It can be done!!!

Chris J Steiner

SE Michigan
trihope 20030110 Why?

The little brown haired boy looked at the long metal box. A body lay in that box. A body he knew too well......way too well.... his best friend, his dreams, his hopes laid in that box ... his Dad laid in that box.

.....sigh..... oh Dad...why?...

The smell of flowers filled the room, along with crying... too much crying. As the rain fell outside it was like the sky was crying too, thought the little boy. He felt like crying .....but just couldn't. He just couldn't.... he was brave, strong...just couldn't..... They said he died from "can-sir"....from the "two-bak-o" he put in his mouth....the little boy wasn't sure what "two-bak-o" was, but he knew that it hurt his Dad a lot. And it hurt the little boy a lot too. His dad always said that he loved him. So why would he put something in his mouth that would kill him, take him away...away forever. Why? He looked down at his shoes, ....goofy brown shoes,.... they pinched,... wished he had his sneaks on instead...wished he was outside....playing.....running ......wrestling on the ground with my Dad.... my Dad....oh Dad!....why?....... his eyes finally welled up...his throat choked...and he cried........

The little brown haired boy looked at the ball in his glove. What a sound! The smack of the baseball hitting the glove was perfect.....you know...when the ball is thrown just at the correct speed and hits the glove just right...it makes the greatest smack in world. And when it's thrown by his best friend,... his dreams, his hopes......... his Dad..........

sigh... his Dad!......why, it doesn't get any better!

The air was full of spring, the robins chirp, chirp, chirping away...... goofy robins! The yellow sun in the bright blue sky warmed the boy's face, the green leaves just starting to pop out...it was baseball season and it was perfect. The day was perfect. His life was perfect. And his Dad was perfect. He ran and jumped in his Dad's arms. Just bring it! He was outside....playing.....running ......wrestling on the ground with my Dad....my Dad!..... His bright, brown eyes danced....a smile came to his lips.....and he laughed....

Why?

The difference is that I (we all) made a choice. A choice of freedom. A choice of life. To live our lives to the absolute fullest. To make every second count with our loved ones. Not to be dragged down, humiliated, and maybe even murdered by a disgusting, filthy habit. A habit that does absolutely nothing for you; just give you cancer and make you look stupid. A habit that can, and will if you let it, take away everything.

No more...I'm done...

At this point I'm done for 100 days. To reach this milestone has been an accomplishment that I could never have done alone. First and foremost I must thank God, without whom I could do nothing, am nothing, and be nothing. I am eternally grateful to my family; Donna, Julia, Brandon... you are the world to me. I love more than I love myself. Next I would like to thank Matt for this incredible, lifesaving web site. You're awesome dude. I would also like to thank all of the "ole timers", Spongebob, 4woogie, Breen77, Mallowguy, northcreek, eliasone, Gant and the others. I want to thank them for taking the time for welcoming me into the group. For without them, even though this web site is fantastic, it's the generosity and undying support of the old members that makes it come alive.

And last but not least my heartfelt thanks goes out to the whole April Posse. HOLY FREAK'N YO! WE MADE IT! My brothers in arms... although the chances are astronomical that we will never meet; you will always be connected to me. And I thank you dearly for being there and putting up with my nonsense. We laughed, cried, bitched, and moaned but through it all we pulled each other up and fought the good fight together. As ladies should always go first, I would like to thank Gentle Giant - even though you're a Marcher you always seemed to jump in to April at the right time to give us much needed loving words of wisdom; I could just give you a big hug. Trimbledad - Keep the faith Buba and come home soon. Glenn - tight lines dude (remember my bong smok'n caveman!) .The Carlos Santana of the April group, Fiztspits (remember the freakin QS band!). , David Kodiak and eric i - (along with Fitz) my quit date partners, Lapat - our resident coonass, you kept me in stitches. Hunter - ole deadeye, keep um in the ten ring, Brandt - the brains of the posse, CJ - the Wings will be back!, Cam, Blake, JR, Upton5nc, HogsBreath, Fom, Lorax, Friar95, Buddiboo, Farside, Pablo, Trackmaster, CBW, Imaqtr, Goodbyecope, Wildcat Nation, and Ranger235 and everybody else (Sorry if I missed anybody). THANK YOU! A special thanks goes out to SoCal - someone with the biggest set I have ever know; get back on that horse man!

To the newbies.....make a choice...... make a difference. You will amaze yourself at whom the new dipless person you will become. You will have your peaks and valleys...you will pull your hair out and it will drive you nuts. But persevere. IT DOES GET EASIER! Not immediately, but gradually. Believe in the system at Quit Smokeless and believe in yourself.

And remember,.... when all else fails....try hope....

Peace
Steve

NE PA
fitzspits 20030110 As I sit on the eve of my entrance into the hall of fame, I look back at the last 100 days and the years that preceded that struggle. The fact that I am at a point that I have the opportunity to write this speech is one that I don't take lightly. Simply put, this was one of the hardest damn things I've ever done. That being said, it was and continues to be one of the most rewarding as well. There was a point, not that long ago (about a hundred days ago), that I didn't think I had much of a chance of getting to this point. I'm sure most of you have gone through the process of quitting and starting, quitting and starting, over and over again. Although my intentions were good this time, deep down I sort of anticipated this ending the same way it did in the past with me breaking down within hours of quitting and putting a big dip in my lip. For some reason, this time was different. I have a good idea of why it was different, but I'll get to that shortly.

I started dipping the summer before my junior year in high school. In the 13 years that followed, dip was a constant in my life. I associated some of the best things in my life with dip but also spent many times worrying about what my habit was doing to me. Many nights I would brush my teeth and spit out blood from my gums being so irritated. I would lay in bed and stay awake for hours, worrying about whether it was cancer or not. I would make deals with myself and with God. No cancer, and I'll stop immediately. I'd say there were at least a dozen cans that were flushed down the toilet, as a sign of my desire to quit, only to wake up in the morning and stop at a convenient store to buy another can. I learned how to do just about everything in my life with a dip in. If I was walking with someone outside, I would automatically walk on whatever side was upwind from them, so that when I spit, I wouldn't get any on whoever was with me. It was just natural. I grew a beard to help hide the dip in my lip while I was at work. I learned the fine art of pretending to take a drink of coke, while actually spitting out tobacco. There was quite a ritual with it all, even though I didn't realize it at the time.

The money........HOLY COW THE MONEY!!! We've all done some kind of figure to find out what we've spent on tobacco in our lives. It blows my mind to think about the amount of money I've spent on tobacco over my life. I single handedly could wipe out a large portion of third world debt with the money I spent on tobacco.

So to get back to the heart of this, why did this quit stick, when the others never did. I think there were probably a few factors that led to this one sticking, but without question, the biggest part of this success came from this website. Unlike many of you, I was the only person in my circle of friends that dipped. Nobody had any idea what it was like to go through the quit. Ex-smokers would try and relate to me, but I believe that quitting smoking and quitting dipping are two different worlds. One morning I decided I was going to try "THE QUIT" again, and was looking for pictures of people with mouth cancer on the internet, to put up as a fear factor of sorts. Well, I stumbled onto the website and found the thing that I needed most to help me quit......all of you. I started reading the posts and realized that I was not alone. The quirks and eccentricities of my dipping were not quite as unique as I once thought. I found people that were similar to me, people that could relate to the battle, and most importantly....people that were WINNING the battle. As I read more, I saw that many people had much worse dip stories than me. These same people were successfully fighting the demon and winning, a day at a time.

So I registered and sent my first post on January 10, 2003. Wow.....Everyone was so supportive and welcoming, I felt an immediate sense of brotherhood. As time went on, I got to know many of you fairly well, through your posts. I remember having a bad crave at one point rather earlier in my quit and realizing that one of the main reasons I held through, was that I didn't want to let my brothers down. As all of you know, the struggle is not easy and just when you're feeling pretty good, you get smacked back down. There were many times when I became doubtful if the emotional pain of not dipping would ever subside.....this site got me through those times.

Well, here I am, at 100 days, and excuse my french, I feel pretty damn good about myself. I've proved to myself that I have the ability to fight through this battle and come out the other side, but it wasn't by myself. I want to thank everyone in QS for their support over these last 100 days. All of you played a part in this victory. I do want to thank a couple of people individually though.
Spongebob..........Your wisdom and positive posts were a strength to me throughout my quit. As I get further along and post less and less frequently, I respect you all the more for staying in and posting, helping those that walk behind you through the doors. You are truly an inspirational person. Gentle Giant......Possibly one of the most gentle, positive souls I've had the pleasure of knowing. In many ways I see you as the den mother of QS and I know that you've brought a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart many times. GoingInsane.....The crazy older brother of QS!!!!! You light the fire my friend, that starts the party.

Finally, my brothers in the April group. Guys, you have been the best and although I'm feeling really good and proud of myself today, I also am a bit sad at the thought of this part of the ride coming to an end. I want you all to know that you were an integral part of my quit and I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for you guys. That being said, I want to single out a couple of guys in the group that played major roles in my quit....
David Kodiak......dude, I can't think of better company to walk through the doors with. Over the course of our time here, you hit me with more jabs than anyone else, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks so much for the friendship and attitude!
TRIMBLEDAD.......You my friend, were quite simply my biggest inspiration during the quit. The fact that you are going through the quit, while being overseas fighting a war, away from your family and friends, amazes me. I respect you immensely and feel I owe you a big debt.........Your strength, not only with quitting but also as a soldier, have given me more strength and determination than any other one person on this site. You deserve a lifetime of happiness and health and I hope to hell you can come home soon.
Clubberlang,Brandt,CJ STEINER, HUNTER, TRIHOPE, BUDDIBOO.....all of you at one time or another got me through a crave or two and for that I thank you. I wish all of you the best.

So that's it. I wish all of you that are fighting to kick this demon the strength and the will to do it. If an idiot like myself can do it, I guarantee that you can too. If you're not registered and just sitting out there reading posts, trying to get up the courage to quit, REGISTER. You have stumbled onto the best tool you could possibly have in your quit, take advantage of it and take your life back. You've got a family of brothers right at your fingertips who will walk through the battlefield with you. Best of luck

Chris Fitzgerald

Oklahoma City, OK
bapbanger 20030113 To: Mr. Vincent A. Gierer, Jr., US Tobacco Chairman and CEO
From: bapbanger
Date: April 23, 2003
Re: Notice of Employment Termination and Commencement of Hostilities

Mr. Gierer:

You're fired...

Please clean out your desk, pack your personal effects, and leave the premises immediately.

I truly hope the door hits you in the backside as you cart your sorry ass off the premises.

As of today, I am 100 days free of the daily self-loathing, fear, and embarrassment of being your nicotine whore. You no longer own me and I will no longer help fund your annual multi-million dollar bonus. Please take your vision of "Our smoke-free products will be recognized by adults as the preferred way to experience tobacco satisfaction." and shove it up your criminal, morally bankrupt ass.

You will no longer rob me of my money, time, self-esteem, and personal growth. I denounce your death embracing, carcinogenic scam. I was a pawn in your freak show of self-destruction for 23 years, but that circus was shut down 100 days ago. Just like Baghdad, I'm under new management. I am no longer a willing participant in your degenerate march to a premature grave.

Beg for forgiveness and mercy from the numerous cancer victims, widows and orphans that you and your soulless corporation created. And if you won't apologize, I'll enjoy watching you drown in Hell's spit cup for all of eternity. And while your ad and PR agencies (Need some extra help? Checkout Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraqi Minister of Information, he's looking for new spin work also - you two would make a nice package...) continue to peddle your mortuary dirt, know that there is a growing movement that is deaf to your siren's song: The Quit Smokeless Brotherhood.

The hog is out of the tunnel, my man: Better find a new business, hoss, because smokeless tobacco is going down the shitter.

Fear the truth and the Brotherhood...and kindly kiss my nicotine-free ass.

bapbanger



To the Quit Smokeless Brotherhood:

OK, OK, I know that memo sounds a bit over the edge and belligerent. In the end, it was my responsibility and my choice to dip. But the pricks at UST DO deserve a bit of heat :)

After dozens of attempts at quitting over the past 23 years, I truly believe that I've kicked for good. What's the difference for me this time?

I simply got fed up and didn't want dip in my life anymore. The waste of time (midnight trips to the convenience store), money ($4.50 a pop in Colorado), and effort (packing "spares" for every business trip) simply wasn't worth it anymore. I also finally admitted to myself that I am and will always be an addict - I am completely powerless over nicotine. And like those in AA, I have committed myself to not using today. I know that right now, even after 100 days of being clean, that I am one dip away from being a full-blown can a day junky again. I have emotionally sealed the deal with myself that I can never have "just one" - never again.

The pain, discomfort, rage, and frustration with breaking this addiction are signs that I am learning, growing, and continuing to evolve as a person. In some ways, nicotine caused me to be stunted in my emotional, interpersonal, spiritual and physical growth. Run down or tired? I'd have a dip for a boost. Frustrated with my spouse or significant other? I'd have a dip and escape. Feeling lonely? I'd have a visit with my supposed "friend". Concentrating on a hard task? I'd have a dip for laser-like focus. A big problem with these: they're all escapist, and the behavior is irresponsible.

All of us, despite our flaws, have the inherent skills, abilities, and knowledge to live a nicotine free life. We've just got to dust off, hone, and grow those talents and abilities. In the short term, the change is very uncomfortable - and the discomfort is necessary. Rewiring our physical, cognitive, emotional, and cognitive circuits is painful, but it's the price for earning our way back and growing as human beings.

For me, the new skills and knowledge are getting proper rest, nutrition, and exercise, as well as realizing that I still have critical thinking, writing, and analysis skills that work just fine without nicotine. In fact, those cognitive skills are improved now that I don't have the distraction of feeding the nicotine beast every 20 minutes. I've also learned that I can handle confrontation just fine without needing to hide away with a lip turd. Bottom line: Nicotine never helped a damn thing.

To my April HOF Class: Thank you for being there when I needed some encouragement. You are all good men. God bless you all.

To Quitat50: Thanks for watching my back. Your words of wisdom and support were just what I needed when I reached my fifty-day nadir. You are a very good man.

To my wife Sheila: Thank you for your patience, love, and support. You will always be my lovely bride. Your soon to be firstborn will never see her father with a load in his lip.

Three calls to action for the Brotherhood once reaching the Hall of Fame:

  1. Take 1/3 of your first 100-day tobacco savings and give it to Matt van Wyk to support this site (you can do this through PayPal). Matt is truly a visionary and the patron saint of spittoons.
  2. Take the second third of your 100-day savings and do something nice for someone who supported you during your temporary insanity of nicotine detox.
  3. Take the last third and reward yourself. You deserve it.
Every day is a choice - so chose wisely: No dip today.

bapbanger

Denver, CO
Brandt 20030113 2003: A Tobacco Odyssey

In June of 1974, I was 12 years old. School was out for the summer, and my family embarked on a week long vacation. We were headed for the Smokey Mountains, one of my favorite vacation destinations then and still is today. After spending several days camping in the mountains, we traveled to some other place in North Carolina; I don't recall where. One night found us camping in a campground that was surrounded by a large tobacco field. It was the first time that I'd ever seen the plant, except in picture books. I found the tobacco plant to be generally featureless except for its large leaves, yet they exhibited a radiant green beauty that made them seem strangely desirable. Perhaps they only appeared that way to me because somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that they were a highly prized commodity.

The thought occurred to me that several of those leaves would make a good souvenir to take home. The owner of that field knew the value of his crop for it was protected by a fence about 8 feet high of tightly strung barbed wire. The barbs were much more closely packed on the wire than that used back home to fence in cattle. This made climbing the wire unthinkable. The strands of barbed wire were spaced less than a foot apart making it impossible for an adult to cross through it, but not a slim 12 year old.

Even as small as I was, it took the assistance of my older brother to get through. Halfway between two posts, he pulled one wire up and pushed the next one down. The wire was so taut that this only added a few inches to the gap, but it was just enough. I slipped through and began to hunt for the perfect leaves. While I was engrossed in the careful selection of my prize, my brother, as big brothers sometimes do, abandoned me there. By the time I returned to the spot where I'd entered the field, my brother was long gone.

I walked up and down the fence row looking for another way out, but there was only one way - through the fence. At that point, I was beginning to panic. Getting through that fence was going to be difficult and painful. It would be much easier if someone was there to help me. I laid the tobacco leaves near the edge of the fence. I then proceeded to wriggle my way between two strands of barbed wire. The barbs ripped my shirt and jeans in numberous places, and the skin underneath didn't fair any better. Once on the other side, I surveyed my wounds while cursing my brother under my breathe. Some of the cuts were deep and others were not, but they all hurt like hell. Despite the pain of my cuts, I didn't forget to reach through the fence and retrieve my precious leaves.

I sometimes wonder what differences it would have made in my life if I'd never crossed into that tobacco field, or if I'd just left those leaves lying on the ground. For as it turns out, those leaves were the launch pad of an addiction that would rule over my life for the next 28 years! The leaves dried out on the trip home. I crumbled them into a powder and placed it in a pill bottle. A friend put the idea in my head of dipping it, which I did. Once my souvenir was gone, that same friend made the suggestion of trying the much more tasty and mind-altering processed tobacco sold in stores. That was all it took. From my very first chew, I found that tobacco and I were a perfect match. That same summer, I entered into a faithful and unholy matrimony with the devil's weed. Many things would come and go in my life, but tobacco would become a constant, unchanging characteristic of my existence. From that day through the next 28 years, I would give up on many dreams that I would dream and break many promises that I would make and forget many things that I should have remembered, but I'd never forget to keep my pouch or tin of tobacco close to me, or break my promise to partake of it daily, or fail to dream of it at times when I could not dip it. Like a jealous lover, I would not let it out of my sight. The two had become one.

For the next 28 years, I would let nothing come between me and my addiction: not graduation from high school or college, not marriage or honeymoon, not the birth of my children, not the dawning of a new millenium, and not even a renewed spiritual commitment. Tobacco was an integral part of who I was, its roots reaching to the very core of my being. How could I divorce myself from it without destroying my quintessential self?

Yet, there was always this nagging, and well founded feeling, that by binding myself with this processed weed from hell, I'd inadvertently sown the seed of my own destruction. By God's grace I seem to have survived, completely unscathed, a 28 year love affair with one of the most deadly poisons known to man. I say, 'by God's grace' because I believe that it was His mercy that has protected me. However, in recent years, while in prayer, a still, small voice has admonished me, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." In layman's terms this means, "I've given you a pass so far, but don't press your luck!"

Until 100 days ago, I was still trapped in a tobacco field. The past several years I'd been running up and down the fence row looking for an easy way out. The conclusion was always the same. The only way out was through the fence. The fence was my own mind, and the barbs were not barbs of steel, but of habit and addiction. Passing through the fence was going to be painful. I was afraid to attempt it; I feared facing the pain alone. It seemed as though I'd be trapped there forever for I was paralysed by fear.

Then, God's grace shone on me. I stumbled upon QuitSmokeless.org. Some would say that it was by chance; I say it was by Providence. At QuitSmokeless I discovered that there were those who had already passed through the fence, and that there were many others like me who were trapped within the fence and desperately wanted out. Unlike my brother, there were some who hung around outside the fence to help those of us still trapped within. They had strange names such as GoingInsane, Breen77, Spongebob, 4woogie, northcreek, etc. They pushed and pulled on the barbed wires of the fence to make the passage a bit easier. Those of us passing through shouted out words of encouragement to each other as we fought our way through, helping to take our minds off of the pain of the nicotine barbs as they cut gashes into our psyche.

Little by little, inch by inch, we squirmed our way through the fence until at last we found ourselves on the other side, and living in the light of freedom! We discovered that there is a whole other world beyond the fence; that there was more to life than just being lost in a giant tobacco field. The people outside the tobacco field were cleaner, healthier, and wealthier. Even the food and drink tasted better there. We found that the grass really was greener on the other side of the fence.

At the time that this was written, 100 days have past since I made the fateful decision to cross the fence. I can remember that night vividly. I was very afraid, but also excited about the possibility of actually finding freedom. I made only one promise to myself; to go 100 days without tobacco. I owed myself that after 28 years of non-stop dipping. If after 100 days without tobacco I were to feel that life without it sucked, I'd take it right back up. I am happy to say that I found that it was the 28 years of addiction that sucked! Today, I've fulfilled the promise that I made to myself 100 days ago. I could go buy a can now without compromising that promise. I choose not to! I feel confident that I can spend the remainder of my life tobacco-free.

It has been a difficult but vastly rewarding odyssey, and I owe gratitude to many. I'd like to thank first and foremost Jesus Christ for protecting a fool like me from his own folly; Matt van Wyk for his vision and tireless maintanence of QuitSmokeless; all the old-timers whose words of wisdom gave me the courage to attempt the journey; and finally my April HOF brothers whose steadfast encouragement gave me the strength to complete the journey. Guys, at some point each and every one of you helped me along the way. Words fail to describe the gratitude and honor I feel in having undertaken this journey with you.

It is written, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." (John 8:32) One truth is that tobacco enslaves the mind and destroys the body. Once I recognized this truth, I was set free!

Brandt

MS
trimbledad 20030115 Sorry it took soooooo long for me to write this, but as much of you already know, I'm here in Kosovo and sometimes it's difficult to get certain web pages to open. All I can say is that it is real hard for me to believe that I have finally made it. After 24 years of putting the WORM DIRT in my lip, I can honestly say that it is deffinately worth it. Alot of the April HOFers would say that I had it a bit more difficult because of being deployed and away from my family while trying to quit. I feel that it would have been the same if I weren't deployed. I wanted to thank everyone that was envolved in helping me through this addiction I had, you not only got me through my quit, but you also made this deployment alittle easier by listening to my complaints when you didn't have to. Congratulations to everyone that has made it, and to everyone still working, keep up the fight. If I can do this, anyone can! I am one of the BIGGEST quitters there is. I am very surprised I didn't quit trying to quit. All of you NEWBIES, read and post as much as you can, believe or not, it helps. Some of your closest friends will be the ones on this site. Although you will probably never meet each other, you will find that you will have ALOT in common. Right down to the way you feel after a certain amount of time. You need to be there for each other, and try and spread your knowledge to the newbies after you, they will be looking up to you for quidence. MATT, thaks for all you have done with this site, you are a one of a kind.

THANKS FOR EVERYTHING!!!!!

Trimbledad(TDAD):aka Kosovo Kid

 
clubberlang 20030118 Where to start? Maybe with how I got here...

It was my freshman year in high school, my sister was a senior, and so I knew a lot of the older guys in school. I would have done anything to be as cool as these guys. Everything they did reeked of popularity... I'm sure you know where this leads... A good friend of mine was a year older, but looked about 18-19, and so one day when we were at the local 7-11 he got the balls to try and purchase this stuff that all the older guys were using. All we knew is that it was illegal for us to have, looked really cool when you put it into your lip, and was used by half of all pro baseball players... To be honest I think I knew what dip was, but I wasn't sure how it worked or what it would do. I found out soon... My friend and I hid out in the woods behind my house, and opened the tin of Cherry Skoal, each putting about 5-6 shards of tobacco into our lips... It was so small it would classify as a "filler" later in my dipping career, but it was more than enough to do the trick... I kept it in my mouth for about 5 minutes, after which my head began spinning, and I felt like I was floating our of my shoes... I wanted another.

Throughout high school I got my friends to dip. We would just have maybe one or two a week at first, after school, or on the weekends. Later we would have one everyday, then more than one a day, then more and more... By my senior year I was dipping at least once a day in school, picking classes that had teachers who wouldn't rat me out. Throwing in a dip on the bus rides to and from all of my sporting events. Dipping every night before I went to bed, and every morning in the shower when I woke up. I went through a tin a day, but I wasn't addicted. I mean sure I hid it from my girlfriends and parents and sisters, and I had to always have a tin on me, but I wasn't addicted. How could I be? Everyone of my friends dipped, and they weren't addicted. I was in high school, I was suppose to try things. If I didn't have a tin I would steal my moms cigarettes, but that was because I liked it, I wasn't addicted. I mean everyone does this stuff in high school, that doesn't mean I was addicted, I would quit when I got to college right? No problem.

Big Problem. College afforded me the freedom to dip all day. The age to buy it without a problem, and the exams, relationship problems, and alcohol to rationalize my addiction. College hooked me up! Of course I was suppose to dip, I had all this stuff going on! How could I quit, and why would I anyways? All my new college friends dipped. Everyone in college does. Sophomore year my father had a bout with cancer and died. How could I stop when I was dealing with that? I had to dip. Even my girlfriend of 2 years, who HATED me dipping, was okay with it. How else was I suppose to deal with it? The best part? I could dip in front of my girlfriend now. No more hiding in the bathroom to dip, or waiting till she fell asleep on long car rides, or "going for a walk to clear my head". It was justified! College passed with at least a tin a day, not to mention the cigarettes when I would drink. I needed nicotine to function. But of course, I could always quit whenever I wanted to. I just didn't want to. I liked it. Who cares what others though. I liked dip. Plus I would quit when I graduated and got a job. Everyone does. I would have to.

I didn't. I graduated, got real serious with my girlfriend, got a job, got an apartment, and started all the big changes of my life. Well except for dipping. That didn't change. But I started to realize my problem! So instead of 4 dips at night, I would have 3! I was cutting back! This was the road to quitting! Wrong! This went on for 2 years.

Finally I stopped. I was taking a trip up north and I didn't buy a tin. I got through the weekend clean, and decided to keep going with it. On that Tuesday I found this website. I haven't dipped since.

Now here's the big question.... What finally made me quit? Was it my girlfriend, and her hatred of it? No, she was getting use to it, and didn't bug me about it much anymore. Was it a cancer scare? Nope, I always checked my mouth, it looked good, and I just had had a dentist appt., and it checked out fine. Was it money? Nah, I was making enough to support 6 bucks a day. The answer: I don't know. Really I have no idea why I stopped. Just did. I guess it was time. But that wasn't the hard part. The hard part was staying quit. The answer to how I did that? This website. Period. The people on this website were the whole reason I was able to do it. I was held accountable for my quit, and I had people to talk and complain about it to, as well as ask questions, and sometimes give me a swift kick in the rear. Thank you to all of you for your help. A few in particular, Quitat50- your answers, wisdom and guidance were a huge reason I could do this, Trimbledad- The fact that you were able to make it to the hall going through what you are right now was the biggest inspiration I had in this quit, David Kodiak-your words and posts in the group and to me in particular got me through many a crave, and Matt for creating this site, you have done a greater good than I can put into words, and I truly thank you form the bottom of my heart. A big thanks to all my April bros, especially Cam, Hunter, Fitzspits, Brandt, Bapbanger, Eric I, Trihope, Cjsteiner, Glenn, JR, Upton5nc, CBW, and anyone else I've forgotten. This site really works, and everyone here is a big part of that. Thank you to you all, you've saved lives with your caring and humanity.

And remember- "I pity the fool who don't quit the dip!"

MA
LPeeDee 20030123 So TIRED.

Tired of being held by the bonds of nicotine addiction. Bonds that are so subtle, that they actually convey a feeling of comfort, satisfaction, pleasure. Bonds that seem harmless…but slowly tighten their grip around the unsuspecting victim.. Each time the drug is administered, it tightens its hold just a little bit more. In time, nicotine gains control of the victim’s daily activities. It’s the first thing looked forward to in the morning and the last thing done before bed. Eventually it subtly becomes the most important thing to the victim. Lunch hours are cut short, family time is sacrificed and even intimate relations are delayed with his wife in order to get his fix. His Master must be fed, or he will suffer the consequences.

So FREE

Free to be in control of my life. Free to find pleasure in my relationship with God, my wife, children and work….. not in a can. Free to wake up in the morning and after 20 years not worry about having enough time to take a dip.. Free to rediscover ways to relax other than putting a drug into my body. Free to not put a nasty drug in my mouth in front of my children or my wife. Free to use the restroom without first looking for my drug. Free to read the paper without my drug. Free to drink a beer without my drug. Free to walk out of a convenience store with $ 4 extra each day. Free to know that I am reducing my risk of cancer every day. Free to not fear the next dental check-up. Free to truly understand my problem, my life long addiction. Free to choose life. Free to enjoy life.

Thank you QS. This would not have been possible without you.

LPeeDee- 103 days of FREEDOM

Florence, SC
toiletduck 20030127 I didn't make a speech 100 days after I started dipping. I didn't make one the first time I passed the century mark - about five years ago - and I certainly didn't make one when I threw in a wad at Day 120. Except to myself, for all the good that did. There were no speeches associated with any of my other 15 or 20 quit attempts over the past 11 years, for that matter, nor were there any when I fell off the wagon each of those times. Oh, there was plenty to say, and maybe if I made a speech I would have listened and everything would have changed. But, there were no speeches.

The common thread in all of that is that there were no accomplishments that warranted speeches, even after the first time I made it 100 days. And, even as I write this, I debate whether or not there's an accomplishment here that's worthy of me sharing my thoughts with the rest of the dip-quitting world. I come to the conclusion that there is, but only as long as I do not dip. If I don't, then I've got something to tell all of the others trying to break the chains. If I cave in, though, then I question the value of my words, since what I'm going to say wouldn't have stuck with me over the long haul. And so, I only make this speech with the full belief that this time is the real deal, that I'm going to make it, I'm going to be free from nicotine for the rest of my life. Otherwise, I couldn't in good conscience post here.

Years from now, when I look back, I will see 100 days as a major milestone in one of the biggest successes of my life. As such, it's appropriate to begin by thanking those who got me through those days, probably many of the same people who will get me through the tough times as I go forward. It really all starts with God, who has been with me even when I ignored that fact, and has helped me find the strength to stay away from the Demon second after second, minute after minute, hour after hour. Then, I thank Matt van Wyk for putting up this board, and the people whose names I only know as things like Tribefan, Blake, Hope, FedUp, and others, but have had a very personal effect on my life. And then there's my girlfriend Michelle - who I'm sure wishes she doesn't fall victim to Tribefan's marriage advice - for being so supportive and understanding. And my brother, who is quitting himself, my parents, and my friends, many of whom dip but won't do it front of me anymore. Without all of you, I wouldn't have made it 100 days, and I know your support will help me with each day hereafter.

In examining the whole picture, I believe that the secret to quitting lies in understanding that when it all comes down to it, you're the one making the decisions around here. It's not UST, even though most of us really hate them, and with good reason. It's not your dipping friends, though their pressure obviously doesn't help. It's not even that evil little voice in your own head that tells you just one is okay. It's you - the real you. The one with the power to tell yourself you've come too far, that you don't need it, that just one isn't actually okay and probably isn't going to give you the satisfaction you're seeking anyway. If you can learn to reason with yourself, I think you can be successful. And stop blaming the product, it removes the focus from you, which is ultimately where it really should be.

I also think that we cave in because it's easier, which incidentally is why I found Blake's "apo-therapy" concept so amusing. Rational you - the one that reasons - is almost always present, but the "little voice" is damn persuasive. It is often much easier to listen to him than it is to struggle against him, so we cave, and we keep going. I have a good example of this. One time I cracked and bought a tin during a quit, and after having a wad my lip and gums really hurt. Rational me said "well stop it, you moron", while little voice me said "it just means you have to have more, so you'll get calluses and get used to it". Clearly, the logic was on the former side, but it was much easier not to stop and so the best way to address pain from dipping was to keep dipping until my mouth adapted. I say this because I did have the power to decide not to do it then, but I didn't exercise it because it was hard. So that's the second point...no one is denying it is difficult, and it probably always will be, but rational you is pretty much always right and you should listen to him, no matter how hard it is. If you have to, write out the "Rational vs. Little Voice" arguments and study them, it should become quite clear.

The other thing that I think is helping me now is that this is the right time in my life to make this change. I eat three meals a day now, I pay my bills, I have a clean house, I have a high-paying job, and I have a great girlfriend. Hmm...what doesn't fit in? Is dipping really something I want to be part of the identity of the future me? Answer: no. It doesn't really make it easier to get by the addiction or the cravings from a physical standpoint, but it's a powerful argument both to stop and to stay stopped when it gets difficult. It's about your life, and what you want to do with it, and dip doesn't fit in the plan. Which is why, by the way, I believe that your chances go way up when you do it for your own reasons, not because your wife wants you to or someone else thinks you should. This all ties back to the fact that you are in charge of making your own decisions.

Note that none of this blames nicotine, tobacco, or UST. They're all contributing parties, but they don't force you to do anything at all. It just feels like it sometimes.

People are telling me "that's great, now shoot for 200". But I think I'll just shoot for 101, and 102, and 103...the same strategy as before. 100 is just a number, after all - it's no magic time when everything just goes away. Otherwise, I wouldn't be talking about the last time I hit the century mark, now would I? So I'll keep visiting this board, and I'll keep trying to help my quitting comrades, whether they're at one day or 100. And, when I can, I'll give back to this site, for helping me to make one of the biggest changes of my life, and make it successfully. I hope you all would do the same.

In closing, I want to say thank you and good luck to everyone here - let's keeping beating up on our addictions!

Alexandria, VA
TRIBEFAN 20030201 LOOKING BACK AT THE LAST 100 DAYS AND WHAT IT TOOK TO GET ME HERE MAKES ME WONDER. AFTER DIPPING FOR 8+ YEARS- STARTING AT A CAN EVERY FEW DAYS TO FINALLY BUYING 2 TINS AT A TIME, IT IS A TIME THAT SHOULD BE FORGOTTEN BUT THEN AGAIN CANNOT. IT IS DIFFICULT TO EQUATE MY 100 DAYS WITHOUT THE NICOTINE DEMON USING MATHEMATICAL FORMULAS OR ANY KNOWN SCIENCE. IN THE EYES OF PEOPLE STILL UNDER THE INFLUENCE, 100 DAYS IS AN ETERNITY. TO ME, IT IS .03% OF THE DAYS THAT NICOTINE USED TO RUN THROUGH MY VEINS.

WHAT CAUSED ME TO QUIT AND WHAT GAVE ME THE MOTIVATION IS STILL DEBATABLE. AFTER RUNNING MY SUCK FOR THE LAST 100 DAYS AND OBSERVING PEOPLE TRYING TO QUIT, I HAVE MADE THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATIONS: SMOKELESS TOBACCO IS A DRUG AND SHOULD BE CATEGORIZED IN THE SAME REFERENCE AS THAT OF ILLEGAL DRUGS.

I RUN MY SUCK TO MY COMPANIONS IN THE MAY QUIT GROUP, AND ANY OTHER GROUP FOR THAT MATTER, AND BITCH ABOUT EVERYTHING INCLUDING: FINANCES, EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION, POLITICS, MILITARY, AND WHATEVER ELSE PISSED ME OFF AT THE TIME. WHEN FIGHTING AN ADDICTION, YOU DO WHATEVER NEEDS TO BE DONE TO SUCCESSFULLY CONQUER THE TASK AT HAND. FOR UNLIKE MOST ADDICTIONS, SMOKELESS TOBACCO IS THE MOST HIGHLY CONCEALED AND MOST DIFFICULT HABIT TO BREAK BECAUSE IT ONLY DIRECTLY AFFECTS THE HEALTH OF ONE PERSON, THE USER.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SECOND HAND DIP CANCER, ALTHOUGH I FEEL REMORSE FOR THOSE UNFORTUNATE SOULS WHO HAVE UNEXPECTEDLY FOUND THE CONTENTS OF A SPITTER BOTTLE EITHER ON THEIR BODY OR IN THEIR MOUTH. I GUESS YOU HAVE TO HAVE CASUALTIES IN WAR. IT'S ALL FUN AND GAMES UNTIL SOMEONE GETS DIP IN THEIR EYE. WHEN I FIRST STARTED MY QUIT, ESPECIALLY AFTER MY FIRST POST, ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT WAS REACHING THE HOF AND THE IMPACT IT WOULD HAVE ON THOSE AROUND ME. NOW I'M HERE, WHAT DID IT TAKE TO GET ME WHERE I AM TODAY?

I'VE ALWAYS TOLD IT LIKE IT IS, I'VE BOTH GIVEN AND TAKEN LOTS OF ADVICE- SOME PEOPLE HAD NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER OF TAKING MY ADVICE. I THINK IT'S ALSO IRONIC AND COMING FULL CIRCLE THAT I MADE THE HOF ON MOTHERS DAY. EXCEPT FOR THE MOTHERS ALREADY HERE BEFORE ME, VERY FEW PEOPLE CAN APPRECIATE OUR SUCCESS AND HOW DIFFICULT IT REALLY WAS TO BE WHERE WE STAND TODAY. I THINK IT ALSO NEEDS TO BE NOTED THAT QUITTING DIPPING IS AN INDIVIDUAL ACT, THUS OUR SUCCESSES ARE SUCH. TO GET ME WHERE I AM TODAY DID TAKE THE TOLERANCE, I WOULD SAY PATIENCE BUT NOT IN MY CASE, OF CERTAIN PEOPLE.

FIRST OF ALL, I HAVE TO THANK THE BIG DOG IN THE SKY WHO HAS GIVEN ME THE GUIDANCE AND LOVE TO SUCCEED. NOW THE ONES WHO HAVE PUT UP WITH MY BULLSHIT FOR THE LAST 3+ MONTHS. MY WIFE, AT LEAST MY QUIT GROUP ONLY DEALS WITH ME FIVE DAYS A WEEK AND EIGHT HOURS A DAY. SHE PUTS UP WITH ME 24/7, IMAGINE HELL AND ME STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO YA FLAPPING MY GUMS CONSTANTLY- WELCOME TO HER WORLD. SHE IS THE LIGHT THAT GUIDES ME THROUGH THE DARK, GIVES ME HOPE WHEN I NEED INSPIRATION, AND PROVES THAT EVERY SACRIFICE I'VE MADE IS WORTH IT. I REMEMBER THE NIGHT I FINALLY MADE THE DECISION TO QUIT, WAS THERE A TURNING POINT- NO! ONE SMILE FROM MY SON MADE A LIFE DECISON FOR ME. I COULDN'T GO THROUGH LIFE THE WAY I WAS AND NOT ACCEPTING THE FACT THAT DIPPING WAS STEALING THE BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE- WATCHING MY SON GROM INTO A MAN.

I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO LIVE WITH THE FACT THAT IF HE FOLLOWED IN MY FOOTSTEPS, HE'D BE KILLING HIMSELF ALSO. WHAT KIND OF ROLE MODEL WAS I WITH CANCER CAUSING MATERIAL IN MY LIP? I WOULD NEVER PRE-DETERMINE MY SON'S DESTINY BASED ON MY OWN STUPIDITY. ON FEB. 1, 2003 I CHANGED THE COURSE OF TIME. I GAVE MY SON THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE HIS OWN DESTINY.

AND NOW FOR THE LONG LINE OF PEOPLE I'VE PISSED OFF AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER. T'DUCK (T'DOUCHE, T'SCHMUCK)- I WILL ALWAYS THINK ABOUT YOU WANTING TO REFINANCE YOUR TOILET AND NOT WANTING MY MARRIAGE ADVICE- GODSPEED IN YOUR FLIGHT. BLAKE- MY OLD SPOTTERS LAST NAME WAS BLAKE, SO SEMPER FI MY FRIEND. DJC- I DON'T THINK IT'S A COINCIDENCE THAT WE BOTH DIPPED AND WORKED FOR THE SAME BANK- GO FIGURE. GOOCH- MY QUIT DATE BROTHER, I WISH YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN AROUND MORE! WOSCBALL- THANKS FOR KEEPING THE LOGISTICS GOING, WE'D ALL BE ON DAY 1 IF IT WASN'T FOR YOU KEEPING TRACK OF THE GROUP. FEDUP- MY HILLJACK ALTER EGO, YOUR DAY WILL COME. I CAN'T BELIEVE SOMEONE FROM THE SOUTH CAN RUN THEIR MOUTH AS MUCH AS ME.

FINALLY, THANK YOU MATT. YOU HAVE GIVEN HOPE WHERE THERE WAS NONE, GIVEN HOPE WHEN THERE WAS NONE, AND GIVEN HOPE BY BEING A LEADER. I JUST HOPE THAT SOMEDAY I COULD LEAVE AN IMPRESSION LIKE MATT. I FEEL THAT LIFE IS NOT COMPLETE UNTIL THE DAY THAT YOU STOP MAKING AN IMPACT ON OTHER PEOPLE. IF I COULD HAVE HELPED JUST ONE PERSON, THEN MY QUIT HAS SERVED A PURPOSE OTHER THAN MY OWN. I HAVE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY THAT WHAT MATTERS MOST IN LIFE ARE THOSE WHO LOOK UP TO YOU AND SAY, I COULDN'T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU. I HOPE I HAVE LEFT A MARK FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOW.

IN CLOSING, A LONG SPEECH FROM ME WAS PROBABLY EXPECTED SO I COULDN'T DISAPPOINT. IF I HAD TO GIVE ANY ADVICE IT WOULD BE THIS: LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO ALWAYS BITCH ABOUT WHAT COULD OR SHOULD BE- MAKE YOUR OWN DESTINY THROUGH HARD WORK AND SACRIFICE (NUT-UP), YOU'LL APPRECIATE IT MORE. I ALSO LOOK AT EVERYTHING I GAVE UP WHILE GIVING MYSELF TO THE DIP DEMON: MONEY, FRIENDS, FAMILY, SEX, SLEEP, LOVE, AND PEACE. CARRY THE SWORD FORWARD MY BROTHAS AND SISTAS, SEMPER FIDELIS AND GODSPEED.

DO, OR DO NOT, THERE IS NO TRY!!!!!!!!!

Cleveland, OH
gooch 20030201 If you are reading this letter it is most likely because you have quit chewing tobacco or you are thinking about quitting. My only advice to you is do not underestimate yourself. I did it for years and finally convinced myself that I am strong enough to quit. There are not many days that go by where I do not think about just taking one dip. On the flip side, I constantly remind myself that only the strong willed keep fighting. It would be easy to have a dip. Anybody can do that. Quitting is not easy and that is what sets us apart from the average person. No matter what your background is, what you do for a living, where you are from, or how you were brought up, we all have reached this same point in our lives where we are saying enough is enough. We are sick of hurting our bodies, our minds, our spirits, our families, our loved ones. It's time to admit we have an addiction and look it right in the eye and conquer it. One hundred days is just the beginning of a long journey. I still fight the fight one day at a time, just as I did the first week of my quit. Quitting does get easier with time, but it also sneaks up on you when you get too confident. I want to congratulate those who are starting their quit today... welcome to the club. This is some club and one of the most important clubs you will ever belong to. It's bittersweet that you will make friends with people whom you most likely will never meet but have many things in common with. You will find that you tell your friends on this web site some things that you may never tell other people. I want to congratulate the others that have hit their 100 day milestone and continue to fight the fight, many of whom helped me along the way. I'm not sure how, when, or even if I would have quit if not for this sight.

Peace and stay strong.

Upstate NY
Blake 20030205 For those who do not know- I have a wife, a 4-year-old son, and a baby on the way. 100 days ago I was searching the web trying to see if the sores on the inside of my mouth looked like cancer. As I searched, I envisioned myself in a hospital breathing and eating through a tube. My son looking at me is trying to figure out why I can't just go home and play. My wife is standing beside him trying to hold it together for the sake of our son, but visibly shaken at the painful reality facing her.

Now, if you are a dipper or an X dipper than you know that thoughts like these do little to stop you from dipping. In fact, I was dipping at the time and despite the fact that I feared having cancer, I was not interested in quitting. Truthfully, I was hoping that the sores were "nothing" so I could keep dipping. It seemed that nothing short of death was going to get me to quit.

Then in my search for images, I found this site and with it, people like me. I was amazed. I could not believe that I was not alone. I decided right then- if these people could stop, then I could too. The decision was that simple and all of the sudden I was a part of something great. I was quitting... I mean really quitting and doing it with people like me!

Of course I had quit thousands of times, but for some reason, being accountable to people that were going through the same hell made the difference, and so it began. Minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day. And what at first seemed impossible turned into 100 days.

Before this quit, I did not think of my self as an addict. I saw myself as a victim of addiction, a guy with a monkey on his back- purely chemical. As I started to break the chains of addiction I realized that I was not only physically addicted to chewing, but I was emotionally and psychologically dependent as well. I could not, or would not function without chew. In time I have realized that I had altered my entire life to maintain my dipping ways. The specifics of my behavior are grim and I cannot believe the things I would do for a dip.

As I look back on 100 days I see the postings of my daily struggles and the sobering confessions of a healing man, I cannot begin to thank all of the people on this site who have helped me this far. T-Duck, Tribe and so many others have been there for me to get through this.

Now as each day passes- I continue to feel the grip of addiction loosen, my vision become more clear, and for the first time in years I actually believe I have a future worth seeing.

Des Moines, IA
djc 20030208 What a long trip it's been. I feel like I've just gotten out of the car after being in it for several hours on a long road trip. It's that good feeling you get when you stretch and you realize that you've made it to your destination.

I started killing myself with dip 8.5 years ago in a college dorm room. It was my sophomore year and the cool thing to do was dip I had my first pinch of Skoal Mint and actually hated it. The room started to spin and I turned blue. 8.5 years later, I'm still trying to figure out where the switch flipped. When did dip start to taste and feel good? Why, if I hated it so much, did it turn into a full-blown habit? The main reason, I believe, is because I let my guard down, gave in to my peers and basically ignored the dangers dip involved.

One year ago, I got very serious about quitting. My wife and I were going to have our first child, I was where I wanted to be with my career, and dip just didn't fit into my life anymore. I promised myself that my first child would not have a dad that dipped. Well, her birth came and went and the dip was still holding on. I quit several times for a week or two, but started right back up because I let the guard down. Dozens of cans of chew were flushed down the toilet after taking just one dip. (TDUCK--you must have been having a blast with all that dip) It was always easy to quit when you had a big fatty in the lip.

Six months ago I went through a major depression. It came out of the blue and left me feeling hopeless and exhausted. About a month into the depression I also had a three week episode of major anxiety. After meeting with a doctor, I was told that giving up the dip should help with the anxiety. What he failed to tell me, though, was that there was going to be some intense anxiety and hell to pay during the first couple weeks of quitting. I tried and just couldn't do it.

105 days ago, I had had enough. I had tried quitting too many times on my own and kept coming up short. In my morning devotions, I prayed to God and asked him to either give me the strength to quit this on my own or put something in my life that would be a crutch to get me over the hump. That morning I came to work early, fired up the internet and entered the words "quit smokeless" and up popped this website. I looked at some of the days quit some of the vets were posting and couldn't believe it. There were people that chewed for 20-30 years, two cans a day that were on their 2nd or 3rd year of being quit. That alone makes a statement about the power of this site. If people that chewed twice as much as me for 3 times as long could quit, I know I could do it.

One more interesting piece to the story --My wife knew I chewed in college, but thought that I had quit many moons ago. I decided that I needed to bring her in and give me some emotional support. I sat her down 3 days into the quit and told her everything. She was very supportive and told me she'd do anything to help me quit. I still remember TRIBEFAN asking me how hard she smacked me around after I told her.

The rest is history. Over the last 105 days, some minutes have seemed like hours and some hours like days. But as I look back, the last 105 days have actually gone rather quickly. All the people on this site have made it go quickly.

There are several people that I need to thank. First of all, I give all the praise and glory to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the reason why this quit has worked. Secondly, I thank Matt VW. This site has made it happen. All your efforts are greatly appreciated. If anyone would have told me 105 days ago that I'd be typing a speech in the HOF I would have choked. Thanks also to my faithful wife. You've lived with a lazy, cranky man for the last 3 months. Thanks for the patience. Lastly, I want to thank all the brothers and sisters on this site, especially the May quit group. TRIBEFAN -- dipping and Fifth Tird do go hand in hand. I like the fact that you don't beat around the bush. Reading your posts cracked me up and kept me coming back. FASTEDDY -- I don't know if you're still here, brother, but your words of encouragement in the beginning helped me immensely. WOSCBALL, thanks for keeping track of our group and for keeping us in line. BLAKE, thanks for your posts and congrats on the boy (He'll be happy that you'll be around to see him grow up). T'DUCK, thanks for your help with keeping the TRIBE in line. I remember your posts and we've been through a lot of the same things. Whenever you need to refi that toilet, let me know. RJBENGEL, I'll be keeping an eye out for you in the HOF. You're almost there. SPONGEBOB, you've posted a lot of good stuff on this website. It's posts like yours that draw others into the site and make them decide to jump on the wagon Chalk me up as one you've carried through and helped kick this demon square in the chops. And to everyone else who has posted on this site who I've failed to call out, a huge THANKS. IT makes the quit easier knowing that there are hundreds of other people out there going through the same trials while quitting..

And finally, to the dip demon. You're officially not a part of my life anymore. I will never let my guard against you down again. You're getting weaker and weaker by the day.

To anyone who may be reading this and considering quitting, just do it. The first couple weeks are tough, but the long term rewards (Life) is worth it.

Happy quitting everyone and may God Bless.

Grand Rapids, MI
tfoster 20030217 If I would have known that day in high school, when my buddies and I couldn't find anyone to buy us beer, that the alternative, dip, would grab me for the next 19 years (has it really been that long?) and never let go...

So many times over these years I've tried to quit. I've used every trick there is: it's just plain gross, it will deform you, it will kill you, it will take you away from the ones you love….and nothing worked. That is until I found this website. To know that I'm not the only one going through this, not the only one struggling to find the courage to say "not today" literally one day at a time was, and continues to be, immensely encouraging.

I just told my wife this weekend that I couldn't believe 100 days was upon me. A few years ago the thought of going 100 days without dip seemed so far out of reach, about as likely as me jumping over the moon. Now the thought of dipping is the thing that terrifies me, not going without.

I still feel the cravings, mostly psychological, not really physical anymore, and have to beat down the demon regularly. But knowing I would let down my family, myself, and all of you makes it that much easier.

I hope there will be a day when weeks, months, and even years pass between thoughts of dipping, but until that time, I'll check in on these boards for inspiration and reassurance.

Good luck to everyone trying to get to 100, but even more to the folks already there. It may be tempting to let down after passing this milestone, but remember, the hard work has been done, DON'T LET UP!!!! Starting counting to 200 this time if you need to, remember why you decided to be the person you are now, a dip free person. Remember all the pain and strength it took to get here and continue to move forward.

Glenview, IL
melmsman 20030218 I was introduced to dip at the young age of 13. I was the new kid in a new school in a new town. I can remember coming home and telling my parents about this great new "thing", I had learned about in school. I had no idea that their reaction would be one of strong discouragement to my new hobby. I recall MOM lacing my SKOAL with cayenne pepper to "liven up" the flavor and DAD (while smoking his pipe), telling me about the evils of tobacco use. Needless to say, tobacco became a part of my life for the next 20+ years and I have enjoyed dipping more than I can say in this letter. What I didn't count on, was the influence that one person could have on me to make me realize what I had been doing to myself all these years. That person is my 12 year old son, Andrew. 100 days ago I was sitting at the computer typing something, reading something, etc... Time for bed was near, so I thought I'd have one more dip before turning in. I reached in the back pocket for the Cope, not there. Oh well, must have left it on the dresser, not there (slight concern), must be in the car, not there (bigger concern), must have fallen in the crack of the chair, not there (small panic). I think you guys get the picture. I TORE THE HOUSE APART TIL 1:00 AM LOOKING FOR MY @#$%^ CAN OF COPENHAGEN !!!! I did not find any snuff that night, not even in my backup stash spots. I asked my wife what she had done with my snuff, she replied "nothing". When I woke up the next morning, I finally realized the truth. That little can was calling the shots, not me. My life revolved around having and using Copenhagen. I decided to take back the control I'd lost and put down the snuff. 100 days later here I am. Now you may wonder where Andrew fits into all this. One month into my quit, Andrew says "Dad, remember when you could not find your Copenhagen"? I of course said "Yes"?!!? "Dad, I learned in school that using tobacco can kill you, so I threw all your snuff away, I hope you are not mad". I was left speechless for a moment. Yeah, I had gone through hell for the last few weeks, but what could I say ? I told him that I was not mad & that he had done a great favor for me. I never even knew that he noticed my tobacco use, but I'm sure in his debt now !! Thank you Andrew, Missy, & all of my fellow quitters @ Quit Smokeless. Without all of you, I would have never made it. Rossville, GA
Tim Richards 20010808 I officially quit on August 8, 2001 - mostly due to the images and the community on your site. Thanks and I hope that more people keep using the site to help themselves get rid of a very unhealthy habit.  
Hope 20030224 I woke up this morning with a feeling of pride - a sense accomplishment...not for reaching a destination, but for continuing a journey. Today I have made it 100 days without Kodiak, and I am so proud.

I know some people may wonder how any woman could possibly get hooked on dip, and to tell the truth - I wonder that sometimes myself. In my hometown dipping was not very popular. It was not considered "cool", there was no peer pressure, no talk of adverse health effects...it wasn't even an issue. While young adults were constantly warned about smoking, dipping was never so much as brought up. It seems funny to me that given those circumstances I became addicted to smokeless tobacco...but indeed I did.

I guess the best place to start is the beginning. When I was 15 years old I spent a month over the summer at a basketball camp for girls that were thinking of playing college ball. A rather rebellious girl at the camp came by my room one night and starting talking about this great way to relax and catch a buzz. ("relax and catch a buzz" - this phrase will ring in the ears of any 15 year old) She pulled out a can of Kodiak, and that's when my story of addiction began. I can still remember my first dip - it was by far the best buzz I had (or have) ever experienced. As an athlete I didn't drink or smoke, but dipping...it was discreet, it was easy to hide, and it was legal to buy at 16 - close enough. I felt like I had hit the jackpot. Of course, I had every intention of keeping my new habit just for the summer - how naïve of me. Needless to say, after dipping several times a night for a month I was completely hooked. When I left camp that summer I became a closet addict, and no one since has ever found out my secret.

After a few years of hiding my addiction - I quit, and I was able to stay quit for many years. Why I decided to go back to Kodiak over six years ago is still a little hazy...all I can say is this - once an addict always an addict. I felt like I needed something to take the edge off, and just like that I was back to being a full-blown addict. Some things never change...then again, sometimes they do.

I won't lie - I enjoyed dipping. I thought it helped me stay focused. I thought it helped me deal with stress. I have to admit; it was my favorite past time. But even so, deep down I knew that my addiction was costing me. It cost me money (5 dollars a tin??), it cost me time with friends and family, it cost me countless hours of worry, and above all it cost me my freedom...it was the last cost that finally sent me over the edge. I started looking for a way out, and that's when I ran across QS.org.

After finding QS I spent a few days quietly reading, and like everyone else that has had the good fortune to stumble upon this site - I was amazed by what I found. I had always been alone in my addiction, but after reading through the posts and the HOF speeches I began to feel something I hadn't felt in a very long time...Hope.

It was in those first few days of reading that I knew I truly wanted to quit. I started to mentally prepare myself by setting my sites on the seemingly unattainable HOF, but one thing kept holding me back - I didn't think the timing was right. I had work that needed to be done, stressful issues weighing me down, trips to take, a life to lead, and I couldn't see making it without Kodiak. Then I started to wonder...if not now, when would be the perfect time to quit? When would I have 100 days to devote to kicking my addiction? I exhausted myself thinking on those questions until I finally came up with this - There never is a "perfect"time to quit. Over the course of 100 days anything can and will happen. In the June group alone many issues have been brought up including: unexpected trips to the hospital, bouts of depression, oral surgery, the arrival of a new baby, deaths in two families, announcements of new life, loss of employment..the list goes on. When looking back over 100 days, any 100 days, there will always be life stresses, unexpected events, feelings of joy/sadness, points of great strength and moments of complete weakness. If you find yourself searching for a good time to quit your addiction...let me offer this - Now is the best time to quit. Don't wait. Don't put it off. There is no better time than right now to save your life and take back your personal freedom. I am so glad I quit when I did...in hindsight my timing was perfect.

For those who may wonder what has been the key to my success, the answer is simple - Quitsmokeless.org. This site has saved my life. Quitting is so very hard, but it is possible...never forget that. My best advice to new quitters is READ & POST, READ & POST. Those two crucial acts have given me the strength to make it 100 days (and counting) without Kodiak. Just as dipping is a choice, quitting is also a choice. May we all choose to live a life of freedom.

There are so many people to thank it's hard to know where to start. Let me begin with a big THANK YOU to every last person that has posted on QS...the magic of this site lies in all of you. That being said - I have a few personal notes to add:
MATT - Thank you for creating this wonderful forum. Your site is a lifeline to those lost in the dark storm of addiction - I will be eternally grateful to you.
To all my Junebugs - Thank you, thank you, thank you! All of you hold a special place in my heart. You have all been such a source of strength and inspiration. As I've written before - I could have never come this far without the support/understanding/acceptance of my fellow Junebugs. I think it becomes harder to fall when you have so many good people holding you up. ***Bill, RJ, Gryllus, FedUp, ScottA, Mister, Asok, Webfoot, Dover, Mitch, Wisdom, Gooterman, Bailey, JoeH, BP, Turk, NeedNoMore, Brett, Freedom, Wannabe, Wolf, Smooth-Lip, Jack, Toddy, Edbolin, Copeless, and all of the more quiet bugs - you are the best!***
RJ - Finding you on my first day was a blessing...because of you I have never felt alone in my quit. We have walked every step of this journey together - I could not have asked for better company.
BILL - You have been more than a quit buddy, you have been a true friend. I would not have made it this far without you. Thank you...for everything.
FEDUP - Your undying motivation has made a huge impact on so many people - thank you for keeping me fired up.
To the Mayers - Thank you for blazing such a bright trail to the HOF.
GP, REES, TW - I look forward to seeing you and your quit groups join the HOF in the coming months.
To the QS quitting pros - Bluesman, GoingInsane, SpongeBob, 4Woogie, Northcreek, MallowGuy, Steve, SodaPop, and Breen to name only a few...thank you for your posts, your encouragement, and for setting such a strong example of hard work and endurance...we are all following your lead.

My fellow quit brothers and sisters: I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors. As for me, I'm still heading to Freedomville. I hope to see you all there soon.

Keep fighting the good fight,
Hope

Washington, DC
rjbengel 20030224 Wow, I can hardly believe that I'm sitting here trying to figure out what to put in my HOF speech. When I started out on this journey, I thought that making it 100 days without chewing tobacco was going to be the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. And through the first two weeks, that thought process was pretty much right on target. But then, after 2 weeks went by, something changed. The craves that were attacking me with such a ferocious tenacity in the beginning were becoming easier and easier to fend off. Then I read a post, by who I'm not sure, stating how we all needed to "recreate" ourselves without dip. It kind of hit home, because thru those first two weeks, I was struggling with what to do to replace the time I spent chewing tobacco. Once I started replacing my dip time with other activities, activities that I could stay with throughout my life, then the whole task of quitting seemed to get much easier. Not easy, just easier. Suddenly, chewing tobacco was not a "life or death" priority anymore. What I mean is, the feeling of "I gotta have a chew or I'm going to die" suddenly disappeared. Once that corner was turned, the craves were so much easier to fend off. I still have craves occasionally, but they are nowhere near as strong as those first two weeks. At times, you even begin to laugh the craves off, as you realize how sad the dip demon looks begging at your feet for you to go buy a tin.

I know I never could have made it this far without this wonderful community to give me support and strength when needed. I spent a lot of time in the early days of my quit hitting the refresh button over and over waiting for new items to be posted. Every new post was fuel added to my brain to fight this addiction. The veterans, Spongebob, Quit@50, Breen77, 4woogie, northcreek, and all the others, were so instrumental in keeping my quit going. Spongebob's mantra was my motto through those first two weeks. Whatever it took, I was not going to put a dip in my mouth. Although, I did put everything else in my mouth! I think I gained about 10 pounds in those first two weeks. But I didn't care. Whatever it took to keep dip out of my mouth was OK by me. I could lose the weight later. My fellow Junebugs were so instrumental in my quit as well. Hope, Fedup, scott a., Dover, joehoosier, txsbill, asok, wisdom, boyspromise, mistermagette, mitchw, and all the other Junebugs. Without y'all, I was an egg with no incubator. You provided me with strength day in and day out, thru thick and thin. Thank you. Members of the other groups also provided me with valuable inspiration, especially early in my quit when there were not many Junebugs around. TRIBEFAN, djc, gentle_giant, blake, t-duck, y'all were great!!

Thanks also,has to go out to my wife and children. Without their patience, love, and understanding, there's no way I could have made it thru that first month. They were understanding enough to know that I still loved them very deeply, even though I was blowing up at them constantly thru that first month of hell. I still remember like yesterday blowing up at my daughters, and then crying my eyes out with them as I apologized after coming to my senses. I hope and pray I will never put them thru that again.

My biggest thanks has to go out to Matt Van Wyk. (Yes, my wife would agree!) I suffered thru many failed quit attempts before, none of them lasting more than 40 days. My wife would agree when I say this site was a Godsend. I never could have achieved this goal, without the help of this community. Matt would say that it's not him, but the community that serves the needs of itself. And I would agree to that. But without your awesome insight, this website never would have started, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have provided me the ability to make one of those life-altering decisions.

For all you newbies, I wish I could put into words the feeling of freedom that I am feeling today, so that you could understand how great it feels!! If I had known 10 years ago how wonderful this freedom feels, I would have quit then. The biggest reason my quit has been so successful is because I came to this site OFTEN, and read and posted FREQUENTLY. Those were two of the keys to my success. Get to know your fellow quit group members. Let them know how your day is going, how you feel, what's going thru your head. It's hard for anybody to help you if they don't know what's ailing you. And last, but not least, follow my tag line motto, "Focus on the moment and kick the demon's a$$!!!!!!"

Portland, MI
Turk 20030225 I started this 100 days of freedom without a plan and without focus. I was a few days into the quit and ready to cave when I found my plan and my focus, Quit Smokeless.org. Thanks to Matt Van Wyk, I met like minded people that were committed to giving up dip. Through reading other members posts and writing my own I endured some difficult moments but never gave in to my addiction.

I started dipping (much like fellow HOF member Hope) at a camp, football camp when I was 14. It was all about peer pressure but before I knew it I was hooked. As I look back on my experience with dip I can see how it owned me. It got to the point where dip actually robbed me of things that I loved and I still didn't quit. I had girlfriends and friends that couldn't stand my nasty habit, but I just shrugged it off and looked away from my addiction. I was playing football in college and the dip affected my cardiovascular endurance so much I was half the player I could have been. But I still didn't quit I just looked the other way. My blood pressure had been skyrocketing lately and I was heading towards some type of oral cancer ( I had some leukoplakia), but I would look the other way. This site gave me the focus to quit and all the positive encouragement from my brothers and sisters of the June quit group ( Go Junebugs!!!!) kept me going.

I think the greatest relief of quitting dip is that I don't have to explain to my son some day why I chew tobacco. I really can be a positive roll model to my son, the kids I coach, and hopefully to anyone that wants to quit dipping. Today I am grinning from ear to ear and I don't have any tobacco in my teeth. Thanks!

Mineral Point, WI
Txsbill 20030227 The first time I found this site. I looked around, read some of the posts, then looked at the HOF speeches. I was incredulous. Who could these super humans be? Would I ever be able to make it 100 days? After 25+ years of dipping a can a day of first Copenhagen, then later Skoal, I determined that if I could ever quit for just one day, then I could give it up for the rest of my life. So far I'm on day 100 of the rest of my life. I can say that without the support from the people on this site, and in particular the folks in the June group, I would not have made it. The entire time I've been a part of the June group, we have tackled a myriad of topics in our discussions. One of our discussions was about all the things UST took away from us. Our money, our peace of mind etc. But no one has mentioned the one priceless thing that UST has given us. Each other. Even though we are all total strangers, I've formed closer bonds to some of my QS family than to most other people in my life. I'm not a deeply religious person, but God bless you all... Below are some of the weighty issues we tackled....

On the Junebug name...
I don't know how much you all know about Junebugs, but they are very strong little creatures. They are survivors, after being created underground; they scratch and claw their way to the surface.

There has been some snickerage regarding our collective name, Junebugs. I happen to know for a fact that if a piece of thread was tied to a Junebug and it were eaten by a Toad, it could be retrieved still intact and alive several minutes later by pulling the thread. Who says Junebugs aren't tough!

On Smoking...
HOPE Pull your head outta yer ass! Smoking?...I have a cure for smoking...Take 2 Roi-Tan cigars and smoke both of them back to back...Inhale all the smoke you can. You will "spew like a hot Coke"...But I guarantee you won't wanna smoke anything again...ever...I know this works, I tried it when I was about 12...Been smoke free ever since...

On women dippers...
I once dated a lady that dipped Copenhagen...well I don't know that I'd consider it dating...But then again as I remember it she wasn't very lady-like either...How about this....I was once "intrigued" by snuff dipping stripper...

On Dip substitutes...
Hope...Basically you just hold them in your cheek like a chipmunk...then one at a time you crack them open, get out the seed, then spit out the hull...All with just your tongue...It builds tongue dexterity which may or may not come in handy later in life..

Nicotine replacement is like whackin' off...It's ok, and will get you through the day, but will never replace the real thing. In an effort to get through the day without dipping I say it's ok to whack off or use nicotine replacement as needed....

Inspiration
Just don't give in...I've visualized the little clerk at the stop & rob saying "You weak...you no quit...you pay me fi dolla". I hate that guy.

Smootlip..I still have my "Bitch" can of Skoal on my desk...It reminds me that it was my choice to quit. I'm not hiding from it...Besides it's old as crap now, and all dried up...Kind of like a girl I used to date...

Gooterman Unlike RJ I do have a few inspirational words in regards to your upcoming golf outing.....If you cave in I will come hunt you down and hit you in the left testicle with a 3 wood....How's that for inspiration Red Dawn Your not gonna die...You might just wish you were dead... Get you a piece of Nic gum...It tastes like crap, but it keeps you from eating your children in a fit of rage... Did you quit when a board poked through your radiator? NO! You just pissed in it and kept going...You can do this!!! WOLVERINES!!!!!!!!!!!

I decided that if Hope could quit and stick with it that by god I could too...I mean what kind of weak pussified candy-ass would I be by caving in and betraying her like that. So I went over and picked out a can of Copenhagen flavored bacc-off, and a can of Oregon mint, a sprite, a bag of nacho-cheese flavored seeds and went back to my hotel. I remain dipless still.

On Dip Rage.
Garyinlubbock, First off I guess what we need to know is whether or not your a postal worker..If you are not, then you most likely will not explode. The nicotine withdrawal is what made me edgy...Just stick with it Gary. Look at it this way, if you quit right now and go back to it, then you'll just have to get back to this point at some other point in your life. Only the next time you will probably have cancer already. So do you want to endure this with or without chemo.....

On Caving
Slew Sorry to hear you gave in....Enjoy your dip, when you spit it out, get back on the wagon...get back on before that evil shit sets it's hook through your lip again...Think back to your first week. How miserable you were. If you don't come back right away, you'll have to endure all that misery again. C'mon Slew...Suck it up and never quit quitting...Hell; this is just a minor set back. You don't have a hair on your ass if you go crawling back into that can for good right now.

Gooterman The only coherent thing you said yesterday was the comment about me putting a spur in your rectum if you cave...You are right about that my friend...I have a special pair of spurs waiting for anyone of you that caves...It's a big ol' pair of Mexican spurs with a rowel about the size of a silver dollar..A spiky silver dollar...so just remember that...I have no intention of being the only sumbitch to make it to the HOF, so you all just suck it up and grit it out...

Sports talk
You know...Hope back when I played football...Back in the days of the leather helmet....We always patted our team-mates on the butt for a job well done...

Fed-up sorry to hear about your poor batting performance...I'm no expert, but I think you're not making contact with the ball, therefore your not getting any hits....next time you are up at bat, after the first pitch just charge the mound...It won't get you on base, or help your average, but it's a damn sight less humiliating than striking out and infinitely more entertaining to watch from the stands...

On E-Commerce
Toddy .....Seriously, you ought to box up some snow and put it on E-Bay...I swear some idiot would buy it....I have a mental image of buying snow from you....The doorbell rings, there is the UPS guy holding a soggy box

Marital Advice
Wisdom I was reading about your dilemma with your husbands dipping....He's gonna have to WANT to do it for him to be successful. I'd just lay off him. Tell him that it's ok if he dips. That only girls like yourself and HOPE really have what it takes to get past this. But a real man like him should just continue to kill himself slowly while you watch just because he can't face the fact that he's afraid of a little discomfort.... uh.... on second thought maybe you should just tell him that you love him and support him and not mention that other stuff I said earlier...I'll get back in my box now.....

Dover I have the solution to your problems....Call your wife this afternoon right before you head home. Tell her you have something you need to discuss with her. You've been dishonest, that you've been living a lie and it must end. When she asks what it is, tell her it's too terrible to mention over the phone. It's better if you talk face to face...While you are on the way home, she will be going whacko trying to figure out what your going to tell her...She'll think things like "oh my god he's gay", "he's having an affair.....I knew it", "he's leaving me to join a monastery in Tibet". Then when you tell her you had secretly been dipping and then quit again. She will be so relieved that that's all it is, you will be instantly forgiven....

Wisdom I have a sure fire formula for naming your child....Pick out a name you really like....If it gets shot down, do not despair, come up with another. This time make it a name you know he'll hate...Stick with it through the entire pregnancy, then at the last minute he'll agree to your first choice....It worked for me for the first 3. The fourth one were gonna name Jesus, because it'll take divine intervention for that to happen......

Politics
Scotta I might run for office...I doubt I'd make it....Everyone tries to hide their flaws and mistakes....I look at mine with pride...Kind of a badge of courage. I can see it now; the reporter says "Bill is it true you once dated a snuff dipping stripper?" "Hell yeah...she was cool..."

Misc.
Mitch, Fed-up between your bouncing guts and man-boobs...you guys are really beginning to scare me a little.....I just have this mental image of you two running towards each other in slow motion with your arms outstretched.....I don't need that in my head....

Hope If only I had a quarter for every girl that's tried to show me her five-foot blacksnake......Why.......I'd have a quarter anyway...

...Last night while I was watering the garden and stuff I came up with this.... You might be a redneck ...if you think "Horticulture" involves taking your girlfriend to an opera...

Thanks for the compliment BoyPromise I learned early on not to rely solely on my rugged good looks. Knowing that one-day they'd let me down. So I developed my wry witty personality. I'm still waiting on my devastatingly handsome appearance to go away...Perhaps it never will...But if it should, I have my personality ready....

gooterman....Remember...it's all in the delivery....
making fun of people is ok if it's done in the nicest possible way....

Tough Love
Donny when you get right down to it, no one really cares if you quit or not...Sure we'd all like you to... None of the rest of us are gonna be there to hold your hand or comfort your fiancée' while you die with cancer. You nut it up, tell your dipping friends to kiss your ass, and quit putting the stuff in your mouth or quit talking about it. It sounds to me like you want us to quit for you. It doesn't happen like that. I know I sound harsh and uncaring, part of me is. The part of me that has already been down the road you are on. You don't have it any worse than any of the rest of us did, and we all made it by sticking together and trudging through the hard times. We might wait on you, but we're not coming back for you...That's my tough love speech for the day.

Well, that didn't take as long as I thought it would. Tomorrow is the quit date txsbill while I would like to kick you in the nuts, at the same time I would also like to buy you a beer. Thanks for the eye opener. Thanks to everybody else too.........Donny

Hope. If things got better by dipping, no matter what they were, than I'd run a website promoting this crap. Fact is, snuff never helped nothing...We are all your snuff now. We're here for you, so reach out and take someone's hand, and let's get through this....

I realize this is long winded, but this is the only Hall of Fame Speech I ever intend to make. I'd be completely remiss if I didn't mention all the fine folks that have helped me get here.
Hope- for her strength of character and her leadership. I only pray my daughter grows up to be as fine a woman as she is.
Asok- For his quick wit and incredible sense of humor. Not to mention those taglines..
Fedup- For his tireless and inspiring posts.
Tribefan- For his annoying yet charming style, and because he called us June Roaches the entire time.
RJ Bengal- For being here most of the time if anyone needed anything.
Toddy- For being my Canadian quit date partner....eh...
RedDawn- For not caving in when things got rough.
BoysPromise- For persevering through all his tribulations.
ScottA, Gooterman., Mr. Magette, Webfoot, Wisdom, MitchW, Smoothlip
Not to mention all of the other Members of this site that have inspired me and encouraged me to quit and be successful. I especially would like to thank Matt Van Wyk for having the foresight and technical expertise to create and maintain this life altering website.

Bill

Houston, TX
joe divola 20030302 I'm pretty selfish. I quit dipping for ME and ME only. I didn't have a wife or family pushing me to quit. I didn't set a quit date. There was no ceremonious last dip. I just stopped. I stopped because I knew I was doing something wrong and that I quite literally might be killing myself. The guilt and worry began to outweigh the "pleasure" of dipping. It took about 10 years to get to that point. But then, why didn't I stop?

Like just about all of us, I was waiting for the "perfect time" to quit. But we all know that "perfect time" is never right here and right now, its always right around the corner. Some fleeting, fictitious event in the future that will inspire and motivate us, mysteriously giving us the strength and resolve to quit - for good. I bought into this lie for a long time. It made me tired. It made me frustrated. It made me weak. But mostly it just pissed me off. It pissed me off because I felt like I had no say in something that was controlling me. So I guess I just reached the point where I had to do something about it.

I said before that I didn't have a family pushing me to quit but that isn't entirely true. When I stumbled onto this website, I think I found that family. A group of determined people with different views and ideas, all in search of the same thing. Thank you Matt Van Wyk for having the vision to create this website! Thank you to all the old timers! Collectively, your wisdom has guided so many of us. Thank you JuneBugs! Each and every one of you made quitting a little easier! 100 days is a long time. But I'm sure it is just the beginning.

Atlanta, GA
FedUpofCope 20030303 On May 23, 2003, my mother in law was taken by cancer after being diagnosed in late 2001. She was among the most Godly people I have ever had the honor and privilege of knowing. She put the Lord first, her family and friends second, and herself last. If she told you that she would be keeping you in her prayers, you could count on it.

The thing is, she didn't have a lifestyle that would promote cancer. It started as a constant pain in her leg, which, after several doctor visits was finally diagnosed as bone cancer in late 2001. The cancer rapidly and painfully spread, eventually taking over her lungs. She never used tobacco or alcohol. She ate right and exercised regularly. The last few days, she tried to keep her spirits up as she literally fought for her last breath that Friday morning.

On the other hand, for over 12 years, I voluntarily threw a product between my cheek and gum day after day that I KNEW was linked to cancer. This stuff has been proven to potentially cause gum disease, tooth loss, and cancer. You can read it right on the can. Yet I kept on, because I was too weak to break my slavery to the can.

I sought out help, because I'd tried the gum, the patches, and countless other methods to help me quit. I was looking for a "magic pill" that would finally get rid of my addiction to Copenhagen. We all know there is no magic pill.

What I did find is the incredible community created by Matt Van Wyk through wisdom, luck, or a combination of the two. Through the help of all the many people associated with this site, I was able to gain my freedom from Copenhagen.

To name the individuals here who have helped me along the way would make this long speech even longer. The veterans who have been fighting this battle for many months or years, those who are ahead of me by one to two months, my Junebug comrades, and those of you who are just beginning your battle, you have all contributed to my quit in some way. I thank you all tremendously.

To my wife, who supported me every step of the way, who saw that this quit was different than the numerous other failed attempts, who faithfully kept track of how many days quit I was on - thank you.

And, most of all, I was able to get through this quit with the help of the Lord. I turned my battle over to Him early on, and relied on Him for strength and resolve.

If you think you can't quit - think again. Ultimately, you have a choice to make. Do you want to continue a life of bondage, being held captive by a can of deadly poison? Or do you want to make the sacrifices needed to gain your freedom? It won't be easy - in fact, it may be the most difficult thing you ever do. But, it can be done. Look around qs.org, where hundreds of people have won the battle with their addiction. Will you make the sacrifices needed to gain your freedom?

Mobile, AL
MitchW 20030303 I have never won the big game, drove the fancy car, or have been the most popular person around. I have never achieved great fame or have been a superstar, until today. I am by no means a loser or not proud of my life. I have a pretty successful career, I have a great wife, and two wonderful little girls that do make me a winner. However my life was not complete, something was holding me back from enjoying the greatest moments in my life (wedding, births, family get-togethers, etc). The "thing" that was holding me back was my addiction to Copenhagen.

You have seen this a million times on this site, my story is the same. At age 17 someone got me to try a dip, I really liked the buzz (I think I spent about 2 hours throwing up after swallowing it though (yet I still wanted to do it.) I toyed around with the habit, going through about a can every month. After joining the Navy, I started using it on a daily basis to keep me awake, I do not remember when I had to have it everyday, that memory gets lost in the shuffle of time, however I do remember every event in my life after that, with a big fat dip in my lip. The reasons for quitting, again are the same as everyone else on QS.org, My main reason, I was tired of being scared that I had cancer, tired of having to sneak to dip (i.e. staying awake at night, while the family is sleeping), tired of trying to hide it from my daughter, so she would not ask what I was doing. The list of being tired of it goes on and on...

Now this is the 2nd serious quit of my life, I do not consider the 1 dayer's I did a quit. This time I did win the big game, by making to 100 days!. Like other big winners I had a great team in place (My family, and my friends at Quit Smokeless). Since I could not do this on my own I have a list of Thank You's that I need to get out.

To my Wife: Thanks for putting up with the lying, the spending of the money, and me running off just to dip

To my daughter Caroline: Sorry daddy did not have the "guts" to quit when you were born and I am sorry for that, you now will not have to see daddy with the crap in his mouth

To my newest daughter Grace: Daddy needed and did quit before you were born, you wont have to see dad sneaking around with a can at all

To Matt Van Wyk (the "coach" of Quit Smokeless)- thanks for this site, I don't think I would of made it this long without out it.

To FedupwithCope- My quit date partner: He has gone through more adversity during his quit and is a shining example of a good guy. Thanks Fed

To RJbengel, Hope, TxBill - You guys were posting all over the place when I first logged on, and you were there each time I needed a push in the beginning

To all the Junebugs/ and QuitSmokeless community who helped me get to 100 days thank you very very very very much!

Just remember Kurt Schilling P (Arizona Diamondbacks) has won the "big" game (World Series) He has not beaten dip. Does this make me any better than him? Sort of, but not really I am only one dip away from being back to where I was, so I have won a game, but not the series (that will come later, much later for me) But I ("we") will win this fight. To all who have quit congrats and keep going, to all who are going to quit, good luck and god speed.

Blacklick, OH
gooterman 20030305 If this is the first time you are looking at the hall of fame and you happen to stumble upon this speech, let me be the first to say that "life without dip is possible." That doesn't mean that "life without problems" is possible--it just means that "life without dip is possible" and truly it is the better life. For so long I didn't believe that and even now at times I am tempted not to believe it. But it's true--I am doing the same things I did before and they are actually MORE enjoyable because I'm not dipping. So, go for it!!!!!!! You can post for the first time just about anywhere and I will almost gaurantee that you will have 10-15 responses by the end of the day. Here on this very site you'll find tons of support. I must say that I have not found a thought that was uniquely my own. Don't let pride get in the way.

Now, as for the rest of the speech...Somewhere, out there is a guy (or it could be a gal) casually, but confidently walking about. Actually, let's just skip all the gender crap and call this he/she a bug. This bug is certainly concerned with diet and exercise, but at the same time will ponder the particulars of a chicken ring, spam, crawfish--or perhaps a few things that even bugs would not consider eating. This bug can shake it up with the best of them. This bug is not necessarily from anywhere in particular--could be from Canada or could be Kansas or Texas. This bug has weathered more than a few feet of snow, tornadoes, hail, and sweltering heat all with a few days. This bug has worn the old leather football helmet in the days of old; this bug has contemplated the fair maiden Amish girl on the side of the road; this bug has been through some very trying times; this bug is not ashamed bear arms when called to serve either his country or his fellow man who may be needing Viagra. This bug is sometimes a leader and sometimes a follower. Sometimes this bug actually bugs other bugs. Sometimes this bug says funny things and other times not so funny at all. I suppose one could easily go on about these bugs, because they have meant so much to me and I hope I am somehow worthy of being numbered among them. And one thing in particular about this bug and most important--this bug is casually and confidently walking around because this bug does not have a chew of tobacco in its mouth--because this bug is a Junebug.

To all my fellow junebugs I say thanks. To Breen who first responded to my plea for help...thanks for showing me who I was. TxsBill, Hope, RJ, Fedup....you guys were the constant. Not too often when you weren't there to help out me or someone else.

To my fellow quit date bros and broette--MrMag, Edbolin, Bailey, Asok.......we did it!!!!!! Mrmag, I guess you're right.......for some reason we had a connection, but don't worry, when Nebraska returns to dominance, I'll gladly remind you. Asok, thanks for coming in later on a being a real strength.

To so many else: Scott, Boyspromise, Freedom, Slew, Gryllus, Mitch, Turk, Joe, Wolf, Wisdom.....hey, at least it won't take much to out do this speech. I am/will be excited to see all the junebugs in the hall.

To Matt Van Wyk, thanks for this site...........period.

I guess the bottom line is this: Chewing tobacco is nothing more than being totally selfish. I was so selfish for such a long time. Am I still selfish? Yep, but I don't want to be and sometimes it is obvious, and sometimes not. Chewing was just one of many things that displayed the symptom of a greater problem--my inward desire to only serve and please myself. I am sure I'll still do stupid and selfish things. So, I don't really know if I'll go the rest of my earthly life without a dip.........but it would sure be awfully selfish to trade in freedom for slavery..........it's time for a homebrew....or two.

 
bailey 20030305 Like many, I first began chewing tobacco in high-school. I jumped into this habit with both feet, going through a tin a day and sometimes more. I was young foolish and frankly unconcerned about the consequences. I would always rationalize the habit by saying "I'll quit when I get to college."

Needless to say, I chewed my lips off all four years of college. I had tapered my pace a bit to maybe 1/2 a tin a day, but this was largely due to social smoking at parties. I was surrounded by many dippers and put all thoughts of quitting out of my mind. If I had any thoughts on the subject at all they would be something like, "not now." After graduation my rationalization changed to "I'll quit when I get married."

Sadly, I continued to chew right up to and ultimately after my wedding. Although after my first year of marriage I did try my first meaningful quit- which lasted about 2 1/2 months. But back to the can I went. Chewing through these years became more and more embarrassing as fewer and fewer friends were fellow chewers. I became more secretive with my habit, ashamed at having to carry around a spit cup and fill it with that Guinness like tobacco juice. I also began to worry about my health. My lips would hurt and I'd scrape off those white patches with a foreboding sense of doom. What would bother me most is the random cut on my tongue from moving the chew around in my mouth. Sometimes those cuts would be very painful and make dipping more difficult. Regardless, I kept on chewing my rationale now "I'll quit when my first child is born."

So there it was, the wife and I are in the hospital and the doctor comes in and tells me they are going to give my wife a c-section. I am in the waiting room putting on the hospital scrubs and getting ready to go in and meet my daughter. I make a final visit to the restroom take the chew out of my mouth throw it into the toilet along with the rest of my tin and head off to see my wife and newborn child. I lasted another 2 1/2 months. I caved slowly, fighting a variety of stupid rationalizations but ultimately arriving back at my 1/2 a tin a day habit. I'd sneak in chews at work, hiding it from co-workers and clients. Ironically, my daughter liked to play with the green can of Skoal Long-Cut Wintergreen and I would roll it across the floor to her. One day I rolled it across the floor she picked it up, our eyes locked and I knew it had to end. Not tomorrow, or the next day, or when my next child was born, or some other deadline in the future which kept me chewing in the present, Now!, right now, this instant!. I knew of this website from a previous quit and registered that day. The rest is history. this place has been wonderful. I'm more of an observer than a participant, but I've benefited greatly from the discussions here and thank all the June bugs for their courage and strength in fighting this devilish bastard nicotine. I thank you and my daughter thanks you. God bless.

Boise, ID
mistermagette 20030305 So I set here on the morning of my 100th dip-free day. Just me and my computer, the same way I've spent many hours over the last 3+ months...to the outside observer it would appear to be a lonely existence. But the outside observer doesn't see what's really going on here. I know, though. And those who have walked this path before me know also. My hope is that anyone reading this on day 1 of their quit will also come to see what's happening here. It's almost magic. It's synergy at it's best. But I'll get more into that in a minute.

My apologies right off the bat if this gets long. You see, I'm a high school biology teacher and am used to 90 minute class periods. So, if you don't feel like reading on, I won't be offended.

Day one of my quit was Ash Wednesday of this year. As with the billion or so first days of previous quits, the morning and into the afternoon at work went okay. Around the end of worktime I started to have some serious problems, though. I got online, and fate (along with a Google Search) led me here to Quitsmokeless.org. I kind of lurked, and read a few posts, but thought "I can get through this without a support group." That was my first mistake. By the grace of God and a little help from Nicorette I made it through the first 24 hours. By the next afternoon, I was a registered and posting member of this community.

As soon as I logged on and started doing the whole "read and post" thing, my outlook on my quit changed completely. I was no longer alone. I was no longer powerless. I was suddenly part of a group determined to lead, or push, or pull me into a dip-free life. The really cool thing about it was it also gave me the chance to lead, or push, or pull others. That's the magic that I'm talking about. From the moment I logged on and made my first post, I knew this was my time to quit killing myself for good. I honestly never had a doubt. The members here helped me to redefine myself as someone who doesn't chew. They helped me to recognize my addiction and deal with it in the most effective ways. And they helped me believe in myself and my ability to take control of my life.

Two big myths I had on that first day:
1. It is impossible to quit chewing for good.
2. support groups are for the week.

My response to both of these would be to look through these Hall of Fame pages. See the people who have kicked this habit....proof that it can be done. And I dare you to call anyone who has kicked a chewing habit week. Anyone who has even tried will tell you that's simply not the case. Some of the strongest individuals I know can be found right here.

(Note: I refer to it as a chewing habit, because it's important to realize that, as with alcoholism, you never kick the addiction.)

So, I guess I should thank our fearless leader Mr. Matt van Wyk. As an educator, the litmus test that I use when I go to bed each night is "Did I make a difference today?" Matt, know that each and every day you are making a huge difference in so many lives. Thank you for this forum and for your leadership.

To my wife, Missesmagette. Who put up with me for the first month when I was a bear to be around. Who never quit believing in me even after all the past failed quits. And who recognized, even before me, that this quit was different. I love you, Honey.

To my quit group. (Go Junebugs!) We have laughed, cried, suffered, and partied together through thick and thin. You all have touched my life in a way I didn't think was possible. Together we have climbed this mountain.

To the Quitsmokeless community. Each of you, from the most seasoned veteran to the newest member on day one of their quit, makes this place what it is. Each member makes our power against this addiction greater.
Keep reading, keep posting, and keep believing in yourselves and each other.

Kansas
Asok 20030305 QuitSmokeless works.

Did you get that? QuitSmokeless works!

However, QuitSmokeless only works if you work it. It really comes down to YOU: Will you do what it takes to be free from smokeless tobacco, or not?

I like to compare it to the marriage vows. People don't stand at the altar and pledge to "try" to remain faithful and committed. Instead, they make an unconditional promise to do those things.

Twenty years and almost seven months ago, I told Mrs. Asok, "I do, forever."
I meant it.

100 days ago, I told Skoal, "I don't, forever."
I meant that, too.

I quit using Skoal at 22:30CST on 4 March 2003.
I finished my 100th day tobacco-free at 23:30CDT on 12 June 2003.

The most important thing QuitSmokeless has done for me is convince me (in my head and in my heart) that it is possible to live without nicotine forever. I know it won't be easy, but until I found QS, I truly did not think it could even be done.

All of you who are on this forum are living proof that it can be done, and you're all an inspiration. Keep on quitting!

And now a special note to the "Junebugs": It's been a fun ride, folks. I joined the party late, but I couldn't have chosen a finer group of quit-buddies. I won't start mentioning names, because I'd be likely to leave someone out... but collectively, you're the reason I haven't gone back to dipping. "Thank you" seems so inadequate, but it will have to suffice: Thank you.

I close now with the words of the Apostle Paul to the people of Thessalonica: "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you." 2 Thes 3:16(NIV).

Kansas
Wisdom 20030310 Well, here is my story. I started this addiction over 6 years ago as a dare by a boyfriend to see if I could "handle" the dip. He thought it would be really cool to have a girlfriend that could handle Copenhagen. At first I couldn't. I would put a dip in, get sick, put in another dip, another trip to worship the porcelain goddess, ... I am damn stubborn and eventually I "won" over the dip. Soon I found I needed it and it didn't take long before I realized that dip had actually "WON", not me.

100 days ago I finally got serious about quitting. My husband and I were starting to make plans to start a family and I refused to carry a life in me and still chew. At the time I believed this was the only reason that I wanted/needed to quit. So, I did an internet search and found QS. Like everyone else, the first 2 weeks were hell and the next 2 weren't much better. But after the fog started to lift I started to notice all sorts of benefits to this quit that I never thought possible. My gums looked and felt better, I smiled more often, I didn't have to worry about hiding my "secret", my heart had quit fluttering, and life in general was better. I had never even realized that some of these things were all due to chewing. I now know that I had given up my life for mint Skoal and now I am taking it back, one day at a time!

Along with all the positive health changes, this site gave me one more thing I never expected to receive. I am not one to chat online; actually I thought it would be a waste of time. I now know posting on QS is a long ways from wasting time. All the people here are so important. They all are going through the same thing that you are going through. It is so funny how I have grown to really care about the people here and feel a responsibility to them to keep on quitting. To all the Junebugs, please except this heart felt thank you for always being only a click away and for going through these 100 days with me. Matt, what can I say, I hope you know the huge difference your site has made in my life and the life of so many others, including this new life that is now growing inside of me.

New comers, all I can say is don't just read the words of ALL the hall of fame speeches, feel them. They are not made up stories; they are real from real, everyday people, just like you, male and female, young and old. Every one always says, "If I can do it, you can do it", in this case you really can. Start posting and reading QS, and I know this can be your last quit. "It is simple, not easy but it is simple, just don't put that crap in your mouth today."

 
neednomore 20030310 Mom and Dad both smoked, along with an entire slew of Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc... I'm quite certain Mom didn't quit while carrying me, so I guess you could say nicotine was in my blood from the beginning. After I was born of course I was only able to get my nicotine secondhand but heck, there was a lot of it around so I didn't really have to worry about getting my daily dose.

It wasn't until I turned 9 that I really decided "The heck with this second hand business! I want to be in control of my dosing myself!" So I began stealing smokes from Mom and Dad and anyone else I could, I was after all only 9 and I'm sure no one would sell cigarettes to someone so young. My smoking phase didn't last long since it coincided with my older brothers smoking/stealing cigarette phase. Lets just say that older brother set me straight on the ways of smoking ie; if he got nabbed for my thievery again he would knock me senseless. It was shortly thereafter that I was introduced to chewing. Happy Days, raspberry I believe was the flavor. My Buddy said he had no problem buying it so neither should I. And wouldn't you know it, he was right. So by the ripe old age of 12 I was buying Skoal by the roll for a whopping $5.00. Back then this would last me about a month and I was generous enough to share with my Buddy.

Present Day
I am 36 years old and finally threw that shit away and I can agree with what everyone has said about the shame and disgust, the fear and the misery. I truly don't remember how I came across this site I'm just glad I did. I am a lousy poster but a heck of a reader and what I read here kept me on the straight and narrow. THANK YOU! to each and everyone of my fellow Junebugs, everyone of you have touched me in some way and enabled me to KICK THE DEMON'S ASS!!!!!!!

Thank you Matt, you filled a void for people who want to quit and found nothing.

Wow!!!! 100+ days. What a feat indeed!!!!!!

upstate NY
scott a. 20030314 A twenty-four year Skoal habit. I think that's accurate, but I can't recall precisely when I started dipping regularly. I just remember I was already wearing rings in the back pockets of my Levis by the time I bought my first car.

My plan was to quit before I went off to college. Didn't happen. In fact, there was always an eager crowd of guys who would huddle in a tiny dorm room and fill their lips with grave dirt. First would come the can-popping ceremony, and then we would all take the sacrament together. Thinking we were invincible, it never crossed our minds that we were playing Russian Roulette with the dip can, not to mention wasting incredible amounts of time and money. The wasted time--that might be what I regret most about dipping all those years.

It was my firm intention to stop before I got married. Again, I couldn't muster the strength to do it. My wife should be nominated for sainthood for sticking with me through all the failed quits, the midnight runs to the convenience store, and, worst of all, the lies. I lied so many times to my wife, telling her I had quit when I had really only quit for a day or two and then caved. Inevitably, she would catch me a week or a month later staying up after she had gone to bed, lying on the couch with my lip full of that smelly, carcinogenic weed. I would be filled with shame and guilt and vow to really quit "tomorrow."

Once my first child came I knew I would quit. Nope. Second child, nope. Third child? I didn't even slow down. Shortly before I turned 40, I ran into an old college friend. It was not much of a surprise when we both admitted that we still dipped. Gee whiz, twenty years after and we were both still enslaved by that awful addiction.

My quit attempts really heated up after that. I was very determined to quit before I turned 40, and I DID quit...a couple of times for a few days each. I became so fed up that I was earnestly desiring to quit, willing to suffer to do so. I quit in early March, and on the third day of my quit, I got so desperate for help that I punched in something like "dipping skoal, quitting" into Google, and I found QS. I was excited but a little skeptical. After reading posts and articles for a few hours I immediately signed up and came home and told my wife. Sadly, I stumbled on day 10 and had to start over. When I caved, I felt such remorse that I actually wept at the keyboard in front of my wife when I was writing my "cave post." I jumped right back on the horse and have been riding it faithfully for 101 days now. Friends, QS REALLY WORKS. Part of my strategy was to post frequently, and at the 100-day mark, I had posted nearly 400 times. I posted every single day whether or not I "needed to," or whether I had anything to say. (I think I missed two days out of 100).

I have found plenty of support from lots of people. First and foremost, I wish to thank the brains behind QS, Matt van Wyk, for his entrepreneurial spirit and his deep desire to help others throw off the chains of addiction.

Spongebob was the first to respond to my cry for help, and he has been there for me ever since. Other stalwarts such as 4woogie, Quit@50, Breen, LPeeDee, Northcreek, GoingInsane, Gentle Giant, GP, dbbeebs, Garyin Lubbock and woscball have inspired and challenged me daily. My fellow JUNEBUGS have been a huge blessing. Thanks Hope, RJ, mistermagette, neednomore, edbolin, Asok, FedUp, Gryllus, toddy, txsbill, bailey, gooterman, wannabe, Dover, wolf walks softly, webfoot, Wisdom, BoysPromise, Aaron, Copeless, Joehoosier, taycop, Sockfull, mitchw, and Brett.

I am grateful to God for allowing me to find such a supportive and caring environment, and I am greatly enjoying my new freedom. If you are reading this and are a "quitter," keep up the good work! If you are unsure about QS, I urge you to give yourself a break and give it an honest try.

Sincerely,
scott a.

OK
Smooth-Lip 20030316 Well, I finally mustered back the gumption to type my Hall of Fame Speech again. You guys won't believe this but I actually typed an extremely long speech on my 100th day. I was near the very end when my stinking power SURGED and wiped out my speech!!!! It was long. I put a lot of thought into it and shed several tears along the way. Needless to say, I was devastated.

Anyway, I will give a much shorter speech this time around. I am 32 years old now. When I was 13, I took my first dip of Hawken. My cousin offered it to me. It made me nauseated like we all got on our first try, and to be fair, I did not like it very much. I guess stupidity made me try again and again until finally I bought my own can. I never really had a 'habit' back then. A can would last me weeks. I did this off and on, and never really did the stuff much. Somewhere between the age of 15 and 18 I took up chewing tobacco. I chewed red man, lancaster, levi garret, days work, and beech-nut. Again, not really a habit, but more like experimental stupidity. Around 18 or 19 years old, skoal wintergreen came into my life. Myself and a friend made it a common practice to put this stuff in our mouths everytime we were together....which was quite often. This era in my chewing life defined the time when I think I became addicted to snuff. Snuff just had a bigger kick to it than chewing tobacco, it was neater (no sloppy syrupy spit), and cooler because it was in a can.
I dipped that stuff for about 3 years through college. Staying up late studying, cramming for exams, skoal was my engergizing brain battery. During my 4th year of college, I met my challenger, Copenhagen. I bought it when my favorite gas station where I would purchase skoal from was out of skoal. At first I hated the taste of Copenhagen, but I was tempted to press on with it because it did seem much stronger, and actually made me dizzy compared to skoal. Before I knew it, I was buying two cans at a time, sometimes up to four. A lot of story could be told from that point until now, but I'll spare the details. It's all the same lying, hiding, loss of precious time with loved ones which we have all been through. As far as I can remember, I've been dipping at least a can a day of Copenhagen for the last 12 years. Usually I would get into a second can during the same day, and go through at least two cans a day during hunting or fishing trips.

I had it bad. I mean a really bad chewing habit. I would put a fresh wad in my mouth immediately after waking up in the morning to shower and get ready for work. I usually had my second dip of the day before an hour had passed since I woke. I was a chain dipper. I would put a fresh one in every 20-30 minutes. I would always have to manipulate the dip around in my mouth because my lips were so cut-up from the glass they put in it.

I THOUGHT I COULD NEVER QUIT. THIS IS THE SAD LIFE STORY I USED TO HAVE: I was so sure that I would not be able to quit on my own that I actually accepted the idea that I would eventually get cancer and quit only by the order of a doctor. This sounds so stuuuuuuuuuuupid to me now. The addiction I had made me accept such bankrupt logic.

I HOPE A PERSON WHO WANTS TO QUIT READS THIS: I was sure I had the addiction worse than anybody. Anybody and everybody I knew who quit "Did not have it as bad as me," I would think. Well, if you're thinking I was able to quit because I did not love the stuff as much as you do now, you found the right place to help you quit. You need help too.
Deep down inside you really want to quit if you are sitting at your computer reading these hall of fame speeches with that big fat wad in your lip. If you were ignorant and did not want to quit, you'd have been offended by the success stories of the many who have successfully made it through quitting on this site, and you would have exited before getting to this speech.

Now that you're wanting to live a normal life without tobacco again, let me give you one truth about being tobacco free: YOU CAN LIVE A HAPPY LIFE WITHOUT TOBACCO!!! Yes, a long drive in your car is nice without snuff, watching ball games is still fun without it, going fishing is still great without snuff, and whatever else you associate snuff with is still wonderful without it! You, like everyone of us did before we quit, think that you can never enjoy any of the things you now do with snuff in your mouth ever again, if you were to quit. THIS MY FRIEND IS WRONG. The addiction is making you think this.
You never really know how bad you are really addicted to nicotine until you start to give it up. Once you get through the chemical addiction (which is the shortest but hardest part of your quit), the rest is mental. MIND OVER MATTER, one day at a time.
There are many different ways to quit, patches, gum, pills, fake stuff, etc. etc.. I've tried several different ways in the past. The truth is, there is no easy way. Quitting is tough. Very tough. No gum, patch, or prescription is going to let you down easy. So don't waste your time thinking that you're going to "try" to quit and go to the store to buy patches. You must know, it is going to be very difficult, you will want to cave within the first few hours, every other hour, for the first three days. This is real. I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but you must be prepared and know what is going to hit you before you get yourself into this, and mentally prepare yourself for it, or you will probably fail. No pill, patch or gum is going to bail you out of discomfort. Withdrawl hurts, it sucks, you will probably cry, and try and talk yourself into "trying" to quit another time. You will feel this. Know this is going to happen, know it will not last for ever, and know you can make it like everybody in this hall of fame did.
I hope I reach somebody on this. There is no good time to quit other than NOW.

I would like to thank and congratulate all the members of the June Hall of Fame quit group. Even though I did not post much, I knew everyone of you would catch me if I started to fall. I would also like to thank Matt Van Wyk for creating such an excellent quit tool for all of us. Matt, your site made a difference in my life, and I hope you go to bed every night knowing that you are making a difference peoples' lives. Good luck to everyone in quitsmokeless, and remember, we are all just one dip away from a can-a-day habit.

Your Friend,
Smooth-Lip

Katy, TX
Dover 20030318 In the past I often envisioned my death from Copenhagen. It would start with a tight, hard to swallow feeling in my throat, which would lead me to carefully examine my mouth in the mirror. It wasn't me looking back in the mirror, it was some stranger, an addict I didn't know with whom I could never hold eye contact with for long. I would then find a rough leathery spot, grayish white in color at the base of my gums. There would be no pain in my mouth, just this anomaly. Instantly a horrific pit in my stomach would materialize from my most dreaded fear and the cold rivulet of sweat welling from my armpits would reach my waistline. Is this it? What does this mean for my family's future. Then my thoughts would focus entirely on my family - three absolutely beautiful children, all under nine years of age, and a loving and wonderful wife. What have I done to them? I would later be diagnosed with one of the deadliest forms of cancer. I would fight in futile vain, enduring grotesque facial surgeries over the next four to five years. I would become a recluse, never leaving the confines of my own house like some faceless "quasi-moto" without a bell tower, and end my days with the legacy of a suicidal addict. This addiction, and the consequences that came from it, would eclipse all of my life's accomplishments. I would fully understand at that point that chewing was for me, and continues to be for many others, nothing less than a slow, methodical, selfish, idiotic, self-inflicted suicide, hidden behind the vale of lies, all of which I believed.

I lived many times through the first part of that vision, in front of the mirror, with the "cold sweat welling from my armpits" over the past ten years. So far, I'm lucky to not have oral cancer, but I have many more years to rule out that possibility, and finally join the statistical ranks of non-chewers.

But chewing, especially closeted chewing, has robbed me of so much more than simply healthy cells in my mouth, throat, and stomach. For the past ten years I have hidden my habit in shame from everyone I know, even my closest male friends, but especially from my wife and three young children. During that time I have been robbed of time spent with loved ones. I have been robbed of my self dignity. I have been robbed of the trust I have failed to earn from my wife. I have been robbed of a deeper level of communication with my wife. I have been robbed of a portion of my gums and the enamel on my teeth. I have been robbed of well over $12,000 spent on this habit. I have been robbed of my self control and during failed quits in futility, my self worth. I have robbed my self and I have also robbed the people closest to me and some didn't even know it! NO MORE I SAY! I am through with this nasty, self absorbed, shameful, addiction. "I want my old self back!" That is what my mind screamed as I flushed another partially full can of cope down the toilet for the hundredth time - with a wad still in my lower lip. I sent a plea to cyberspace and up comes Matt's site. I was immediately swept into the full embrace of the QS community, with all its support, wisdom, solidarity, and strength. I never want to forget the feeling I had when I first read the posting going on here. It was chilling for me. I was a desperate man in need and too chicken shit to tackle this grim reality of my own making. It is important that I not ever forget that feeling.

Here are the "Cliff Notes" of my story. Not too much different from a hundred other stories we have all read here at QS:

I started chewing late in life relative to most. I had my first dip of Copenhagen while commercial fishing in Alaska on a purse seiner. I think its cool, its funny, it's a joke really. Its different, and its totally NOT me so what can it hurt. I've got a liberal arts education, I'm not a "goat-roper", or resemble anyone "typical" who I associate with chewing, so …. I must have figured, "What the hell, what is one summer working in Alaska burning my lip up with Copenhagen? I'll quit when I get back to the lower 48." Three more Alaska summers pass and I'm a full blown addict now. I get engaged, "I'll quit when I get married." I sneak dip on the honeymoon. (I then begin the vicious cycle of hiding it and getting caught every year or so by my wife. She's understanding and is not hurt by the chewing at all, but the lying just destroys her inside.) "I'll quit for my wife" Another year of chewing goes by. "I'll quit when my first child is born", I sneak dip in the hospital. "I'll quit when by second child is born for sure this time", I'm dipping a week later harder than ever. "I'll quit on New Years, I'll quit on my birthday, I'll quit on my anniversary, I'll quit when I have less stress in my life, I'll quit after I finish building this deck in the yard, I'll quit this New Years, I'll quit??????" blah blah blah!!!!!!. Enough already! My god, I played that mind game for 10 solid years, believing all the Demon's lies, paramount of which is having to find the "perfect time in my life to quit". Note to Quitters: There is no perfect time!

All the while I was becoming more and more secretive about my chewing and more and more addicted by taking huge dips and inventing excuses to be alone. I would pack my mouth in all four corners at time in an attempt to disgust myself out of the habit just before dumping a tin. After failing at every quit I would just elevate the level of my chewing until finally a can a day was common place. I would throw away as much chew as I chewed with hundreds of "moch quits". Just the Demon's way of rationalizing another huge dip, I would eventually come to learn. Toss a can a night and buy one the next morning. Sound familiar anyone?

My wife and I hit a low part in our marriage two years ago because of my lies surrounding this addiction. I had finally committed to quitting through the Dip Stop program and being totally open with my wife. I made it a year without dip and then one day caved thinking I had it licked. I thought one pinch wouldn't hurt and I fell hard. It took a couple weeks of hard dipping before my wife took a swig of spit out of a Starbucks cup in our car! The loss of trust really hurt her. Again, not by the chewing, but by me not telling her that I caved. I quit again for a solid year, cold turkey. I had few hardships quitting this time. Then time blanked out my pain, and somehow I start dipping again. A year off chew for an addict is like a lifetime. The Demon comes sneaking back when all seems well. It will never, ever be all well for me. I now know that I will always be an addict to this poison, an addict who can never have another dip. Many of you reading this will come to learn or already know this cold hard fact, that we are all one dip away from a full-blown addiction again no matter how many years have passed.

Nine months ago I was in total shock at my idiocy at this point after blowing my second year long quit. I threw the can away after one dip, with my knees shaking, and traumatized in disbelief at what I had done. Is that me in the mirror? But the Demon was in me again and I was helpless in a downward spiral. Three day's later "It" bought another tin, it couldn't have been me could it? But sure as hell it was me! The second tin purchased after the initial cave is rationalized by believing the lie that since you have had one dip, the string is broken so you might as well have "one" more and make the most of it. Sound familiar anyone? How many are are still chewing months later after that one dip?

I chewed for six months hard and secretive as ever before. Nobody, not one person I knew caught me in my lies this last fall. I chewed a can a day easily, wasting it with huge dips for short periods of time. I was in a hurry to get rid of my current can so that I could give myself a break from it. Every minute spent alone was spent chewing and avoiding people so they wouldn't interrupt my chewing. If I couldn't find time alone, then I would make it. Driving around the block five times, running errands that didn't need running, going for walks to "clear my head", inventing situations where I could be alone to stuff my mouth with black poison. I committed all the "sins" of a chewer. Typing this is embarrassing as hell, but it just points out the lunacy this addiction can have over one's actions. This is a powerful drug. Why else would we dumpster dive for a can thrown away the day before? Or lie to your loves ones? Litter by throwing tins out the window of cars to avoid getting caught? Or spit in cups in movie theaters? Hide in shame? Burn our eyeballs taking out contacts? Or take the long way home/to work to keep a chew in longer? Or avoid talking to your neighbor? The Junebugs came up with a list of 100 reasons to quit - it was so pathetic to read. What were we all thinking? Or not!

During my last (and final cave) I was chewing fast and furious, hiding better then ever, always keeping a pleasant face on, but all the while sinking deeper into a pit of despair, a pit of lies, a pit and self destruction and shame. I was sinking really low and not only my mouth but my soul was hurting pretty bad when I stumbled upon the QS community one afternoon at work. Oh my god, after reading the posts, I was hooked. Those people are me! I am them! I'm not alone in my horror. Other people are closet dippers too! It has dire effects on other peoples' relationships too? Those who are really ready to quit know this feeling when reading posts for the first time. I was mesmerized in my excitement reading articles and posts by Bluesman, Breen77, Spongebob and others. I quit the next day and introduced myself to the boistrous June group with Asok, Hope, Fed-up, Gooterman, Txsbill, Scotta, MitchW, Baily, rjbengel, Turk, Wisdom, and others who all gave me hope - real hope, 'the kind that springs from knowledge and experience, not wishful thinking'. Junebugs, saying "thanks" is an understatement.

What have I learned about this habit? For you new quitters, here are some observations and insights I have on this addiction that enslaves both men and women, from lawyer to linen driver, from secretary to sewer worker. This addiction that drives a wedge between married couples. This addiction that keeps us all from living a fuller and healthier life. This addiction to a product from hell. Take it or leave it. But I'm going to "pontificate" a bit here, as I have learned, by reading the sagacious posts from our water-filtering friend Spongebob. Look, there are as many ways to quit as there are people. Real success comes deep from within, from the heart, from the soul, from the places of our being that are much a mystery. However, I believe the following can be helpful in promoting the evolution of the successful quitter, and act as arrows in his/her quiver, while they slay their own Demon. QS is full of them. These are the big ones for me.

1. RECOGNIZE THE LIES: Nicotine is unbelievably addictive. Addictive physically, but even more so psychologically. Most of my past failures stemmed from underestimating the power of the drug and how it acts on the pleasure response locals of our brains. The Demon (the addiction) has one main tool it uses to keep the addict hooked. That tool is a constant stream of lies the addict believes. We all know the lies by now. They come in the form of rationalizations to continue our habit. "I'll quit when my I'm married" "I'll really quit when my baby is born" "I will quit when my kid can walk" "I'll quit before my next kid is born" "I'll just have one little dip again" "I'll quit when the price hits four bucks", "I'll just bum one dip, I won't buy a can", "I'm going to chew to get back at my wife for getting mad at me and not understanding the hell I'm going through", "This dip doesn't really count because I'm camping", "I found a can in my friends car, one dip won't hurt", "This stuff isn't that deadly", "I can quit when I want to", "I quit when the price hits five bucks", "the chances of cancer are pretty slim", "my gums aren't receding that bad", and on and on and on. This is all the Demon working his lies and its all bullshit. I could list off pages and pages of them. LEARN TO RECOGNIZE THE LIES AND LEARN ABOUT THIS ADDICTION AND THE HORROR OF THE PRODUCT ITSELF! LEARN WHAT THEY PUT IN CHEW! KNOWLEDGEGE IS POWER OVER THE LIES.

2. FIND OUT WHERE HOPE LIVES (BOTTOM): For most of us addicts we have to hit bottom before we can rebuild ourselves. Look at the length of time that most of us have been chewing tobacco. (For those of you five year or less former chewers, my hat is off to you.) How long did you have to chew before you said enough? Five years? Ten years? Fifteen, Twenty, More? It took me thirteen years of chewing and many failed attempts at quitting to finally realize this Demon was just to big for me to go at alone. I was beginning to hate my self for living the lie, my mouth was really starting to ache, my energy was low, my bank account was low, and the dark cloud over me, was starting to poison my marriage more and more. To hit bottom you have to start wanting to quit! If you love chewing, and have never given quitting a second thought, then bottom is a long way away. Finding bottom will often mean going through many failed quit attempts, but you learn a little bit from each one and you truly come to grips with the scope of the battle that must be waged. Bottom is a nasty place, BUT. . . . . it is a place where hope resides too. Hope, one of the three Christian theological virtues, is defined as "…being directed exclusively toward the future, as fervent desire and confident expectation". What an appropriate mindset for the quitter to get into! Hope is terra firma. It gives the quitter something solid to push off from to get back up to the top. Visualize swimming out of a dark well back to the surface - you will reach air faster if you push off the bottom first. That is why you must…..

3. NEVER QUIT QUITTING: Most of us will fail (or have failed) at quitting many, many times. This is the price we pay in order to learn just how powerful the addiction is. Every failure we grow a little wiser and stronger. For me it was about 300 mind-game quits which lasted a day or two, 40-50 quits which lasted 3-10 days (a bit more serious) and two quits which lasted over a year! All ended in failure, but all, when coupled with QS, have given me the tools to confidently face my Demon head on now. This has been the most confident quit I have ever gone through. I was dipping hard up to the day I found QS, and my resolve was so strong that I really did not have cravings and side effects like in the past - and this was a cold turkey quit with no aids other the QS. Sure I think about it every day, but they have just been thoughts and nothing more. I think more about the people in QS than me wanting a dip. I feel as though I've paid my dues for my ticket to freedomville and it is because I never gave up and kept coming back to fight the good fight and I've slowly learned how to quit.

4. UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE ONE DIP AWAY FROM TOTAL ADDICTION AGAIN. This will be mentioned endlessly here in QS, and I cannot stress how true this is. My Demon may be in hiding, but It can, and no doubt will, come back any time. One dip and you will go back to the bottom. I always thought I could handle one dip, but one dip turns into another and another and before you know it you are back to ground zero swimming in the soup of lies. The rationalizations come in the form of "I wonder if my lip will burn after not doing it for so long?" or "will it buzz the hell out of me like the first time?" or "One dip is not an addiction". I truly hope that I have learned this lesson for good. The tag line for many of my posts was "In this life I am but a house of cards. Just one dip and I will go down". The QS community has given my house of cards a good shot of glue, but I am truly one dip away from a full blown chewing frenzy and will be forever. And so are most of you reading this.

5. RECOGNIZE WHEN YOU ARE PLANNING YOUR CAVE: This is a common theme for many and was especially true for me many occasions. All of my failures in quitting, especially after going over a week or more, came from "planning" to cave. Deep in the far reaches of our dark side, we actually will plan out a set of circumstances that will allow us to fall victim to the Demon again. It may be a long road trip, a camping trip with "the boys", the wife/partner going out of town for the weekend, the in-laws coming for a visit, a stressful project coming up at work, or whatever. You will know you are going to cave, often a couple days, sometime weeks, before you do it. You start to consciously plan for it without even recognizing what your brain is doing! It is like your being drawn in to this black hole and you have no control over it. BUT YOU DO!! When this happens come to QS and post and get accountable again. Talk about these thoughts with people. Remember, there are many steps we all must take before chew lands between our cheek and gum. You must make the decision to chew weeks, days, or hours before you do, you must check your wallet for money, drive or walk to a store, ask the teller for dip, open the can, and then finally stuff a big turd in your mouth. You just have to break the chain of events anywhere along the line prior to the poison entering your mouth. The sooner the better, because if it gets to the point where you are firing up the car to head to the Quickie-Mart its usually way too late.

6. LET QS WORK ITS MAGIC - READ AND POST: For me, the QS community has been the difference. The respect and dignity everyone gives this site is truly amazing. Its a bunch of people with diverse socio-political-economic backgrounds, all focused on helping each other out with a shared problem. If only all of the Middle East chewed there might be hope for lasting peace! These were people who truly understood what I was going through. That was important to me and made me feel not so alone. Also being able to help others is a major part of being able to help myself, and I feel the backbone of my success. Humanity is all connected in deep and mysterious ways to itself through millions of years of evolution. We are compelled to help others when the circumstances are right. But why do we do this? It could be that we do this for selfish reasons - to help ourselves. I'll scratch your back if your scratch mine. It could also be the Devine working through us, showing us how to be selfless. Whatever the reason, I do believe strongly that by helping others we give our lives a better sense of purpose. To give back. Just like Emerson described in his famous poem titled "Success", where success was defined by leaving the world a little better place than you found it, even if that meant simply teaching a child to read, coaching a team, planting a community garden, raising a healthy productive child, or simply helping another a by random act of kindness. One example of the bond humanity has to itself is the phenomenon of total strangers risking their lives for someone they don't know. People running into burning buildings to help strangers, soldiers exposing themselves to mortal danger to save another, or a man pulling a suicide jumper off a bridge and almost going over himself not able to let go! - these stories are common and often involve everyday people with kids and families depending on them! Why would they risk their own life for a stranger? When asked why they did it, the answer is often "I just could not let go" or "I had to do it" or "I don't know why, I just did, it came from within". I believe that QS taps into a part of this powerful, human connection - this bond all of humanity has to itself. It is by helping others that we give ourselves the strength and power to help ourselves. Like everyone says when welcoming a new member in Roll Call - "Read and Post. Read and Post. Read and Post". Then, after you have some days or weeks under your belt, go and help someone up who is having a hard time and see what that does for your own psyche. See how that adds to your own resolve in the quit process. It's powerful stuff.

At this point I am humble with the knowledge I have. I know Copenhagen is an incredibly powerful drug that can manipulate my head in not easily understood ways. I know it is only 100 days, and I have been here before on two separate occasions only to fail. But I can honestly say that there is something different about me this time. There is something that feels very final in my letting go of my love affair with chew for good. I am joyous in my newfound vantage point and so looking forward to settling down in Freedomville. Life is so much better now in countless ways without hiding and planning everything around dipping. It is like this huge cloud has lifted off me.

To everyone here at QS, thank you all for saving my life. Thank you Matt for creating this forum! I'm donating a portion of what I saved in hopes that your site will always be around as long as UST keeps manufacturing a product that destroys lives and there are addicts want to free themselves from its addictive grip.

Sorry this is so longwinded. Keep your eye on the prize everyone. I hope my story can give to those not able to see the light a little more strength and resolve in the quit process. Knowing your not alone will help. If you really want to quit, take it from me, you can. - YOU CAN QUIT!! USE QS.ORG. AND NEVER QUIT QUITTING. IT'S YOUR LIFE. IT IS YOUR CHOICE! CHOOSE LIFE.

I'll be posting less often, but I will still be around and for sure anytime the Demon comes a knocking at my door. I will also be stopping in to throw in my two bits for a newcomer. Now, I sign off by putting my real first name in front of my screen name - now the Demon can kiss my ass goodbye for life. I'm done with dip and I am through with you!

Ben "Dover"
Portland, OR

"In this lifetime I am but a house of cards. One little dip and I will go down"

Portland, OR
Wannabe 20030321 I found QS about a day after quitting. At first, it seemed a little too much like the stereotypical Alcoholics Anonymous for me with people talking about "the demon" and such. Everyone was talking like an addict and I didn't really consider myself an addict, I just had a habit I wanted to quit. "After all, I'm not like them, I've already managed to taper down my use to about a can every two weeks", I thought. When I did quit, I still suffered from cravings as bad as if I had been using a can a day. So I came back to QS desperately hoping to get some kind of help. As I read, I finally understood that these people are just like me and have gone or are going through the same things. And what do you know, IT WORKED!!! I know now, that I couldn't have successfully quit without QS.

My (so far successful) quit started from a health scare. I had an infection in one of my salivary glands that caused some swelling and quite a bit of pain. Before going to the doctor, I was worried that it was cancer. It took that scare to make me realize my flawed thinking. You can't just say "Oops, I guess I dipped too long, well, I promise never to dip again" and have the cancer just go away. Idiotic as it seems, that is what I guess I was thinking on a sub-conscious level. I had never thought about it realistically until the infection. Cancer does not offer a "second chance". A lot of people probably think that they'll quit before they have problems or when they start getting symptoms that lead to cancer. However, that is usually not the case. How many times have you left the doctor's/dentist's office thinking "Wow I really dodged a bullet that time" and then continue to stuff dip in your mouth? How many chambers do you think are empty in that gun you're holding to your head? I wish there was a way to make everyone who uses or even tries spit tobacco to truly think about the question: "What will you do WHEN you get cancer?"; to have them understand the pain, disfigurement, and possible death they will face from their careless actions.

I would like to thank the QS community, all of the Junebugs in my quit group, and especially Matt van Wyk for creating QS. I am sorry, fellow Junebugs, for not naming everyone specifically, but rest assured, if you ever posted in the June 2003 HOF Class, then you most definitely were helping me. Thanks everyone!

Denver, CO
Garyin Lubbock 20030328 Today I consider myself the luckiest man in the world....I know I am not the first to make that statement but I do believe it is true. Because with the help of the men and women on QS I have quit for the last time. To everyone thank you and God Bless all of you. I started dipping in the spring of 1978 and quit in the spring of 2003 (25 years). The reason I quit was simple however the quit was not. I have always coached my son's baseball teams and this spring my son began High School play; at one of the practices I saw some of the kids sneaking dips I knew at that moment I had to quit. I always knew I would have to quit for my son but I just never thought the day would get here. When we got home from practice I ask God to help me and I threw the can away. With God's help and the help of Matt and the fine men and women on this site I have quit.
To everyone one on QS... God Bless and Thanks.
Lubbock, TX
dbbeebs 20030402 I started chewing back on the wrestling squad. They used it to lose weight before matches. I never had to worry about my weight very much, but I was in solidarity with my fellows.

My four years at college included Skoal. I hadn't found out the joy of its big brother, Copenhagen. I moved into the submarine service where I continued to use. A dentist who happened to be a Navy Captain almost strangled me in the dental chair due to the leukoplakia in my mouth. I switched immediately to Cope and took up smoking seriously. For "health reasons" (ha!) in 1984, I quit smoking.

In 2002, I switched to a new UST product "Red Seal Fine Cut Natural." Deadlines for quitting continued to pile up and slide by. One faithful day in March 2003, I decided that I wouldn't buy any more Red Seal and go "cold turkey."

It worked. Knock on wood.

Here are my hints of success:

1. Don't carry a lot of money around. If possible, make it so you have to go to an ATM before buying it. That should stay the craves.

2. Don't go to stores where it is sold. I use pay at the pump to keep out of gas stations.

3. Realize that you are quitting for yourself, and not for anyone else. You have to pit yourself against the demon Nicotine.

4. In my previous quits, the psychological emptiness was terrible, and I resumed chewing to squelch it. Now I am on Wellbutrin, which has a small "peppy" effect for some people and makes quitting easier.

5. I've traveled to "whyquit.com" (a 'quit links' site) for additional information. The site is positioned for smokers, but there are many helpful hints.

Here are some URLs I have found useful. The QS links have plenty of info also.

Info on Vitamin A and beta-carotene. vitamin A info
Info on green and black teas (Polyphenols) Nonclassic Antioxidants
I'm of the opinion that heavy vitamin A in the form of lemon flavored cod liver oil and drinking both green and black (my favorite) tea cannot hurt and probably help a quitter's mouth health.

I found quitsmokeless.org about 25 days into my quit, and it has made all the difference.

You can never have another dip. Not one. Not even for old time's sake.

CA
jmac 20030407 I began dipping Skoal Longcut Wintergreen as a high school senior with the rest of the guys after school. It was only one dip a day back then and the year was 1991. I knew the ill-effects of smokeless tobacco at the time but felt this invincibility to the demon. Hell, I had read plenty of magazine articles and had heard countless speeches from my parents about the dangers of cigarettes and smokeless. I damn well knew better but I loved the stuff.

My habit grew stronger in college when half of the fraternity had a can. It was the pledges' duty to bring a log of skoal to the house at the beginning of every day. Soon thereafter, I was dipping after breakfast and as soon as I got back to the house after class. I would dip all day and night whether I was studying or out at the bars drinking. Although I was smart enough to realize the dangers of smokeless, I didn't give quitting much thought in college for several reasons: 1. everyone was dipping and I hadn't seen any ill-effects 2. i promised myself I'd quit after college and 3. immaturity.

After graduation from college, I decided to enter law school. I promised myself that if I got accepted, I'd quit and start fresh. Did I quit? No, but I would quit after I graduated. That didn't happen either. I would quit when I got married (May 4, 2002).........not a chance. I was dipping as much as ever and was so wrapped up in the demon's lies, I barely thought about quitting. I'd always hear others telling me that I needed to quit and while I'd always agree, I never really considered it seriously.

Why did I finally give up the demon for good? There are several reasons:
First and foremost, I wanted to quit for myself. The fear of cancer or losing my face was a huge motivating factor as were several others. I was tired of waking up and being a slave to the demon. I would always put one in right after breakfast (a habit I learned in college) and keep one in continuously the rest of the day. It was a constant in the back of my head. When can I put my next one in? I was tired of walking around Wal-Mart or other stores with a dip in swallowing the juice just because I had to have one. I was tired of meeting with clients and having to use a spittoon in front of them. (very unprofessional) I was tired of office workers seeing my disgusting habit. I was embarrassed having to put one in every night after dinner in front of my wife "just to get my fix". I was tired of individuals saying, "i think you have something in your teeth" when I knew damn well it was a speck of grave dirt.
Second, I wanted to quit for my wife and future children. Although my wife didn't ride me very hard for it, she would bring up quitting with me every now and then. In college, she didn't understand the severity of my addiction, but she did now and it was embarrassing for me. Also, I do not want to raise children with a wad of crap between my lip and gum. I certainly don't want them to grow up thinking dipping is ok. Finally, I wanted to quit before I was thirty. I feel like I have matured enough to realize what I was doing was going to cause serious health problems if I continued. Those are merely passing thoughts when you are in high school are college but become much more real the older you get.

Was it difficult to quit? Of course, but can one quit and stay quit.......ABSOLUTELY. For proof look at the very successful individuals on this website. Most of the individuals who are members of this site did not think it was possible to quit and stay quit ever in their life.....myself included. The demon is a tough thing to control but once you begin to control him instead of him controlling you, you'll be on your way to freedom. The first several weeks are hard but the more time you separate yourself from nicotine, the easier life becomes until you eventually forget about dip...but, you have to want it. The desire to quit has to come from within. I set a goal of two weeks to go without dip and once I completed that I continued my goal of 100 days as I found this site on the second day of my quit. I can't say enough about the support I have received since I began posting and you will find the same support.

Finally, I would like to thank all of my Freedom Fighter Brothers. The list is too long to name everyone but you were all inspirational as evidenced by my quit. Also, a big thanks to the Junebugs who came before us. There were several 'bugs who gave great advice when I was on my first couple of weeks. Also, thanks to everyone who posts in Roll Call. There is always something to be learned. And thanks for creating this site, Matt. It has truly made a difference in my life.

John McKay

Baton Rouge, LA
wallygcf 20030409 I'm holding back the emotions as best I can while I think and write this. It has been an amazing journey of introspection, sharing, caring about others and knowing that others with the same addiction care about me. Wow.

There have been some excellent HOF speeches recently, and Dover's pretty well says it all. I recommend it highly, and won't even try to put into my own words what he and others have said so well in terms of advice. My advice is to take some time to read those speeches, if you are in mid quit or thinking about quitting, or just need a jolt to keep going. There is a ton of wisdom and truth recorded here.

I have dipped for at least 36 years, and only had a couple of quits with any degree of 'success'. One of the strangest was when I went to Australia with my wife and two kids in 1990. I knew from talking with people from my company who had been there that they don't sell dip in Australia. (At least not then, either it's way regulated and taxed, or else UST missed the boat.) So I went with a couple cans and figured when I run out, I run out. Of course, when the the craves hit I went to the tobacconist or whatever in hell they call the store, hoping against hope they had some of my stuff. Nope. They did have some cut plug of some sort, but it must have been on the shelf for a year. The damned clerk says 'Ya know, that bloody shit's bad for ya healt', mate'. I'm standing in the middle of the world's highest beer and cigarette consumption country per capita, and this clown's giving me the health lecture! Go figure...

So we made it through the craves and sweats and rages and making everyone around me miserable stage. Got home and did pretty well for a couple months even. Then the little dip demon bastard sitting on my shoulder says, 'You know, you can't be proud of quitting the way you did. You didn't really display any true fortitude or character or will power. Hell, you couldn't quit until you created this phony situation where you were clear away from it and couldn't do anything about it. You didn't quit because you wanted to, but just because you couldn't get it!!' So I listened to him, agreed wholeheartedly, and went and bought a can. Tried to hide it and lie about it for a while, but you all know how well that works.

Now I know that he's gonna try pulling the same kinda thing on me pretty soon. I can just hear him saying, "Well! So you had to have computers, the Internet, and QuitSmokeless.org to help you this time. What kinda phony quit is that? You just can't do this on your own can you?" And I will tell him it's the best quit in the world for me -- because it works. To Hell with him literally. If I followed his sort of twisted logic, my quit wouldn't count unless I did it buck-ass naked in Antarctica or something. Another thing he forgot to include in the quit formula for me in particular is the support I've received through my faith, my family's prayers, and the prayers of friends. I haven't done this on my own, no way. We commonly refer to the demon, and we each place our own meaning on that definition. For me, the existence of the product, my addiction, the voices and cravings -- those are all manifestations of Evil which truly do belong in the Hell they were banished to long ago. My Savior Jesus Christ has become my even more personal Savior because of this experience. It is not written anywhere that we have to quit on our own, cold turkey - or it doesn't count. That's just another of the demon's lies.

I wasn't ready for the emotions involved with just being part of this group. People who 'shouted' personally to me when I needed it most. People who I'd communicated with who struggled and caved, and I felt so powerless to help. The silver lining of seeing and learning how nastily creative we can be when planning a cave. Now we are all that much more watchful, and know when cave planning is sneaking into our own heads. I still struggle with my own feelings when I see some posters who can't seem to stay quit for more than a few days. At first, I was not very supportive but today my heart goes out to them. Don't give up!!

Thank you Matt van Wyk. I only hope that somehow, someway, I can be as influential for good in someone else's life as you have been in mine by providing this site and overseeing it's growth. It is truly remarkable what is being accomplished here. Thank you, each person on here who has shouted to me and let me know that I matter to them. I am truly humbled. Thank you to my long suffering wife - I am so blessed.

NO DIP TODAY!!
Wallygcf (Tom)

Centennial, CO
Mark G. 20030102 I just stumbled across the site, and I wish I had known about it sooner. I am at 197 days of freedom, and I could sure have used this kind of support to help me through the first 30 days! Here's my story for what it's worth:

I started dipping as a sophomore in high school (1984) as a result of peer pressure, the self-perceived need to lose some weight, and to get the buzz I got when I first tried the stuff. Before I quit, I would dip as soon as I got up in the morning and right before I got into bed at night. I could associate dipping with every single thing I did— eating, cutting the grass, watching a movie, lifting weights, driving, golfing, vacationing, etc. I had a dip in my mouth most of the time that I was awake. After almost 20 years of having tobacco dictate my life, I am now free (praise the Lord!) I am still leaning heavily on nicotine gum, but I am a whole lot happier having taken the dip from my life. I feel as though I am now living instead of waiting anxiously to learn that I am about to die.

That feeling of waiting to learn that I am about to die was my main motivation for quitting. Another significant motivation to quit was my 2 year-old daughter whom I want to see go to school and to her prom and graduate and get married, etc.; and a new baby on the way in November. Thinking of not being able to teach my children to talk (because I would someday have lost my tongue) or not walk my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day broke my heart. Having children changes a person in amazing ways, and my newly found dedication to quit is among them for me.

I have always exercised daily, I eat well, I am successful in my career, I have a college degree, I am a CPA, and I am a member of MENSA. I have a fantastic wife, a few great friends, plenty of close siblings (I am the youngest of eleven), my parents are still alive and healthy. I own a fairly large house, two nice cars, and I have most of the things I could want. By most standards, I had a pretty good life going--and I was slowly throwing it all away every time I dipped. I still have a lot of anxiety about discovering someday that I have cancer as a result of dipping, but at least now I am not increasing my risk every day.

I hope that sharing my motivations to quit after being addicted for so long will help at least one other person to quit. Thanks to the HOF for all of the people that it has helped and will help beat what I think is the toughest addiction to break.

 
REES 20030414

"Two little mice fell into a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn't quit, he struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out."

As of today, I am that second mouse.

The decision to quit an addiction is very much like a little mouse deciding to jump into a "bucket of cream." To "churn the cream into butter" requires hard work, perseverance, and courage over a long period of time, but in time, the little mouse will be able to crawl out of the bucket to freedom.

As of today, I proclaim my freedom.

I decided, 100 days ago to jump in the bucket, knowing full well that every jump I made in the last 9 years was an abysmal failure ending much like the fate of the first mouse; drowned in the thick cream. This final quit was different. Different in that I jumped in the bucket along with a whole community of similarly thinking mice, and together we struggled together to churn the cream into butter. Together, with the help of others in this online community and with some testicular fortitude of my own, I have earned my freedom from this horrible addiction and climbed out of the bucket.

The Roots Of My Addiction

9 years old:

Growing up, my favorite cousin chewed tobacco. He could pop a wheelie on a motorcycle for two miles, had a keen sense of style, drove a fast car, and was by all measures "COOL." He looked cool chewing tobacco. Sometimes I would walk around with my tongue sticking out my lower lip so I could look cool too. Once, I found a discarded can of his chewing tobacco that had some tobacco remnants still caked to the walls. To appease my curiosity, I pinched a small amount of the dark dirt-like substance off the wall of the can, chewed it up and swallowed it. After the fact I was very nauseated and light headed. I remember rolling down the grassy hill in the front yard and feeling puzzled at the strange sensation. My curiosity had been quenched for the time being, and as fate would have it, it would be 10 years before I would once again pinch out the dirt-like substance into my mouth.

19 years old:

Six of my best friends and I were renting a house in Peoria, IL. We decided to exercise our mature right to purchase tobacco, so we set aside Thursday night to be "Tobacco Night." Once a week we would go to a local tobacco store and purchase tobacco items of interest. We experimented by purchasing cigars, clove cigarettes, regular cigarettes, plug tobacco, and chewing tobacco. We had no idea that tobacco Thursdays would soon be tobacco EVERY day. We had no idea that almost a decade later all of us would still be struggling with a deadly life-long addiction that started as a recreational Thursday night activity. My tobacco of choice was chewing tobacco, because that's what I associated with being "cool." Well let me tell you, by the time I began college, graduated, started working for a prestigious accounting firm in Chicago, there was NOTHING cool about my addiction. Every time I had an alone opportunity, I would sneak a dip. Driving, working on the computer, watching movies, just to name a few, needed to be done while chewing. Even leaving the house revolved around tobacco, I would check to make sure I had my keys, wallet, phone, and dip. I always knew exactly how much dip I had left in the can and would plan accordingly so I wouldn't experience the dreaded moment of "running out." The kinds of things I would do just to get more chewing tobacco was pathetic . . . I once drove over an hour just to get a can. I was addicted. I had become a dipper.

26 years old:

Being a dipper means many things. The meaning can take many forms for different people, but for me, it meant living in shame, lying to my friends and family, an elevated blood pressure and resting heart rate, not to mention all the disgusting byproducts of the addiction such as bottles and cups strewn about the house filled with puddles of my own saliva. My girlfriend hated my addiction and refused to be around me when I was dipping . . . and you know what . . . it didn't matter to me, the worm dirt took precedence over my loving girlfriend's company. The examples are endless as to the power and depth of this addiction. For those of you reading this that are addicted, or are trying to quit, I know your pain and empathize with each step of your struggle. So what was it that made me finally decide to quit? I had always desired to be free of the addiction, but this time there were some surrounding circumstances that led to my success. Several weeks before I started my quit, a non-addicted friend said to me, "Aaron, I think you shouldn't dip anymore." It was a very simple statement that I had heard a million times before from many different people, but this time it resonated to my core. I thought of him saying it over and over. I was in a dismal state of health. In five years, my once lean frame of 180lbs had expanded to a corpulent 237lbs. My self esteem was at an all time low. After all I was a chubby guy who dipped. What a terrible combination. My friend was right, "I shouldn't dip anymore." I also concluded that I needed to overhaul my health. I was done with my life of vice. I AM done with my life of vice. So on April 14th, 2003 I began to churn the cream to butter. Today, 100 days later, 38 lbs lighter, I am free.

The Secret To My Success

For those who are planning to quit or are quitting currently, this section is intended for you. Sadly, there is no easy way to break a deep addiction. Within this website you will find as many strategies to quit as there are quitters. And here in the Hall of Fame you will find great ideas from each success story. I will share some of the strategies that worked for me in the hope that you might find some of them helpful and / or inspirational:

Health overhaul:

Make your quit part of a complete health overhaul. Set yourself up with a good exercise plan, eating plan, and stick to it. The exercise and change in diet do wonders for the wicked cravings you will face. I limited my caloric intake to 1500 calories per day, drank at least one gallon of ice water per day, and worked out for 30 min. at least 3 times per week. The exercise in particular is a great remedy for cravings. I lost 38 lbs during my quit. You can too.

Use this site (Quitsmokeless.org):

The resources contained within this site are virtually endless. Here you will find great articles and wisdom, and best of all will meet others who are at many different stages in his or her quit. Articles I found particularly helpful were Spongebob Mantra by Spongebob, Getting out of Dipville by goodbyecope, What Price to Save Ourselves? by Spongebob, Contract to Give Up by Hope, The Secret of Our Success by Bluesman, among others. Print them out, post them all over your house, keep copies in your wallet, whatever it takes to remind yourself of the goals you have set out to accomplish.

Follow the quit posts of one of the members in the Hall of Fame from day one to current; this quitter should be someone with whom you relate. For me, spongebob and bluesman wrote in such a way that I was able to glean many of the strategies and wisdom that contributed to my success in this final quit.

You will here this a million times on the board: Read, Read, Read, and Post, Post, Post. Post every single day; as GP, a fellow quitter said recently, "it doesn't matter if you crawl on your belly whining the whole way." You are in good company here, and no one will ever tell you that you are whining too much. Quitting is a tough business and the QS is the office with which to conduct that business. So whine if you need to, crow about your successes, support others, just get involved with the site and post away.

Most importantly, support others. Bluesman said it best, "Your pride simply will not allow you to offer support and advice on how to quit with a mouthful of chewing tobacco!" Also, to support others also means, making a donation to Matt van Wyk, the moderator of this site at sometime during your quit. If this site helps save your life, ensure it is around for all those who will follow in your footsteps.

Reduce / Eliminate Triggers:

Eliminate as many triggers as you can. This means lay off the drinking, avoid road trips, keep away from video games, etc. during the initial stages of your quit. You will be able to enjoy these things again, but in the delicate beginning, set yourself up for success. Give yourself no choice but to succeed.

Get a substitute:

Find your non-addictive substitute. For many on the board, nicotine free smokeless chew does the trick. My first choice was a bag of David's Sunflower Seeds and plenty of chewing gum. I kept these items in the car and used them as needed. After two or three weeks I didn't feel the need to use them anymore. Eventually, you will not need these substitutes, but in the mean time use away, do whatever it takes, just don't dip.

Advertise your quit:

Tell your friends and family of your final quit. These are the people who are going to help keep an eye on you and provide additional support along the way. Just be patient with them and realize that they don't really know what you are going through. For most people, the thought is, "just quit, dipping is a disgusting habit anyway." Non-dippers will oversimplify the task, so don't take his or her trivialization of your process to heart.

Embrace the new you:

Remember that for most of us, we have become dippers, and as dippers, we have to be prepared to leave our old dipping self behind and redefine who we are. This is much more difficult than it sounds. For many, this is one of the most destructive psychological aspects of the quit. Depression can set in quickly because of this phenomenon. Wellbutrin (Zyban) is a great way to combat this depression. Talk to your doctor to see if this solution is right for you. Welcome the new you and be sure to incorporate new healthy habits into your life. The new me is an athletic dude who eats in moderation and is completely drug free, not a bad trade.

Future Thoughts / Special Thanks

Perhaps the greatest side effect of this quit is the skill set you will learn along the way. You can use this skill set to "reinvent" yourself in 100 day segments. Improving your career, relationships, etc. are all areas for improvement in the future and are fair game for your new skills. Just plan to take it slow, don't spread yourself too thin, and remember, take it one task at a time. If you can beat this addiction, know that, you can do anything you set your mind to.

So many people have been an integral part of my success, if I forget anyone, a million apologies . . .

Thanks so much to those folks who stopped by the July 2003 Hall Of Fame, quit group. Your experience and wisdom provided the much needed boost along the way. I personally have been touched at some point or another by scott a., Asok (thanks for all the extended weekend support, you seemed to always be there when there was a need), Dover (you are an inspiration), FedUp (who has on more than one occasion clogged Matt's server with his deluge of great posts), Hope (your thoughtfulness and caring has touched all areas of the QS, and it has not gone unnoticed), all the Junebugs (for setting the bar for future quit groups to come), rjbengel, spongebob (your articles are so inspirational and thanks for giving us the great lexicon builder, vasovasotomy (sp)) , sodapop, Steve (legendary), Tribefan, quitat50 (your essay on redefining one's self during the quit was very eye opening), Txsbill (your humor is one in a million!), Reidar, erikasdad, Breen77, (my Aurora neighbor, I hope we're still on for beer and brats), Mallowguy (I sincerely appreciate your time and web space devotion, you gladly offered us many tracking tools along the way which made the quit that much more fun), mistermagette, clubberlang, Hunter, GoingInsane (You were the first to welcome me to the QS, where the tongue goes, wisdom follows), northcreek, gentle_giant, McRae, Webfoot, djc, Red Dawn, MAKodiak, BoysPromise, Cam (thanks for the welcome), ddgrmchrgr (you were the second person to welcome me to the QS. Thanks for helping open the door). Finally, bluesman, my self appointed mentor, your words helped save my life, and for that I am forever grateful.

And to my brothers and sisters with me in the trenches the whole way . . . all of you in the July 2003 Hall Of Fame, the FREEDOM FIGHTERS, I couldn't have done it without you . . . .

GP - You kept the fires burning in the FF'er forum when times were lean, and were (are) a true inspiration to the community!

dbbeebs - never longwinded, but always on track, thanks for all the great research surrounding our quit.

caseD - my quit buddy, thanks for the emergency IM sessions when times were rough.

Yuckmouth - I can't wait for the post HOF name change.

Eliasone - fellow Rush fan, your veteran advice was such a huge help along the way.

Wallygcf - Da old man with the plan. j/k your sense of humor always lightened my day.

Garyin Lubbock - The oldest remaining member of the group. Thanks for teaching us newbies the ropes.

jmac - There 'til the end, I'm proud to have gone through the quit with you.

Woodworker - you succeeded in building the deck, and more importantly, in quitting tobacco. Thanks for your support along the way.

Jayhawk - Your many contributions to the FF'ers never went unnoticed. Keep up the good work.

Dulouz - I'm glad you are still keeping with your quit. I will see you in the HOF soon.

Ishamael - You're back on track and for that I commend you. Thanks for sharing some fine thoughts along the way.

And to the rest of the Gang, skippy, Mavirc102, Tripper, bbbarney, Harvey8125, aharvey, and blingbling, I won't forget your support and great company.

Most importantly, Matt van Wyk, the quitsmokeless.org moderator and overlord, you are the spark that spawned this beautiful, life-saving community. Your vision and hard work is helping so many people, every day. Know that, you have made a difference in my life.

I wish I had more time to give each member the recognition he or she deserves . . . a single line does not sum up any one of you, many apologies to that end.

Lastly, to my friends and family, Caryn, Quad Weaver, Full Price, Edwards, Billy Boy, Kent, Mom, Dad, and Sis. Thanks for living with my foul habit for so many years and loving me despite my faults. It is in part for all of you that I have mustered the strength to succeed in this quit.

This Speech has ballooned far beyond my intention . . .

I am just so happy, because today, I am that second mouse.

Aaron W. Rees

Chicago, IL
Eliasone 20030415 This is my second visit to the HOF. I went 123 days my first attempt before caving. This is my second and LAST visit to the HOF! I have learned many things on my two journeys.

First - The importance of this site. I truly believe that had I posted when I was really struggling, that I would not have caved in the first place. Reading, posting, and sharing are the ways we are able to cope, subdue, and get past craves, dip rage, fog, etc. Quitsmokeless has become a family unto it's own. I have shared many things with my March brethren and sister, and have also shared a lot with the July Freedom Fighters (that I'm so proud to be apart of). Support is where it's at and Quitsmokeless delivers like no other alternative I have ever tried. Like many of you, I have tried and failed countless times in my sixteen years of chewing. QS has gotten me through.

Second - Knowing my triggers. What makes me chew? What situations do I like/need/crave a dip during? Knowing these things is KEY to staying away from caves. Also, knowing that this habit WILL KILL ME EVENTUALLY went a long ways, especially my second time.

Third - I kept the motto "What are you going to do today?" which mainly refers to Spongebob's mantra. Not chewing is a concious decision we make everyday. I chose to cave when I did. I had many times during that cave where I could have stopped. I didn't have to put the dip in my mouth. I didn't have to buy a can of Skoal. I didn't have to get in my car and go to the 7-11. I chose to do all those things, and thus, caved. This time, however, I have chosen NOT TO SUCCUMB. I have chosed LIFE OVER DEATH. I have chosen FREEDOM OVER THE DEAMON. I have chosen to BE WITH MY WIFE longer. I have chosen to WATCH MY FOUR DAUGHTERS GROW UP. I have chosen to DEFY. I have chosen....

Simply put, I do not chew. I will not chew. I won't ever chew. If I do, I die. It may not be for a couple of months, a couple of years, or a couple of decades, but it WILL KILL ME eventually.

To those of you that have caved: DON'T STOP QUITTING!!! You can overcome this!!!

Enough on that. QS is a godsend. Matt, I would like to personally thank you for what you have done to so many people's lives. Without this site, many would still be trudging along in the darkness that is dip addiction.

I would also like to thank my March brethren and sister and the July Freedom Fighters. You all know who you are. We have shared so much together. I thank you for being there to pick me up when I fell and welcoming me back to QS.

Spongebob, Breen77, 4Woogie, Northcreek, 4Mallow, Steve, Jrad, Quit@50, FO3, Bryce, and all the other oldtimer's. THANK YOU!!! You provide real inspiration to all the new quitters. I enjoy still reading your posts. You have really been pillars of QS.

Lastly, I would like to thank my wonderful wife Kathi and my four daughters; Brianna, Ashley, Kiah, and Katie. Without your love and understanding, I wouldn't be here. Kathi, without you I would be lost forever. Thank you for all your continued support. I'm sorry it took 16 years, but I'm not going back. :)

Sorry to ramble. God Speed to all of you in your journeys.

Scott (Eliasone)

P.S. The DUCK still lives!!!

Loveland, CO
DoneInCO 20030425

I am free

I am free and no longer have to cower for a dip.
I no longer sit in a baking car during lunch to have a chew.
I no longer return from a shopping trip prematurely to have a chew.
I no longer skip a meal with friends to dip by myself.
I no longer drive around aimlessly just to dip.
I no longer buy a coke just to empty the bottle.
I no longer go to the gas station EVERY day.
I no longer use the toilet 6 times a day.
I no longer hide in my hotel room during business trips.
I no longer have an absolutely disgusting car that I won't let anyone ride in.
I no longer spend $150/mo on chew.
I no longer am afraid of my dentist.
I no longer run from store to store on a Sunday night looking for chew.
I no longer have dip rage.
I no longer have rotten mouth.
I no longer fill up the entire garbage can with tins when cleaning out my car.
I no longer clean sludge cups out.
I no longer skip plans to excercise because I couldn't chew.
I no longer eat fast food instead of 'real' food because it gave me more time to dip.
I no longer avoid co-workers to have a chew.
I no longer avoid friends to have a chew.
I no longer spray copenhagen grains all over the house.
I no longer have lip-logs piled in the bushes around my house.
I no longer use house-plants as emergency spittoons.
I no longer plan my day around dip.
I no longer plan my life around dip.
I no longer have a shortage of energy.
I no longer salt the heck out of my food.
I no longer need to over-sweeten food/drinks.
I no longer have to swallow dip spit when stuck in line at the post office.
I no longer will spit out the car window before I realize the window is NOT down.
I no longer clean up dip-spit.
I no longer have cope tins in my underwear drawer.
I no longer have a 2 year old 1/2 full spitter in my workshop.
I no longer claim to have eaten 'alot' of oreos as a dip in the teeth excuse.
I no longer have to be ashamed of this bizare habit.
I no longer am controlled by that beast.
I no longer get 'giddy with excitement' at the thought of having a chew.
I no longer think of 'rewarding' myself with a chew.
I no longer keep 7-11 in business by myself.
I no longer avoid staying with friends and family on trips.

I NO LONGER DIP.

Denver, CO
DoneWithCope 20030428

A promise kept.

We are mostly the same, all of us. We may have tried different brands initially, some of us tried Skoal, some Copenhagen, and for others maybe it was Happy Days all with the same effect. We tried it on a dare, or to look cool, be older, act tougher, or just because we heard about the buzz you could get, again to the same effect. We all progressed through our addiction at different paces, although the milestones are similar, we can recall the first can we bought and finished, the blissful period of ignorance when not only did we deny that we were addicted (as we dipped first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and every time in between), we denied any harmful effects of our beloved poison, we later conceded that dip was harmful (but not to us, just the poor bastard who's statistical number had been called), and at some point we all realized we could be that statistic and there are things far more important in this life to indulge our fantasy any longer. After all, what unnecessary risk is acceptable for saying goodbye forever to your wife, your children, your parents, or your best friend?

My story, while not remarkably different I'm sure, began 18 years ago at the age of 12. It took only a few short years to climb the ladder of dip to Copenhagen as my poison of choice. As sick as it sounds, this was my first true love. I loved how it made me feel, it comforted me when I was stressed, it enhanced my successes and pleasures, it couldn't be beat when I was bored, stressed, happy, sad, ill, fit, hungry, full, up, down, you get the picture. I loved how all of my peers and I would lodge a fatty in our lips and just hang-out. I loved how it tasted. There was no situation in which a dip wasn't appropriate as far as I was concerned. I graduated high school, college, and graduate school all with a dip in my mouth. I graduated basic training, non-commissioned officer academies, and Airborne school all with a dip in my mouth (even though it was against the regs not to mention just plain crude). I was in love with Copenhagen and I vowed one New Year's Eve to dip more than I had the previous year!

Seven years ago my Grandfather, a retired Army officer, a college graduate, and an upstanding member of his community died of throat cancer. (Cancer is an interesting thing, one cell mutation, just one is all it takes and it doesn't discriminate among those who have who have dipped for 50 years or 50 days. Any cell dividing at any time in your mouth [or anywhere else in your body] that comes into contact with a carcinogen [e.g., DIP] has the potential to become cancerous). His Copenhagen habit had taken its toll on him. Because of his pride and the respect others had for him he never spit, so he swallowed the deadly saliva. He never wanted his children and grandchildren to see his habit, and if we unexpectedly caught him in a situation where he had a dip he would promptly excuse himself to cleanse the grains from his mouth. None of us really linked his habit with his cancer, but he knew in no uncertain terms what had done this. The final weeks of his life he was limited to his bed at home, there was nothing more the doctors could do. I visited him the day before he passed on, and we talked for a while, it was obvious even talking had become strenuous for him. As we ended our conversation, he reached out for my hand and said "Promise me you will give up the Copenhagen" I had no idea he knew about my habit and he certainly had never openly admitted his. "It is belittling to a man of your rank, and more importantly, I love you" (at the time I was an Army Sergeant). I responded "I will Grandpa, I promise". He smiled as I fought back the tears and attempted to swallow the lump in my throat, and we said our goodbyes.

The promise was hollow. I wanted to make him happy. I knew he had little time left and I wanted him to feel better in knowing I promised. I had never lied to him in my life, not once and I found ways to rationalize this lie, "I never said when I would quit, I just promised I would quit". In a court of law this may have held, but in my moral mind it was a bold-faced lie, one of many my addiction facilitated.

Time went on and I forgot about the promise, and my addiction continued to grow stronger and more cumbersome. Years went by, and I never thought once of the promise. I had even quit once before, because I knew I needed to, but it wasn't because of the promise. I relapsed from that quit after a full year of dip-free living, and began my next two years as a Copenhagen addict. This final quit was one of random (or perhaps not so random) circumstance. My young son and I were playing, and he asked if he could have a ride on my shoulders, I said he could later, once we picked up the toys. He said "Do you promise?" I was stunned as I didn't know he had any idea about what a promise was, I replied "Yes, I promise you can have a ride". It was then I realized it was I who didn't know what a promise was, I remembered the promise made to my grandfather years ago, it was crystal clear in my mind. I also knew I had failed to fulfill my promise. I knew that I had wanted to quit, but I was too weak. I had tried half-heartedly several times in the past, only to return to my Copenhagen. This time something was different, I not only wanted to quit for myself, my son, and my wife, but I had given a man my word a man who meant a great deal to me. I resolved right there to be done, and I began my quitting process. I started to research quitting, and the disastrous effects of smokeless tobacco on the human body. I immediately got my quit aids in place and set out on my path to doing the right thing for myself and my family, and equally important to keep the promise I made seven years ago. Grandpa, I have quit and I promise publicly I will remain quit. And yes, my son did get that ride on my shoulders.

I want to thank everyone in my August quit group who listened, supported, lectured, reminded, and encouraged me to help myself. I don't know how I would have made it to the HOF without them. Particular thanks to:

DoneInCO: My done "brother", thanks for pacing me and keeping me on target. Thanks for leading the way for all of August. You will forever remain my "Done Brother".

M.O.R. (Aka Ken): Your scientific analysis of the August group's behavior and running statistics were invaluable during the trek to the HOF. You motivated me to get to the board and to get this speech on the board.

Thanks to my wife and son who displayed infinite patience and understanding during my 100 days of depression, frustration, anger, and accomplishment. You both motivate me to do the very best in life, because you are the very best of my life.

Thanks to Matt for creating this site, I will endeavor to give something back just as Matt has done to help those who are lost and in need of help to beat this addiction.

For those of you reading the HOF posts and just thinking about quitting, everyone in here was at the same point you are at now. Every one of us needed to search our soul for the strength and ambition to quit. There will never, ever be a "good" time to quit. You will eventually have to make the decision to quit no matter what is going on in your life. The people on this site will help you through everything quitting entails, and they will understand it like no one else because they have lived it and are living it. This site will allow you to quit, and in 100 days you will be writing your speech.

The HOF is not the destination it is the point of departure for the rest of our tobacco-free lives. It is from here we begin.

DONE!

Beaverton, OR
Rambo 20030506 Today is the day I never thought would come. When I started my quit 100 days ago on 5/6/2003 at 4:30 p.m. I never imagined I'd be setting here typing this speech. If it were not for the grace of God I would not have made it this far. I would like to say something to the most important people in my life.

To Sherry: My beautiful wife of 15 years thanks for standing by me during my quit and also for the 12.5 years of my addiction. I would like to say I'm sorry for all the money and time I spent on and with dip! It's nice to be able to kiss you any time I want again.

To Jessica: My 13 year old daughter I started dipping when you were only about 6mo. Old and you never seen dad with out a dip and a cup to spit in I am sorry for that I hope you understand as you enter adult hood just how important it is not to smoke or use drugs you have seen the power of an addiction and what I have been through to break it.

To Marissa: My 7 year old daughter daddy tried to quit dipping when you were born it did not last more than a couple of days. I remember ever time you saw me get a dip you would say daddy you need to quit that is not good for you. I used to worry about getting cancer from dip every day and worry about not being around to see you and sissy grow up. Thank you for telling me to quit all those times and helping me stay quit.

This time when I made up my mind to quit I ask Jesus to help me and he has, to God be the Glory now and forever!!!!

To all of you who read this and don't think you could ever quit I can assure you all things are possible through Christ.

Thank God for this web site I can't even imagine going through this alone.

Thank God for all my quit buddies who helped me along the way!!

Also congratulations to EyeonJesus!!!

Walnutridge, AR
eyesonjesus 20030507
Choice

In one word this has to be the most profound and enlightening during the past 100 days.
Choice to do things that seemed impossible before
Choice to be a better husband, a better father, a better servant of the Lord
Choice to listen, to smell, to live a free and rewarding life

I have finally had an opportunity to step outside the box and look around. Things are good. I was blinded all these years by my old "best friend". I don't sit back and worry about all the time lost or money thrown away to help this sickness blossom into the hideous addiction that it did. Rather I think of all the possibilities that lie ahead.

When I finally decided to quit for real this time I started receiving a lot of interesting compliments from friends and family like - With you being as health conscious as you are I am surprised you ever even started. You have such a strong will and are determined and motivated that if anyone can do it you can. Why didn't I see all these things? Because I was living a lie - but no more.

Source of strength

There is no magic bullet, no pill, nothing that I ever found to make this possible. It wasn't until I finally "let go and let God" and that was all it took. I was never able to do this on my own as evidenced by numerous quit attempts in the past. At the end of the line I figured why not give God a try? I prayed with my Pastor and the elders of the church for strength to stop killing myself and to help remove the cravings from my body. I never thought much more about it until one day I woke up and heard that still small voice that said today is the day. There was no question, now was the time to quit. I did some research and found Quitsmokeless.org. Many others have also attested that this site was a Godsend - I agree. Packed with the Lord, the website, local support and sheer will and determination I began my journey.

Journey

The 1st few days were pretty tough, but not impossible. After a couple weeks I started to taper off the SMC, seeds and everything else. Continued prayer allowed me to stay the straight and narrow. I have always been told that I see things in black or white, no in between, it's one way or the other. Well my quit was no exception. I made up my mind to quit and that's all there was to it. After 30 days things started to settle down and I was getting back to my life again. The dip rage seemed to have subsided and it was business as usual. Co-workers were cheering me on and asking for updates periodically. This quit began taking on a life of it's own. As I kept getting closer to the 100 day mark I realized this was much larger than 100 days or a short term goal, this was a change for life! Things were changing. Suddenly entering charity bike rides, 5k runs, taking the dogs to a doggy park, on walks, taking our son on bike rides, playing baseball. These things are priceless and I thank God for each and every one of them. When this realization came to light I was depressed about the fact for a short period. Until it finally dawned on me that this is the Lord's will and to continue striving forward. 100 days hit and there were no ticker tape parades, balloons and streamers or anything of the sort. It was a personal battle and for the most part a personal victory. Had a few shout outs from the members of my QS family, lot's of congratulations from my wife and son and a few coworkers as well.

What are you waiting for?

My life has changed and will never be the same. I challenge each and every one of you reading this right now and contemplating your quit to jump in feet first and never look back. There is nothing behind you but fear and depression. Keep your eyes on Jesus and look to him for all your needs.

Thanks

Jesus - 1st and foremost I would like to give thanks to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. He has shown me things I never would have seen on my own. For keeping your hand on me throughout all these senseless years and setting me aside for work in your kingdom. 1st alcoholism, now the dip. Thank you for curing me. I look forward to what you have in store for me and put my trust in you!

Jenie my wife - I thank you for standing by me these past 5 years. Always believing in me when I didn't believe in myself. For listening to my empty promises and continuing to encourage me when you knew I didn't really mean it. You also watched me battle alcoholism and triumph. You have been such a great person to talk with and keep cheering me on - thank you - I love you!

Deven our son (6yo) - Thanks so much for continuing to warn me of the dangers of chew. How is it that it was so clear to you, yet so difficult for me to understand? Watching you spit on the ground to emulate me really opened my eyes. For working with mommy to encourage me to quit. I pray that you never start anything as terrible as this.

Brecken (due October 16th, 2003) - May you never have to see Daddy do these terrible things to himself and let the Lord have his way in your life. May our days together be memorable and cherished.

QS Family - Matt van Wyk - May the Lord have his hand upon all that you do. Thank you so much for taking the time to create this site and continue to maintain it of your own free will. God bless you. Rambo my quit brother it was so awesome to see someone on the boards with a love for the Lord like you had. I don't have many friends since I gave my life to the Lord so it was really great to have someone I could really relate to. Ken - thanks for keeping us all in check and up to date on the stats, greatly appreciated. BubbaTerp - thanks for keeping the boards going. DoneBros - For leading the pack and setting the example. MGF, JimmyRayPayne, SpartanBJ, TimothyS, Roark, KenAustinTX for sticking it out and staying to committed to your quit. We all needed you and appreciate your continued determination and support.

LaPorte, IN
KenAustinTx 20030518 Caution: You're probably going to read some things you wouldn't expect in a Hall Of Fame speech...discretion is advised.

Twenty-one years ago my hero Earl Campbell, came on TV and said "Skoal Brother," basically giving me, a young impressionable teenager the license to dip. I mean, Earl is a stand up guy, a class act and if it was OK with Earl then nobody else should have any problem with it, right? It was even hinted at, in the commercial, that "going smokeless," meant that the tobacco was completely harmless. Smoking was a sure-fire way to burn out early and die young. This message was successfully communicated to me, over and over by my parents and teachers and by the non-smoking advertisements on TV ("we mind very much if you smoke"). I was sold. I didn't need anymore convincing. But then there was Earl, who basically told all of us that there was a way to beat the system. There was a loophole.

Since then I've dipped almost every brand there was. First tried Happy Days Mint on a golf course where I worked, some 21 years ago. Then I started using regular with Beechnut, RedMan, then Hawken & Kodiak and moved to Silver Creek then Skoal and when the dust finally settled, I was a can-a-day full-blown Copenhagen user. My life had played out just exactly the way the US Tobacco Company had planned. I fell smack-dab into their greedy little hands. In my later years I could no longer afford $4 a can a day habit, so instead of quitting I used Timberwolf and when I had my last dip 100 days ago, it was Red Seal. For Seven Thousand Six Hundred and Sixty-Five (7665) days of my life (give or take the occasional leap year), or for just over half of my existence on this planet, I have been chained to a can and a spit- cup.

So you'll forgive me if I say that 100 days isn't diddly-squat in comparison to that evil brown sucking leech that I gave birth to in 1982 and have been feeding within myself for over the last two decades. It's just not that magical for me. If my dipping habit was the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, then over the last 100 days I have probably cleaned up the equivalent of about two pints of spilled crude oil.

But you know what? It's a start.

I loved to dip. I want a dip right now. No, I don't want a dip as badly as I did on day 3, but I DO want a dip. The difference between now and 100 days ago, is that I am no longer willing to risk my life for a dip.

The truth is, I can't really tell you why I quit, or what brought it about after all these years. It's just like a light went off in my head saying, "that's enough." I know that I got damn tired of being sick all the time. Weak stomach, indigestion, sore throat, you know, all that stuff that happens when you dip, but you deny that it's the dip that is causing it? Deep down I guess I always knew. We all do. But for some reason that little voice in my sub-conscious came to the forefront for the first time in 21 years. It was probably because I was scared.

Ya see, 100 days ago I was sick. I was seriously ill because I was out in my backyard doing some gardening and didn't drink enough water to counter the hot sun. So the sun "zapped" me. I got a horrible headache, got dizzy, then I fell ill with fever and sore throat and all that other yukky crud that would probably be best if it wasn't described in too much detail. I thought at the time that if I had had a cup of ice water with me, instead of a spit cup, I might have never had this problem. But hey, who wants to drink water, when they have a juicy dip in their cheek? So for several hours in the hot-sun, I had no water because it meant that I'd have to spit my chew out. I had succeeded in dehydrating myself.

And I realized while I was laying in bed sick the next day that it was a CONSCIOUS CHOICE that led to me to my illness. In fact it was the third time I was sick this year, and I'm not a sickly person. Or so I thought. But some form of illness had hit me hard for the third time since January. I thought as I lay there in my bed, " I wonder if I would have been sick this many times already this year if I did not dip?" Even when I dipped regular, I knew in the back of my mind that the stuff reduced my body's immune system, making me all the more susceptible to any sickness. For instance, if there was a bug going around, you could bet your ass that it wouldn't skip me. I'd get it. When the hell did it get like that? When did I become such a sickly person? I used to play football and stay up all night studying. I used to be strong. I used to be healthy and virile. I mean, I STILL work out religiously! Isn't that good enough to keep me healthy?

Was there ever was a time in my life when laughing didn't ALWAYS end in a horrible coughing fit? Was there ever a time in my life when a 24 hour cold didn't take a week to disappear? Was there ever a time when I didn't get so damn lethargic and tired in the middle of the day?

These are questions you don't ask yourself while you're dipping because you don't really want to know the answer. Even though the truth is, you DO know the answer but if you admitted to any of it, it would mean you'd have to give up on the thing most dear to you, your can and your spit cup.

It's amazing what you will accept as "normal" in your life after a time. So much so that you don't even think about it as something that could be potentially WRONG with yourself anymore. Like the indigestion, or the coughing fits, the lethargy, nah I was just a "little under the weather" that day, or perhaps I ate something that disagreed with me.

Not to mention the other beautiful "perks" that came along for the ride, like the brown stains on my fingers, the two teeth and the four caps I lost, the dirty sinks and the dip spills that happened on so many carpets in so many apartments and then even in our new house, OUR FIRST GODDAMN house that we waited so long to buy! Or how about the black granules and brown juice stains that accumulated all over my truck, over countless shirts and shorts and pairs of pants (some of them BRAND NEW), all over my new house, all over everything EVERYWHERE!

Or what about the TIMES I dipped? I carried a dip can underneath my college graduation gown and in the coat pocket of my wedding tux. I had a dip can with me when I saw my niece born, and probably would have had one with me when my own children were born, but I don't have any. I wonder which night it was that my wife would have conceived our first child had I been in her bed where I belonged rather than in a different room, finding some weak-assed excuse to dip? Hey, all of this was just business as usual for me for the last 21 years. All of this loveliness was all a part of my daily activity and the sad part is that I barely noticed it. How the hell could I keep denying that something was severely askew with the picture of myself that I had hung on the wall of life? What was wrong with me? Deep down I knew.

I'm not sure what flipped that final switch for me to quit. It is like a light went off in my head that said "wake up, dummy." "Take charge of your life." "Stop being so weak." In the last 21 years, I have never attempted a quit that lasted over a couple of days. But when I threw my can of Red Seal in the garbage can 100 days ago, it was still ¾ full. I knew then that I was serious. Perhaps it is the fact that I stand on the threshold of my 40th birthday (just a few months away) and for the first time in my life, I am aware of my mortality.

I won't go into my daily struggle to stay quit. All of that is contained in my posts for your perusal if you so desire. I'll just say that the first few days I used the technique of literally trying to make it out one "door" or into another one without dipping. And that a couple of times along the way I damn near caved, only to find that there are true Angels out there (like my wife and my Dad) who really DO care and who really WERE willing to come to my aid, when I was down and depressed along the way. For the most part all the serious craves are gone now and although I still long for a dip from time to time, I know that it is something I have left in my past.

100 days is not magical, but it does indicate that you are serious.

I will skip ahead and say this: My bathroom sink and my truck are cleaner. When I laugh, I don't cough anymore, I carry a bottle a water with me when I do my gardening and my wife and I are actively trying to get pregnant for the first time in our 7-year marriage.

I want to thank so much, those who have helped me stay the course during this, the hardest time in my life:

My wife - thank you baby, for being there when it counted. You lived up to your vows and now that I have succeeded with your help, let me make up for the past 7 years to you.

My dad - thanks for understanding and for being there when I really needed you most. I know you would have done this FOR me, if you could've. Instead, be proud that you raised a son capable of heroic things.

Matt - I owe you my life. It's that simple. This site helped me get through those first terrifying days of my quit, and I really could not have succeeded without it!

GP and ASOK thanks for being the August mentors, guiding us along the delicate paths of our respective quits.

And To My August Crew-There were 33 of us at one time or another, and 11 of us will cross the 100 day threshold into a new life together.

DoneInCo - Our point guy. You helped brace all of us for the hurdles ahead.

DoneWithCope - The guy who united us, kept us on track and motivated. He quit before and failed but this time, KNEW the recipe for success, and shared it with the rest of us.

MGF - MGF's experiences seemed to mirror my own more closely than any other's I have read. He quit cold turkey, like I did and gave some priceless advice on handling parties and other such triggers.

Rambo - His plain-spoken approach to quitting made it seem to the rest of us like a real cinch.

Eyesonjesus - His strong faith and his commitment to a healthier life were standards that we all strived to achieve.

TimothyS - A man of few words, and perhaps he's right on target. Quitting should be as uneventful as starting was.

JimmyRayPayne - JRP quit the day after I did, so if I felt it, chances are so was he. There is no better comfort than knowing that you are not going through this alone.

Spartan BJ - Had the foresight to help to divert the conversation and the chat board away from dip related issues to sports or whatever when it was necessary. You don't realize how damn important that is during the hard times of a quit.

Bubba Terp - Ditto what I said about Spartan with one addition: he showed me that it was possible to play a round of golf without a dip. My biggest fear!

Roark - His almost scientific approach to quitting was a formula for success for all of us to learn from.
Remember - Boredom and old habits are the enemy. It is time now to LIVE your life.

Your Minister Of Reason

Ken

Austin, TX
jimmyraypayne 20030519 Like most of us here, I began chewing in high school. It was pretty cool getting that buzz when you are 15 years old (or so I stupidly thought). The next thing you know, you aren't getting that buzz from Hawken, so you switch to something stronger............until one day, you are chewing a can a day of Skoal Mint, but the buzz is long gone. Most of you won't believe this, but when I finally quit 13 years after I started, I was chewing between 3 and 5 cans a day. You read that right. One pinch was a half a can. I would put in my cheek like side chew. So you newbees reading this just think, when I say if I can quit anyone can, I mean it.

Like most of us here, I set quit dates and never even slowed down, when I start college, when I graduate and get a real job, when I get married, when my child is born.

Like most of us here, I stopped going to the dentist. I knew my mouth was beat up, I knew the chew was rotting my teeth, I just didn't want to hear about it. A couple of years ago my wife talked me into going to see the dentist. Years of chew and not going did some damage, I had 12 cavities. The dentist fixed them up and of course gave me the speech about quitting. Of course I ignored her. But after the 12 cavities, I figured I'd better keep going every 6 months. During my last check up, she did the usual drill, pulling my gums, putting her fingers here and there, then she said something that totally changed me. She said, I don't like the way this looks. If it doesn't look any better by your next check up, I'm going to send you to get a biopsy. She was referring to the spot leukoplakia in my mouth. I replied "Oh, so I guess I really need to quit now, huh?" She just kind of looked at me, as if to say, did you think I was kidding you before?

It kind of hit me like a ton of bricks. Are you kidding me? A Biopsy? I'm only 28 years old. I have a wife and a daughter. The next day I searched the internet for anything that would help me quit. I found quitsmokeless.org. This place is amazing. People just like me who want to quit chewing. I became a member and set my quit date for four days later (I stupidly thought I needed one more weekend of chewing).

As my fellow Augustinians know, I don't post much. But I sure do read a lot. As a matter of fact, that's all I did the first few days. Read about the other people that were quitting and the stuff they were going through. Reading some of the posts, I remember thinking "this guy is amazing.....he's quit for 6 days!". The Hall of Fame was just unfathomable to me. To be able to quit for 100 days is amazing. I was having trouble making hour by hour. But then I read "What Price to Save Ourselves? by Spongebob. And that was it. I was more determined then ever. And slowly but surely it did get easier and easier. After the first few weeks the fog lifted. It got to the point were I could cut the grass and not think about wanting to chew. And now here I am 100 days later in the HOF. To all those just starting your quit: YOU CAN DO IT!

A few weeks after my quit I had a follow up visit to the dentist (of course I had a cavity that needed filled). I told her I quit. She was very encouraging. She checked out my mouth and said it looked fine. I wouldn't be needing a biopsy.

Thank you Matt! Without you & your site, I never could have made it 6 hours, much less 100 days.

Thank you Augustinians! Your support was much needed.

Pittsburgh, PA
SpartanBJ 20030520 I have been writing this letter in my head for the past 100 days. When I made the decision to quit it was difficult. I have so many happy memories and associations from chewing. I chewed at the movies, at home, golfing, after a workout, in the morning, late at night, alone and with buddies. I had chewed tobacco since I was 14 years old. However, I decided from the beginning of my quit that my attitude was this: I used to chew and now I don't. This simple philosophy served me well.

I am very proud of the many positive changes I have made in my life over the last 2 1/2 years. Quitting dip was the completion of a long road for me. I want to thank my loving wife, supportive family and all my friends, both new and old. Behind every great accomplishment you will find a supportive network of people. This is certainly the case for me.

If I had to speak about my journey in frank terms I would say this: It was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I had quit and started many, many times. My dip life was a roller coaster ride. The hardest time for me was the first five days. In fact, when I think of the reasons why I quit I remember back to the night of my fifth quit day. I was watching TV without a dip and I started to shake. I was sweaty and queasy. It was about as miserable as I have ever felt in my life. I felt completely out of control and I wanted it to stop. Now! I got up and went to the nearest convenience store with the intention of buying a tin. However, when I got to the store I stopped myself and purchased a tin of Mint leaves. I went home and regained control. I realized that even though I had only invested 5 days to quitting it would just as difficult the next time I tried to quit and I would most likely have to experience the feelings of withdrawal all over again. From that point on I was committed to my effort. I like quotations and one that seemed very appropriate and very simple: "If you think you can't, you are right." If you go into quitting with the attitude that you can go back to chewing you will fail. However, if you are truly committed and you believe in yourself and most importantly you want to quit you will succeed.

I want to thank the Quit Smokeless web creator Matt van Wyk, without his great efforts I am certain there would be a lot more dippers in the world, including myself. Matt, you are a savior and in my eyes a pioneer. You had the courage to quit yourself and then help others. I am truly grateful to you. I want to say thanks to my fellow Augustinians; you guys will be with me forever. Let's not lose touch and for God's sake stay away from the demon. To my wife, I love you. This day is for all your love and support and to our long life together. To my daughter, Daddy will be there for you today and in the future, God willing, and without a mouth full of dip. Lastly, I want to thank Rick in Tampa. He wrote an amazing letter on June 21, 2002 that inspired me so much that I keep it with me to this day.

My journey is not over. I am going to continue not chewing forever. Very simply, I used to chew and now I don't. I hope that my words and experiences will help someone else to do the same.

Okemos, MI
BubbaTerp 20030523 100 days without dip.

Wow.

How the hell did this happen????

I should be dead by now, at least I feel that way. Up until 100 days ago, I dipped, I chewed, and I spit a tin a day for 12 years. Five bucks a day "between the lip and gum" as Richard Petty would say. Hind sight being 20/20, how could I have been so stupid? What was I thinking? I wish I had some dramatic story to tell everyone about why I quit, but I don't. I wish I could tell you all this was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do, but it isn't. I really would love to tell everyone about how painful it was and how I wanted to pull the hair out of my head, but I can't (well, maybe just a little!). This whole thing about putting tobacco in my mouth every day was beatable; I just never believed I could do it. At least not until I found this site!

Just like all of you, I knew I had to quit. I knew it would only be a matter of time before "it" catches me. "It" would find me, with my luck I just knew "it" would. I just could not bring myself to "throw in" my spitter. I loved to dip! I still love to dip! I will probably always love to dip! I just did not want to let it go. I hear people say dip was their "friend", I never felt that way about chewing. It was something I just loved to do. It was no "friend" by any means. You don't pay $5 a day for a friend. With friends like dip who needs enemies? I knew what it was doing to me. We ALL know what it is/was doing to us.

So I finally decided to quit my nasty, dirty little habit, and just like most of us this was my 1 millionth quit. And just like most of us I fell off the wagon after a few days. Big surprise. I guess I was just so used to the lies and failing that I didn't think twice about it. Late one night a few days later (and in an "altered" state of mind) I had a very vivid realization that it was time to quit. As I laid there with a huge dip of Skoal in my mouth, I just totally realized now was the time to stop this horrible habit. So I spit out my dip and I stopped. It was just that simple. There was no "I will quit when", or "I am going to wait until". I just quit. The next morning I woke up and ordered the 7 Day Smoke Away Program on the internet and I found this site. The rest is...

That was 100 days ago. Since that time I have probably gone through at least 50 tins of Bacc Off/SMC, two huge bags of sunflower seeds, four our five bags of hard candy, 20 or so packs of gum and over ½ of my 7 Day Smoke Away program. I have not caved, but I have craved! It is just a part of quitting. I can say that I have only had 4 or 5 times where I was really in danger of giving in. Those instances were in the first 30 to 40 days (and a couple within the last 4 days!!!). Believe it or not, quitting the nicotine was the easy part!!! The hard part is breaking the habit of putting a dip in my lip. I have not totally broken that habit yet because I still use the fake stuff regularly. Not as frequently, but still daily. Hey, I am ok with that, just as long as it is not tobacco! Thank God for the fake stuff!!!!

I believe that there are five things you MUST do in order to quit using smokeless tobacco. If you can do these things you will be able to quit this habit successfully and, God willing, permanently.

1. You can not, under any circumstances or for any other reason quit for someone else. Not your wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend. Not you dog, cat, father or even your mother. You have to do this for you. You have to do this for YOUR own life. This quit is not about anyone else but you. You and only you have to understand this and accept it. Without this you will not stay quit.

2. You must WANT and NEED to quit using tobacco. You can not have one with out the other when you quit for good. There is a HUGE difference between a want and need. I knew for 12 years that I needed to quit dip. We all know we need to quit or else you would not be reading my HOF speech! A need is something we must obtain in order to survive. It's a necessity. We all know we NEED to quit tobacco in order to survive. It is just as important is to WANT to quit chewing tobacco. I think the WANT is the tougher than the need. To want something means to have a STRONG desire or crave to have something. It is very easy to say, "I want to quit chew." Anyone can say it. I have said it at least a billion times! But what does it really mean to you? Do you really have a strong desire or a craving to quit chewing tobacco? Or are you really saying, "I would LIKE to quit chew", knowing that you're not going to stop? When you say you want to stop, do you know that the next day you will be at the gas station saying "A tin of Skoal Original Fine Cut Wintergreen please"? Wow, how many times did I say/do that? Until you can look in the mirror and know with every ounce of your being that you absolutely WANT to quit and NEED to quit chew you will continue on your roller coaster of quitting. I think this is the reason why so many people jump on and off their quits. Just my opinion.

3. You MUST, without question, prepare yourself mentally AND physically to quit. Sort of like an athlete going into the biggest game or race of their life. You have to do what ever it takes to accomplish this task. Get rid of all the tins (empty and full), throw out the spitters, clean out your car, empty all your stashes/hiding spots. Get rid of everything that can cause you to think about dip. Next, get anything you think might help you quit. Fake chew, in my quit, helped a lot! Do not be afraid to try the patch, gum, candy nicotine products or any quit aid on the market. They were made to help you quit, use them! Seeds are always helpful as is hard candy and regular gum. The most important thing about this step is to get them "BEFORE" you start your quit. Believe me, you do not want to be at day 10 and realize you are out of what ever it is that you need to get through the day. Been there, done that and it really, really sucks!

4. You MUST realize and understand completely that YOU made the decision to put dip/chew/tobacco into your mouth in the first place. YOU and no one else is/was responsible for that choice. Not the makers of chew, not the ads you saw in print or at the store, not the kid in high school that told you it was cool and that it would not hurt you; just YOU. No one forced you or tricked you into this habit, YOU chose this habit, like it or not. Weather you realized it or not, this was YOUR decision. As a result of your decision, YOU are the only one who can change this course of your life. YOU are the only one who can choose to change your ways. YOU are the only one who can make the decision to stop using smokeless tobacco.

5. I believe that the final key to a successful quit is to comprehend fully and realize that if you do not decide to quit and (more importantly) stay quit, "it" will get you. You are not "bigger" than this. You are not "tougher" than this. You are not "immune" to this. "It" can and will happen to you. For every story you here about "that guy who chewed for 30 years and never got cancer", there are even more stories of "that guy just lost 6 teeth because he chewed tobacco every day" or "that guy was just diagnosed with mouth cancer" or "that guy lost part of his jaw because of chew". These stories happen. They are not fiction. Every single one of use has the potential to get cancer. There is no one on the face of this earth that can not get cancer or is immune to cancer. It can happen to you and it will happen to you unless you stop. Make the decision to stop before "it" happens to you.

And now for some thanks!

Of course I would like to thank all the people who helped me through this process. Thanks so much to our entire group of Augustinians! DNC, DWC, RAMBO, EOJ, MGF, TimothyS, MOR (Ken), JRP, SPARTAN and ROARK, you made it fun and pleasurable to log on to this sight every day for the last 100 days. I hope I helped you as much as you helped me. With out ALL of you I would not have been able to make it to 100 days! I also want to thank GP who is in another group. His early posts and struggles helped motivate me and keep me on track.

To the creator of this site Matt, I will probably never know you, but thanks for giving me a method and a means to help me quit. I believe you helped save my life. Thank you a million times over.

Of course, my beautiful wife for "dealing" with my dirty habit for all these years, thank you. You are a saint and the love of my life. You always said you could never understand why I chewed or why I continued to put tobacco in my mouth every day if I knew it was hurting me. Looking back now I have no idea why and only now can I fully understand what you were saying to me. Now you will never need to know why I did this. I am sorry for the pain, broken promises and lies. At least now we will know that our unborn child will never see Daddy dip!!! Happy anniversary!

Most of all I want to thank me. I want to thank myself for making the decision to end my dirty habit. Thank you for realizing that it was time to quit and that it was long over due. Thanks for finally keeping that promise to yourself and not giving in to the temptation of chewing again.

Thank you for making the decision that has changed the rest of my life. Thank you for choosing to live, but much more importantly, thank you for choosing not to die.

Quit and say quit!

A crave lasts for minutes, a cave will last a lifetime.

I do not dip anymore!

And I will never dip again!

Philadelphia, PA
rcg_texas 20030529 I've been waiting to put together the perfect speech, then it finally dawned on me: I'm writing this as a way to validate my quit, it's not really for anyone but me. If someone else is inspired by it then so much the better.
For now it's my way of saying I am not a slave to copenhagen anymore.

I was probably 15 or 16 by the time I got hooked in the clutches of u.s.tobacco. Back then all my friends dipped and it was absolutely the cool thing to do. Of course use of tobacco was strictly forbidden on school grounds so I learned how to dip and not spit. This was 1976 and a can of copenhagen cost 35 cents. I was gonna quit when it got to a dollar a can and so on and so on. Last can I bought was 4.75. It really never was about the cost, though I have to admit since I quit I'm not constantly out of money.

For years I told myself that dipping snuff was harmless, I'd never known anyone with mouth cancer. My Grandfather dipped and chewed all his life and lived to be 94. He didn't have any of his original teeth but never mind that.

In 1996 my Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is a lady that never smoked, drank or anything else that would have made her at risk for cancer. Through answered prayers and the great doctors at m.d. anderson she's still going strong. I quit dipping for a year, used that SMC to get off of it.

Like a real dumbass after being quit for a year I started back. I'll have to admit that it started from smoking ocassionally, only when I was drinking and then before I knew it I was buying packs of cigarettes. I hate smoking! By then the nicotine monster had his claws back in me so the next logical step to get off the cigs was start back on copenhagen. Which I did and easily got back to my old can a day habit.

Somedays I still want a dip, most of the time I don’t think about it that much. I know its something that will always be around and that I can never risk just smoking a cigarette or anything else that gets me back on snuff.

I don’t miss having a sore mouth, receeding gums and stained teeth. I'm working on my next one hundred days of being quit. To all the super people in the September 2003 group- Thanks for your support, I wish you all health and happiness

Conroe, TX
Orion The Hunter 20030601 Wintergreen

Once upon a time, after a weekend visit far from home, a storm came rolling across the land from west to east, like a maniac mirror of a sunset, settling across the day. Being a man of many passions, the pursuit of storms as one of my strongest, I left the safe place, to gain pleasure from viewing the atrocities of nature gone awry. A wall of vapor stood in place between my home and my body. I absorbed the excitement of the challenge and inhaled this drug of adrenaline, spiking it with nicotine.

As darkness gripped the horizon, ever growing toward the midriff of my sky, I continued my journey into the heart of the beast. I drove my mere shell of thin metal and glass into the darkness like an egg rolling down a mountain's face. I challenged the forces of the wild, for the temptation of seeing the soul of this darkness twisting through its blackness.

As I drew near to the quietness of nature's breath drawn and held, an absence of life was in the air. Like the first sprinkles of mist from a shower, tell-tale remnants of leaf and stem began to rain from the ashen sky. Limb and branch began to litter the roadway between the silent buildings tied together by swinging wires and blinking yellow lights.

Traveling deeper into the littered landscape, I saw the footprints and clawing of the beast, as parts of nature and of man were cast about from the passing of the creature. The wounds were more terrible as I continued, resulting in my having to slow to avoid the hazards strewn and the vehicles stopped with their drivers in shock.

I passed a family car, talon marks down it's length, pale riders gripping the wheel and staring forward, facing from where they had come. Further, seeing the cement cubes of homes that were no more, with veins of pipes reaching up to the sky that had just stolen from them. Skeleton pine and oak stretched their screaming broken branches like arms to the heavens. The line of cars stopped as if in respect, and we the drivers looked around nervously at the wet, huddled groups of survivors hugging in threes.

I opened the window and was most surprised by the strong scent of turpentine and wintergreen. I knew then, it was the breath exhaled by the beast as it slithered back into the darkness.
*******
As one who found pleasure in risking much to gain fleeting tastes of adventure, I retrospectively see that some things that were simple pleasures for me, had a destructive effect on others and potential for ending my own life. Behaviors that are quasi-suicidal can be labeled "adventure or risk-taking". However, when they include risk and damage to others, especially those who should be loved the most, we reach an apex of shame caused by selfish desire. Chasing tornadoes was an exciting adventure for a short-sighted, single guy with nothing better to do on a weekend. Once the beast was nearly caught, however, the teeth and claws showed me the reality of carnage, death and destruction. This is too often absent or forgotten in the storybook endings that we believe will include our living happily ever after. Nevermore will my breath smell of wintergreen.

Fall from grace (Where it came from)

I have been addicted for a long, long time. I started out smoking at about 15 yrs and kept at it until I was 18. I came down with a bad cold / sore throat and cough and thought I was seriously sick, so I switched to smokeless to get off the cigarettes! I did the switch, thinking at the time it was better than smoking. I dipped from about 18 to 23 when I got the patch from my Doctor and successfully quit. I truly believed I was through with tobacco for good, and even talked to others about how unbelievable it was that I had ever been addicted in the past. I used to have "dip dreams" every once in a while and would wake up almost in shock that I had started back, but did not...for two and a half years....

I unfortunately got into trouble hanging out with those who smoked socially. I got stupid, picked up the "social" smoking again and BANG! Suddenly, I was a hard core smoker again...I could not believe how immediate my addiction was. I was then a regular runner and in very good shape. I could FEEL my lungs being incapacitated. Out of desperation, I started dipping to get off the cigarettes and fell back instantly into the dip addiction. Actually, I used it more than I had before, I believe, because when I was on the 21 mg patch, it had more nicotine than was usually in my system. Being exposed to a constant nicotine delivery system of such a high dosage, my body craved nicotine even more the second time around.

That was when I was about 26 or so, and until June, I had a few quits, some more successful than others, the longest being only about one or two months. My final quit was June 1, 2003. I formed my plan, posted, and read my way to the HOF.

Schizoid (the voices told me to do it...)

One of the secrets of my getting through the first week or two was by substituting the "voices in my head" with the "voices of QS.org". The rationalizing and debate that raged in my head during past quits had always led to a downfall. This time, I decided there was to be NO DEBATE about this. I did not let myself think about the "pros and cons" because I was resolved to be a NON-USER from that point on.

In other failed quits, I always came up with very good reasons to take just one more dip, or to buy just one more can, or wait just a little longer before quitting again. I realized I could never win the argument with myself, so I refused to debate.

Instead of letting myself slip into meditation, or thinking things through, I read the writings, "voices", of people who were so much LIKE me, the posts could have been written BY me in many instances. That made it easier, in effect, to use the posts as a replacement for my usual thoughts on the matter.

Pretty thoughts lead to destruction (mind games beginning)

The small thoughts, like pebbles, get turned over and over and with all the handling, they get a nice little shine, and become pretty to see. Before you know it the little idea has grown and starts to take up more room in your mind, crowding out other thoughts and pushing itself to the forefront for you to gaze into the enchanting glow that comes from it. Eventually the glow becomes bright enough that other thoughts are dim and hard to see while the light intensifies. Soon thereafter, the thought starts to warm with the heat of the temptation. The temperature keeps rising to the point that a burn develops that cannot be extinguished. Whatever you do, you cannot get this temptation out of your way and soon, like a robot programmed for self destruction, you go through the motions and cave.

Debating self (mind games result)

Remember, do not fall for the mind game, you will lose...It is better not to think at all, than to debate and toss around ideas while withdrawing from nicotine. It's like letting a drunk decide if he should drive, like asking a crack head to hold your wallet, or like telling your family dog guard your steaks in the back yard by the grill while you go inside to get a cool drink.

Niagara Falls (temptation)

Now, it is hard to say at what point in the river it is too late to paddle to the shore and escape the waterfall (temptation) ahead. There is a point of no return, an event horizon, perhaps where there is no return. It is better not to begin the path toward the waterfall, first by acknowledging where it is, and then avoiding it altogether. A person may get a rush paddling in daredevil fashion toward the edge and back again. A strong-willed paddler may succeed with this for a while, but eventually unseen currents or tired aching muscles will strike and the fool will be swept away. Your thoughts are like this river. You know where they lead, so do not tempt fate by seeking to peer over the falls. The view is not worth the risk. Mind your thoughts and control your thinking.

Matthew 12 (The Word)

43"When an evil[1] spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation."

I believe this describes the condition I experienced after I quit ten years ago and was clean for nearly two years. I allowed the spirit to return and I found that my final condition was much worse than it was before I quit.

My commitment is new and my resolve complete. I say the evil nicotine spirit is now in arid places seeking rest and not finding it. It wants to return to the host it has left. The host, me, is now being swept, clean and kept in order. The Demon wishes to return and bring with it seven sprits more wicked than itself. The evil spirit will not be allowed to return.it will be banished to the desert to wander without rest.it cannot return to this host.

I could not have succeeded in this quit without the divine intervention of God. The Creator of the Universe, the almighty, who is there for all to seek and find. Knock and the door will open. Through his son Jesus Christ, I have been delivered from the vices of this addiction forever. This was not done with the strength of a man but with the divine power of God. Please seek and pray, He will help you too.

I thank God for, and pray for blessings upon Matt for organizing QS.org, The September group, the QS men of old, and my family. The best that one can do to repay this gift of freedom, is to go forth unto the world and spread the message to others, so they may come and be freedmen like us. And remember, there is no greater blessing than to serve others.

GA
DanD 20030602 I had been dipping (it is nice to be able to say that) for 14 years. I was up to a tin/can a day and sometimes more. I tried to quit 5 or 6 times over the past 3 years, but I would only make it about a week before I would cave. I was never able to understand why I couldn't quit.

One day I was at work and my wife called me and said that she was pregnant. I was on cloud nine. I got home and started to unpack the house that we just moved into a week earlier. Our first house, our first baby on the way, I was filled with energy, joy, and excitement. Then I had to stop and have a dip. I hated that dip controlled my life. I managed to train myself not to dip while I was working. I would dip on the way to work and then on the way home. At night, I would play computer games/xbox and dip all night long. I would stay up for just one more dip...until the tin was empty.

This had to stop.

I have read a couple of HOF speeches that mentioned you can only do this for yourself, you can't quit for somebody else. Well, I respect their opinion, but I have to disagree. I have never had more motivation than when I found out my wife was pregnant. I did not want my child to see me dipping. I want to be able to take the family to the zoo and not have to put in a dip. I want to take my family to the park and not put in a dip. I want to take my family on vacation and not put in a dip. I think you get my point and I think most of you can relate. This is no way to live.

The biggest obstacle that I needed to overcome was that I have 2 brothers and they both dip. I told them that I was quitting and they wished me luck. This was nothing new. It seemed that on any given day of the year, one of us was trying to quit. It became a joke. I would get a phone call from one of them, "I'm quitting", and I would laugh. I would call them, "I'm quitting", and I would get a laugh. This cycle had been going on for too long.

On June 2, I quit and I must say...I have quit for good. This may sound a little cocky, but I have killed this habit and I will not be going back. Anybody can quit at anytime. I found that if you focus on the end, imagine yourself dip free, it can give more than enough encouragement. Everybody quits for different reasons and has success by different means.

My wife is currently 6 months pregnant. My baby boy, Benjamin Clemens, is due on December 5th. Not even all of my family members know the sex of the baby. This is how much I appreciate Matt, his website and my fellow quitters. Thank you for your support and I wish all of you the best of luck in your dip free future.

Cleveland, OH
MozCO 20030605 I gave posting a Haiku for my HOF speech serious consideration, but opted for a favorite Limerick instead:

Wrote Homer, a clever old Greek
A poem that others may seek
    I'll call it an epic
    Though it makes me dyspeptic
And barfy for almost a week.

Believe me, I could mow some serious hard disk space on Matt's server, but I'd like to keep this brief. So I've decided to write about a distinction I've thought about quite a lot since I quit over 100 days ago. Everyone on QS.org is not only invited, but capable of participating.

Drag your quit through the prism of political correctness, or Quit Track, whatever makes more sense to you. (In 100 days, at $5 per tin, I saved over $120, but I'm on the low end of the savings scale. $500 is a can-a-day habit.) In the course of my 24 year habit, dip has gone from a fraction of a dollar, ($0.60 is the cheapest I can remember buying Cope) to five bucks. Why? Someone observed tobacco use creates a sucking chest wound that bleeds dollars. Eventually, Congress decided to put a bucket under the hemorrhage.

I can live with that, under the adage, "if you wanna' dance, you gotta' pay the fiddler." I think that if your going to cram ammonia laced weed in your lip, you've got no problem with the extent to which you're exposing one of the most delicate membranes of your body to an indiscriminate carcinogen. Or maybe you do have a problem with that, but you ignore it. To be frank, I think it's OK that nicotine addicts pay through the nose for tobacco products.

Here's the distinction: there's another class of citizens out there who will never enjoy a benefit of legislation: the nicotine addict who quit (smoke or smokeless—legislation and insurance companies call it "tobacco use" not "smoking," not "dipping," so as they do not acknowledge the delivery system, I don't either). In my opinion, this is quite how it should be. We danced. We paid. And every one of us knows that the payments didn't necessarily stop the day we quit.

So what is the benefit to quitting? I started dipping at age 18. Today I am 43. This is the first birthday I've spent free from the shackles of nicotine addiction since I was 17. This is at once both amazing (that I quit at all), and disgusting (that I used dip that long). The benefit of quitting is that I may get to live longer than I would have if I'd chosen to keep dipping. That's it, really. And that is more than enough for me.

My work commenced on June 3, 2003. May it never end.

Glenwood Springs, CO
GP 20030610 I feel very proud of myself today. Having overcome this personal demon has empowered me in ways that are hard to express.

If you've encouraged me, suffered with me, struggled with me, or rejoiced with me, I thank you and hope you know who you are. I wish I could thank you all by name, but the list would be too long. My January, July, and September brothers, you have my eternal gratitude. May we all celebrate a lifetime of freedom.

If you have contributed to my freedom, you may expect me to pay a debt of gratitude, but I will pay it forward by contributing to the quits of others who come with hope to this Web site. We are QuitSmokeless.org, and I will always be proud to be a part of it.

If you are early in your attempt to quit, consider this: Every single one of the people you see on the pages of the Hall of Fame has been where you are right now. Every one of us has felt like our life would end if we didn't have a dip right this minute. Every one of us has struggled minute by minute to keep that dip out of our mouths.

The hard truth is that quitting is difficult, possibly one of the most difficult things you'll ever undertake in the short-term. But it's also true that it may be one of the most loving things you can do for yourself. In your heart, you know it's something you need to do. I'm here to tell you that it's something you CAN do.

I'd like to pass on two pearls of wisdom I've picked up on my journey:

1. Post often and get deeply involved with Quitsmokeless.org: It's helpful to get on here, read, and just spill your guts from time to time, but there's something very special and rewarding that happens when you lend a helping hand to a brother or sister who is falling down and needs your encouragement. To see that person rise to their feet and keep fighting because you were there to help them is a feeling that words cannot describe. Beyond the built-in reward of helping others, that person you helped up today may be the one who pulls your butt out of the ditch tomorrow.

2. If you take a dip ("cave"), you don't have to take another one, and you'll be happier if you don't: Many of us have stumbled along the trail. We have all tried to quit and failed before. There's no shame in it. It's a let-down, but it is not the end. Listen: If you fall, stand back up immediately, and by "immediately," I mean now.

Immediately is not "when I finish the can" or "tomorrow" or "next Saturday" or "when work calms down" or after the weekend. It means now. You gain NOTHING from continuing to dip, ever. As hard as it is, flush that can, spit out your dip, and recommit yourself to quitting. Every dip you take is one more link in the chain that binds you. Break it now.

Matt van Wyk: Thank you for having the passion and the vision to start this site and to keep it growing and flourishing for years. I can only hope to do something in my life that has as much of a positive impact on the lives of others as your actions surely have.

Erikasdad: Thank you for sending me e-mail 6 months after I had vanished from this site in October. Your support was above and beyond anything I ever could have expected or hoped for. I wasn't thinking seriously about quitting until you sent me mail. After reading here at QS again for a few days, I came to myself and realized that I really did want to quit, and started to believe that I could. I have never met you, but I consider you my friend.

Famous last words: I hereby commit myself to a lifetime free of nicotine, and invite you to do the same. You won't regret it.

Longmont, CO
bullriderkss 20030610 WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (turning backflips and grinning from ear to ear) This is an incredible day. I am a quitter and proud of it. I know that I will never be done quitting, but at the same time this milestone lends a sense of permanence to the effort.

So many thanks are due that I am not even sure where to start. My quit group, especially GP, Moz, Ish, and Shakespear. The HOF members who got here before me, your example and articles were an inspiration. Matt, this website was a Godsend for me and many others like me. If we ever meet I owe you many beverages. You probably played a very large role in saving my life. My friends and family for putting up with me, especially my fiance. Oregon Mint Snuff for helping me through some tough craves.

If you are a new quitter or are considering quitting this website could be an incredible blessing to you. I am here as a testament to the fact that if you join a group and read and post, and hold yourself accountable you can do it.

I always signed my posts with the quote "what consumes your thoughts controls your life". Whether you are a Creed fan or not it's hard to argue with the truth of that lyric. What consumed my thoughts for years was Copenhagen. However, I feel that now is the time to retire the signature.

Let a new day begin!

Arkansas
Shakespear 20030620 100 days down, life remaining.

Thanks to everyone involved with this site that offered me their guidance and support. I'm not sure I would've made it without QS.

Nine years ago, I started dipping to quit smoking. Though I'd never played before, soccer season was merely days away, and a friend had convinced me to join our high school team. Dip became an acceptable substitute because it wouldn't ruin my lungs and keep me heaving for air whenever I tried to run a distance greater than three feet. For years, I had friends that dipped who would offer their cans with a wink and a smile, and I would lie and say, "No thanks. I can't keep it tucked in my lip well enough," just so I wouldn't seem un-cool for being a snuff virgin.

Nine years later, I wish I'd stayed un-cool.

If you're reading this now and you're thinking about quitting, understand this:

As difficult as this entire process is, quitting involves one simple step.

1) Do not put snuff in your mouth.

Do whatever it takes to keep it out of your lip.

Are you listening? Do whatever it takes.

This is your life. Rescue it. There will never be a right time. Not after "things settle down at work." Not after "this one last can." Not after you "get married." These are excuses to keep killing yourself. Do you need a reason to stay alive?

Quitting dip is not the end of the world. It's the creation of a new one.and I think you'll like living in it.

See you on the other side.

VA
manofchoice 20030523 I remember during my first 100 days quit that I would often think about what I would write for my HOF speech. But now that it has come and gone, I don't know what to say. I remember looking up my quit track and seeing 100 days and shedding a tear - both because I was so happy that I had made it and couldn't believe it and because of how sick and disgusting I was when I was dipping 100 days ago. I truly can't believe that I made it 100+ days. Each day seems like a miracle.

I think that one of the biggest realizations for me was when someone used the term "delusional thinking" when they referred to what happens to the thought process of an addict. It hit me like a ton of bricks and I couldn't escape it. I had delusional thoughts. Dipping made me think in a delusional way. I constantly lied to myself and everybody around me. I didn't really feel like taking the dogs for a long walk, Honey, I just wanted to go to the store and buy some dip that I flushed the night before. I wasn't late for that meeting because of traffic, I had to stop and buy some chew and the line was really long. I didn't need some alone time, Mom, I just needed to chew and didn't want you to see me doing it. It was all a lie. My life revolved around taking a chew. It had total control of me. I actually believed that it helped me during important meetings or during stressful times. Well going through those same types of meetings and stressful times without it, I can tell you that it didn't help at all. In fact, it degraded my performance. But, I kept up the lie. Until I quit. It has gotten easier over time not to chew, but it doesn't happen overnight. I have been faced with some real trails and challenges, but with my motto, "I don't chew" I have made it. It's not that, "I quit" or "I don't do that anymore," - "I don't chew." Not negotiable, no options, no room to lie to myself or others.

When I see people now that are addicted to tobacco and have the dip rage going, it is so easy for me to recognize. But, I don't judge, I don't get mad at them, I just accept it and pray that they will someday find freedom from the evil that is tobacco. There is no doubt in my mind that the evil that is in tobacco was too powerful for me to fight alone. GOD's mercy took me from this evil and set me free from it's lies. Seriously, I asked GOD to come into my life and remove tobacco from my life. I was desperate. He answered and responded. He doesn't help those that don't really try to help themselves and it wasn't over night. But it did happen. It was a miracle and is everyday of my life.

Franktown, CO
TucsonTom 20030623

I am an addict. I've been addicted to nicotine for 28 years. I will be addicted to nicotine for the rest of my life. I am an addict, but my addiction no longer controls me, because I don't dip anymore. But I also know that "just one dip" could enslave me again for the rest of my life. That is a reality, but I refuse to let that be my reality. I will continue to choose freedom every day. 

I am an addict, but I didn't always realize it. For too long I rationalized my tobacco use. I fooled myself into believing that I could stop dipping whenever I wanted. I pompously declared that I just didn't want to quit yet. Inside I knew I was dependent on nicotine, but I was afraid to admit such a weakness. Other people were addicts, but not me. I was strong. I had to be. After all, I was the guy who helped addicts. 

You see, I'm a Christian pastor. I've counseled many individuals who were slaves to chemical dependency. I helped many of them rid their lives of debilitating addictions to substances like heroin, pain killers and alcohol. All the while I did it with a dip under my lip, deliberately ignoring the fact that I was living in my own state of chemical dependency, in as much need of help as they were. 

Finding QS was an epiphany for me. It helped me realize exactly who I was (a nicotine addict) and exactly what I needed to do (quit dipping forever). It's not that I didn't already know those things, but QS helped bring everything into focus for me. In reading about other people's struggles with nicotine addiction, I was able to finally see myself. After that, QS gave me the framework in which I could be successful at beating this addiction. 

After the first day of "discovering" QS, I was reminded of a professional paper I wrote for a pastoral seminar about 10 years ago on counseling the chemically dependant. I dug it out and re-read it. Although I wrote it with the hard-core drug addict in mind, I was amazed that in many ways I was describing my own addiction to nicotine. I would like to share just a few snippets of that paper: 

Substance abuse is like every other human malady. It is just one more symptom of an inner disturbance of our relationship with God.  

... The fact that we call it a "dependency" tips us off to the real problem. Substance abuse is really a thinly veiled form of idolatry. Users and abusers abandon their trust in God's promise of eternal happiness for the allure of short-term pleasure. They prefer a quick high to God's guidance through the valleys of life. 

... Helping the addict begins with a practical, mechanical step. The victim must be removed from the chemical influence that is dominating him. No one under the influence of chemical dependence can respond to Jesus talk.

... The next step is to provide a lifetime of surrounding, support and Christian love.

... When there is a relapse, we will do what God has repeatedly done for us: repeat steps one and two. 

I had always thought that my nicotine addiction wasn't as serious as the "real addicts" I was helping. After all, my body wasn't ravaged and my life wasn't messed up. But as I began examining my life more closely, I discovered it wasn't as pristine as I had imagined either. I was compromising my time, my health and my relationship with my wife all for the sake of tobacco. Dipping was interfering with time spent with my kids during their formative years. My health was suffering because dipping had replaced taking care of myself. Truly copenhagen HAD become a god for. And I was enslaved. I couldn't go anywhere without making sure that I had my tin in my pocket (tap-tap).  

Like most dippers, I have tried to quit many times in the past. The reason I feel confident that this is my last quit is due to QS. Here are the things that were key for QS being successful for me: 

  1. Understanding - I dipped in isolation. I didn't have any other friends or colleagues who dipped. No one I knew understood the mentality of a dipper. In the times I would try to quit, I never got much support because no one ever understood what I was going through. At QS everyone understood it and understood it well.
  2. Positive reinforcement - I was immediately impressed on my first post to QS that there were people whom I had never met who were willing to reply to me and encourage me to stay strong. Having a quit group with members in my own stage of quitting was exactly what I needed.
  3. Safety net - There were several times, especially early on, when I felt that I just couldn't get through the day without caving. Then I would log on to QS and read the posts and the articles and realize how much was at stake. For me, logging on was just the kind of safety net that I needed but never had before. Being able to log on to the site helped prevent many early caves for me.
  4. Inspiration - Seeing people beating their addictions on a daily basis was very inspiring to me. Rallying around the recently inducted Hall of Famers and reading their speeches inspired me to join their group. Daily seeing guys posting who had 100, 200, 300 and more days behind them made me know it was possible.
 

QS makes quitting possible by providing a framework that promotes success. Obviously, not everyone who visits here quits. Nicotine addiction is a powerful thing. It still takes some real testicular fortitude to get through the early days and to stick with. There are no magic bullets or easy shortcuts. Some days you just have to gut it out. Even at 100 days there are still triggers that set me off reaching instinctively for that tin in my pocket that isn't there anymore. Thanks to QS, that tine will never be there again. I may be an nicotine addict, but I don't dip anymore.  

I'd like to thank Matt for creating and maintaining this site. God bless you. It was a great idea, but I'm especially thankful that you turned the idea into a reality. I'd also like to thank everyone in the September 2003 group for being there when I needed you, for your support and guidance. And I'd like to salute everyone at QS, no matter what stage your quit is in. You've done something positive with your life by eliminating tobacco. And as you've helped yourself, you've helped countless others in the process. May God be with you all.

Tucson, AZ
klaro 20030626 HOF speech, wow! 102 days ago I was so disgusted with my 22 year dip habit that I franticly searched the internet for help in quitting this horrible addiction. I had been so disappointed in myself for so long. Quit after quit with no success. I felt like a weak human being, although, I know that I am not. Somehow, someway I became incredibly addicted to a drug called copenhagen (no capital letter for that crap). It controlled my every thought during the day. It occupied so much of my time that even after 100 days I still feel like part of my life is missing. It cost me thousands of dollars over the years. I started dipping in Washington State when I was thirteen years old. Hell, I used to ride my bike to purchase chew at 7-11 for 39 cents. They never asked me for I.D. What the hell? Did no one know this stuff can kill you?

I always put those quit dates way out there associating them with a long term goal that may or may not happen. You know. I will quit when I get married, when I have kids, when I have a good job, when I get cancer. I never believed I was addicted. I enjoyed it! That is funny. What is the joy of sore gums, stained teeth and fingers, paranoia, and bad breath?

The problem with quitting the addiction is that there aren't a lot of former chewers/dippers in this world to relate with. Well, at least that is what I thought. When I finally came across www.quitsmokeless.org, I was blown away. The amount of honesty, support, and friendships that had been created based on a common goal was truly inspiring. I didn't register immediately. I waited for several days but read story after story and post after post. The chat- like forum is not a norm for me, but I could tell it was necessary. We all need a support group. This site and the people who participate with it on a daily basis are real heroes. I joined and I have never looked back.

How I QUIT:

  1. I absolutely did whatever it took to quit. Spongebob (great HOF'er) taught me this and he is right. I don't care if it is Bacc-off, SMC, seeds, food, gum, mints, coffee, candy, etc........ do what it takes.
  2. I read Death Day by Big Dave. If that doesn't do it, what will?
  3. I read Hope's contract over and over.
  4. I looked into the mirror every morning and promised myself I will not chew tobacco today.
  5. I avoided all nicotine.
  6. I avoided all triggers (convenience stores, drinking alcohol) for at least two weeks.
  7. After some confidence building, I faced all triggers. I drank, fished, and went to convenience stores on purpose just to buy candy bars. I decided to live my life without copenhagen just as I wanted.
  8. I read and posted to my quit group as much as possible. Reading more than I ever posted.
  9. Started paying close attention to all my firsts. There were a lot of firsts for me after 22 years. Hell, my kids (12 and 5) have never known their Dad without a big dip of hagen in his lip! Every day is like a new beginning.
  10. I quit for myself and for me only. Family and friends are great reasons. But I prefer to use them as the reason to never start again.

To my Quit Group: The Rocktober Gladiators

10/5 - Sunday - Strawboss
10/5 - Sunday - Sunder
10/7 - Tuesday - breeto
10/8 - Wednesday - Roy Boy
10/15 - Wednesday - formyOG
10/17 - Friday - Drod
10/20 - Monday - wannabefree
10/22 - Wednesday - dehaven
10/22 - Wednesday - ameriskin
10/25 - Saturday - Scooter11
10/25 - Saturday - spudbucket
10/27 - Monday - db
10/27 - Monday - OneLastTime!!!
10/31 - Friday - Anonymous

We set our goals high and took the steps to achieve. The first battle is behind us but the war still goes on. We should hold our heads high and be proud of this accomplishment. But we must remember the true goal, to be smokeless tobacco free for the rest of our lives. We must always be aware of the demon that lurks around us. Raise those swords and conquer the demon!

What we once were... we no longer are. What we have become... we will always be.

To my wonderful wife: I can accomplish anything with your love and support.
To my kids: DO NOT USE TOBACCO
To all HOF'ers: Thanks to all of you. Each of you made an impact on my life.

To Matt van Wyk:
   THANK YOU, I owe you my life.

Kevin Laramie

Sandy, UT
strawboss 20030628 One hundred four days ago today I got caught in yet another dip-induced lie by my wife, one month before our one-year anniversary. Today, I am proud that I can be true to the one that I love, and true to myself.

I had been more or less a closet dipper for the past 10 years. The seed was first planted when I had my first dip at an early age, somewhere around the age of 12-14. When I turned 18, dip was legally available, and I soon became an addict. I was like many of you, I denied my addiction, because I thought I could quit at anytime. Over the years, long after I realized how enslaved I had become to dip, I would "attempt" to quit numerous times. We all know how that goes, as it is impossible to quit unless you truly want to for yourself. This point has been reiterated over and over again by a number of members of this site. You can only truly succeed with your quit when you truly want to quit. Your friends, wife, family, or others may encourage or demand that you quit. But no one can force you to quit. This decision must come from within. To conquer this addiction, it will take all of the willpower, resolve, guts, heart, courage, patience, wisdom, and love that you can muster. I have learned, as many before me have revealed: WHEN YOU COME TO TERMS WITH WHY YOU WANT TO QUIT, YOU CAN QUIT AT ANYTIME.

I quit for a number of reasons. Perhaps my biggest reason, other than future health concerns, was the embarrassment I felt as a result of my addiction. I was ashamed of my habit and hid it from most people that know me. My co-workers, friends, and family were all unaware of my habit. I hid the habit from my wife throughout our first eleven months of marriage, although she would catch me periodically. In order to get my fix of tobacco, I would go through extraordinary measures. You guys know the drill. I would stay up late watching TV just to get that coveted dip time. I would spend extra time in the garage, tinkering with things that needed no more tinkering. I would take the long way to work, and the long way home, just to suck the last drop out of the dip. Then after dipping, I would wash my mouth out, and stress out about whether my wife would discover what I had been hiding between my cheek and gum.

Many would ask why I did not just save myself some trouble by letting my wife, family, and friends know about my habit. After all, it would have been a lot easier to continue with my habit that way. My wife has told me that she did not hate me for dipping; she just did not appreciate me keeping it from her and lying about it. If I let the cat out of the bag, I could go on with my habit without the stress of looking over my shoulder. That may sound like a simple solution to some. The fact is, for me, dipping was MY dirty little secret. It was a secret that has weighed me down for the past 10 years. This habit was one of the few things that I am not proud of, and I certainly did not want the world to know. I had no idea what folks would think about me. I did not want people to see my habit or know of my weakness. That included my wife.

When she would catch me dipping, I would say that I would quit. I wanted to, but never really put my best effort into it. As I said before, this was MY habit, MY addiction, MY secret. I thought that I needed to quit this habit by MYself. So, I would do like many of you have done. I would quit for a few days, only to cave shortly after. I would buy a can, take a few dips, and then chunk it in the trash. The cycle would continue over and over and over again. I would go long spells where I did not even care about quitting. I knew that I needed to, but I told myself that I would quit later. I had been telling myself this for the past ten years. I told myself that I would quit on Monday, on my birthday, for New Year's, when I finished college, finished graduate school, or when I got married. Well, needless to say, I didn't quit all those times that I said I would. I have been a procrastinator all my life, and this was one more thing that I would put off for another day. Each day made me more of a slave to this addiction, and the chains that bound me became heavier with each passing moment.

I broke free of those chains on June 28, 2003. My wife caught me dipping for the last time on June 26. We went through our typical, awkward silent treatment. And then, as we always do, we talked about it the next day. Usually, when we would talk about me dipping, I would apologize for dipping, and apologize for lying. I realized how much I was hurting her, and told her I would quit. My first post to QS.org tells the story best:

"I would tell her that I would quit, only to sneak dips here and there. Like all of you, I would buy cans, only to take a few dips, then toss them. A couple of days later, I would give in again, convincing myself that this can would be the last can. Often my relapses resulted in my wife catching me sneaking a dip, thereby causing considerable strain on a new marriage. We would work it out, and I would say that this next time I would quit for sure. Each time failed."

So what has made the difference this time? Why was this quit so different to allow me to get to the Hall of Fame and beyond? Well, for starters, I came to terms with why I wanted to quit. I finally recognized that I was hurting myself as well as my wife. I began to understand that with each dip I took, I was giving a little of myself away. Dip was stealing my independence, my courage, my love, my heart, my health, and my smile. Deep inside, I no longer liked who I was because of my addiction. We all know how bad the stuff can be for your physical health, but I now believe it is even worse for your emotional health. I was a wreck inside because of all the stress that dipping caused me. Ironic, isn't it, that something that supposedly eases stress tends to cause it as well? I now think that becoming wiser to this fact has been critical in my success.

Secondly, I got help from folks who were fighting the same battle. I made it to the Hall with the help of the folks in QS.org. In the past, I tried to go it alone, and failed. Reading and posting in Roll Call and in the October group has really helped me get a handle on my addiction. It has been wonderful to know that there are others out there who have the same issues and problems with this addiction. I would like to thank Matt for making this site. It truly is a remarkable service he provides, and I will spread the gospel of QS.org to whoever I can. I also want to thank my quit brothers in the October group: db, Drod, Spudbucket, formyOG, wannabefree, ameriskin, RoyBoy, OneLastTIME!, Dehaven, Scooter11, Breeto, Anonymous, and klaro. Also a big thanks should go to cds, Mozco, GP, and Motrish. You all have impacted my life in more ways than you can imagine. You guys have been great support. We have laughed together, cried together, and fought together. Thanks for comforting me, motivating me, holding me accountable, and giving me a swift kick when I needed it.

Finally, I made it to the Hall with the help of my wife. Her love, patience, guidance, and wisdom have been instrumental in OUR success. I say "our" because we have both fought side-by-side, hand-in-hand, battling MY addiction together. In the past, I tried to quit without her. My pride got in the way, because I thought I had to take care of my own problems. But one of the best things that I have learned during this quit is that we have to share our problems with each other. If pride gets in the way, the problem will not go away. I pushed my pride aside, and let my wife help me fight this battle. I opened myself up to her, allowing her to know exactly how I was feeling. Because of this, she could comfort me, motivate me, love me, and inspire me during my journey to the Hall of Fame. As a result of the quitting process, our love for each other has grown exponentially. We are more open with each other, as we no longer let personal barriers get in the way of our relationship. Our relationship has grown much stronger, because we both united to battle my weakness. We have become much stronger as a couple, ready to take on any future challenge together. I want to thank my wife for giving me more chances than I deserved during our first eleven months of marriage. I also want to thank my wife for all that she has done for me during this struggle, and for her continued support in the future. I now know that anything is possible when she's by my side.

I apologize for the length of this speech, but I wanted to make sure I recorded all my thoughts, feelings, and emotions at the time of this milestone. I know in the future I may occasionally get thoughts and desires to have "just one dip". This HOF speech is a testament of my struggle, and I will continue to use it as a frame of reference. I believe it tells the story of where I once was, while also showing how far I have come. In writing and reading this story, I know that I will never dip again. I also know that the story will never end, because each day is a new chapter in my tobacco-free life.

Keep fighting the Good Fight,
strawboss

OH
Sunder 20030628

Holy gigantic tailfeathers Batman! I made it!

The road to the hall has not been an easy road for me to travel. I had started (not very convincingly) with the August HOFers and caved two days after my quit and figured that there was no way I was like the other guys in here. I mean, I only dipped once a day... barely a tin a week. There were people in the August group who were going through a tin A DAY! I couldn't imagine chewing that much, so hey, I'm better than all of you in here!

This, I would recognize later, is just one of the many lies the beast tells you to keep you addicted.

The "Unknown" Sunder

I was a closet dipper. As an English teacher in a small town high school in Michigan, it was extremely important for me to keep my addiction secret from my students. My wife of eight years, would occasionally find an old spitter full of excrement and confront me on it. I always found a way to convince her that I would quit the next day, only to dip on the 45-minute one-way commute that I drove for four years. When I found a job closer to home, my addiction would cause me to find longer drives home, making sure I maintained what my best friend (August HOFer Spartan BJ) and I termed "minimum dip time" (MDT) of thirty minutes. We, in our infinite wisdom, came up with this term while living together in college, dipping after dinner (usually Taco Bell, an excellent dip PRIME) on the balcony of our apartment. I still look back on these days with great nostalgia, but NOW it's for the time spent with my best friend, not for how great the dip might have been. Unfortunately, we were unknowingly feeding our addiction to become a life-long obsession. Thankfully, it was Spartan BJ who helped to find Matt van Wyk and his fantastic site.

The Ugly

The spit collection containers of choice were used water bottles. My wife would purchase a six pack of these and then occasionally re-use the bottles. I am ashamed to admit here that, on more than one occasion, she would unknowingly re-use an old spitter of mine as a water bottle. One time I followed her to exchange the offensive bottle with a clean one, only to empty my old spitter to use on the drive home.

The Bad

Often times I would find excuses to be alone away from my family so that I could dip. I would go on any and all errands for my wife, but always alone. I dreaded that she would find the tin hidden in my car when she would go retrieve something from it. The last three years I spent many hours in the library studying for my Masters Degree... often with the grave dirt between the cheek and gum. Sometimes I would go even though I was done with my studies. This time to grade papers. My excuse, "so I can focus on the papers for my students..." The truth of the matter was I needed to get away so that I could feed my habit. I can never take back the lies I told my wife. Thank God she has been supportive and has forgiven me for the lies. You will find stories in here on how dip was a factor in disputes with a spouse. Don't fall victim to the beast so it puts your marriage at stake. It's not worth it.

I started dipping when I was 13 years old. I wanted to be "cool" like my friends, and that first initial rush was fantastic. Now, some 22 years later, it's a disgusting habit that I wish never had taken hold of me. I quit because I wanted my life back. I quit for me, for my life.

And finally, The Good

I know that this quit will last. QS and my ROCKTOBER brothers have been extremely helpful in making my entry into the HOF possible. As a conclusion to my banter, I'd like to get a few SHOUT OUTS...

First, to my best friend Spartan BJ-Thank you for directing me to QS and not getting all on my stuff when I caved. I'm sorry that I couldn't enter the hall with you, but your tenacity and sticking with your own quit has been an inspiration to me. I'm looking forward to times together dip free, like the MAN trip up north. I'm still going to kick your ass in MADDEN, so be ready.

To Matt van Wyk-This site saved my life. Thank you for your gift to all of us. QS RULES!

RocktoberMen-You have been there for me through the thick and the thin... Sixty-five of us entered this fray, and now only a few of us remain. I couldn't have done this with out you guys. Towards the end db, Drod, Spudbucket, formyOG, wannabefree, ameriskin, RoyBoy, OneLastTIME!, Dehaven, Scooter11, Breeto, Anonymous, Strawboss (my HOF brother), and klaro have kept the group going. The ever-present Moze would give just the right dose of "GET REAL" advice we needed to get back on track. Spongebob even popped his head in on us. We lost some great people. People who really had an impact on me...

One of those individuals is Cds-I have never met you in person, but I feel like we would hang out and be good friends. I'm not the only one who felt like you were our "unofficial" leader, and your posts would bring us to tears or we'd laugh so hard we'd mess ourselves. You dished out compassionate advice to each of us, and kept us going through some dark times. If I ever have the opportunity to meet you in person, the first couple of rounds are on me. Thank you, brother. You helped me more than you will ever know.

Motrish-You came to Rocktober by way of addiction to cigarettes, but we adopted you as our "Lone Lady Down Under." We felt for your loss, and missed you when the beast had you in his grip. I'm glad that you are now a big part of the December group, and look forward to reading your HOF speech.

To those of you who are considering a life free of nicotine... you can have that life. Join. Join NOW. As my friend Spartan BJ says, "I used to chew and now I don't." If you take it one day at a time, you can say that too. Isn't your life worth saving? I know that my own life was.

Thank you, all of you, who made today possible.

Mark Sundermann

Holt, MI
Drod 20030710 100 days ago I decided it was time to stop killing myself. I began the journey to rid myself of snuff, and I was scared to death. I knew it was going to be tough, but I was determined to make this my last quit. I battled with everything I had and now for once I can proudly say I am a free man!!

I found QS.org on July 9, 2003 and established an "official quit date" of July 10, 2003. I couldn't help but wonder how many times that "official quit date" would change before I final gave up on quitting like I've done so many times before. Little did I know what I had found when I logged into QS.org for the 1st time. I know it's very cliche to say it but I was amazed at the support and reading everyone's experiences. They related to me so closely I was taken back a little. I thought I was the only one who was dealing with this pain. I thought "nobody is as addicted as I am." I was taking 6-8 dips per day beginning within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning. If I didn't put a dip in my mouth within 5 minutes of eating breakfast, I would start getting irritable.

I began dipping in 1988. I was 14 years old and bullet proof. I always told myself that I can and will quit as soon as any sores appear. 30,000 sores later I was still dipping. In fact I was dipping over a can a day and my entire day was planned around dipping. I looked forward to going deer hunting every year and stuffing my lip with worm dirt while I enjoyed the serenity of being in the woods. If I was at a ball game (playing or being a spectator), I was dipping. Oh, and road trips? You better believe I had that junk in my mouth on every one of them.

I told my wife that I would quit dipping when my now 2 and a half year old daughter was born. I truly intended to do so.......... until the nicotine withdrawals started setting in. My wife would tell me "you'll never quit will you?" How do you answer that? I would tell her "Yeah I will, when I'm ready to." That was just one of the 15 million excuses I and everyone else has used to keep feeding the demon.

I can't say any one thing made me realize that it was time to quit. I just decided that I was going to. With the help of everyone at QS.org, I will celebrate 100 dip free days today. This is amazing to me considering I have not had 1 single dip free day in 14 years prior to my final quit.

First of all I want to thank you Matt van Wyk. You saved my life brother!! Thank you for creating this site, and thank you for making sure my 2 little girls will grow up with a healthy Daddy. I owe you my life man.

My Rocktober Quit Brothers

Spudbucket- You were huge in my quit...... more than you'll ever know. Thanks for emailing me when I wasn't posting. Your presence was always there in the October group. I can't wait to celebrate your entry in 8 days!!! Even though we are 11 years apart in age, I have a feeling you and I would be great friends if we ever met.

FormyOG- Being just 2 days ahead of me I was nipping at your heels. I remember telling you about half way through to make sure you didn't stumble because I'm right on your tail. Well, you assured me you wouldn't and I'm so glad you didn't. You held me accountable. For this I thank you brother.

db- Your enthusiasm for your quit was inspiring. You always seemed so lively and full of spunk. It was always a pleasure to read your posts. I'll be standing there holding the door with one hand and a cold brew for you with the other hand when you make your entrance in 11 days.

anonymous- Everytime I hear your name I'm going to think about the yellow smiley face and bottles of beer. I'll also think about the support you gave to this group each and every day. Brother, it was much appreciated!

Strawboss- I always looked at you as a veteran in this thing. You always seem to know what to say. Everytime I read one of your posts, I imagine this professional librarian with a fatty in his lip. Thanks for being in this group bro!

klaro- Another veteran. I can remember when you were at 30 days and I was thinking "Man this guy is kicking some serious ass!!!! Can I make 30 days?" You're eyeball avatar always reminds me of determination. That's the emotion you convey in your posts. Your determination rubbed off on me and many others. Thanks man. I really appreciate you being here.

Sunder- The self proclaimed "old, fat mexican." Regardless of what you call yourself, to me you are very insightful. Down to earth folks like you make this world a better place. I'll always remember your daughter's birthday (since it's the same as mine) and know how lucky she and Jacob are to have such a good daddy.

cds- It broke my heart to hear you caved. I was overcome with joy to see you dust yourself off and jump right back on the horse. You are an inspiration and a champion. I will always remember your description of what you called a "hog dip" and where you used to get one. Even though you left our group, I'll be celebrating right there with you when you enter the HOF. Thank you for all of your insightful posts.

Dehaven, OLT, ameriskin, and others who did not post regularly: You are all just as much a part of this group as us motor mouths. Just having you guys with us held me and others accountable.

My posts have been limited in roll call these first 100 days, but I have been reading posts in there. All of you vets: Thanks for hanging around for us newbies. There are way too many of you for me to name, but you all know who you are. It is my hope that each member will continue posting for the newbies after they enter the HOF. This is a group effort and every member of QS.org is a valuable player.

Danny

Bryan, TX
SMC 20030711 100 Days ago, I decided to put my life first! It was on July 10, 2003 my wife said to me on yet again.. "you smell like tobacco" and her face cringed. That was the last time I had to endure her saying this to me. That was the last evening I spent killing myself. That was the last time I decided that a dip was more important than my wife, daughter and my son. I began a difficult journey towards regaining control of my life and admitting I was an addict. An addiction that controlled me since 1988. An addiction that stole money altered me into some one who I didn't want to be. The first of the month, the fifteenth of the month, my birthday, my wife's birthday, our anniversary, the birth of my daughter, New Years Day, the birth of my son were all quit dates that came and a cave later went. But it was July 11, 2003, nothing spectacular or special about the day, but the day I decided that it was time. Headaches, cravings, and numerous bottles of water and miles of exercise later, I still was the slave of the tin as I continued to crave but fought off the cave. It was and continues to be hard and yet I made 100 days, it is still a challenge to keep the quit. I check in the QS.org when I need comfort, the support to keep the quit, and hear the inspirations of fellow quitters who fight the demon daily. There is no secret to success. I realized my previous quits were about others and situations not for me—a hard concept at times, but dipping was about me! That has been key as well as the website. Dip free and I hope to write when I reach 200 (only 95 days away). I have decided that Today is not a good day to die!!!!!!! Keep the QUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peace and God bless to all

 
db 20030720 To start, I would like to say one of the most heartfelt thank-yous of my life to Matt Van Wyk - may you sleep soundly every night.

I'm essentially going to skip my chewing biography, you've read enough to know I'm just like you. I started when I was a teenager and lied and lied and lied. So much time, energy and money went into these lies, and it's all in the past.

100 days ago I had flaws and areas of my life to improve on, today I have flaws, but one less improvement to make. 100 days ago I quit lying to the people I love and started treating myself better. 100 days ago I was ashamed of myself and today I am not. 100 days ago I quit chewing forever - after I wrote that I paused to stare at that line. Yes, 100 days ago I quit chewing forever, and my life in the short term has been better for it, and you know my life in the long term will be better for it.

100 days later, the remaining flaws in my life seem if not easier, possible to tackle. 100 days later I have more time for family and friends. 100 days later I have my pride back, and such a sense of accomplishment. 100 days later I have been given the gift of time which is more precious than anything. 100 days later I sat with my wife and cried a little, tears of joy for being free of what held me for so long. This is my first 100 days, and there are no term limits.

So, you're reading, here's what I want you to do - quit with me. I'm still quitting, just like the honorable people who are listed in the Hall of Fame before me. I want everyone in the Hall to keep setting the example you have, and I want everyone on the way to join me, and I want you to sign up for this fight if you haven't. I want everyone to be able to sit back and take some time and look back at 100 days without nicotine and be able to type something like this.

QUIT WITH ME! I want you to quit with me so much I'll share a secret as to how I made it. Two words, magic beans. Actually, a sense of humor did help, thinking of how absurd it was making weird faces walking down the hall, pumping my fist into my hand early in the quit. Yelling in the car all alone all the way home, headaches, "the fog", "dip rage", other maladies? Had them all, my guess is about every person reading this has gone through this type of withdrawal, and it's brutal - brutal! But it doesn't last.

How long does it last? With the usual caveats to each person is different, here was my timetable. *Horrible* fog and dip rage for 2 and a half weeks, the fog and rage ended going on a backpacking trip where it was impossible to get chew for 3 and a half days. Grabbed some shredded beef jerky which helped, might be worth a shot for you. Even if you can't get away like that go and walk or run - jog in my case - exercising killed a lot of craves. Please give your quit at least three weeks and see how things clear up.

After the first 3 weeks there were plenty of hurdles as there will continue to be, but my feeling is after 3 weeks clean you determine your fate with a clear head. Back to my chewing biography, the reasons for going back after 3 weeks would be the same as yours - football season, wife out of town, yada. How I quit was 21 days of sheer will and determination and another 79 days of what? You've already found it - another 79 days of this website. Couldn't have done it without....

GOD'S GRACE: Whoever has the Phil.4:13 signature, that line is awesome - I prayed a lot asking for help, and to give thanks and praise for each day.

MVW (again) - life changer, my Nobel Peace Prize nominee even though I have no pull - maybe one day (and I'd like to give a lol for Beaker, haha)

THE VETS - Look, if you've posted a HOF speech, I've read it. If you've posted in the last 100 days, I've read it. I want to thank you, and want to mention special thanks to those who welcomed me immediately after my first posts, DOVER, GENTLE GIANT & ORION...I remember being welcomed on arrival and never properly thanked you , it meant so much at the time. The entire September group, esp. GP & MOZ, my Colorado quitters!

ROCTOBER GLADIATORS (or Fall Classics !): another pause...What an honor and privilege it has been to go through this with you. To those who are winning the battle with me.

KLARO, STRAW & BREETO: The anchors, the guys who I never thought I could catch, and never will. Thank you for leading the way.

SUNDER: Your posts have made me smile and consider this a handshake from afar. Pride (In the Name of Love)!

FORMY, SMC, HEAVIER, AMERISKIN, ONE LAST TIME: my October boys, I'll never forget those handles

DROD: Your posts have meant a lot through my quit, esp. at the beginning - you just seemed so consistent the whole way. I admire your resolve and really respect how you've gone through the quit.

SCOOTER: Now for the record, that avatar symbolized my quit - felt like you did, we had black eyes and now we're celebrating, well done

ANONYMOUS - our famous painter, writer, and poet! I'll never stop smiling when I see anything attributed to anonymous, or see a happy face - I'm smiling right now!

SPUD - or your Christian name, SPUDBUCKET: who knows who will be the leader of a group, esp. a group doing something so important, and it turned out to be you. Knowing you were going to be there posting roll and the q of the week was just a comfort in my quit, and whatever life has thrown you before, you've been an inspiration to me. You know I'll be around..

I wish I could truly find words to express my gratitude to my fellow Rocktobers, what an amazing experience.

No, I'm not done, I want to mention the Nov, group - like the Sept.group I've drawn a of strength from your posts and JIM in FLA, just an amazing job motivating your group. One more group, we started and you're still winning the battle with me...CDS, SLAPSHOT, DULOUZ, MOTRISH - I'm not done either, let's finish this together. Did I forget anyone? I'm sure I did, but you know what's important - getting through today without chewing.

A couple more and I'm done.

My Parents - hey, big surprise, you were right! It only took me 15 years to realize it. I'm so, so sorry, please forgive me, I'm on the right path. Tears again - I love you , I finally got it done.

My Wife, my beautiful wife Jenna, my everything, if everyone here had the support you've given me the last 100 days this would be easy - more tears, I love you.

I want you to be able to write a speech like this, please quit with me. DB - Dave Browning

Denver, CO
OneLastTime!!! 20030720 I am quitter number 478. That's 478 people that have felt exactly like you might right this very second. They felt angry, depressed and terrified. But 478 people have made it so far. And that means that you can to.

What I have learned:

I will always want chew as much as I ever have, I'll just want it less often. That means I can look forward to a time when I haven't thought of a chew for months.

Trying to quit on my own was much harder than quitting with others that could hold me accountable and offer me support when I needed it.

Not chewing is much easier than chewing. This I realized after an initial difficult period of approximately 72 hours. After this, periodic, often exhausting cravings were the norm, but were fought by talking to others and listening to their similar experiences.

I owe my fellow Rocktobers a tremendous debt of gratitude. My friends literally helped save or prolong my life. For that, my appreciation could never be enough.

I also owe Matt (qs.org founder) a tremendous debt of gratitude for this site, for my life and for my career. I really appreciate it Matt.

And most of all, I have learned that I can quit!

Portland, OR
GoingInsane/Anonymous 20030724 My HOF is a combo of some of my posts that got reactions and seemed to help someone. I tried to write a speech full of wisdom, but no luck. I am just another guy, somewhere who wants to put chew in my mouth. I needed a support group to help me stop doing this; you are all part of that group. Thank You. I think I'll call it:

Why We Relapse. (Or cave) (Be warned there are no real answers here)

Quote: From PSP (sometime in July)


Can I ask something? If I'm putting my nose where it don't belong, then say so, I promise not to take offense at it, but if you were able to stay off it for 134 days and even 2.5 years, have you been able to identify what it is that made you take back up the habit?
Why do we do anything that is bad for us at all? The toxins in the chew make us feel good. I remember that. After using the product for 24 years, quitting for 200 days, and going back to chewing due to urges and bad choices.

I have not been posting due to my quit being on and off now. It's not good to be addicted to this crap and a 20 year habit just may take 20 years of quitting. I don't know. All we can do is our best, hold our head up and be determined to keep quitting.

My life is too screwed up right now to think clear enough to commit now. This is sad because deep in my soul, I want to quit. I have the desire but right now I need my old disgusting friend with me.

Like I tell our kids, life is about choices, good and bad. I am making some bad ones, and may have to pay for it in the future. (Dental, health issues) Why does a person with 10 DUI's drive drunk again? Why does a crack head let their life go to sh*t for nothing? Why does a kid steal candy from the checkout line in the market? Why do dope heads wander around picking up cans all day so they can boot drugs and sleep until they need to collect cans again? Pleasure?

So I have been trying to get my life together and plan to quit 100% again then. I will share any positive things I can with you, but I am no longer going to "keep Track" of days that I may gather. This is a much more serious problem than I first thought. With the help of my Dr. and some lorazepam I should be on track again soon.

This is a very personal battle, if you're like me and screwing it up, make sure your quitting for yourself and not for ________________ (any name here).

My brain likes the drug in the chew. My brain makes choices for me. Pleasure is all it is. I try to remember how unpleasant it could make life for me. (See Cancer Gallery)

PlainSillyPutty that's all I can come up with. We are all here trying to figure out why we do this. I have been here almost a year and seen ‘em come and seen ‘em go. Seen many people make the HOF, seen many just fall off the boards forever and seen many like me just hanging around until we have to balls to let it go forever. It's one hell of a killer drug, but you know that. We all KNOW we WONT get the big C. Yea right, if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.

Hope that's not too gloomy and I hope it helps someone through today.

DIP RAGE
And a few other things I learned at Quit Smokeless. (Sometime in September)

I have been here at QS for some time now. Sometimes I feel too long. Well I know it's not true, you see I have quit, caved and quit many times. (Like many others) I pray my last run with the dip was June-July of this year. Only time can truly tell.

I choose my (original) name here, GoingInsane, because that was how I felt. I remember last year, right after my honeymoon, telling myself, hummm I hardly chewed while away. Maybe I'll try and quit. I knew I was only kidding myself but with a mouth full of Skoal I typed in "quit Skoal." Hummm, QuitSmokeless.org. I clicked it and then found my way to Roll Call. Oh my god, I could not believe what I was reading! People like me! Not only am I the only guy I know who wanted to quit Skoal; I am the only guy I knew who chewed Skoal.

My plan was to finish the can I had and I planned on making it last 5 days, and it only lasted one. I told my wife "I am all done; this was my last can of chew forever." Guess what? She laughed at me. Well, I was hurt and dip rage set in already. I showed her this place, she said good luck. I read everything I could and after a few hours got up the nerve to join. I needed to post how much it hurt to leave my buddy Skoal behind. I was already in doubt and mad as hell. You see I had carried my best friend on my ass for many years, which should have told me something a long time ago.

Well, there I was, quitting Skoal, posting and sitting here hour after hour just praying for some one to post. I watched for hours on end those first days. Waiting to feed off what others already knew. They spoke of fake chews, teas, water, and sunflower seeds. Whoa wait a minute, FAKE CHEW! I needed to know about this, I was up all night in excitement for Wal-Mart to open. That'll help, I just knew it. I always said to myself "If there was a fake thing to put in my lip I could quit". Well, it was 6:30 am Wal-Mart opens at 7, I was off. I got the fake chew & it pissed me off, but then I knew the truth, it was the nicotine I needed not just something in my lip.

I spent 3 weeks crying, yelling, running away from home in the rain, ruining a relationship with our my step daughter, bitching about UST, even planning a protest that never happed in CT. I fell a few times, but it was part of my quit. From September 8th to November 13th or so, I held on tight and was a real asshole. I caved sometime in Nov for one pinch, was disappointed. My new HOF day was Feb 14th 2003. It seemed sooo far away. But you know what; most of my rage was gone. I made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New years, my birthday and Super bowl Sunday dip free! Then it was here Feb. 14th, I did it! I went 100 days Dip free!!!! Not only was my dip rage gone, so was the rage and anger I had before trying to quit. You see I found just using Skoal made me pissed all the time.

Then, after 200 days free of Skoal, after turning my whole life around, I returned to dip for like 6 weeks. I lost my pretty decent job (downsizing), got angry, and spent more cash on drinking and chewing... Hell, I was giving advice here with a chew in my mouth!!! I was disgusted with myself!!! I emailed a buddy from the boards here and told my tale. He set me straight; I picked a new quit date and stuck to it. And guess what? I was living up to my name again; I was FreakingGoingInsane though this time. Do not think for a minute that just because you quit once you can do it again!!!!! I had to be treated like a child, my wife had to watch my money, and I had to take suggestions from people that I had helped earlier in my quit. I had to become humble again. I became a newbie, created a new name (anyone catch on to that yet? It is Anonymous) and joined a group (October 2003 thank you so much!). Only now with 62 days again, I fell confident that I am going to make it. Most of my rage is gone, I am not using substitutes any more, and I feel I can give honest advice again.

So use this site to your advantage, join a group, make some friends and email them. Post everyday, get addicted to the site if you need. Tell everyone you know what you are doing! Be sure to tell the ones who experience your dip rage that you love them and this anger is temporary. I know you hate dipping, that is why you are here. Even if you don't think you can do this, you can. I never thought I could quit chewing Skoal. I loved that sh*t and I hated that sh*t.

I am feeling good again, my baby, Emma, who is now 3 weeks old, SHALL NEVER SEE ME DIP!! I pray for this every day. I just imagine my nasty dip stained hands burning her eyes; god knows I've done it to myself. I realize this is a real drug addiction we have. And the addicts have a saying "Ones too many and a thousands never enough". God if that isn't the truth I don't know what is.

I hope and pray all of you new guys make it. Don't be the one who disappears from this site. Keep quitting, again and again if you have to.

I hope that something up there helps someone; I had to get it all out....

Sometime Oct. 31 2003
Something down here helped us all out:

Klaro
Strawboss
Sunder
breeto
formyOG
Drod
heavierwallet
SMC
wannabefree
dehaven
ameriskin
Scooter11
spudbucket
db
OneLastTime!!!
Anonymous

I guess it was our team work and honesty. Maybe it was just that we showed up every Monday to see our names listed. I am going to miss that list; I now have this copy on my home computer for whenever I need to remember it. Thanks Guys, as db said "For Quitting with me". That should be the new QS tag line, "Quit with me".

My Name Is Rick Rock AKA GoingInsane AKA Anonymous and I never want to have to quit again. A hundred days was a long time, but we have much farther to go.

I want to thank the whole members list, all those who make it with us and those who are out there suffering for us. Let's pray they find QS.org.

Thanks for giving us this tool Matt, I am forever grateful. Emma is lucky to have a dad who can hold her every time she needs me.

Fitchburg, MA
Sal 20030725 As I sat down to write a long eloquent HOF speech, my brain, shall we say went blank. So no long eloquent speech however I'll try to relate some things I have learned. First off I need to thank some folks. First and foremost, Matt van Wyk. Without this site I would have never been inspired let alone continued my quit. Next, JimInFla, we did this together and your continued praise and commitment to everyone kept up my spirits. Thanx go to Natureboy, Ac, Rootboy, HP (ok terrific) and all other Novemberites I may have missed. Most of all, however it may sound corny, Most of all God, who with his Son all things are possible.

A hundred and five days ago if you had asked me what it would be like to not have a large wad of tobacco shoved in my lip, I would have called you crazy and said I didn't need to quit. While my quit brought some aggravation for my family, not so much my friends because they still dip, I have received nothing but love and praise for sticking it out. My online family has been nothing but supportive, thanx guys. In my quit I only hope my friends and other dippers can find inspiration and can see that defeating the Nicodemon is possible.

In closing, here comes the wisdom part. A prayer that means a lot to me and my sister who has been sober six years, is the Serenity prayer so here it is.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.
  --Reinhold Niebuhr

Ringwood, NJ
wwildcatmike 20030707 I have finally passed 100 days. On July 7, 2003 I decided to quit and through the help of great friends on and off this website I have done it. The battle is never over, but I have beaten this crap for a long time, now it is time to do it for another 100 days.

Thanks for all of the support.
God Bless

Mike

IL via OK
JimInFLA 20030725 You already know my story. If you are here on this site, you have lived my story.

Regardless of when you started, what your poison-of-choice was, whether you were "in-the-closet" or not, we were ALL inmates in the same prison. We had no authority in our own lives. We were wholly owned-and-operated by our next dip. We had no freedom.

For anyone reading this that is still held captive by their nicotine addiction, know this... In creating this site, Matt van Wyk dug a tunnel. He escaped and is now a free man. Following in his steps were dozens... then hundreds... and soon thousands of men and women that want to live outside the walls of fear, shame and addiction. If YOU want YOUR LIFE back, run, dig, claw, FIGHT to get away from tobacco. You are not dead yet, so don't act like you have no control. Seize the NicoDemon, your captor, by the neck and send it back to Hell where it came from. Take back your life.

Everyone has a personal and unique way of beating the NicoDemon. Here are the weapons in the arsenal of my war machine:

1.) God - Over the course of my "quit," God was both a means and an end. This quit started with prayer. I prayed for the strength and the will to quit. As my November brother Strugglin' in South GA reminds us as a signature to each post, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phillipians 4:13). There would be no "quit" without the strength provided to me from above. By going through this battle with God, I have grown closer to Him. ...One more bible verse... "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." The FIRST commandment (Exodus 20:3). You can only have ONE priority in your life. What comes first in your life? What's your "god"??

2.) quitsmokeless.org and the best HOF group ever! - Without this site and my November brothers (ALL of you), I don't know how I would have made it. I've never looked a single one of you in the eye, but together we have bared our souls. You have truly become brothers. I love you all and thank you for your support and understanding. I won't call out individuals because you were ALL important to our group and to me. There is no dividing line between "A-list" and "B-list" members. At some point along the way, each and every one of you has touched my life. Thank you. ...And obviously, thanks Matt!

3.) The "Spongebob Mantra" in Articles - Thanks spongebob for so clearly laying out the path to freedom by reminding me that nothing is more important during my quit "than keeping that crap out of my mouth."

4.) Hope's legendary "Contract to Give Up" - I carried a customized copy with me everywhere for months. Every now and then, I would read it (even if I wasn't craving a dip) just to remind me what's at stake.

5.) spudbucket - I missed being your Rocktober bro by only a day, but you have been like a big brother to me. You have given support, advice and motivation. You have led by example. Early on, it was your encouragement that kept me coming back. Thanks, man.

Thanks to everyone in this community. If you are reading this but haven't made the commitment to quit, please do. You won't regret quitting, but you will regret allowing yourself to be shackled to a can. When's the last time that you saw someone being dragged across the parking lot of your local convenience store by a nose-ring? Was it you??

Orlando, FL
rootboy 20030726 There have been many starts and stops along the road in my lifetime. There has been much good and some bad. I firmly believe I have had a guardian angel on my shoulder on my journey. There is no other way to explain how I have survived and how I have thrived this difficult game called life.

The most enduring battle so far, has been the ouster of chewing tobacco, snuff and any other nicotine delivery channel from my life. I have tried them all out. I was lured in and took the bait. I have been swimming around this journey with a hook in my cheek, fighting that deadly angler. That angler let some slack in the line go many times throughout this fight, but this time, this time it feels real. I know the line has snapped and I am free. Now as I swim, my goal is to loosen the hook until it dissolves or dislodges from my cheek. The cravings will be gone.

It is that constant pain I hope I never lose. It is that thought of being pulled and tugged by someone else with me just trying to escape to freedom, I hope to never endure again. It is that pain I want dismissed from the remainder of my journey. I have fought the good fight. I am not yet ready to say I won, but I am winning.

When there is the desire to take the bait, I just peak in at the kids. I imagine what life for them would be like without a father. I imagine their mother making funeral arrangements for a weak man. I imagine a mother burying her son. And I imagine all my family explaining how sad it was that I kept secretly dipping, and what a sad life that must have been. Those dark thoughts are enough to keep me straight.

I can thank everyone who came to this board. I want to thank everyone. In fact, thank you everyone for helping me get through this.

It was my 41st birthday, July 26, 2003. I ran a search on yahoo for mouth cancer, for about the 350th time. It brought me to quitsmokeless.org. for the first time. I registered. I posted. Scott A. pointed me in the right direction---the November group---first member. Scott A. thank you for extending your hand and showing me the way. Then came a guy named Johann. He helped me through those first weeks. Somehow by the way he wrote, I knew he wasn't going to make it. At least not this time. His job was to help me. He left when I had a firm grip. Johann, thank you. I hope to see you back here one day. Then there were the real stories of strength from higherpower---the name is no mistake. HP thank you. Then jegs had knee surgery, and so did I. Hope you're doing well with it jegs. Cheers! I'm not naming anyone else. If you ever thought of me, responded to me, encouraged me. Thank you.

Always know this is a lifelong battle we enlisted into when we started dipping. Always know the ability to quit is within us. Maybe it's our guardian angel, maybe it's our fear, and maybe it's just time. I will keep visiting here. I will one day payback the future quitters and show the way like others did for me.

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rain fall soft upon your fields. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of your hand.

Tobacco Road
skookumchuk 20030729 I remember my first chew like it was yesterday. I was 6 or 7 years old and some friends and I came across a can of Copenhagen that someone had left behind on the playground. I had seen people dip before so I thought I would give it a try, and maybe give my friends a laugh as well. They got a laugh alright - not even 10 seconds later I was running for the drinking fountain, my mouth on fire, and I got violently sick. You would think I would have learned my lesson.

Fast forward 10 years - a buddy of mine pulled out a can of Kodiak in the car and offered me a dip. Sure, what did I have to lose? I actually remember thinking to myself "Hey, this doesn't taste too bad". From that moment on it was downhill and everyone on this site knows the rest of the story. I spent the next 15 years lying to myself and everyone else. I'll skip all of the details because you all know the details - how I associated EVERYTHING positive with having a chew in and if I couldn't have a dip I'd remove myself from the situation. I'm just like all of you.

I have tried to quit countless times before to the point where it has become a joke among all of my friends. I had looked to them for support so many times and failed that they had given up on me, and rightfully so. I had gotten to the point that I had given up on myself as well and decided maybe I would never be able to quit. In the book 'Infinite Jest' the lead character is addicted to Kodiak and he decides to quit. After the quit he's not the same - he sort of loses his edge for a while. The author describes that once you're addicted to something a certain part of you becomes completely dependent on it, and once you take it away that part of you dies. I didn't want any part of me to die. I thought I was great the way I was and I didn't want to change. Looking back, this was the lie to myself that perpetuated all of the other lies. Since my Kodiak was so important, I put it ahead of my family, my friends, my job, etc.. I ALWAYS made time for a dip. I didn't always make time for the people that should have mattered. The Kodiak was in control, not me. Looking back, that part of me NEEDED to die but I just didn't know how to kill it.

Anyway, I had set July 29th as another quit date. I didn't tell anybody since nobody believed I'd be able to make it happen. Frankly, neither did I. There I was, smack dab in the middle of day one, having a rough time, and I punched 'quit smokeless tobacco' into Google, looking for some help, and up popped QS.org.. I thought the site looked interesting and decided to give it a try, but I still wasn't too confident. However, from the moment I typed in my first reply the QS community welcomed me and made me realize that I was not alone. Soon after, I realized that this was the big one - the quit to end all quits. I had all of this support, resources, and gruesome pictures to look at everyday. With the help of this site I had the confidence instilled in me that I had never been able to find before.

There are a number of people that I'd like to thank for my success, most obviously Matt van Wyk. Matt, I sincerely thank you for what you've given all of us. Second, all of the people that have been around a lot longer than me that helped me out with their stories and experiences. Mozco, Asok, Orion, Spongebob, Bluesman, etc. - thank you for sticking around and helping me out. You have set a great example for me and I now hope to pass that on to anyone who will listen.

Last, but certainly not least, is my November quit group - Jim, Nature Boy, Junkie, Towrope, Chad, Johneric, Rootboy, Sal, AC, Higherpower, Chopper, Jegs, Slapshot, Strugglin', Scrorge, tml6866, Squid. (I REALLY hope I didn't leave anyone out.) There's no possible way I could ever thank you guys for what you've done for me. I realize I'm not all that talkative on the boards but every time I've ever needed any kind of help you all have offered your unwavering support. (Even when I told you that I worked for a tobacco company!) I'm damn proud to be part of this group and have taken so much away from all that we have gone through together. It's kind of funny that a group of people that I'll likely never meet face to face, or maybe even know their real names, can have this big of an impact on my life. Jim - you may notice that your name is on the top of everyone's list. You have been an inspiration to us as coach and a leader and I thank you for that.

I know that this fight isn't over and that I'll be battling the Nicodemon from here on out, but I know I can, and will, win. I was hoping to have a new job by now, but that's OK. In the last 100 days I have gained control of my life and now the possibilities are endless. I feel like I can do anything. EVERYTHING is better now. There's no way I can ever get the time back that I wasted dipping but I've vowed to make up for it as best as possible.

If you're new to the site and just reading through to see if it can work for you - QUIT NOW!!! Trust me - if it can work for me it will work for anybody.

Thanks,
Skookumchuk

Newport Beach
Chopper 20030731 There is nothing more difficult for a man to do than to stand up in front of the crowd and admit he is weak. For years, I sat in my seat like a coward and didn't move an inch. I knew all about chewing tobacco and how destructive it could be on so many levels. Yet I decided to remain a selfish, narcissistic fool who would make any excuse, travel any distance, create any situation, and spend my last dime to feed an ugly obsession. I was the person who counted the most and no one else mattered.

I wretched and kvetched, created a tone of self-pity and loathing, quit a thousand times and prayed for the strength and courage to get the job done, once and for all. Then one day, I woke up and realized that God had already given me the strength to do what I needed to do - I was just too lazy and arrogant to use it! I decided to look around and I realized that life isn't about me. It's about the people around me, those who love and care for my safety, health, and well-being. It's about people like my wife and children who rely on me for some of the most complex yet simplest things - food, comfort, security, love, school tuition, rides to birthday parties, tuning the TV to Stanley every morning.

On that very day, I decided to stand up in front of the crowd. Coming to QS, admitting my weakness, and receiving the support, the encouragement, the respect, and when necessary, the admonishment from fellow quitters has improved my life beyond words. Now I can hit the curveball without relying on dip. Now I can enjoy everything that life offers to me without planning my day around dip. I'd like to thank all of my November brothers who carried me through a difficult summer - Jim, Skook, Johneric, Higherpower, OU Chad, Naitch, OK Terrific Sal, AC, Rootboy, Jegs, Slapshot, Towrope, Jegs, Squid, Junkie, and Jim (I said Jim twice because he said a lot of good stuff) as well as others not in my group like MozCo and Asok who welcomed me to QS when I first chimed in way back in July. All apologies to anyone I have missed.

I realized along the way that we're alike in so many ways, apart from our prior connections with dip. Many of us are only separated by space and time - when we look in the mirror, we see the same things. We're fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters - we all hope, dream, struggle, worry, fight, laugh, smile, and rejoice in the same color. I'm humbled by the challenges faced by folks like AC, HP, and OU Chad and consider myself privileged to have heard their stories. It was powerful stuff and helped me understand even further how important it is to be a strong person - body, mind, and soul - and how that strength must begin from within.

Thanks to Matt as well for creating and managing the site - you're on the right side of right, man. There's no looking back, folks. It's a lifetime of quitting or jack squat. The road is certainly long, but it has been traveled by many a man. Good luck to everyone.

Chopper

MA
junkie 20030806 I would like to start by thanking a few people. Without Matt van Wyk I would never have met JIA, Nature Boy, Sal, AC, Chad, Rootboy, Towrope, Chopper, Skookemchuck, Squid3, Slapshot, Higherpower, Jegs, Johneric, db, BigH and all of the others who have become my brothers in this bitter, hard fought victory. Without Matt I would still be dipping. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

My addiction began at a very young age (7 or 8 years old) when my granddad-who was also my hero- thought it was funny and cute to give me a chew of Beech Nut tobacco when we drove around his farm in his old pick up. I probably hated it at first but would never have let him know. Granddad only chewed when he was in the country and with the boys- he had no idea that it would be a habit that I would become dependent on every waking hour for 25 years of my life. I don't blame him or anyone else for my addiction- I was different than him and he didn't know it. I chewed sporadically for the next few years (Boy Scout campouts, visits to my grand parents, any fishing or hunting activities) however when I was thirteen something terrible happened. I was introduced to Happy Days Snuff. My "addiction" officially began.

The progression from Happy Days to Copenhagen was quick for me- much quicker than my peers- I was different than them also. By the time I was in the ninth grade I was dipping a can of Copenhagen a day. Most of my friends who started with the happy days eventually just quit the stuff entirely- a very small group continued to dip at all and an even smaller group became hard core addicts like me. In case some of you are wondering if I grew up in the country - the answer is no. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas in an affluent neighborhood called Highland Park- live there now. Dipping snuff was not a means to acceptance or respect- most folks just thought it was strange that I did it ALL OF THE TIME. It had an impact on so many aspects of my teen years that it really angers me to look back at all of the missed opportunities it caused. I wonder what the entire high school experience would have been for me without tobacco. I'll never know.

College was more of the same- dipped constantly- liked people that did the same. I narrowed my circle considerably because of this. I was and still am a very social person with a large group that I consider friends- but the inner circle had to dip- if they didn't they couldn't really know me and what made me tick. In truth- Copenhagen was my best friend. I couldn't enjoy a drink, a good meal, a great movie, sex, a vacation, a ball game, or a business success without my companion. On the flip side there was no friend more loyal in times of grief, like the death of my grand father, in times of stress or in times of loneliness than my trusted little can. My addiction evolved to the point that if I wasn't eating, sleeping or gettin some- I was dipping. This is not an exaageration. This went on and on and on for years.

I am telling you all of this for one reason and one reason only- to all of you out there who are either contemplating quitting or have just begun the process perhaps my story and my personal level of addiction will speak to you individually and let you know that you are not alone and that someone like you- yours truly- found this site and with it and my November quit group mustered the strength to quit. It is the most difficult and rewarding thing I have ever done. I deeply regret what the addiction has cost me over the years but am more excited than ever about what the future holds. I am not a dumb person and I am sure that those who are reading this are not dumb either. Smokeless tobacco destroys your gums, wrecks your teeth, makes you stink, gives you high blood pressure, and will eventually kill you. I decided to say adios to this old "friend" and get to know the person god intended me to be before I started medicating myself with nicotine. The very first thing I realized is that I never needed it to begin with. Wine taste's better, the flavor of a good steak is finer, an unexpected kiss from my wife doesn't cause a panic that my breath and the snuff in my mouth will make her gag, and most importantly I no longer have to hide this habit in shame from my children who thankfully are still at that young naive age where they think their daddy is perfect. I thank god that they will never see the weak, foolish man that called Copenhagen his best friend.

This web site showed me that I was not alone- and for that I will be grateful to the men in my November group for the rest of my life. If you found this place by accident like me- thank god for your good fortune-find your quit group immediately and start posting. I think miracles happen here. One did for me. - Junkie

 
towrope 20030807 Man, where to begin. I made it through the first leg. I have been here a few times before, in the past, but I said at the start of this quit, that this one really felt different. Well, thank GOD that it still feels that way.

I began like everyone else, 13 or so, I tried my first pinch of Skoal between my cheek and gum as per the great Randy White.......hated it. Man I was sick for two days. You know the story from there. Ended up on Copenhagen for over 16 years, one a day, two a days on the weekends. Man was my mouth sore, come Sunday night....24 hour dip-fest on the weekends.

Well those days are finally over(thank God). I do thank God , first and foremost for the vision and the strength to think clearly through it all, especially the rough days. All things are possible...how true is that? Secondlly I will borrow from JimInFla, and THANK my whole November quit group, as I am afraid I will leave someone out. You guys were, and still are my support. Finally, last but not least, I give a major SHOUT OUT !!! to Matt for the wisdom to come up with this gigantic support group. I would have never thought this site would be able to help much....but I am so glad that it did. And still is BTW.

I pray that everyone makes it through for good and makes their quit stick, as I know people are praying for me. This habit can be broken. The old timers in here are proof.

The road can be walked.....Tony

Houston,TX
slapshot 20030808 Over the past 10 years I've been chained to chewing tobacco. I've tried countless times to quit over the years and soon began to rationalize the idea that I should give up trying after so many unsuccessful quits. I was convincing myself that tobacco had a permanent hold on my life.

On July 6, 2003 I was searching the web in a last ditch effort to discover some quit options. It was then I found this website. I want to say thanks to Matt van Wyk for creating this life saving tool that has allowed hundreds of us to free ourselves from the bondage of the nic demon.

On July 6 I printed out a HOF speech prepared by Dover (quit date 3/18/03). His speech spoke volumes to me and it was then I realized I had a chance to overcome this bondage. Dover's speech hit home with me. Dover touched on the closet dipping idea and the life of lies I was living to full fill my addiction. I'll quit when I get married, I'll quit when my first born arrives, only to dumpster dive to retrieve a 1/2 full tin I tossed the day before or make special trips to the store to sneak a dip, and on and on. Lies Lies Lies. I printed off his speech, brought it home to my loving wife and asked her to read this. It was basically my life on paper. I think it was at that moment my wife realized the true depth of my addiction. From that day on I feel my wife truly embraced my quit and I stopped lying to her about my addiction. Before I found this site I thought I was the only weak one getting broken down by the nic demon.

I'm happy and thankful to say I'm 100 days nicotine free and feeling great. I have my dignity back. I want to thank Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior for answering my prayers to quit and giving me the strength to overcome all of the devil's temptations thus far. I want to thank my loving wife for sticking with me over the years, constantly encouraging me to quit and holding me accountable with her detective instincts during my lying years. I also want to thank each and every person in our November Group, October Group, and the few active members of the March Group. Without the encouragement, laughs, and accountability of my fellow quitters I don't think I would have made it this far.

For anyone interested in freeing oneself from the bondage of chewing tobacco I urge you to take the next step and join a quit group here at QS. It's at this site you will understand you're not alone, your situation is not unique and you'll understand your addiction is not any stronger than the 400+ that entered the hall before me.

Slapshot

Hutchinson, MN
higherpower 20030818 I've finally truly felt inspired to jot down a few points about my quit. I know this speech was supposed to be written way back 100 days ago, but for me, I guess I needed to really feel like my quit was a permanent thing. I know that doesn't sound like I had much faith in myself, but let's face it, quitting tobacco - permanently - is for most a non-achievable act. I really feel now that 200 days has passed, I can truly say "I've quit dipping - FOR GOOD!"

As with most folks, my dipping days started back in Jr. High school, where some punk named Steve (I won't list his last name because I'm a nice guy) dared me to shove some Cope in my lip. Though I was quite sick for a couple of days, I found myself bumming dips of other stuff, like Hawkens and Skaol, then eventually riding my bike with my friends down to the Stop & Shop to buy the crap. I graduated to Cope not long after this and the rest is history.

Only after a few years after being married, did I really find myself wishing I could quit. I tried...and failed. Tried again...and failed. My wife and I had a bunch of nasty arguments surrounding my addiction. You know, stuff like: "We could probably afford that if you didn't keep running up the Amoco bill every month with that stupid tobacco - you *%&##!!*z !" Yeah, I know. That must sound familiar. Or, how about the days that your kid looks at you sticking the cancer crap in your lip and asks "that's yucky daddy, why are you doing that?" Damn, got me again.

Then, through my clouded brain and physical need for this junk to run through my veins, I continue to let the dip demon control my life. Every aspect of it. The same arguments, the same "I don't don't know why I do this stuff, son, but don't you start it", the same lame excuses, the same disappointments, the same thoughts of me laying in a hospital with my face completely cut in pieces, drool oozing out of the hole in my face, looking at my kids and wife, not being able to speak....all because I didn't quit dipping.

Then a life altering thing happens to my family. We find out our daughter has cancer in September, 2002. Our life fell apart. Our daughter was undergoing some awful and painful things...a very hard form of chemo, surgeries, too many other problems to list. Having to let the doctors poison my daughter was gut wrenching. This experience almost done me in. Seeing my daughter sicker than I have ever seen a child being sick, was literally killing me inside. My heart ached constantly.

Though all of this was so hard to deal with, there were several things that happened that had a positive impact on not only our family, but many others. My daughter completed here chemo. She has had clear scans ever since. She is also walking around like nothing ever happened. (she couldn't walk the first 6 months after we found out about the cancer because the tumor was in here femur/hip area). We now have a much better faith in God for healing. There are countless other areas in life that have been touched in a positive way through this whole ordeal. And, one of the other big things that happened, was that I was able to quit dipping...for good. My daughters last day of chemo - the day she walked out ot the hospital for the last time - August 18, 2003 - was my last day being a slave to snuff. My daughter didn't deserve the cancer she ended up with. How dare I flirt with death? How could I be so damn selfish to let some poison take me away from those that need me most? I just couldn't see it happening anymore.

God is primarily to thank for taking this addiction away from me. Next would have to Matt van Wyk. Matt...God bless you for having the initiative to put this website together to help others. You are a Godsend. Then finally...BIG CHEERS to my QS November 2003 family!! You guys are awesome. You ALL have been a critical part in my quit. Even though we have never met in person, I feel very much like I know you all. I only hope that somehow we all stay in touch, and keep each other away from not just tobacco, but any other addiction that life may throw at us. Thank you all for your words of encouragement. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

Hey, I'll dedicate this speech to all of the Novemberites hitting the BIG 200 DAY'S OF FREEDOM!!!

HP

Florida's Gulf Coast
skoalstraightnomore 20030818 I have had so many thoughts regarding my quit over the last 100 days and primarily dealing with all of the things I did while having a dip. First is my story.
  • I'm also the guy that started out in Jr. high with a couple buddies getting sick off of Happy Days, and Kodiak (anyone remember Happy Days?)
  • I remember that I used to pay $1.34 for a can
  • Me and my friends used to give each other a "roll" for x-mas and birthdays. (what a great gift - death)
  • I would not plan a trip without having a roll in my luggage. I would forget a camera or any other item, but "NEVER" the roll.
  • I would sometimes drive to 5 different stores to find my dip
  • I have paid a cab $40 dollars to drive me to a 7-11 so I could buy a $4 can of dip.
  • I have "recycled" dips
  • I have spilled "spit cups" on my clothes and in my car
  • I had a date once take a drink from my spit cup by mistake (was funny at the time)
  • I have been lectured by dentists, my parents, looked at photos of cancer cases, and had a dad fighting prostate cancer
  • I am a honors college grad
  • A husband and father of one
  • A Bank executive in Southern California
point being I am not a what I think is a stereotypical tobacco chewer, and you probably are not either.

These or all of these items probably ring a bell to many who will read this, and the weird thing is that when I first visited this site and read other stories I simply was in shock at how much I had in common with other "dippers". All this time I thought "Skoal Straight" was special to me and how much this stuff played a role in my daily life was a relatively unique thing. These above items were just obviously a very small sample of the reflections I had during my quit and how disgusting I feel at this point that my life has been literally run by this drug for nearly 16 years.

Every memory I have involves in one way or another "dip". My high school graduation photo, (I had a dip in), College graduation ( had a dip) , As I taught my daughter to walk (had a dip), wedding night (had a dip)...

The simple knowledge I have to pass is this.

When reading these stories as a non-quitter you will have no concept of what 100 days is without your best friend. I had no confidence initially that I would actually stick it out but can truly state that the more I grew attached to my "quit group" the more I was able to fight through the tough craves. No matter what you do this will not be easy.

The best compliment I have received from my father, my wife, my daughter, is how proud they are of me that I was willing to commit and give up this "bad habit" . Now I appreciate everything in my life and as Thanksgiving approaches, I certainly have much to be thankful for, mainly to God for giving me the inner strength to focus on the important things in my life and to break free of this addiction.

Man, I feel good today .. no looking back .. good luck to every person that follows me to the Hall of Fame. No more will I sit up at night pondering when my jaw is going to be removed.

Thanks to Matt for this site as simply nothing else has worked for me and I really feel that you have in a way saved my life by creating this website forum. Thank You soo much!!!!

David aka Skoalstraightnomore

So Cal
Nature Boy 20030820 Well, if you want to learn a little about yourself, just quit dipping in your mid 40s after a solid 25 year bout with every kind of smokeless tobacco. It's an insult to people who have really made sacrifices in their lives, but I'll say it anyway - quitting is a real, legitimate challenge. I had every external reason you can imagine for doing this years ago, but I managed to block out the voices of reason, because I loved to dip. It has been said many times on this site, but heck, I'll just throw it out there again, because truer words were never spoken: to get the job done, you have to REALLY want to quit. If you aren't at peace with that concept, or if you are working a little back door exit in your mind, then get ready for the stroll down Cave Boulevard.

Quit Smokeless has been a great backstop for my quit. The competitive aspect of trying to make the "Hall" really helped me a lot when I was struggling in the early rounds. In the later rounds I found a lot of strength in the community of my November cyber-pals. The November group doesn't have a lot of great talkers (myself excluded, in all humility), but we put a bunch of boys in that hall last month. Basically, nobody bolted who had his hat in the ring after 40 days or so. I'm proud of that. Everybody in November knows who "the MAN" is - the legend, the statesman, - JIM IN FLA. BIG JIM rode herd on a bunch of tough men - Jegs, the tractor-sitting Aggie; Moondog Chopper; Junkie, from parts unknown; the Higher "Tower of" Power; Slap, Skook and Tow; "Sweet" Sal; SSNM, TML, Johnny E, Rooter and the Squid; and the quiet muscle from Oklahoma, Chad and AC, who "rode drag" on the entire operation. Thanks so much to all of you.

I have pretty much read every new post in every HOF group over the last few months, as well as all the articles. There is plenty of good stuff here, and not just the articles that get all the hype. Example - I dug McDragon's HOF speech, one year in. Rotten and Roy both have great HOF speeches. I'll tell you what else I have enjoyed, are the rants of the various group leaders, such as Big H (Dec. 2003), Reb Miami (Jan. 2004) and Renegade Dave (Feb. 2004). These guys are busting their butts floating ideas out over the internet, and some of them have really helped me. I also appreciate guys like DB and Scott A. who are constantly picking up the slack in Roll Call. They know that plenty of "new meat" posters will bail after a day or so, but they keep extending their hand. Thanks to everyone who has posted from the heart in this forum, and thanks to Matt for creating this monster.

Tobacco doesn't make you happy. Look at the typical scowling office worker headed outside to his designated smoke zone, so he can blast a little negativity with his fellow smokers. Walk through a major airport and look through the aquarium window into the designated smoking room. It's borderline deplorable, everyone looks miserable. I think the siren song to me has been the fact that I don't view dippers in the same negative light - I do think there's a difference in the two groups. Gosh, I sure wish dip wasn't bad for me. Chuckle.

I think using tobacco prevents you from maxing out your potential in all kinds of ways. It's really a poor reflection on the user. There is no demon, no greedy UST executive, no conspiracy, nothing.

Back to that siren's song - no offense Homer, but 108 days into the quit and I feel like I am traveling in my own Odyssey. I imagine I will keep hearing the "voice" for years, as this appears to be shaping up as one heck of a chess game. In my case, I think I may be dealing with this for the rest of my life, but even so, it will be WORTH IT to keep the quit going.

"We have but a moment's sunlight
Faded in the grass"

Houston, TX
AC 20030821 100 days , 2,400 hours, 144,000 minutes - so much can change in such a short period of time. We start by counting the minutes, then move to the hours, and, at some point, the days. Some of us are even lucky enough to count the weeks. But, one way or another, the ones that want it, make it. I am proud that I get to stand in the Hall with those that have gone before me, and I am humbled by the unselfish kindness and the unfailing comradery of total strangers who come together to save each others lives. I give all my thanks and glory to God. I thank him for bringing me to this community. I thank him for placing you, my friends, along my path, to help and to guide me when I needed it, and when I will need it in the future. I thank Matt for creating this community. "The moving finger of God in human history points ever in the same direction. There must be community." Howard Thurman

Your friend

Aaron - AKA - AC

OK
JAZZ3 20030831 THANKS GOES TO MY DECEMBER BROTHERS, AND TO MATT FOR THIS WEBSITE. IF YOU ARE READING THIS, AND YOU STILL CURRENTLY DIP, ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION. ARENT YOU TIRED OF THE FILLING UP YOUR LIP WITH CRAP. ARE YOU STILL GOING TO BE DOING THIS 20-30 YEARS FROM NOW? WHAT WILL YOUR MOUTH, TEETH, BREATH BE LIKE BY THAT TIME? THAT IS THE QUESTION I HAD ASKED MYSELF AND I FIGURED IT WAS TIME TO STEP UP AND BE A MAN AND BEAT THIS THING. GOOD LUCK TO ALL THAT MAY PASS THROUGH THESE HALLS OF VICTORY, BUT OUR BATTLE HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN................... Maryville, TN
JohnECash 20030910 Many heartfelt thanks to the December Group -- I read more than I posted, and I share my 100 days with you. At one point I held an open can of dip in my hands, carried it for 10 minutes or so, and the ONLY reason I did not take a dip was b/c of you guys....not me....at that point I "mentally caved", and WOULD have taken that dip - but I physically did not b/c of the gentleman in the December group. So to them, my thanks.

I know 100 days is just the beginning now and hope that everyone stays on after their 100 days.

Bonuses I gained along the way that I did not realize when I quit would happen -- no more nagging voices saying, you should quit, you look ridiculous, how long before you get cancer? -- and no more agonizing faces or nagging comments from wife. No more stopping at local stores to just so I can throw out my spitter. All of my change in my car's ashtray goes to my daughter's piggy bank instead of the local gas station for dip.

Thanks Matt for creating this website that I stumbled upon as I looked for a Tobacco substitute -- which come to think of it I never used -- all I need was the encouragement of the people from the December group -- Hey thanks again guys.

Rex AKA JohnECash

 
Derek_ 20030916 After this is all over, you will look back in disbelief wondering where the time went. If today is the day when you think you might quit, I know right now it might not seem like the a fore mentioned moment will ever come. You're wondering what you will do without your old loyal friend that was, "Always there for you in a pinch." It seems like an insurmountable task at the moment, doesn't it?

I'm here to tell you that it isn't. I'm not more inspired than you, nor do I have more will power. Something just clicked in me that said, "It's time to stop." Maybe that hasn't happened for you yet and that's okay. I pray that it eventually does. If now is not the time, it isn't the time. You will quit when you and only you decides to quit. But I can promise you this: When you do quit, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. What greater gift is there to both yourself and those you love than ending this ridiculous slow, deliberate death?

Matt: Thank you for creating this site. You have started a revolution!

Thanks to the fellas in the December Quit Group: Knowing that someone was out there who could relate made all the difference.

Los Angeles, CA
Nyehof 20030923 I stumbled upon this site for no particular reason on January 4, 2001 and read every single post (the site was a lot smaller then!) that night. I announced my intentions to quit the next day and went 72 days on my first attempt.

Since that first try 3 years ago, there had never been a doubt in my mind as to whether I would succeed at quitting, only how long it would take to get there. I watched cyber friends come and go and succeed and fail and enter the HOF and leave the HOF. Hell, this site came and went from my "Favorites" list on my PC 100 times. I must have quit 25 times in 3 years lasting anywhere from 2 days to 2 months.

I am Hailey, Marshall, Lerxst, Vaportrails, and finally Nyehof. I hope I helped some people on their way to freedom under one of my names. I am now free of Kodiak and do not see myself returning to that lifestyle. I am 36 years old and dipped for half my life. I can now remember what the first 18 years were like. I have two beautiful sons ages 5 and 2 and I know my decision to quit has helped them in ways they will never know.

Matt, thank you for your support and this avenue for achieving my goal.

A special thanks to Jogi and his meaningful journey.

And to the Quiet Ones: JAZZ3, Waxman, dftaylor, Big H, reckh, NickB, TXag, Mike5, Mudcat, Derek, Safetyguy, JohnECash, JimC, and Blues59: Thanks for looking out for me and keeping me honest. Good luck to all of you and your future goals in life. This was a big one. Glad I was there with you.

Nyehof

Brentwood, TN
DanMitch65 20031001 Where do I start---- Began dipping Skoal in 9th grade, since it was the cool thing to do in 1979, Urban Cowboy and all that stuff, heck they even had Walt Garrison pushing the stuff on TV ads back then, anyway moved on to Copenhagen by my Freshman year of College, and was going through about a can a day Prior to my Quit Day of 10/01/2003...Cold turkey...lived through the sleepless nights (Ambien helped)...used sunflower Seeds constantly for the first few weeks...still use Mint Snuff and Green Tea as substitute for those urges that still come but are less powerful as the days roll by...albeit I truly understand I can never have that dip for old times sake or I will be dipping a can a day once again...maybe on my 70th Birthday I will pick up this nasty habit once again..hopefully I will be around now at 70 to make that choice... Dallas, TX
RoosterRenouncer 20031002 Reaching the Hall felt good. But in some ways, it doesn't mean much. You see, I've been at the 100-day mark before, only to start dipping again. More than once, if you want to know the truth.

A story I posted to my January Quit Group a few months back sums it up pretty well:

During a quit a couple years ago, I decided after 7 months of cold turkey that I could just buy "one can." I was going on a business trip. And with 7 months of rock-solid quitting under my belt, I was back in control. I had this thing kicked. And besides, with the stress of the trip...dammit...I had earned a little vacation from quitting. It would be like old times. I'd have a few dips on the trip and then discreetly end my little rendezvous with the demon when it was over.

So I went out and bought a can of Kodiak to bring with on the plane. (This was in my pre-Rooster days before I knew Rooster gave you "20% more" cancer-causing dirt for a dollar less.) I peeled that can open in the airport bathroom, took a big whiff and nearly puked. (What was the lure of this stuff again?) Still, I went ahead popped in a dip before the plane ride to kick things off.

The odd thing was, that first chew tasted like absolute dog crap. And it made me flat-out nauseated. This was not at all the good kind of buzz I remembered. I couldn't for the life of me remember why I had been a slave to this horrible tasting dirt for the previous 13 years. I planned on tossing it out after the plane ride and spent the rest of the day feeling sick.

Then the next morning came. When I woke up, I felt a 'twinge' I hadn't felt in a long time. It was a real honest-to-goodness craving. So I reached for the can again. And again I got sick. But this time a little less sick. For the second day in a row, I decided I'd be tossing that can in the garbage before day's end. But a couple more hours went by. And damned if another dip of that stuff that tastes like dog crap didn't sound like a really good idea. That stuff that makes you sick. Yes. More of that, please.

You know the rest of the story. In less than 24 hours, I had re-poisoned myself. I had reintroduced nicotine back into my system and re-ignited my addiction. One dip was all it took. Within 2 months of that incident, I was back to 3 cans a week. All because of that one dip. That one dip that wasn't even enjoyable. Not pleasurable in the least. Not at all the relaxing, fulfilling activity I had remembered it to be.

At well over 100 days quit (again) I mostly don't think about the demon anymore. But I occasionally, I look over and he's standing there next to me like one of Russell Crow's hallucinatory friends in the movie 'A Beautiful Mind.' I usually just try to focus on something else and he goes away. Although I've blown multi-month quits before, this was my first quit attempt with QS behind me. And that's why I know this one will stick. QS has been and will be, the difference. Thanks to Matt for creating the site. And a huge thanks to my January brothers for seeing it through together.

Minneapolis, MN
JustQuit 20031010 My story is just like yours. I started chewing my sophomore year in high school. Since then I have served in the Marine Corps, earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, have lived in 5 different cities, bought a house, gone through 3 cars, and recently had my 10 year high school reunion.

The one thing that stayed constant through all of those activities is that I had a can of chew with me at all times. Actually I followed the normal progression. I started with Red Man Pouch and then quickly moved on to Skoal Mint. The marketing guys at UST had my number because just as I was getting sick of Mint, they introduced Cherry Skoal. Eventually I moved to Fine Cut to get a better buzz. I had a 3 month affair with Copenhagen and about the same with Kodiak. But I eventually came back to my baby, Fine Cut Skoal.

I have always been a goal setter and a self improvement guru. Every year I write down goals in several categories (financial, health, spiritual, etc). Every year for the last 12 years whether I wrote it down or not, I knew the biggest thing holding me back was the fact that I chewed.

I saw a TV show on HBO a few weeks before I quit. I can't remember the name, but it was a story about a bunch of heroin addicts in the projects of New York. It showed these people stealing and prostituting themselves in order to buy their next hit. What really struck me was before they took the hit they were jumpy and couldn't concentrate on anything but taking the hit. As soon as they took it ever thing was OK.

It hit me right then that I didn't simply chew as a bad habit. I chewed because I had a full blown addiction. The only thing I knew about addiction was the cheesy movies or TV shows that have someone getting in front of a group of people saying "Hi my name is Dave and I am an alcoholic". I don't have any alcoholics in my family, I don't know anyone with a drug problem, so addiction was totally new to me. Then it got embarrassing. How can I be addicted to a little green can? How can it have so much power over me?

Honestly it is hard to remember how powerful the spell was that chew had on me. Early on I told the people in my group the ridiculous measures that I have gone through in the past to have a chew. If you have read this far, you know what I am talking about (lying to family, sneaking a 30 second chew in the bathroom, etc)

Anyway, I have gone 100 days chewfree. I thought when I first quit that by the time I hit the HOF, chew would be in my past and I would know that I am never going to have a chew again. What I have learned is that quitting chew is a journey not a destination. I used to like to chew. And you know what, I still like to chew. If I found out that I was going to have a heart attack and die tomorrow, I would probably go buy a can of chew and enjoy it. But the fact of the matter is chew will not let me live the life I want to live. I am not a social chewer. I either chew or I don't chew. There is no in between.

I would have to write a book to describe all of the negative impacts chew has had on my life in the last 12 years. And quitting doesn't feel glorious. You go through all of that effort and pain, just to be a normal human being. You still have to go to work, pay bills, go to family events that you don't want to go to, wash your car, mow the lawn - but now you have to do them while dealing with reality instead of having your chew buddy there to make it all just a little bit better.

Being chew free now is still a daily choice. But its not like it was when I first quit. Now its more like eating healthy. It is still a choice that you have to make, but it is just as easy to stay chew free as it is to throw in a dip.

I just went back a read what I have written so far, and I don't want to discourage anyone that is thinking about quitting or has just started their quit. This has been the best decision and action that I have taken in my life. Bar none. I honestly believe that quitting chew and staying chew free is one of those major forks in the road of life.

Now that I have my addiction under control, I am actually excited about making other changes in my life. Change of career, going back to school. I will keep the QS crowd up to date.

I guess what finally got me going was the fact that tobacco was living my life for me. I was a complete slave. I have said before and I think it is worth saying again. "This is not a decision between taking a dip or not taking a dip, this is a decision on whether you are going to be free or a slave. If you take a chew, you are a slave"

Last but not least, I want to thank my January quit group and of course Matt for allowing this to be possible. I don't think I would have made it this far without my quit group and without this site.

If you have read this far, I appreciate your attention. I hope that someone with a chew still in their lip reads this story and something grabs their attention. I want to say again, that this has been the most important thing I have ever done and I am so grateful to everyone.

Thanks
Just Quit - 100 days "no lip turds"

Kansas City
JHAWAII 20031010 aloha everyone here at quit smokeless.id like to thank god for the strength to quit.and matt u were a big blessing to many who had no where to go for support in quiting.and all our fellow quiters who found a place to go and help eachother knock the habit.for all who are quiting thell be bad times. you think youre alone your not .many of us here to help eachother out.well i made my 100 days so i got to keep it going for the rest of my life.thank you all for the support much aloha to you all.thanks very much. jhawaii Honolulu
My Lip Hurts 20031005 i should apologize to my classmates for not posting as often as most of the other guys. i suppose quitting is different for all of us, and i was more of a reader than poster.

i started when i was 15 or 16 watching my older brothers chew red man and beech nut on the ride home from baseball trips. i wasn't nearly as hard core as most of the other HOF members until i got to college. then it was n64 and playstation games until 2 in the morning. we would buy a tin of kodiak and a tin of copenhagen and mix them together and chew as often as we could. 20 of the 25 guys on my college baseball team chewed, so fall workouts and winter practices were pretty much 2 hours of non stop chewing. i graduated from college and continued chewing when i got a real job. picked up the "talent" of gutting so my coworkers didn't have to see me with a spitter.

then after labor day this year, one of my buddies quit. he was chewing way more than me at the time, so i was really surprised that his quit lasted more than three days for the heart burn to subside. he gave me the link to this site, and after 10 years (7 years of serious chewing) i've only had one chew since. i think that chew was 104 days ago.

my (and my wife's) thanks to the Lord, this site, and my friend for giving me the ability to go chew free.

thanks
god bless america

NE
Kodiak Buster 20030613 Ok, so here it is..... I have been reading the site for months now, all the while fighting the good fight. It has worked. I have been Kodiak free for seven months! SEVEN! By the way that is actually nearly $1,000 saved as well. I read the posts and connected with a lot of the struggles going on. It sucked (still sucks...gottta admit I get the crave for it even now). So I figured that I would right a brief story of how I did it and hopefully maybe someone lurking around here can get some use out of it. The key I found was Sugarfree Spearmint Gum. I found that by just having something to do with a "similar" taste often kept me pre-occupied. I could not dip at home, because I promised my wife I quit years ago, and believe it or not I actually hid it from her for years. I would always buy a 16oz Coke along with my can and spit it in there, and of course hide the bottle up under my seat bracket in my car. Couple of swishes and a few minutes picking the crap out of my teeth and I was good to go. Pathetic I know. Well after using Kodiak for over ten years it was taking its toll. My gums were receding, I had a few spots on my lips that never seemed to go away, and even though I brushed whenever I got the chance my teeth were turning yellow. I think we all have been there on this board. I found that whenever I had a chance to slip one in I did. At work in the bathroom, at lunch in my car, when the wife ran ot for groceries, etc etc. This sh*t is addicting. Well I quit it, cold turkey, which is what most people that had success seem to have in common here. I bought a crap load of gum, and chewed it nearly constantly, have a piece in right now hehe. The first week sucks everyone, ther eis no escaping it. You can try to rationalize it all you want in your head about weening yourself down, or only three a day kinda crap. It doesn't work. Just quit. Don't kid yourself about a long term plan, the cravings will win one day and thats all there is to it. Pick up some gum, it really did work. Yes I craved for that feeling, but it did help, just a little, but it was what I needed. Of course to each his own, but this was the key to my success. As a glimmer of hope, the gums and lips did come back to somewhat normal for me. All the spots, and wrinkled up skin by your gum line will hopefully go away like it did for me. I even had bumps starting, and it all seems to have vanished ( it took over a month by the way to really heal up right). But anyways, read this site and know that this sucks, but you can do it. Thanks to everyone on this site who makes it possible. Good stories and a lotta help.  
rebmiami 20031018 I posted my heart out in this message board during my first couple of months quit. That really helped me get through those rough early days. However, it's funny, after all those many heartfelt and often lengthy posts, I am now sort of at a loss for what to say. By making the best health move I have ever made, by breaking a stupid and useless addiction, I have just joined the ranks of all the normal people in the world who get up every day and do their thing without nicotine. That is nothing to them, but it is precious to me.

I won't go into how I started or how long I did it. The particulars vary from person to person, but the essence is the same. Dip was our secret little friend that made the tedious a little more bearable and added just a hint of a buzz to the good stuff in life. But I knew I had to quit, that it was adding nothing to my life, that the time to make excuses was over, and it was time to act.

A burst of motivation inspired by another website called whyquit.com, that takes a very hardcore approach to nicotine addiction, provided me with the education for my quit. I found that they were all smokers, though, and by the end, I was mainly a dipper (using Nicorette to get through my workdays in a professional office). A quick web search turned up this message board, where people shared my experience as a dipper, and did all the dumb crackhead things I used to do to support and maintain my habit.

I poured my whole heart, mind, and soul into this quit, and never let go. I had a clear picture that the end result of my struggle would be pure comfort in a totally nicotine free state. I knew that in 72 hours the nicotine would be gone from my bloodstream and that it would be a purely mental battle. I knew that I would be as comfortable without nicotine to get me through life's ups and downs as I currently am without crack. (yes, I used that metaphor a lot-it works for me).

And a battle it has been. I was posting eight or nine times a day. Now I don't feel the need to do that. Maybe the long term comfort is setting in little by little. I still wistfully feel from time to time that "something is missing", but that is eleven years of addiction cropping up in my brain. Urges and thoughts come and go, but are easily brushed aside like cobwebs.

I know I must not get complacent, because the addiction is waiting for me to get confused about the issue that I can't just have one.

The support I have found on here has been priceless. Particularly my January brothers. You know who you are. I am not going to list you all, because I'd miss someone. It is a cliche, but there were times when in the throes of a crave, only the thought of making a dreaded "cave post" kept me from hopping in the car.

There was a pugnacious and controversial poster in Roll Call who had a lot of arrogant theories and finally posted a cave post and disappeared. Some will know at once who I mean. Anyway, you can learn from everybody, as evidenced by one thing I learned from this guy that became the absolute cornerstone of my quit. I will reproduce it as my parting note, in case it helps anyone else.

In a biochemical sense, we lived in a state of permanent comfort interrupted by temporary discomforts, such as stress, hunger, sadness. We learned that dip/nicotine alleviated temporary discomfort, so we started to use it regularly. With that regular use, we traded our state of permanent comfort for one of permanent discomfort (nicotine withdrawal), which we punctuated with the temporary comfort of a fix. Whatever the original problem was, we still had to face, along with an expensive and unhealthy addiction to feed to stave off chronic withdrawal. When we quit, we endured the temporary discomfort of withdrawal, but by refusing to administer that fix, we regained permanent comfort.

Hope that helped! Life is so much better today. Quitting has not solved all my problems, but today I can face them without nicotine, and I am very proud that I could break free with the help of the people on this site. I really can be done, no matter how many times you have failed before or how long you have been hooked. Just stay plugged in here until you read what you need to read to develop the rock solid motivation to quit and stay quit. Education and peer support are a powerful combination. See you on the Path to Freedom!

REB

Miami, FL
Frisbee 20031020 For my HOF speech, I'll do a simple re-post of something I posted on Day 4 (Oct. 24th, '04) of my quit. I think that JustQuit and I might have watched the same program on heroin that he references in his HOF speech. Here is that post, with just some minor editing...

*************

Pity the poor junkies.

I watched a documentary on heroin addicts a few weeks back. It was ugly, very ugly. These people were just strung-out junkies - their NEED for their drug ruled their lives. I watched the show and couldn't help but feel a bit smug. I looked down on the junkies with a mixture of disgust and pity. And then I had an epiphany...

I am one of them.

You think I'm being melodramatic? Well, when we dip junkies get our fix, we don't momentarily go into a semi-comatose state, I'll grant you that. But when it comes to all of the surrounding behaviors, the behaviors to support, hide, and sustain the addiction, I was just as pathetic... all of the lying, the sneaking, hiding "stashes" around the house and in the car, actually being happy when my wife would leave the house so I could fire in a lip-stretcher, becoming terrified when I didn't have dip around so - just like a junkie - I began frantically searching to scrape together some coins from the cup on my dresser, even grabbing a few from the couch cushions, looking under the floor mats in the car, then sprinting off to get my fix like one of the junkies on TV... "Da shit be callin' me, yo. Da shit be callin' me." I couldn't think of ANYTHING else until I got my fix.

Just like a junkie, I hid it from everyone, except a few friends that would dip with me, my fellow junkies. We'd leave our office cubicles and go have a dip down in the parking garage - we couldn't even hang out above ground in the sun with the smokers, because even they were disgusted by us! Yeah… pretty fucking glamorous, huh?

I actually let dip interfere with the single most important thing in my life: my marriage. Don't worry, we have a great relationship, we didn't get divorced or anything. But dip caused arguments. Usually, my wife didn't even know the argument was about dip. She would get [justifiably] angry because of my erratic behavior (usually some lie to give me an excuse to run off somewhere and dip), or maybe I was just irritable from nicotine withdrawal. So dip was trumping my marriage - causing problems in my relationship seemed to be an acceptable "cost" of getting my fix. How perverse!

So as I mulled over this epiphany... I thought, "I'm a junkie, huh? So should I look on myself with a mixture of disgust and pity, the way I look at the heroin junkies?" And so I thought about it, and came to some conclusions... Disgust? Yes, I certainly was worthy of disgust. Pity...? Hmm... No. Fuck no. I brought this on myself.

And that was my breakthrough.

No more pity for myself. No more fear of the beast. I started dipping 7 years ago - been trying to quit for 6 of those years. (That may not be as long as a lot you have been dipping, but it was a tin-a-day - minimum! - right from the start.) In those 6 years of *ahem* "trying" to quit, I was filled with fear of the demon and pity for myself. "What can poor widdle me do against that big mean monster? If I quit for a day or two, he gets mad, I get frightened and run off to get a new tin to appease him. HE IS IN CONTROL."

No. Not anymore. Why didn't I deserve pity? Because I'm the asshole that let the grizzly into the cabin! It was my doing, my responsibility. That's why I refused to feel pity for myself. It was time to grow up and be a frikkin man and deal with the consequences of my actions. That means that it must be ME who's going to kick the grizzly's ass back OUT of the cabin.

So... I suddenly felt the weight of responsibility on my shoulders. And it was liberating! It was exhilarating! How can it be that the weight of responsibility was liberating? Because it means that I am in control now. It means that the big scary monster is really just a candy-ass little pip-squeak. He's only as big and bad as I allow him to be. I AM IN CONTROL.

Oh don't get me wrong... I know I need to keep my eye on him. He's a crafty and persistent little bugger. I know he'll keep trying. But now I know that I am far bigger and badder than him - I'll never be afraid of him again.

There's no need to pity this junkie, he's in control now. If anyone, you can show pity for the poor demon, because I'll show him no mercy.

Washington, DC
beaver#1 20031022 First i'd like to say, "I would have never made it this far without this website and all of you!" Thanks to each and every member and most of all thank you Matt van Wyk!

Unfortunately I did not gat a chance to bond as much as I wanted with my January Quit Group becuase I did not find this site until my 76th day into my quit. I started my quit alone on October 22, 2003 and used the NicoDerm CQ Patch. I followed the 10 week plan and was finally nicotine free on day 70. On day 76, I was overwhelmed with thoughts of caving and I began searching for help on-line. I found this site and truely believe the was a God-send. I know someone is up there watching me and protecting me!

The first thing I saw that helped me through my craves was in the Article section. I read and immediately printed a copy of the "Contract to Give Up by Hope" This contract has stayed in my daily planner since and has saved me time and time again. I have promised myself that before I ever cave I must read that contract and sign it before I put that lip-turd in my mouth.

I started chewing later in life than many of the members. I didn't start using any tobacco products until college my freshman year. I was 18 (almost 19) before I put my first Skoal-Wintergreen Longcut. Before long I was addicted. I switched to Kodiak about 6 months after starting my addiction. Stupid me, I went to the local gas station for chew and they were out of Skoal-Wintergreen. I bought a tin of Kodiak and saw that it contained 1.2 ounces of tobacco vs. 1.0 ounces of tobacco in Skoal. I was a bargain shopper and figured I got one more dip in every tin of Kodiak and it was stronger! Well 14 years later I finally decided to face the challenge and try quitting for the last time. Oh I tried quitting a dozen or so times before, but never seriously. I would go a day or two and then fall victim to the nicotine and dip devil.

To all newcomers reading this, here are a few things I learned this time around and a few helpers. Only quit for yourself! Of course its good to think about your loved ones during your quit, but don't quit for someone else becuase it won't last. Next, don't think too far into the future, like thinking I can never have another chew the rest of my life. This is just too hard to handle. Always take the quit day by day. Wake up every morning and make the choice to not chew that day. Remember this is a choice!! Your choice! Next, use this site and all its resources. Read, post, read, review, post. I have spent hours looking and reading the posts from each day and also looking at posts from way back. I find something just about every day that helps me through. Another great quote from REES's HOF Speech that helped me was "Two little mice fell into a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn't quit, he struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out." I am that second mouse. I chose to be that second mouse and I am free! Remember to be aware of your risky situations and triggers. Try to always be prepared for that dip-devil to jump out of nowhere and try to recapture your soul. Carry gum, a notebook, a HOF Speech, an Article from this site, or anything that will help you to continue the choice not to use nicotine today. Lastly, make a relapse prevention plan for yourself. I plan to continue to use this site as long as it is available and to carry in my wallet a copy of the "contract to give up". I promise to continue helping others get through their tough days just as other members have helped me.

I want to thank:
-my wife for supporting me and hanging in there when my rage was at its peak.
-my 2 year-old son for giving me the will to live and choose quitting over dipping.
-my January 2004 Quit brothers for holding me accountable and supporting me.
-my friends that I hunt and fish with for trying not to chew in front of me and encouraging me in my quit.
-and once again, a big thanks to Matt van Wyk and all the members of QS for helping me at my lowest/weakest point and currently.

The Beav

South St. Paul, MN
turkeydave 20031025
FIRST OFF !!!
Go to "The Secret of Our Success by Bluesman © 2002" in the ARTICLES section.
If that doesn't give you goose bumps I don't know what will... When I read that I cried.
 
my First Post:
"Hey gang - I just quit 46 hours ago, 2 more hours until '2 full days'. I have lots of questions about many things
( although this site looks like it will answer most of them ). But the first thing I was wondering if its natural
to feel kind of light headed and its harder to concentrate (like reading). I feel like I've pulled an all
nighter even though I slept (suprisingly) well."
 
4 minutes later GoingInsane sent some encouragement
13 minutes later CBW got on and told me to hang in there
23 minutes after first registering with this site i wrote:
"Well, I'm glad I found this site, and thanks for all of the other stories to read, its nice to know so many others have
dealt with, or are dealing with THE EXACT SAME THING !!!"
 
It had been not even 48 hours since I'd hid "Chewing Rock Bottom."
And thats what needs to happen folks.  Thats why we're here.
We want to get "out from under" the control of a silly weed.
And luckily while surfing I stumbled accross this site.  This site is awesome, it is
an invalulble tool, but YOU HAVE TO WANT IT, BAD... FOR YOU!!!
 

Why does it work? - Part 1
There is a support network here of way over 500 good people that are all over the first
10 floors of the HOF all willing to help any poor soul who falls through the front door.
When I first got to this site, the first amazing
experience was all of the INSTANT SUPPORT I GOT, when I timidly introduced myself.
Guys like BRYCE, SPONGEBOB, LePeeDee, Scott A., REES, OTH, FedupWithCope,4Woogie etc...
They're not only success stories, but they still are around to help.  All I needed was that
one human contact to say "lift your chin up newbie, we're all just like you, and we've all
experienced what you're going through, and we understand EXACTLY what you are going through-NO SHIT!!!"
"No-Shit?"
"No-Shit!, now go join your quit group and get this party started.!"
 
Why does it work? - Part 2
You can use this site to become a team, which will introduce accountability and support.
Get involved. I personally read EVERY POST in EVERY Quit Group and Roll Call for the first 100 days.  I read damn near every
HOF Speech too.  I posted EVERY SINGLE DAY (well except for like two - and thats cause I was attacked by the Swedish Cheerleading Team)
Spit out your guts, its so theraputic (sp?).  I came for encouragement.  I came to give support.
Eventually, I mostly came to hang out with my friends online.  You see, for the first time in my life
I had a group of strangers WHO NOT ONLY DIDN'T judge me, but TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD ME!!
Without their support, I would never have been able to UNDERSTAND MYSELF AND THIS ADDICTION, and be able to
end it like I have. 
 
So, How do you do it?
Well, I'm editing this part.  The best advice for you is all around my entry in this Hall of Fame. Read the rest of my brethren
Silent R's HOF Speeches right here.  Go search for posts by RenegadeDave, Fatdog, Lodge, Bosco,Z erose, Acmarsh, HokieMc, UncleB, or any of the more vocal Feb 04 group.  Hell, just reading their HOF speeches made me get goosebumps all over again.
But here's my contribution.....
REMEMBER THIS...THE CAVE ALL BOILS DOWN TO ONE INSTANT IN TIME!!!!
AT THAT ONE INSTANT, YOU STILL HAVE A CHOICE!!!
At that instant, if you think that you simply HAVE TO HAVE A CHEW, well, I hate to be hard on you
but 538 other people on this site ALWAYS said NO, and chose not to have that ONE CHEW !!!
And they continue to this day, each and everyday, to say "Nope, I choose not to have that ONE CHEW!!!"
And let me tell you something, we are no different than you !!!!  No better than you !!!!
Of course there were times that sucked, and times I felt week, and times I thought
I really couldn't go on, but I just made a choice each time. 
Even though your mind will play trick on you, YOU WILL IN FACT NOT DIE IF YOU DON'T HAVE THAT CHEW.
YOU CAN DO IT!!! Look around and see all of the
normal people walking around who've never even heard of chew and its addictions, they aren't dead.
 
Proof that everyone is very similar to you.
I thought I'd include some quotes from very early posts to show how similar we all were when we joined our group.
Then when I read the new groups first posts, THEY are all similar too.
WE'D all hit rock bottom and wanted to get out from under.  We were Scared, but this site gave us optimism
 
ME:-"..... All I CAN THINK ABOUT IS THAT SOMETHING's MISSING. I'm really suprized how often I'm missing having a chew -
its almost constant. But I don't want to go backwards"
 
Donald - "... my whole life revolved around snuff. I was the same way. I can not wait for the fog to wear off so that I can get
 on with the rest of my life and experience a life free of addiction."
 
UncleB - "Here I am. Day 1. I promised myself, my wife, my kids that I am done. 16 years of Cope and a million times quitting. Wish me luck."
 
smaddogc - "This is my first tobacco free day in 11 years. So far so good. This is my first attempt to quit.
I don't know what to expect and am a little worried. Glad I stumbled on this site"
 
acmarsh - "hey everyone - my first day dip free ...not too hard yet,
but i'm really nervous about tonight...if i can just getthrough and wake up tomorrow morning without having had one, woohoo! "
 
Fatdog - "Just found this site. I had my last dip Friday night.... it was finally time I made a real effort to stop.
....I've chewed for over thirteen years, I hope the physical effects start to lesson soon,
today seems worse than yesterday for some reason."
 
jaybee - "Hey everyone, Last dip was Sunday night.... I have dipped 2
cans of cope a day for 14 years. That is a lot of cash and a lot of wasted time. I am relating well to a many of the
 stories and perspectives on this site."
 
sthomas - "Hello everyone, going thru my first day here and doing fairly well...... This is gonna be tough."
 
hokie - "Hey all, Well, I stumbled onto this site on day 4 (OK, I stopped Monday, but it is after midnight) and I'm glad I did.
 I've already read a lot of stuff on here that will help. Brief background: Been dipping for 18 years, was one of
those fools that stopped for a year and thought "one can't hurt", never want to see another can of Kodiak as long as I live."
 
RENEGADEDAVE -"Hello there, I just found this website yesterday afternoon, and I read through some of the posts.....
I took the Kodiak out and haven't put it back in!.... I have been carrying the ½ empty can around in my back pocket.
 I thought about throwing it away,
but the thought scares me. I have wanted to quit for sometime now, but didn't think it was possible."
 
Lodge-"Hello guys. I am a newbie to this site and I quit dipping on the 15th of November, ...I hope to stay a part of this group
and share in the pride of mastering this powerful addiction.
Having a hard time this evening. ... I do not know how many times I will say this, but I don't think that it could ever
 be said enough. Thank you."
 
Bosco-"Well here I am finally.....and I have been a tobaccoholic for about 12 years. I recently came to the conclusion upon my 27th b-day
that I really had to start making some changes in my life for the better as I was not getting any younger. So yesterday on my lunch
hour I typed in quitting smokless tobacco into Google, and call it fate I stumbled to this site. From that monent on I KNEW I could
do it and today would be the day....I know you guys probably hear it all the time, but this site was the deciding factor of my
rebirth into Normalsville.. . . Stay strong"
 
Thanks
1) Thanks to Matt van Wyk. You have helped so many to help themselves.
2) The Silent R's - Friends, Peers, Comrades.
Longmont, CO
fatdog 20031025 80% of patients diagnosed with oral cancer are dead within five years. If you continue to dip, you are playing Russian roulette with your life. Dipping is not worth dying for. It's that simple. If you can't quit for yourself, then quit for the people that love you and depend on you.

It doesn't matter why you quit or for how long. Take this one step in your life for yourself and for anyone that you love right now....spit out your dip, empty your can, and don't put in another dip. Don't worry about 100 days from now or 10 days from now or even 1 hour from now. If you can keep the dip out of your lip for the next ten minutes, I guarantee your quit will take on a life of its own. How do I know? I came to this site planning on just taking a break from dipping to prove that I could do it, hoping I could make it a couple of weeks. I have now made it 100 days, and have achieved a clarity of vision in retrospect that I would never have believed possible.

The first days will be hard, you will likely experience nasty cravings, dip rage, dip fog, and in general not be much fun to be around. There are physical effects of stopping nicotine addiction cold turkey and it is important to recognize that the physical effects will start to diminish and make quitting easier and easier. Even though the nicotine leaves your system within 72 hours, the impacts of long-term nicotine addiction last longer, but decrease with time.

Tell people you care about that you are quitting as soon as possible - this will help you commit to the quit. The first few days will be difficult - try to plan an activity to keep your mind off the quit, go work out, work on a hobby, try to do anything that will keep you busy and your mind occupied. Chew gums, sunflower seeds, suckers, fake chew, anything that will keep your mind busy for the first few days. A few weeks into my quit, I made a public commitment to myself and the guys on the board that I would make it to the HOF. That public commitment was key in making it to this point; it's not for everyone, but it worked for me.

Let me share a few mantras that I found on this board that were helpful in my quit, "The first is the worst", "I don't chew anymore. I used to, but I don't anymore", "Read and post, read and post". Lean on the other posters on this board, you will find wisdom, conviction, courage, support, butt kickin', and common sense. A hundred days ago I decided that I didn't want to tell my seven-year old son that I was dying and wouldn't be here to watch him grow up because I valued dip more than him. It was difficult to make it to this point, but quitting chewing after fifteen + years was one of the best decisions of my life.

Spit out your dip, empty your can, and don't put in another dip. You can quit. I'll see you in the HOF. Good luck.

Idaho
HokieMc 20031026 Well, here I am - 100 days later at a place that seemed like an eternity away when I started my quit. Once I found this site, I felt a lot stronger. In fact, I know this site kept me from caving more than once. There were times I wanted a dip so bad - and the only reason I didn't is because I knew I was accountable to myself and the fine folks in Feb 04 - "The Silent R's". RENEGADEDAVE, turkeydave, Lodge, acmarsh, UncleBubba, fatdog, Boscomerl, Zerose, andyman. I hope I didn't forget anyone. Anyhow, I'm amazed at how our group came together and really made this possible for everyone. Thanks guys. Seriously. THANKS.

I've thought about what I wanted to say here, and I thought I would share a few of the things I learned in the past 100 days. Hopefully something in here will help someone. RengadeDave put things in focus for me early on. He made it clear that the enemy in this fight is not the "chew demon" or the "nic demon" or UST (Conwood in my case), or any other entity, real or imagined. The enemy is YOU. You are the one that chose to start dipping (maybe someone held a gun to your head, but I doubt it). You decided to dip for X number of years. And, most importantly, you decided to quit. So, any successes that come from your quit, they are all due to you and what you accomplished. If you slipped up and caved, that was your choice and you are responsible. You are also responsible for forgiving yourself, strengthening your resolve, and getting right back to hit. This was the essence of my quit. Taking responsibility for my choices and and getting pissed off and taking back control of my life. Try it - it feels good!!

Something else I learned was don't quit until you are ready. Like most of you here, I've quit before. I always went back; once after a year, because I didn't understand this addiction. And I know - I mean I REALLY know - this is the last time. How can I be so sure? Because I was ready, and my resolve was strong. I was mad. Fighting mad. Mad at dip controlling how I spent my day, mad that I was hiding it from my friends and loved ones (lying, that's what that is), mad that I was wasting money, mad that I was afraid to go to the dentist, mad that I might get cancer.you get the idea. I'm getting mad just writing this and thinking of all the money wasted, time wasted, and general pain I have caused myself. But, no sense looking back. The future is bright, and I'm glad I quit "relatively" early.

I've just got to reiterate how much I appreciate all the support from the guys in Feb 04. Lodge keeps us laughing, Renegade Dave keeps us on the straight and narrow with his no BS advice, acmarsh weighs in with tremendous insight, turkeydave is about the most positive poster around (even when he himself is struggling).

I know I am beyond rambling at this point, but my last and most important point is thanking Matt van Wyk. I don't think it is unreasonable to say that Matt has saved many people's lives. Think about that - there aren't many out there that can make that claim. And - get this - he does it for FREE! I sent Matt a small donation upon my entrance to the hall and encourage all of you to do the same. As I said before, I quit and I take responsibility for it, but I don't think I could have done it without the help I received here. OK, that's it.

"Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not."

Richmond, VA
acmarsh 20031028 I am writing this speech longhand, on a legal pad, ironically in the same room which entombed me each night before bed for the last sixteen years. It has tile on the wall, typically. No need to elaborate further...

Unlike most of you, I cannot remember my first dip. I only remember that it ruled my very existence from day one. I didn't dip too frequently; the thought of a first-thing-in-the-morning dip, even then, made me nauseous. And yet, it is (what do they say?)... ah yes, it is quality, not quantity. I would wait until the time was just right: after coffee, after a run in the shower, after a night out with friends, after a stressful family/crowded event... which also means that, after college, that meant that I was always alone. I used to think that that was MY time; I would think, create, solve the problems of the world, etc... but I never even knew what I was missing: more time with and trust from my wife, clarity of thought, and freedom from a substance which controlled my time and relationships and self-worth (or lack thereof). I miss it, sometimes. But I know now that I could never go back. It's like an old girlfriend that you parted with amicably - those times were great, but life moves ever forward and change is good. I like the dip-free me much more than I liked the closet-dipper me. I walk taller, feel stronger. Oh, and when I get a canker sore or small cut in my mouth or a sore throat, I no longer break out in a cold sweat laced with shame and disgust over a life cut short. I work more. I run more. My emotions are more true and immediate because they are not manipulated by nicotine. And I am happier with myself. And I should mention - I used to LOVE to dip.

Some thanks. My wife, Anje, who never judged, always supported, patiently read my goofy posts and replies on this site when I asked her to, and loved me each day. To the SilentRs of Feb 2004 HOF Fame: TurkeyDave, there from the start in our group, we have forged a friendship across many miles through a common goal. RenegadeDave, another friend, I remember one day on which you posted out to me, asking how I was, that I seemed down, and I was and didn't even know it until you opened me up - thanks - for everything. I will look forward to our (other) marathon later this year! UncleBubba, Jeff, we shared some personal stuff off the boards and you always helped me, each day, knowing that if this guy could go through what you were going through without dip then I certainly wasn't going to cave! Lodge - I can't wait to actually meet you because I still don't have you figured out! Thanks for your intelligent, no-nonsense humor. To HokieMC, you are always the thoughtful one, and took our ribbing about your engagement well... Boscomerl, my fellow soon-to-be-rich artist, you came in late but posted often and well, Zerose, your posts always crack me up, especially your fish ones! jnr, congrats on making it! You stuck with it, and us, when we didn't all agree... sthomas, my quit-date buddy - we made it! And all you other SilentRs... THANK YOU... from the bottom of my heart.

The first day I came on here, I felt lower than I can remember. I was hung-over, tired, and so shamed by the can that had beaten me. I had tried to quit before and failed (sound familiar?) but I knew this site existed so that morning I found it again and joined and posted a brief cry for help. The responses I got back made me sit at my desk and cry like a child - I mean SOB. Someone was listening, someone understood, and someone was willing to help. So began my journey to today, and the rest of my life. So thank you, FedUpofCope, JimInFla, bo11, Big H, scott a., db, waxman, higherpower, and especially Matt Van Wyk. I'm here today because of you all. Read what HokieMC has to say below about Matt - I second it.

If you're surfing this site with a dip in and a tinged brown spitter in your hand, wondering if you should finally nut up and quit, I know you. Because I WAS you. Believe me when I tell you that 100 days from now, you could be writing YOUR 100 days speech, thankful for all the wonderful changes that have occurred because you spit out that dip right now. Do it now. Quit. And NEVER quit quitting.

Chris Marshall
Quit 10/28/03
Proud Member of the SilentRs

San Francisco, CA
RENEGADEDAVE 20031029 I want to start out with thanks, thanks to all of the folks that helped me make it this far! First, my wife, Erica! She is my reason for living, and certainly my main reason for quitting! Matt van Wyk, thanks for your insight and wisdom in starting and administrating this bulletin board and site; it has been, and will be an inspiration and life changing force for hundreds, thousands of people just like me! And thanks to the SilentR's, that is, the FEB 2004 HOF Class Quit Group, my friends!! What can I say about you guys......... "What can I say?" ...... I always have something to say, but I'll save that for a little later! The NeverEnding Story will live on in my signature line forever, and "Our Shirt" will grace my back as I ride around Hawaii on the HOG!

Now for the "meat"! I basically held to and espoused three concepts regarding quitting! These three concepts are what I credit with making this successful for me! This is the first time I have ever quit, and it will be the last! I would like to leave these three concepts here in my HOF speech for posterity:

  • Quitting -vs- Stopping - Everyone in my group has heard me on at least one occasion talk about the concept of quitting. The precept, simply stated is this, if you stop, you go again; if you quit, you are done! I feel it is necessary to emphasize that this is not semantics; it is a frame of mind, a way of life, a principle to live by, to quit by!! I was never one to give much credence to the "cave" posts, and how "their quit had failed". I always maintained that they had not quit; they had simply stopped and started again. If you put your mind in the proper frame, it can do anything; it will empower you to overcome the seemingly impossible! The body is nothing compared to the mind, and that is where the battle is waged!
  • The Enemy - There is nothing more crucial, in any battle, than identifying the enemy! Knowing his weaknesses, and being able to capitalize on them in battle, is the key to victory! The battle here is no different! Reading through many posts, old and new, it is sometimes hard to tell who or what folks think "the enemy" is! Is it the dip? Or is it really the drug, the nicotine? Is it work, or the stressful environment that makes us dip? The devil? The "nico-demon"? It is called that, but who/what is that?? Is it our family? Did we inherit it? Who/what is our enemy?? I maintain that we are! I AM the ENEMY!! Yes, when it comes to addiction, I am my own enemy, my "addictive self", that my "quitting self" must meet and defeat! When we realize that the one we are up against is the one that looks back at us in the mirror each morning, then it will be easier to get on with the battle that we must fight! Targeting the dip, the tobacco, the UST, etc. as the enemy, will only distract us, and may well serve as a tool of our enemy to defeat us! I have seen so many of the "devil made me do it" posts, and then those that refer to "the demon in the can"! We have but "one enemy to blame" for this addiction of ours, and recognizing that is a key to success!!
  • One Day At A Time, The Same As Yesterday - Finally, here is a gem of a fact that helped me immensely! When we have gotten through Day One, our first 24 hours without dip, we have succeeded! Yes, I use this tense of the verb to indicate a past tense that is continuing! When we get through our 1st day, and move into our 2nd, what we know is that all we have to do today is the same thing we have already proven we can do, yesterday! Each day, that is the simple beauty, we just have to quit today, just like we did yesterday! We do not have to wonder whether we can do it, or if it is possible, we know we can, we know it is possible, we already did it the same way yesterday! This concept is a huge weapon in our battle!

I sat down and re-read what I just wrote, and I wanted to add this. I know there are folks that have caved, caved after a few days, caved after a few weeks, a few months, a few years! I've read their posts. Here's the deal folks, in my humble opinion: It is about the commitment and the one-day-at-a-time approach! Anyone could cave, on any given day, you, me, Matt, anyone. Why don't we, because we do the same thing today that we did yesterday. I don't mean to over-simplify it, but it is a simple process, albeit difficult at times to carry out! Stick to your guns!

Okay, now for some final words to and from (in the way of quotations) the SilentR's, some who have been very active on the board here, and others who have not, or who we have lost contact with altogether. You guys are my friends and have been an inspiration to me! I am glad that we have walked this path together! And although we have each managed to do it our own way, using our own tools, we have a kindred spirit that cannot be quenched! I wanted to share a bit of your wisdom in my HOF speech - Thanks guys!!

  • TurkeyDave, the first of our group to cross into the HOF, very up-beat, and a natural leader and inspiration to all of us, and folks in other groups as well! Always caring, always available it seemed, a true example for his peers and those who shall come after! "This reinforces the 'enabler' theory, someone else can't make an addict NOT BE AN ADDICT. Only the addict can quit when the addict is ready."
  • Fatdog "I still have my last can, I think I'll keep it forever with its old dried out copenhagen in it as a testament to the quit!" Good idea - I've got my custom SKOAL lid from back when I first started (before I switched to Kodiak). I think I'll keep it for the same reason! I gave up some of the most powerful stuff on this planet!
  • ACMarsh, always a day ahead of me going into the HOF, a straight shooter, with an insight into quitting that stood apart from some of the more traditional ways of thinking! Wisdom couched in words that were less blunt than they could have been, always thought provoking, and always helpful! Hard to narrow his posts down to one favorite, but I guess it would be the one from my quit day, OCT 29, when he said, "I just read mine and you guys's posts again and realized that I'm a moron"! Too funny AC!! And here is one of his better serious ones: "I'm really glad I stuck with it, and even more glad that you guys stuck with it with me. This band of brothers was my safety net, my support, my comic relief, my alter-ego, my conscience."
  • Lodge, I don't know what to say!! Had us laughing, had us crying! Such a quitter, so much determination, so honest (brutally so at times) and sincere, at the same time finding a way to make light and humorous of our pretty serious addiction related problems - a true inspiration! "What? Dip is a friend? I do not think so......... Light a fire under your ass and stop feeling sorry for yourselves." A typical Lodge post from DEC 1st!
  • jnr - Came to us from a previous group! But he found and tested his metal (and mettle) with us, and his steel (dedication/commitment to quit) was found to be true! I'm glad he joined us, and appreciated his posts!
  • HokieMC He quit!! He got engaged! "I'm hiding the ring where I used to hide my tins. So I think it's safe! What a relief to have this quit well under way before starting this new phase of my life." You are an inspiration!!
  • UncleBubba - A great guy, definitely knows how to pick 'em! (Sports teams that is - How 'bout them Patriots!!??!!) A "Christmas quote" from Unca'B! - "So the three of us are in the kitchen and one of them gives the other one a 1/2 log of Cope for Xmas. In the back of my mind I'm thinking 'that's a hell of a gift - DEATH'."
  • Zerose My favorite quote was: "The only thing left is to be vigilant and keeping swinging away at the addiction. Its funny really how we all made such a big deal about how tough it is and what not, but if someone just gets through the first month they are made in the shade if they don't quit fighting." So true!!
  • Magmac I still think his best words were: "I own me! I will not let some bitch ass copensizzle git to my hizzle my nizzle." Amen...me neither!!!!
  • Boscomerl Thanks for taking the T-Shirt idea by the horns! "The definition of insanity is 'Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results'."
  • markfsmf - I think that this simple quote is so full of depth and maturity, very worthy of some study and perusal: "I will not waste any time trying to justify in any sense of the word something that makes no sense".
  • jaybee - Head strong and dedicated! We had our differences from time-to-time, but we both made it to the HOF, and then some!! Just goes to show you there are different ways to skin this animal!
  • Donald - Not a "big poster", but he had some really straightforward ones that helped me! Here's one from early NOV 03: "Hang Tough Dude, there are plenty of tougher situations that we could all be in."
  • Andyman - A young man toughing it out while still in college! What a role model!! Here is a good quote from around Christmas time: "Just think about how much better it's gotten and how much better it will get."
  • Trying_2B_Tufenuf - Not that vocal, but had an eye opener that helped to solidify my commitment as well, from early JAN: "I started some volunteer work at Rush University hospital today. Spent some time in the Oncology ward. What in the world were we ever thinking!!! People in bed moaning and helpless. Never again fellas...never."
  • Pickmaster60 - We lost him, he moved to the APR 2004 Class! You can do it!! We're rootin' for ya'!!
  • And to the rest of you who we haven't heard too much from (some of you just quiet "roll call" posters, others have been gone for awhile), thanks for being part of our team! Hopefully YOU QUIT SUCCESSFULLY!! You can do it, we all can!!! BC in AZ, sthomas, PacNW, Dulouz, Stratogrubbie, DoubleT, Bilbo, angler, mcatt, no-yuk-mouth, VanillaSkoalNoMore, Carbie, cds, spudbucket, lips, Tryin_in_GTMO, Art Vandelay, BigBear, Big Kahuna, Chopper11, Cmul, Coach, CRF32, Dippingsux, Engine44, Fireguy, Gettingdesperate, Gisound, Hogfish, Holden's Ghost, Homerjsimpson, Ishamael, Jayhawk25, Kodiaddict, Littlejoe, Motrish, Muskie, Phantom, S. McMinn, Swedeman1, Switch61, TcalYen, and anyone that I may have missed......May God bless each of you!!!
Ewa Beach, HI
Zerose 20031112 I'm not afraid to admit I was scared. 100 days ago when I began this quit I had many preconceived notions. Like many in this Hall of Fame this wasn't the first quit for me. What this means is I've quit before and failed miserably. What would make this time any different? That scared me, because I wanted to quit this time. Like many Hall of Famers' that have come before me we have dipped everyday for years. Dipping becomes an extension of ourselves. Dipping is an extension of ourselves that we use when enjoying our favorite activities, or as a means of coping with stressful events. I knew from previous quits that in order to quit, to truly quit, I had to either stop those activities I love (not likely!) or find a means to substitute the tobacco side.

I began my quit about a week before I stumbled onto this site through one of the various search engines. Like many members of this site I looked at this site and thought, "How can a cyberspace support group work? I don't buy that!" But that thought itself is very intresting. I would not of "bought" this. I would have been turned away if I had to pay for it. Matt van Wyk doesn't charge for this site, but he could.

The whole concept of this site is fundamentally sound. You are hooked up with a group based on your quit date. You post your thoughts, fears, and quirky tobacco withdrawl ramblings and I'll bet a dime to a dollar that someone is going through the same thing you are! There is a lot of comfort in knowing that someone is just like you and feeling the same way. That right there is an important connection that is hard to make. Especially since many dippers are closet dippers. They were ashamed of their old habit. They didn't want anyone to know what they did. These tight connections formed with your quit group are extremely important.

Your quit group is your #3 ally in this whole ordeal. #1 would be your faith in a higher power, #2 would be your will-power. To have a successful quit all three must be strong.

The only way to make your quit group strong is to input as much as you can. The old adage of you get what you give is very important. It is important to actively post and at least read the post. I wasn't a very frequent "poster" but I tried to read every post. Towards the end of my quit, about day 90, I almost quit quitting. Had it not been for my Silent R's I would be making a cave speech instead of a Hall of Fame speech. I can't thank each and everyone enough. I don't do "shout-outs", because someone always gets left out! But you all know who you are and I thank-you from the bottom of my heart. Without starting a religious debate a faith in a higher power is important to go to for strength. Having a prayerful faith in a higher power keeps you focused on the task at hand and can also lend you strength of will. I'm going to be blunt here. 90% or so of the people that may read this that are new quitters may not make it. You will not have a strong enough will-power. YOU HAVE GOT TO GOT TO GOT TO have a 1,000,000% devotion to quitting. YOU HAVE TO QUIT FOR YOURSELF. Not your wife, your kids, your job, or aunt Edna. You have to do it for yourself. It is o.k. to be selfish, let us be honest...you were selfish when you were silently killing yourself with a dip, why would it hurt to be selfish now? You have to will yourself through the tough times throughout the quit. They will come, and they will be fierce. Some will be like pin-pricks, some will be like Mac trucks hitting you head on. It is not wrong to be tempted, it will happen, and still does. What is wrong is to give in to the temptations! Your will power has to be rock solid. Nobody I know (that's mortal) has rock-solid will power. In times of need I suggest #1 AND #3!

A lot of people ask, what happens after the 100 day milestone? Well I reckon it is the same thing that happened 12, 53, and 78 days after quitting. What is significant about those numbers? Nothing. They are just like every other day, a day you didn't revert to your old form. Another day you have quit, another day for the rest of your life. I for one am still tempted, and I still will be for the rest of my life. That is something we never thought about the first time we dipped. We, without knowing, committed ourselves to a life sentence. However we are still given a choice of the death penalty or life without parole! I chose the latter. And with the help of my Silent R's and all of the QS.org community I intend to stay off of death row!

With EXTREME gratitude to all of my Silent R's, and all of the QS.org!

Silent R's! WE pushed another one over the hump! I have never seen a finer BUNCH OF QUITTERS!

Little Rock, AR
BrunoJ 20031201 Have you ever been unable to give your son/daughters,girlfriend/boyfriend,wife or husband that little kiss to tell them how much you love (visa versa) them but couldn't cause you had foul smelling leaves in your mouth? The worst, your wife or daughter has spent their heart cooking something, "Try this", and there you are like a little kid, not with poo in your pants but your mouth. We have all been there. You are making the best decision of your life.

READ, READ, READ POST,POST and POST again. If you are as lucky as I your entire life will begin anew. The relationships you develop here, will share a bond that runs oh so deep! Ask your GOD for help,I did and he does. FREE yourself now! You have only got the REST OF YOUR LIFE!!!! Eat , Kiss and Love on your terms not the can's. I can now say after 27 years: I'm FREE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU MATT, ALL OF MY MARCH BUDDIES, you helped more than you will ever know. JANET my lovely wife and AMANDA my beautiful daughter, YOU ARE MY LIFE!!!!!!!

Las Cruces, NM
Vince 20031120 Well after 112 days, I can say it does feel good. I'm still using the mint snuff though. Somehow it keeps me sane. While I have nothing new to add to the many "outstanding" speeches posted, I will give credit to Spongebob for his Mantra. That, along with some answered prayers for help got me though those first two weeks. I still get cravings occasionally but so far I've been able to fight them off. Again, a can of mint snuff in my pocket has prevented me from "bumming a dip" on many occasions. Thanks again for a great site, and a lot of encouragement. For those of you still in the trenches, be strong, one day at a time.

Adios for now,
Vince

Kailua, HI
sctgrunt 20031208 No big speech or anything.

Quitting dipping has been one of the hardest things I've ever done. And I have no doubt that staying quit isn't going to be easy.

But it sure is nice not having to arrange my entire life around satisfying an addiction. Freedom is a wonderful thing.

Mike

FL
55Cameo 20031209 100 Days, the beginning of a new life. A new life that does not include being chained to a can. A life that does not involve sneaking, hiding, and denying a disgusting, unhealthy habit.

My story is much the same as the others here. I have had a 30 some year affair with the nicotine "debil" (with kind deference to my friend Kholl) since a young adult. It was always something that I thought I could "quit later", or "when I felt like it". The days, the weeks, the months, and the years get by so fast. I would stop using intermittently. I even quit once for over a year, then a year ago January I fell back on the habit as hard as ever.

On December 9th, 2003 I put away the can for another quit attempt. I climbed the walls, I cried, I fought with myself and "the debil". About 3 weeks later in desperation, I did a web search for help. Thanks to God and Matt van Wyk, I found this website! I read all I could. Wow, these guys (and ladies) were going through the exact same things I was! And there were a lot of them! In another week or so I got up the courage to register and post. (I'm not the best hand with a computer) Doing so has changed my life.

All the things you discover here are things you probably already know, but hearing them from your peers is the best medicine in the world. Here's a few that were revealed to me:

  • You can only quit for yourself.
  • A crave is temporary.
  • When it comes to quitting, don't look too far ahead, one day at a time is plenty.
  • Helping somebody else is most often more help to you than them.
One other trick I tried was to not use a signature. There are some great ones on this site and I enjoy reading them. I found it best for me, especially in the early days to type out a quick line in closing a post, usually something like: "I will not be chewing today!" I guess it was one more reinforcement for me to think it, type it, and see it!

This website has made the difference between this being just another quit attempt and the real deal. I feel like I know the people in our group (and some others) like brothers, even though we have never met in person. I would never have made it without all the March gang, even some who didn’t make it to the HOF. At the risk of leaving someone out, I won’t name them all, but they are ALL special quitters and I THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE!

Last thought: We can never let our guard down, ever! The "debil" has mischievous ways of trying to trick us back, don’t let him do it!

Looking forward to the next floor - and beyond!!

Thank you Matt!

Jim

Denver, CO
kholl 20031209 I have read many times at QS statements to the effect that "When I started I would not have believed that I could have made it 1 day, let alone 100 days." That statement certainly applied to me. One of my first posts read, "This quitting thing is scary, but what support I see in your replies and stories." I was impressed at how everybody was responding to cries for help, as well as celebrating those little victories that are so important at the beginning. It worked because this is my 100 day post.

Why did I quit?
There are many reasons that everyone here has experienced at one time or another.

Why was this time different?
There are many reasons. This website ranks up there at the top of the list.

What have I discovered about myself?
By making it in this quit I have learned a lot about my addiction, how I handled the addiction, and what a better person I am now because I am in control of the addiction.

I have learned that I am certainly embarrassed at:

  • how I was only slightly embarrassed when I would accidentally leave spit cups behind at other people's homes.
  • how I was so willing to believe that Skoal was a part of who I was.
  • how I would rush through bedtime activities so I could get to my can of Skoal.
  • how I have missed some good laughs and quality time with my family because I always had to get up from the table as soon as I finished eating to get a dip in as soon as I could.
  • how I always thought that I could not do anything without a fat ol' dip in my lip.
  • how I hated that sick feeling of thinking I was screw up with each quit that I failed, but continued to dip.
  • how I repeatedly was scared to death at the discovery of a sore in my mouth, but continued to dip.
  • how I paid an ungodly price for a can after the heinous GA Tobacco tax increase, but continued to dip.
  • how I continued to dip for a while after seeing the effect of chemo on my Sister-in-Law's father.
  • what I have missed out on with my family because of this Debil.

I have learned that I have good reasons to hold my head high as I win this battle against this addiction.

I am proud because:

  • I am finally strong enough to break the control that tobacco had on me.
  • I know I accomplished what for so long was impossible in my mind.
  • I carry the HOF coin in my pocket
  • I learned what can be done when you have the support of a loving wife and children behind you.
  • I learned what an impact a group of strangers can have on you and how close you can get to guys you may never meet.

My first round of thanks goes to Matt van Wyk. His vision of a place for smokeless users to go to get help with their quit has certainly worked for me. For that, I thank you.

Next, I am very grateful to a QS member named - Big Dave. His article named Death Day © 2003, made such an impression on me. As I discovered this site and was getting ready for my quit, I read this article. What an emotional response! I read the article and sat there crying like a little girl as I thought about dying of cancer in front of my family. Whew! It still gets to me. For that final motivator, I thank you too.

Also, I would like to let the boys of the March 2004 HOF Class know what help and inspiration they have been to me as I stumbled through this quit. For you guys, I will be forever indebted.

Finally, I am very grateful to my family for their prayers, support and forgiveness as I struggled through this quit. For you, I am eternally thankful.

Atlanta, GA
Ray J 20031219 Matt, Family & Friends, Members of the Hall, March 04 Quit Group, and Newcomers looking for hope,

I am struggling to muster up the eloquence to truly articulate my feelings about reaching the Hall of Fame. It's funny how along my 100 days of getting here, I had no trouble at all babbling on and on about just about everything. Now that I'm up here at the podium, spotlight beaming on my forehead, I am struggling to string the words together. Thirty days have passed since my big H.O.F. date and I realized that writing this speech is much like starting a quit. Tomorrow never seems to come, so just do it now.

I guess I have just wanted my words to be perfect so that they can somehow honor this site, and those who have helped me to get here. No matter what the effort, I know that my choice of words will most certainly fail to convey what I feel. What can be said after replacing utter despair and constant failure with hope, pride & optimism?

Every facet of my life had been defined, regulated, and dedicated to the satisfaction of my habit. I was merely renting a small piece of my body mind & soul. The rest was owned by the clutches of Copenhagen. I still don't know how I even had the wherewithal to even try to take yet another stab at beating this thing, but thankfully I did.

Even more thankfully I found all of you here in this home for wayward children. Together we help one another get through the minutes, hours days, weeks, months & years. It's an amazing place that I am unbelievably grateful for. Most of us have been ashamed for years of who we had become and how we were unable to shake this deadly problem.

It spirals and gets worse with failed quit attempts and we begin to lose sight of the fact that we are all important. With others who share our worries, fears, and battles with this "closet addiction" we are slowly able to realize that we are all loved and cared for, we deserve a life of happiness and fulfillment, and we actually do have the strength within to make it happen. We take from this site by giving & we give by taking. Through this back and forth we begin to feel good again. We build a foundation on which a healing can take place. It really is remarkable.

I've been through this site time and again. I stopped in every room & read or even re-read every article. There are so many moments where a cave was eminent, and at just the right moment, someone's post hit the right nerve, or an article stirred enough emotion to get past the crave. It would be absolutely impossible to list everyone who has helped me out along the way for those reasons. All of you have become a new life form that is ever present in the back of my mind, and deep in my heart. You help me to be strong when I would otherwise be weak. You help me to make the right decision in times of stress and turmoil, when I would otherwise fail. You help me to realize that I am not the guy I once was. I am strong enough to do this. I am capable of great things. I can get through rough times without the poisonous crutch of tobacco.

To my dear wife Shari, I am so very sorry for having caused you such worry, concern and fear over my health and well being. I want to cry tears of joy that you were able to find it in your heart to stand by me through the lies and deception of the many failed attempts to quit. I am sorry that I robbed you of the husband I should have been along the way by letting my addiction consume me. You have always deserved better than the man I was. Thank you for supporting me with cautious optimism and for being not only my wife, but my best friend. I hope that over time I can make you as proud of me as I am of you. I love you with all my heart and soul and pray every day that this quit will grant me the fullest allotment possible of being your husband and soulmate.

Thank you so much March 04. You guys are a fantastic bunch of unique friends whom I will forever be indebted to for your patience, kindness, and support along this journey. I wish you all the very best in life and hope that you are rewarded for all that you have done for helping me get to this point and beyond. We may never meet, but you will always be some of the most influential and important friends I have ever had.

To those who have helped me to get here but have fallen from the official ranks of our group, I offer you my hand. Grab on when you are ready and I will not let go. Hope for all of us will anchor me and give me the strength to beat this one minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month, one year at a time right along side of you.

Thanks to our Creator for another chance.

Eternally Grateful,
Ray J
130 days quit / $650.00

Pompton Lakes, NJ
Tempy 20031228 Back on December 28th of 2003 I came down with a terrible case of the flu. Body aches, headache, no appetite etc.... you get the picture. For a long time I have wanted to quit my near 20 year habit with the devil known as Copenhagen. I've tried many times and broke many promises to myself and others along the way. I was successful a couple times but only for short periods of time until I had my celebratory dip where I celebrated the fact that I had kicked the addiction.

Ha! Each time the addiction came back to haunt me stronger and stronger until it owned me. I lied to people around me, was content to hang out by myself because I had my "little buddy" (Cope) along with me and generally caved in to the addiction at every turn. I was willing to just about anything to make sure I had my dip when I needed it.

So I quit while having the flu on December 28th thinking I could feel no worse anyway. Then, I started feeling better a couple days later and was having some massive craves. I decided it was time to search the Internet and find out more about how to kick this addiction. I stumbled on this site and the people here saved me. I learned real quick from some "veteran" quitters that it is usually the "just have one" thought that derails people. As well, my April 04' group supported me each step of the way. We laughed together, whined together but most of all supported each other down the path.

I'll never dip again and want to thank all those people that are part of the April 04' group for their support. You're all part of my success and I hope that I've been part of yours. Let's not ever let the dip devil have control again!

Tempy

Milwaukee, WI
Boots 20031229 Everyone should know that I am one of those idiotic few who started dipping after I turned 30 years old. I knew better, knew the risks, but did it anyway, I can't really explain it, just pure stupidity on my part. Anyway, like the rest here, I eventually got addicted to Skoal, and turned into a 1 can/day dipper. I was sitting around a campfire back in December and came to the thought that I was addicted, and didn't like the idea of something controlling me instead of the other way around. I had always looked at the smokers and alcoholics in my family and said 'Never Me!!', but it turns out I was no different than the rest.... just a user (and abuser) of a different substance. All of my stupid moves aside, I did make one smart move, and that was that I made a personal commitment to quit dipping. I was tired of it and what it did to me. I am proud to say that this was my first quit, and I made it stick.

Just like you, I associated dipping with everything enjoyable that I did such as camping out, hiking, driving the tractor, going on vacation, whatever.... It sure was tough to stop something that I saw as enjoyable and pleasurable. Truth is though, there was no more pleasure, just getting through each day with my crutch (nicotine). I didn't feel good because of the drug, I just felt bad if I didn't use it all day, every day.

Whatever you are feeling isn't new. My suggestion is to go back and look at some of the other quit groups early posts. You will see that someone else has already endured similar issues and similar thought processes'. Learn from these posts and take comfort that you're not the only one.

I give a lot of credit to this site for my quit. The key thing is to establish communications and friendship (Yes, you can call it that) with your quit group. These guys in my group kept me focused, and I felt accountable to them. I felt like it would be a let down to the group if I failed to complete my quit.

I also give a lot of credit to my personal commitment. I don't say that to be bragging, but I say it because it's true. If you don't have a strong personal commitment to the quit, you will probably fail. I didn't quit because of my health, or for money reasons, I quit because I didn't have full control of my life anymore. I quit to regain control.

You can do this. So many have done it before, and if you make up your mind, you can do it just like me and hundreds of others. I say that knowing that this was the most difficult thing I've accomplished in my life. Don't be over-confident, just know that if you make up your mind and stay true to your goal, you will be the better person.

I did something right for once, so can you.

Quit.
Stay Quit.
Don't Make Excuses for yourself.
Set yourself up to succeed.
Use this site and the Friends you make here.
Establish Self Control and be Responsible for Yourself.

Boots
April 2004 HOF

AL
FunkSkoalBrother 20040101 On Jan 1st 2004, I put in my mouth my last chew.

For the next two days, I was a real son-of-a-bitch to my kids, my wife, my family, and anyone else who wanted to speak to me, or even get into my line of sight.

I went through two days of HELL, and then, on January 3rd, I found myself at my brothers' house, drinking beer, with his can of Red Seal in front of me. I thought - I got this thing beat - I am not ever buying chew again, so I can have one, with my brother, just this once.

I kept that chew in all day (Put it in about 1pm), during the drive home, and even went to sleep with it in my mouth that evening. Needless to say, I did not kiss my wife goodnight. Keeping that "last" chew as long as I could was more important than kissing my wife goodnight!

And the two days of hell that I suffered? Those were all for naught. To quit, I would have to go through them again.

How could I let something take control of me like that???? I was really willing to put myself through that hell for another dip?

You all know this feeling of the first 72 hours.

With heart disease, stroke, cancer, and all these other risk factors in my family tree, how could I rob my 3 children of a father by adding yet another risk factor???

How could I let something take control of me like that????

What kind of idiot does these things ?!?!?!

An ADDICTED idiot is who, and the idiot in this story was me.

I had to keep asking myself, How could I let something take control of me like that????

On Jan 3rd 2004, I put in my mouth my last chew. And on January 3rd, 2004, I decided that Snuff/Chew/Dip did NOT control me. I controlled me. I controlled whether I lifted the arm, connected to the hand, connected to the fingers, that held the pinch. I controlled whether I put that garbage in my mouth. For me, it is as simple as that. Just don't put the shit in my mouth.

Since that lapse on January 3rd, I have used this website, and the wonderful group of guys in the April2004 quit group, to beat this addiction. We have gone through many trials and tribulations, all while remaining loyal and more importantly, accountable, to each other. It is that single fact of accountability that has helped me achieve this quit, my FINAL quit.

To the April fools of 2004: As a group, we have shared toofatyet's sage advice, heard about midst8's strip club experiences (Always takin one for the team), and heard 'beadle the elders' fine oratory. We found a late arrival in 35 years, and a passionate debater in Siege. We had the wisdom of ktaht, the grammar of tdasher, and we helped imdone and the dipper pull their heads out of their asses, literally and figuratively, respectively. You were around when I needed you, especially that bug of the vwhobo, tempy & boots, giving me a reason to ignore that morning crave, and fight to get first on the roll call, and become accountable for the day.

Finally, we helped about 20 guys increase their quality of life. We helped them to extend their lives, their time on this earth with friends, family, and loved ones. For allowing me to be a part of this gift, I thank you, my April2004 brothers.

For this site, I thank you Matt van Wyk. The Lord has a special place in heaven for people like all of you.

FunkSkoalBrother
April 2004 HOF

Pittsburgh, PA
beadletudes 20040103 I did not have the "born again" experience a lot of people who use this site have had. I haven't suddenly found myself swimming in money, or possessed of new-found energy. Food doesn't taste any differently to me than it used to. I haven't found a clarity to life that previously lay just outside my grasp. No new job or promotion, no profound change in my relationships.
But to say my life hasn't change since Jan. 3, 2004, would be a big fat lie. With the help of this site, and from the guys who read and post, I gave myself a huge dose of self-respect. I made a promise - maybe not as solemn as the oaths I've sworn in church on my wedding day or at my son's baptism - and I kept it.
Every time I've tried to quit in the past I failed. Every time. And every time I failed, I was disgusted with myself. Sickened by the personal weakness I feel it showed. I, like you, perhaps, am my toughest critic. I don't cut myself much slack. My wife may forgive me for backsliding, my family and friends may point out the difficulty of breaking a nicotine addiction.
But I will have none of that. The psychology and physiology of addiction just don't carry any weight with that pig-headed part of my ego.
So each failed quit pierced me.
After a while, I quit trying to quit. It wasn't worth the emotional toll. It wasn't worth the self degradation and loathing.
Why I agreed to quit again this time escapes me. I vaguely recall talking to my wife about it last fall, dismissing her concerns yet again by mumbling, "New Year's." I was buying time. She decided to hold me to it, and told me she expected me to quit. I gave my word to her - again. And I gave myself my word - again.
But as New Year's approached, I got scared, angry and frustrated. "Here we go again. Am I really going to go through this crap again?"
And, wouldn't you know it, I lasted just about 56 hours.
The reason I failed this time, and every time in the past, is because I am proud. I'm the kind of guy who carries a 1990s 30-inch console television wearing 100-plus pounds down the stairs by himself. Then thanks God he didn't drop it or get crushed by it when he slipped halfway down. There is no such thing as a two-man project in my house. It's either a "me-alone" project or it's an "it ain't getting done" project.
And that's how I approached nicotine addiction.
I should have known better. Hell, I do know better. I'm an alcoholic. I didn't whip that addiction on my own. I had tons of people help me stay away from the bottle. I knew from experience that I couldn't do it alone. Still can't.
So on Jan. 5 I admitted defeat with nicotine. I signed up with quitsmokeless.net and started posting. I asked for a little help in shouldering the burden. I've met some tough bastards on these boards, and not one of them has accused me of being weak for asking for help. Not one of them. It's really quite simple, after all. If I'm willing to help someone else, why wouldn't someone else be willing to help me? It's a truth that has often eluded me.
So I've been able to keep my word. What a wonderful gift they've helped me find. It's a gift that has generated countless benefits and rewards to myself and my family.
The other day, my wife told me quite simply, "I'm glad you quit chewing. Thank you."
Thank you, Matt van Wyk, and everyone at quitsmokeless.net.
Rockville, MD
midst8 20040108 I am writing this speech 139 days in. Like my quit, I wanted to write this speech on my own time. When I was good and ready. Thanks for the extra push though guys. We all need a nudge everynow and then.

Ktaht11: Thanks for bringing me to this site. It helped to have a person to talk to without typing.

Toofatyet: Thanks for the well thought out posts. You must have a Texas sized intellect.

Boots: I appreciate and understand your humor. You are not alone. It’s not your fault.

Beadletudes: Your humor (or what I read as humor) has grown on me also. Good luck writing your novel.

I know there are others to thank but the majority of my conversations have been with these four. Thanks to the rest of you also. Everyone has contributed to this site one way or another. I hope to gain a friend in all of you.

Thanks again to everyone!

WI
35YR. FOOL 20040117 I have been a 35 yr. spit tobacco user. I started by stealing chews of Redman And Beechnut from my grandfather. Pretty soon I was in high school playing baseball and football. All or almost all the boys chewed and dipped. That's where I got hooked on Skoal. I never gave it up, never tried to give it up. I always said the 3 things in life I loved besides God and Family was Skoal, The Allman Brothers Band, and The Boston Red Sox. I have been embarassed by my habit, I have done some filthy things with my habit( spitting in public fountains, etc.) and have sought out my habit at any time my habit told me I needed it. I asked advice from dentists and doctors and was always told basically the same thing" It's not as bad as smoking. Don't drink alcohol while you dip. If you see or feel anything unusual see a doctor". This fueled my addiction. It told me that what I was doing wasn't that bad, wasn't really going to cause cancer, was a safe way of using tobacco (not like those stupid smokers). For years I used a can or more per day never looking back or ahead. Then several years ago UST and the Federal Government started raising the price. A dime tobacco tax here, a quarter increase by UST there. I would never go to a less expensive brand. IT has always been Skoal Wintergreen Original fine cut. I would always say when it goes above $2.50/ can I'm Quitting. Of course I kept raising the bar as the price went up. Finally, last summer with the price in North Carolina around $3.80/ can I said I'm quitting when it goes above $4.00 can. Around December of 2003 it finally hit the $4 mark(actually $4.06). I said I'm quitting. It was no other reason than the $120/ month I was spending. I quit cold turkey, went thru all the withdrawals and kept telling myself it was $4 I saved that day. On day 89 I was out on the web and keyed in a search quittting smokeless tobacco. I had tried it before a couple of years ago when I was thinking of quitting and found some cowboys website where he would give you the secret of quitting for only $39.95. I figured all the sites were just a way to milk you out of $$. You know snake-oil salesmen. I found this site and gave it a look. I was a little skeptical at first but figured what the heck. I can tell you the past week has been the most eye-opening of my life. I have found a brotherhood in men with the same goal I have. Beating an addiction. I have no preconcieved notion that day 101 will be any easier than day 100. I do know I will win, I will not go backward and I will use this website as a tool in my continuing recovery and in helping fellow quitters in reaching there goal.

Sincerely,
David R. Nelson (35yr, fool)

New Bern, NC.
toofatyet 20040118 Well, there's nothing new about my story. You could probably write it yourself. It's the same old 'boy meets can -- boy falls for can -- can sucks the life out of boy' story that we've all seen a million times.

The can sucked the life out of me for 27 years. For the last 20 of those years I was on the weaning off-quitting-uncontrolled dipping cycle that we all know so well. Why couldn't I quit? I didn't believe in me. I didn't even like me. I was hiding my addiction from my wife. I was hiding it from just about everybody.

And worst of all, it affected my relationship with God. With the lying and hiding, I didn't feel like I could be anything but a second-class Christian. Kind of like flying standby - if there's a seat, you get to go to glory.

I guess the change occurred when I changed my prayer. Oh, you'd better believe I had prayed often for God to take my addiction away from me (after this can). What I really wanted was for God to make it magically easy for me.

Finally, I asked him to change me.

Incredible results. First, He made me realize I was a slave. Then He led me to this site. Like you, I must have read this site from top to bottom. I wept. I had found a bunch of guys who had the same problem. They'd broke the same promises and lied the same lies. And they were quitting. I had never met somebody who had successfully quit dipping. I didn't even know what it looked like until I found this site.

The only thing was whether it could work for me. I was a closet dipper who had become a closet quitter and it was tough. I had spent so many years being accountable to no one that I couldn't imagine being accountable to anybody, much less some faceless names on the internet. But when I joined my quit group, I met a bunch of guys that have changed my life forever. By being honest and sharing our ordeal, we forged friendships that have had a profound affect on me. Before I knew it, there was no question that I would be 100% accountable and 100% honest with these guys. It prepared me for the hard parts ahead. By modeling accountability for me, they helped me to become accountable to my wife and children.

Not just thanks, but blessings are owed to many.

  • God bless Matt van Wyk for the vision he had to create this site and the heart that has not made it a profit-making operation.
  • God bless the April Fools. You guys always came through with what I needed at every stage of my quit. I will always consider you among the best friends a man could have.
  • God bless the Mayniacs, most of whom have also offered friendship and support.
  • And God bless my wife, Michelle, who once again gave me the benefit of the doubt and believed in me one more time.
I've learned several things in the last 100 days that I'd like to share:
  • Nobody is "more" addicted than anybody else.
  • "I have an addictive personality" means "I have an excuse."
  • You can't fight that all-out fight for freedom if you don't realize that you're a slave.
  • We're stronger than we think.
  • If you think being a closet dipper is tough, try being a closet quitter. I'm not saying it is impossible, I'm just saying it is difficult. I found that I needed the accountability with my wife and we have been closer since I started being honest with her.
  • If you believe in God, ask for his help often. While He didn't make it easy for me, He certainly made it easier than I deserve. If you don't believe in God, now would be a good time to start.
  • There is no such thing as somebody who can't quit, only someone who won't quit.
Ric aka toofatyet (I finally have an alias)
Abilene, TX
Braonan 20040118 I started dipping 8 years ago, while I was in the Army. When I finally quit, I was dipping a can and a half a day. I had never tried to quit before and really didn't think about quitting. Then in January of this year, we got pregnant and my wife threw down her cigarettes. I decided to join her for two reasons, first, to help her stay off the cigarettes and second, I started thinking about cancer and decided I wanted to be around to see our child grow up, get married and have our grandkids.

It has been a tough haul for me, We started building a house in February which added stress and nearly led to a cave. Then in March, I got laid off from the job I worked at for the last six years. There were several tense weeks while we decided what to do. Finally, we decided to keep building the house and that I would go back to school full time and get another degree in a different field. Money got tighter and we had stress from the pregnancy, the construction and my getting laid off. Somehow, I managed to fight the cave. It must have been God's hand because when I look back to those days, I'm not sure how I didn't cave.

I feel stronger now and more confident in myself, in control. My comrades in the April '04 group helped a great deal. I'm not much of a poster but I tried to participate with most of their discussions. It helped immensely just reading things they were going through and how they fought off caves, dealt with problems or just joked around. We suffered casualties along the way, happily, many of those that fell got up again and joined another group. I know I speak for all of April '04 when I say that we hope that they make it. We also hope that we continue to make it, we know we can all still cave no matter how many days have passed. I hope that we all remember that and not fall into the traps that our brothers have. 100 days is a milestone but it's not the end of the race, this race doesn't end. Good luck to all of you.

Greenville, SC
MikeMac 20040116 Quit a 17 year habit with the help of QS.ORG, Boston Stoker Coffee and SMC. I just wanted to say thanks to QS.ORG. In the past I had tried quitting alone and wasn't successful. I didn't post a lot, but reading what others had to say really helped me along the way. Looking forward to a long happy life without addiction, not to mention cheaper life insurance! Dayton, OH
vikesrule 20040124 I'm an 18-year abuser and addict of Nicotine. I started out smoking at High School parties to be cool and catch a buzz. That eventually escalated into a pack a day habit. Immediately after High School I went to Marine Corps boot camp, where I was forced to be Nicotine free for 11 weeks.. well, almost.. thanks to my caring friends back home. They carefully rolled out a dip of Kodiak between two sheets of Saran wrap - so it fit neatly in a standard envelope and was the same thickness of an ordinary letter, and kindly mailed it to me. I still remember the vivid details of that day's mail call when I saw the return address on the envelope and could smell it while it sat unopened in my lap. Thankfully no one ever caught on, they did an excellent job and it looked like it took hours of careful preparation. We were in the field that week, and I got out of my hooch at 2:30AM to partake in my pleasure. I had a great buzz and stared at the stars for almost 2 hours. I should have known at that time I would be a junky for the rest of my life.

Seconds after arriving home from boot camp, I was back into my smoking habit full swing. About 3 months later, I was getting tired of smoking because it was affecting my running ability. After seeing me hack up some lung cookies after a long run, some of my good Devildog friends from Texas came to my aid. They said I should quit smoking and switch to Copenhagen, which wouldn't affect my running ability. It sounded like an excellent idea to me.

Well 16 years later, and here I am. There were some short periods where I went back to cigarettes, but I really hated being addicted to cigarettes and always went back to Cope when the cigs started getting bad. I was up to 1.5 cans of Copenhagen and 1-2 Swisher Sweet cigars per day when I finally decided to quit for good.

On January 23rd, 2004, I was standing in the middle of Sam's Club looking at my half full tin of Copenhagen and debating if I should take the plunge and quit. I calmly decided it was time, and that now was a great time to pick up some of my quitting tools. I picked up 2 large boxes of sunflower seeds, a package of gum, and some Jolly Ranchers. I looked for fake chew and couldn't find any, so I decided to pick that up at another place later on. Eventually I found some SMC at a tobacco shop by my house.

Why did I decide to quit and why now? It was a combination of several reasons.

First, because I was tired of being a slave to the can. Having it with me at all times, always knowing how much I have left, trips to the store at any time of night to replenish my stock, sneaking away at parties and family reunions to get a fix, hiding it at work, worrying about long meetings or other times when I know I couldn't have it, etc. You know these times and feelings as well as I do.

Second, because I was tired of all the broken promises to my family and myself. I'll quit when we get married, I'll quit after this hunting season, I'll quit when softball is over, it's too hard to quit during the summer so I'll quit this winter, I'll quit when we are pregnant, I'll quit when our first son is born, I'll quit on my birthday, I'll quit on your birthday, I'll quit on our anniversary, I'll quit on our son's birthday. All of them passed by with my lipper and me.

Third, I'm a competitive person and up for any challenge. I knew this would be the hardest thing I've ever done, and challenged myself to be successful. My Dad quit a smoking habit on a 25 cent bet, my Grandfather quit dipping after 30 years, most of my Uncles had dipped at one time or another and had all quit. If these people could do it, then I knew it was possible and I could do it as well.

Fourth, I had quit before and knew I could do it again, but this time for good. I had quit previously two times. The first time I used Mint Snuff and made it almost a year, then I bummed a cigarette off of a woman I was dating - I just couldn't stand to lay next to her and watch her get to have one after sex without me. Of course, that led back to a full swing Nicotine addiction and I went back to Copenhagen again. The next quit attempt was about 2 years ago and I lasted 3 weeks before bumming a Swisher Sweet cigar from one of the guys on my bowling team. Same story, except this time I went back to dipping and still did the cigars. These previous experiences taught me the vital lesson that every serious quitter knows - you can never have "just one". For me, this meant any form of Nicotine - dip, cigarettes, cigars. These prior quits also taught me that it was the drug I was addicted to, not the delivery method. I really waited for the "right time" for this final quit, because I didn't want to fail again. I knew this would probably be my last chance to break free of this addiction.

Fifth, was a money issue. It was slowly getting to me. Truth be told, they could have raised the price to 10 bucks a tin and I wouldn't care all that much, except it was such a waste of money. Money alone wouldn't have stopped me, but added on top of the other reasons it was worth mentioning, and it was a reason that was easy to grasp.

Just to give you some perspective on the depth of my addiction, I never went to bed without my dip on the nightstand. I was so addicted to Nicotine that I would wake up at least twice during the night and I wouldn't be able to fall back asleep unless I threw in a dip. Sometimes when I got really sleepy again I would spit it out, but I often fell back asleep with the dip in. My wife just loved this. Between the chew dreams where I would wake up just as I was spitting on the pillow and just regular drool, it looked like someone had spilled coffee over and over again on the pillow on my side of the bed. It wasn't fun waking up in the morning with a brown crusted river running down the side of your face and all over your pillow. After I wiped it off, the first thing I would do before hopping in the shower was - yes you guessed it, throw in another dip.

In addition to stocking up on all my quit aids at Sam's Club, I also took 3 days off of work so I could stay at home during the "rage" period. My official quit day was Saturday, 1/24/2004, which was also my son's second birthday. That half can of dip I had left at Sam's Club the day before was down to only one dip remaining this next morning. I put that last dip in and kept it in for 4 hours. I savored every bit of it. I even got teary-eyed thinking that this was my last one forever. Man, was I an addict. I really loved to dip. I also didn't know any better.

I found QS on the third day of my quit. I was on the net searching for where I could buy some Mint Snuff when I stumbled upon the site. Five minutes into reading some of the articles, I knew I had something interesting and something I had no idea was out there. There are actually other people trying to quit this thing - the same as me! And what perspective they have on quitting. They are talking about things I have never thought of myself, but they are so true.

I was skeptical about the whole quit group thing, but I thought I'd post a few times and mostly read what everyone else was saying. Everyone was so supportive, and it actually helped for me to read, and even helped more when I posted my feelings. Amazing, this web site quit group thingy was actually helping! (Or as my wife likes to call them, my Internet buddies)

What are my keys to a successful quit?

  • Commitment - This is number one. You must have your own reasons for wanting to quit, and you must want it bad. You gotta want it! Like others have already said, your commitment should come from wanting to quit for YOU. Your commitment must be so strong, that failure is not even an option. A strong commitment will overcome all weakness. I believe a strong commitment is much easier when you have reached "chew bottom". You know how pathetic you are, and that helps to strengthen your resolve.
  • Effort - You don't just stop one day and you're a successful quitter. Starting on day one, you have to learn to be a non-dipper. Most of us have forgotten what life is like without dip, and we have to put in the effort to learn to be a non-dipper again. Things we need to learn is how to cope with feelings, stressful situations, work, good times, all of our so-called "trigger" situations. Put the effort into educating yourself about what this addiction does to your mind and the different stages of your quit. Learn how to fight the mind games of the addiction with ones of your own. This is a fight for your life, it isn't just going to happen over night. You are going to have to work hard every day to beat this thing!
  • My Quit Group - May 2004, The Mayniacs. All of these guys were a HUGE part of my success. I wouldn't have made it this far without them and the QS website. They were the only people in this world that truly understood what I was going through. They were a place to vent, a place to laugh, a place to knock me back to my quitting senses again. They provided accountability, so that I wasn't the only person I was letting down if I failed. I spilled my guts to these guys, lectured them, made fun of them, yelled at them, tried to console them, laughed with them, and I couldn't let them down. These guys helped save my life. If you are skeptical as I was, my advice is to start out slow, with an open mind. I guarantee the more you post, the better your chance for success. If you give it a chance, you will soon see the benefit, and that is when you should throw in all your chips. You'll be glad you did it in the end.
  • Fake Dip - Whoever invented this stuff deserves my thanks. It has worked twice for me now. My oral fixation is a huge part of my addiction and I don't think I could have broken free of dip without something that tricks my mind as well as the fake stuff does. I started out using SMC, but then switched to Mint Snuff, which I like the best. I still do Mint Snuff pouches to this day. Probably 2-3 per day. I like the pouches because they aren't at all close to Copenhagen, they keep my teeth free of speckles, they are easily hidden, and they satisfy my oral fixation much better than gum or sunflower seeds. I'll quit doing the pouches once I get enough distance from my quit date where I feel really comfortable facing oral cravings where dip isn't my first choice to satisfy them. When to stop the fake stuff isn't really that big of a concern to me. I'm prepared to do it for the rest of my life as long as I don't ever do the real thing again.

I also want to mention how my quit was different than others at QS. One theme that is common here, is that everyone is different, and different methods work for different people. Some go cold turkey, some don't use fake dip, some take Zyban or other drugs, some do herbal remedies, etc. The list goes on and on. I will focus here on what I did "different from the masses", just to let you know there are other options out there.

First of all, I looked at my first 100 days of this quit as my "quit boot camp". Just like the real military boot camp, it was going to be a huge shock at first and very miserable. I would want to give up often during the first phase. Many would drop out, and only some that I started with were going to make it to graduation. Also, just like the real boot camp, this "quit boot camp" would give me the knowledge and skills I needed to continue on after boot camp for the rest of my life. With my philosophy, I felt that at graduation, I should have all the tools I need to be successful on my own.

Along with this boot camp philosophy, I wanted to face all the tough situations and go through as many experiences as I could during my first 100 days of quitting. I felt it was invaluable to really stress my quitting skills and test myself while I was still motivated about quitting and with a support group ready to help. So I did things that are contrary to the advice from most of the other HOFers, and I faced as many trigger situations as I could during my quit.

I waited until almost the 30-day mark before drinking alcohol, but I did it often after that first time. It is a part of who I am and I like to do it. It was really tough the first few times, but I had really prepared myself and rehearsed how I was going to fight the demon while I was weak and vulnerable, and it paid off. I had many close calls, but I made it. After all that practice, I can say now that I don't worry at all when I put myself into a situation where there is alcohol. I'm so good at beating down the demon when I'm drunk that it doesn't scare me anymore. Practice has made perfect. I don't want to sound like a drunk, but I do like to have a few beers a couple times per month. While golfing, after softball, fishing, and watching sports are all good times to throw down a few cold ones. I wasn't going to give that up for life, so I thought it better to face it sooner rather than later.

My other thought on alcohol is that it really shows a person's true colors. If you blame your cave on alcohol, then something else was wrong with your quit - not enough commitment, or some other issue. You were going to cave sooner or later, the alcohol just brought it on perhaps sooner than expected. It is like the guy who goes out and cheats on his wife and blames it on alcohol. I don't see it as a valid excuse. That seed was planted before alcohol was ever in the picture, and the alcohol just helped it blossom. If you cave and blame it on alcohol, them my belief is your quit wasn't strong enough in the first place. But, as with anything else, you results may vary. If you feel that alcohol will put your quit at risk, then by all means stay the hell away from it.

In addition to alcohol, I faced every other trigger situation I could think of, as long as it fit into the season. I only have one trigger situation that I haven't faced yet, which is hunting, and that is only because it is out of season. I'm not worried about hunting without dip now though. After facing all my other triggers and kicking them in the ass, hunting will just be another notch in my belt. Not a big deal. I thought it would be a huge problem early on in my quit, but now I see the light.

Finally, for me the HOF is a good goal and a good milestone to achieve. It is not a place where you walk through the door, Matt waves a magic wand, and you are cured. It is time to take a little break and pat yourself on the back and reflect on how far you've come. It is time to think of how different your life is now - How so many things are so much better without being addicted to dip. But, it is just a pit stop on the road to freedom. The road never actually gets to freedom, it is a road you take that never ends. The road gets smoother and goes downhill the further along you get, but you always need to steer to keep yourself on the road.

I know I'm only a few seconds away from being a full-fledged dipper and back to the same habit I left over 100 days ago. Do I still get craves? Maybe small ones, but I'm not sure if they can be called craves. I definitely fantasize about dip and reminisce sometimes, but these thoughts don't consume me and they are easily discarded. Dip actually disgusts me now and I'm mad for doing it. I know how dark and dreary the past was and I remember it well. It is this memory that will keep me on the road to freedom forever. Not one, not ever. Not for me. I'm an addict and I will be for the rest of my life. Being free is too good to give up for a nasty weed.

Thank you to Matt van Wyk. They don't make words kind enough and grand enough for your stature. You are a blessing to many people. Many thanks to all my fellow Mayniacs. You will all be my brothers and friends for life, and I will never forget you. You have all touched me in ways I simply cannot put into words. Thank you as well to other QS members who contributed to our group, your outside perspective was well appreciated - you know who you all are. Thank you to some of our Mayniac brothers who lost their fight. Many of you helped me through the toughest times of my quit. I wish you the best and hope you never give up and are one day successful at freeing yourself for good.

Last but not least, thank you to my wonderful wife, son, and new baby (in the oven). I look forward to many years to come and I'm so sorry that I wasted so much time on such a nasty addiction, and put my health at risk for selfish reasons. Please forgive me.

John (vikesrule)
P.S. Go Vikings!

Minneapolis, MN
Neco 20040131

My story, like so many others I have read in the past, starts out like this: "I stopped and started dipping more times than I care to count, and then I found this site....".  

To be specific, for over 14 years I allowed myself to be chained to a stupid can of carcinogens. I hated it, I despised myself, but I never let go of the can. I promised my wife I would quit when we got married - cave. I promised myself I would quit while training for my first marathon - cave. I promised my wife and myself that I would quit when our baby boy was born - cave. So what changed?? 

Like toofatyet (April '04) posted in his speech, I changed my prayer. I asked God to change ME and not just a habit I had. I finally realized that I dipped not just for the sake of dipping, but I used it as an excuse not to have to deal with things in my life. The tragedy was that dipping obviously didn't ultimately take away my stress, it just delayed it a little. I still had to deal with all of the things in my life that I feared. To make matters worse, the dipping added a new dimension to my already overloaded stress level. About 3 years ago I started waking up each day thinking I had cancer. In fact, I think that at one point or another I've been convinced that I've had about every type of cancer there is - I might have actually made up a few new ones! Fear dominated every area of my life. In short, for way too many years I've just been existing and not really living, and that's no way to go through life and definitely not what our Lord ever intended for us.  

That said, I decided that "yes", I wanted to quit for my wife and my baby. However, most of all I wanted to quit for myself. I wanted to really live again and not just make it from one day to the next. I found this site and could not believe that here were a lot of people going through the exact same struggles as myself! The process wasn't easy and I even caved on a business trip when I first joined a quit group. However, I read Matt's words of "Never quit quitting" and jumped right back into the fight. I posted all of my emotions, I read all the articles, and I listened to everything that the older guys had to say. Off this site, I told all my friends and family to get as much encouragement as I could, I took up new hobbies and forced myself out of my comfort zone. In short, I made a life change (not just a habit change) and I've literally been given another chance in life. God is definitely good. 

Last thing I want to bring up is this: If I can do it, anyone can do it. To make that statement more than just words, on Monday, May 3rd, my mother-in-law took her own life. This past 1 ½ weeks has been an on-going nightmare for myself, but even more so for my wife and her family. The only thing harder than going through this kind of emotional loss is watching the person you love most in this life going through it.  

Point is, it would have been so easy to use this as an excuse to start dipping again. However, what possible good could come of that? How in the world am I helping my wife or myself by doing that? It's made me realize that, come what may in life, Hope is always with us and there is no excuse to cave.  

To end this very long speech, I want to thank Matt van Wyk for creating this site. I hope you know how many lives you have saved by your efforts. I know that I am one of them and I thank God for you my friend. I also want to thank the Silent R's and toofatyet for taking myself and my group under your wing. Your words of wisdom and encouragement literally pulled me through the first 50 days.  

To my MAYniac brothers, I don't even know where to begin. Each of you is such a blessing in my life and each of you is responsible for this speech. There's no way I'll ever be able to repay you for your pulling me (kicking and screaming) to this point and I'm a blessed man to be able to have you as my friends. I also want to let you know that my wife thanks all of you for your incredible friendship. She has spent a lot of time and tears reading your posts during this past couple of weeks and has been amazed by all of you. Thank you from myself and my family. 

The most important person in my quit and in my life - my wife Deborah. Even in the middle of her grief last week, she stopped and asked me how I was doing with my quit. I can't even begin to understand that kind of strength and unconditional love. Like I said, I'm a blessed man.  

"Greater love has no one than this,

that he lay down his life for his friends."

John 15:13 

Dallas, TX
sparky 20040207 Thank you Matt for this site. Thank you to all those who participate on this site. You helped me in the most difficult part of "the quit". Proudly, I'm still quit and the more time I spend away from it the less I remember doing it. What's more, I don't feel like dipping defines me as a person anymore...and it did for 20yrs. I've grown to see that I actually like me better "dip-free." I could not have done it without the support of fellow quitters. Matt, I hope you recognize that you are doing something wonderful here; encouraging people to make positive changes in their lives. If only all of us could do a little of that in our lives... To all you newbie quitters and continuing quitters out there: once the chains are off...you too will not believe how cool it is to be free. Yours truly,

Sparky
quit since 2/7/2004

 
penguin 20040218

Several months ago, a friend of mine told me he quit dipping with the help of this site. Thank you NuttidoxieG4. If not for you, I would still be in the dipping gutter.

Like many, I was tired of being ruled by the chew monster. He would grab me in the morning, after meals, during golf, driving....everything I did, he was there by my side. Then I found a lump in my lip and had some discomfort in my throat. I quit that day. I pulled off the highway, spit out the dip I had and dumped the can right there on the road. It took me a week to get an appointment with my doctor. That week I let fear rule my life instead of dip. I drove to work, taught for 8 hours, drove home and crawled into bed. I lost over 20 pounds that week. I didn't eat at all. I drank very little juice and water. I existed that week. I did not live, I only existed, fearing that I may only have a few months or years left to live. My doctor told me that I was fine, oral screening found nothing to worry about. The Ear, Nose, Throat dr. told me the same thing. Then my dentist. Then the endodontist. That has eased the major fear of any permanent damage from this drug. I am sure the next 5 years will still be stressful. What I went through that first week of my quit, I don't wish upon my worst enemies. But that fear got my attention and it got my ass in gear to start bettering my life.

I used to dip like a demon when I was stressed. Grades are due, throw in a chew. Students were horrible today, lets relax with a chew. 3.5 hour commute everyday, lets make it easier with a chew. I have a hangnail, let's make it better with a dip. The real eye opener was that I was a closet dipper for the 2 years that I have been married. I got news that my cousin was killed in Iraq. I went through 2 cans that night, in front of my wife. She thought, it was just the stress of me losing a relative. I was at a can every 3 days...That week I went through several rolls I am sure. Shortly after is when I committed to quitting. I knew I had a problem and I knew I was slowly killing myself. And I was scared I had done something horrible to myself. Since being here, I have realized that many people have dealt with deaths, breakups, lay offs from work, spouses leaving and they have all stayed quit! They are the ones I look up to the most. I have my silly little stresses, the dip demon trying to convince me to back to the can, and yet others are going through some very difficult, life changing situations. It makes my stresses seem insignificant. They are. Dip will not do anything to help. One of my favorite signatures on this site is "Dip is a temporary solution to a permanent problem." Your problems/stresses will still be there after a dip. Ask yourself, "How is this dip helping me?" I can't think of a positive answer to that question.

Advice I have learned at QS and advice I have shared at QS.

  • Avoid trigger activities (things you used to do with a dip) early in your quit. Golfing, fishing, hunting, booze, everything you used to do and HAD to have a chew. You need to put those activities in the back seat for awhile. For the first few weeks or months at least. If you know you are going to be tempted, have a reserve ready. Fake chew, jerky, gum, seeds, candy, whatever it will take to keep you off the snuff.
  • Drink lots of water. I don't know why this works, but it does.
  • Occupy yourself when you have free time. Exercise. It feels great to be doing something good for your body. Pick up a positive hobby to occupy your mind.
  • Visit this site regularly and often. Read the roll call, read the articles, read the Hall of Fame speeches, read what the groups are posting. Get involved with your quit group. And post. Post your feelings, post your questions and post words of encouragement.
  • Write down why you quit. Don't just think about why you quit. Personalize it. Take the time to write your reasons down. Now it must hold some importance, some value or some worth. Write down how you feel. Are you scared you may have/end up with cancer? Are you upset that this drug owns you and controls you? Are you upset that you are a slave to a plant? Write down how you felt during your withdrawal period. Do you want to go through that again? In 50 days, you will forget how bad it really was your first week, but you will have a written copy of how it really felt. This has saved me several times.
  • Quit for yourself. If you quit for someone else, and they piss you off, then you may end up back to the habit out of spite. Don't do that to yourself. YOU need to want to quit for yourself.
  • Tell others that you are quitting. Even if you are a closet dipper, tell someone close to you. Tell those you are around constantly. You are going to change for the worse for a few weeks. You will not be pleasant. You need to warn these people and also be accountable to these people It will make you more successful in your quit.
  • Don't EVER let your guard down. Once you get through the first few days or weeks, you may think it isn't that difficult. As soon as you let your guard down, your mind and the demon will try to convince you that it is o.k. to dip again. That is NOT an option.
  • Take it ONE day at a time. 100 days till the HOF. That is a long way. Take each day for what it's worth. After the withdrawal and the fog, the days will get better. Enjoy each day. Don't be in a hurry to get to the next day, to day 50, 90, or 100. I used to spend the days wondering when my next dip would be. When get I get away from everyone and just have some alone time with my can. I lost a lot of time with family and friends to support my habit. Enjoy today as a dip free day. Tomorrow will be here soon enough and it will be that much more enjoyable when it gets here. Spend the time you used to dip, with your family, friends, doing something you never had the time to do before. If you look ahead, you let your guard down and that demon can sneak up on you. What is so important that tomorrow can't wait?
  • Be positive through out your quit. Don't say "if"- say "I WILL". It is amazing how positive words and thoughts create positive outcomes.

Finally, I would like to thank Matt Van Wyk. Thank you for providing a refuge for so many of us. You have saved so many people. You have given us the help we ALL have needed to accomplish our dreams. You are our guardian angel.

Thank you to my wife who has been by my side, through the rough times and the good times. Thank you for sacrificing time with me so I could spend time on this site. Without your support, I know I would not be free of this demon.
Thank you Mayniac Den Mothers Lodge and TooFatYet. You were always checking in on us, giving us advice and encouragement.

I give thanks to God for giving me the strength and will to follow this path. For giving me the strength to stay quit during my challenges.

The Mayniacs! An awesome group. Each and every one of you kept me going. Words of encouragement, helping me celebrate small victories, providing comic relief, picking me up when I was down and worrying about me when I was away from the site. I can't thank you all enough.

Be positive in your quits. Don't let caving be an option. We all have a dream of being dip free forever. It will be a long road, traveled by the strong. Happy are those who dream dreams, AND pay the price to make them come true. Let's make our dreams a reality.

And truly enjoy each day for what it is worth. Don't be in a rush to get to tomorrow. Enjoy the time you have with family and friends instead of finding excuses to leave so you can dip.

Share this site with others. Make a difference in their lives as we have made a difference in yours.

REMEMBER, TODAY IS A GREAT DAY TO BE DIP FREE AND ALIVE!!!!!

-Penguin

Chesapeake Bay
msudawg 20040225

They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. That certainly applies to both beginning dip and quitting dip. For me, 15 years ago was my first step to February 25, 2004. Then, on that date, I took my first step that would lead me to June 3, 2004, my Hall of Fame entry date.  

I don't have any "all-knowing" wisdom to share with anyone on how they should approach their quit. I certainly like to think that God was a huge reason I made it this far. I don't know where I'd be without Him in my life. The other theory I've tried to live by is this: I gave my word (to myself and to my wife) that I was going to quit this time. I was taught that if a man didn't have his word, he didn't have anything. Perhaps that may not be true for everyone, but it was good enough for me. I think "quitting" is a collective term when it comes to this site. Although each quit is individual in reality, you become part of this team, this force that keeps driving you to quit even when deep down you really don't want to. I do know that no one can quit for you, and that this site was my helping hand when I wanted to stumble. I have never been in contact with such a wonderful group of people in my life that would do almost anything to help a complete stranger deal with the pain of quitting smokeless tobacco.  

I cannot possibly thank everyone who helped and inspired me, but I sure would like to try. First, I'd like to say thank you and God bless you Matt van Wyk for creating this web site. I would have to guess that you are one of the most humble people out there. I've never seen you take any credit for being the champion of this site. As far as I'm concerned you deserve every ounce of happiness and joy you get from seeing guys like us come through here looking for the release we seek. I hope you realize how much you've done for so many people! My wife has been my rock through all of this. I don't think I deserve someone as good as her, but then again, maybe I do! I love her with all that I am, and yes, I did this for her as well as for me. Having been a Mayniac for 21 or so days, I would like to extend my thanks to them for getting me started on this quit. They have always made me feel welcome in their group whenever I felt like posting there. As of late, toofatyet has become what I would certainly consider a friend, and I have enjoyed talking with the good folks in the April 2004 group. I sort of "fell from grace" into June, and I had no idea what I was in for! (J/K) Seriously, I cannot begin to imagine how I could have made it through this quit without the support of the Crab Crue! What a bunch of nuts I got stuck with! But as time went on, these guys showed how much they cared, and whenever the chips were down, they always found ways to pick each other up after a fall. I also thought that when things couldn't get any worse, I'd have to tell myself "At least I'm not in July!" (J/K!!!) As a group we've watched our quit brothers experience joy, sadness, funny moments, and frustration (just to name a few). These are the same emotions and moments that I experience with my family, so I guess that makes this group and this site some sort of "extended family". Now I don't know if this is a good thing or not, but you can't change your family! Thank you for all the help, support, friendship, stories (even the "brown foam" one), and most of all your kindness. I wish everyone in the Crab Crue and on this site all the hope I can offer to see you reach all of your goals in life in addition to being dip free.  

Oh, and I almost forgot...HELL YES I'VE GOT CRABS!!!

Jackson, MS
subcooling 20040301 Well... I made it. I'm not sure what the 100 day mark is supposed to teach me. To tell you the truth there are times when I feel pretty scared deep down about this whole thing. I mean 20 years of bad habit, addiction, unhealthy behavior and then I have this space of 100 days where I have not dipped. On the surface I feel good about it, no, great about it. BUT we are only talking 100 days here. That is just a blink of an eye in my addiction and I've f'ed up longer quits before. So with the next 265 days I'll carry on with my quit, still just as scared deep down, still wary that I could fail myself. If you are new to this site please don't stop reading this, because the good news is (at least to me) that I've never felt scared about quitting before, because I never really meant it before. And so it didn't scare me to try to quit, I was more annoyed at having to go through the motions, than anything else. Quitting only, to appease my family and my own conscience from time to time. Always following up my failure with; "I'll quit someday". Well... I hope that this is your "someday". I hope that you are where I was 100 days ago. I hope you mean it this time.

I started using Skoal in the seventh grade because some of my neighborhood friends were dipping. And since they were older I though I should too. First Skoal bandits then on to what became my usual, Skoal wintergreen fine cut. My first dip of the fine cut knocked me on my ass. Why it didn't register that this was not a good thing I'll never know. But I wasn't fazed, and I was now on my way to a full fledged, can a day addiction. My brother got caught smoking by my dad one day. My brother is lucky to be alive. So I was terrified when dad found out that my brother and I were dipping. But the revelation of our dipping use didn't elicit much more than a frown. Well I guess that it's okay then. Life went on. "I'll quit some day"

It was a moment of clarity sometime in 2000 that brought me to this site for the first time. I was at a low point in my addiction, having recently failed at a quit attempt, where I made it 6 months, using only the patch. I was crushed that I had failed, and more so because I failed on the day my son was born. And it occurred to me that, in this the day of technology, I could surely find a miracle cure on the internet (notice the false hope still). My first search result yielded my saving grace, although it would be another 3 years before I realized what I found. First thinking "this place is okay, it might be of help... a little". But of course my recent failure would not allow me the mental capacity to saddle up again, especially not cold turkey. So I left the web without even reading much more that the quit products page of this very site. It got so that my wife had just accepted my tobacco use not even trying to get me to quit anymore. But I tried again, and failed again on the day my daughter was born. Great dad, huh? In the back of my mind I still remembered this place and kept wondering how it could help. I had no idea. So here I am, no one pressuring me, looking for help. Then, one night just over 100 days ago I came back to my miracle. I finally began to read the posts and I learned that people can be free of the tin, and that I wanted to be one of those people. For me the miracle that this site offered is the quit group. My first group, May 2004 (the Mayniacs ) is full of good guys who started me on my quit, showed me the ropes, made me accountable and checked in on me when I caved. Yes I caved, and I was off to my permanent quit home-June 2004 (the Crab Crew). This is where I dug in my heels and readied my self for the long fight. The guys in June are awesome, and I could not have made it with out all of them. We all had some very tough times together; fighting the cravings and sometimes each other. We also laughed, offered consolation, and shared our triumphs together. What I am trying to say is, get involved in your quit group, NOW. Don't wait another day, let alone 3 years, like I did. No here can make you quit or even make you want to quit, the power to go the distance has to come from with in you. But, if you do want to quit, this is the place.

Celina, TX
James1918 20040302 First and foremost i would like to thank Matt van Wyk for having a keen sense that a site for this addiction was indeed needed and most likley has saved many lives! Thank you Matt! I'm a 22 yr dipper, always will be, no two ways about it. Just like an alcoholic your just one mistake away from poisoning yourself all over again. Even though i am not a religous man i have prayed to God that after 22 yrs of poisoning myself that i have not done serious damage to myself and it's too late! I was pretty sick (physically) when i found this site. Some still say i'm a sick guy but thats beside the point! I'm 46, i'm in great shape, have been bodybuilding since the 80's and look much younger than i actually am. Sounds like i'm signing up for a personnal dating service but the truth of the matter is this. For someone to be so concerned about his health but continued to poison himself everyday and make himself sick, well, that just shows you how addictive and poisonous this demon is! First of all i'm allergic to tobacco, yes allergic, my sinus's get inflamed, so inflamed that i've had a few operations just to reopen them up, i use to get acid reflux so bad that i still worry about the damage i have done to myself. I would stay up until all hrs of the night just to get that last dip in and then my heart would race when it was time to fall asleep. I was always hyped up on nicotene, so much so that it is hard to imagine what i did to my system everyday for almost 22 yrs! Every family picture that was taken of me i had a dip in and didn't think twice abou it! Talk about something that totally takes control of you! I'm sure everyone can come up with a list of their own and i'm sure it's not pretty, (see brown foam story) I am so glad i am off this stuff but i will always be "ongaurd" because i know that this demon is still out to get me and that is why i will always keep coming back to this site because without everyone (espiecially my June group) i could not have achieved this! This is a lifestyle change and you have got to want a lifestyle change in order to make the quit happen. My advice to anyone is as follows. Stay strong and true and believe you can do this! Be accountable to yourself , your family and your quit group! Do whatever you need to do so you can become poison free. I will now end with my favorite quote which is what i have lived by this entire quit.........."Dipping is not an option!".....................I love you guys! MA
DipNoMore 20040301 I Quit on March 1, 2004 with guidance and help from a medical professional, a prescription of Wellbutrin and the occasional use of nicotine patch

I am 43 years old and had been dipping on and off since I was in my late teens. I had even stopped and started a couple of times in the past only to begin again. The difference between then and now was the level of my addiction. In the past I was dipping once every day or two and a can would last me 5 - 7 days and it continued at that level for years. But that was before my addiction kicked into high gear - over the last 4 - 5 years I have been an "underground" dipper of 10+ cans a week with no end in sight. It was rare for me to spend much more than 1 - 2 waking hours at any given time of the day or night without a dip - I always had sores on my gums, no amount of brushing or mouthwash would keep my mouth from tasting like a garbage can, and I often found excuses/reasons to spend a lot of time alone (remember I was an underground dipper) which as you might guess had a detrimental affect on my work and family life. It all came to a head when my dentist could tell during a routine exam - he point blank asked me how long and how often I had been dipping, said he could tell I was dipping from what looked like pre-cancerous cells and lesions on my gums...now that scared me. Over the previous 8 - 10 months I had "thought" about trying to quit and had promised myself on numerous occasions that "this can was my last", but that never happened until I became motivated enough to actually do something about it, versus just thinking about it, or making promises to myself, promises that I didn't have to keep. Thus for me the keys to action and quitting were:

  • My dentist's comments
  • I visited a number of the on-line web sites on quitting smokeless tobacco (key for me were the message boards and forums - other stories of those who quit with the help of prescription drugs and counseling)
  • Decided it was time to seek medical help (appointments on a regular basis over the last 100 days)
  • Started taking Wellbutrin
  • Used supplemental patches in the early days
The first 3 - 5 days were difficult. I felt physically terrible, my vision was blurred, I was dizzy, light headed, and had a terrible headache. My heart raced, I had sweats and could not sleep. During that time I doubled up on the Wellbutrin. Thank goodness those types of symptoms passed relatively quickly. In the early days following I would often use a strong nicotine patch to supplement the Wellbutrin, especially during times when my cravings were strong. Another key was to make some early behavioral changes - I would try to avoid if possible certain activities that had become synonymous with dipping. By changing old habits, I hoped to make it a bit easier on myself. Another key was seeking help from a medical professional (Nancy)- She had a lot of knowledge on the physical and psychological reasons for tobacco addiction and a lot of experience in working with others who had gone through this process. She was never judgmental, always positive and cheerful and was very motivational in leading me down this path. She often gave me guidance and examples and a few pats on the back each time I made it through a tough time, or even after I made it through another period of time without "falling off the wagon". Wellbutrin was great at lessening the cravings; it basically helped me to gain control. Although I had a 3 month prescription for Wellbutrin, I stopped using it after 2 months. I wanted to test myself to see if I could do it without the drug and to my surprise I was stronger than I expected. I had more cravings off Wellbutrin and the cravings were stronger, but no so much stronger that I could not manage them. I have not gone one month without the drug and now the cravings are very rare, are not very strong and last but a few minutes-something I can easily manage.

After 100 days, it is quite rare that I think about having a dip. In fact, I had my last appointment with Nancy today, and it was the first time in at least 20 or so days that I had given a second thought to any of this. My resolve was strong in the beginning, but I could not have been successful to date without Nancy or my use of Wellbutrin. I have learned that I can never be an occasional or one time user again. Like an alcoholic who's been on the wagon for years, there is no such thing as "just one drink". For me, there never can be a "just one dip". Although I have quit before, I think there are a number of reasons why it is different this time

  • My addiction was so very much stronger and complete this time around (1 can per week versus 10 cans per week)
  • This time I wanted to quit for "me" reasons. Last time I only quit before because I met a new girl in my life, it had nothing to do with wanting to quit for me, or for health reasons, or because I thought it was disgusting, or for work or family reasons.
  • Before, I did not believe in the idea of never having just one more dip. I thought it possible for me to dip from time to time or occasionally
  • By seeking medical help and advice, I learned more about the reasons and affects of the addiction as well as learned tips how to change behavior to lessen cravings and affect change in one's life
One of the biggest initial noticeable things about quitting was the cost/savings benefits. I didn't quit in an attempt to save money, and quite frankly the cost of dipping was never a big concern for me, but with that said, it is nice to have that extra $150 - $200 a month in my pocket. Overall, it is very liberating to be done with dipping. Liberated from being out of control and liberated from the guilt of being an "underground" user. It also feels pretty good to know that I am no longer jeopardizing my long term health with a habit I could not control and that I have increased my changes of seeing and knowing my grandchildren (when that day comes).
Raleigh, NC
Pres 20040303 Dipping snuff is a vile, disgusting, filthy, unhealthy habit. I should know, I chewed over 500 pounds of the stuff in 23 years. Like most other users, I tried to quit many times but always went back to that infernal can of Copenhagen. I was able to quit for good this time, in large part, because of this website. Thanks Matt van Wyk! I didn't find quitsmokeless.org until day nine of my quit, but it has proven to be a real blessing. Reading about the familiar experiences of others and what I could expect at various stages of my quit helped me immensely. There is also a great therapeutic value in helping others quit. The day I registered and made my first "roll call" was the day I knew that I could quit nicotine forever. I was a closet dipper and thus an anonymous quitter so my fellow posters on this site were the only sympathizers I had. I was accountable to my quit group, the Crab Crew of June, and that was crucial to my reaching this point. Thanks guys. I also want to thank the characters in the July quit group. Some of the funniest stories I have ever read are wedged in the bowels of the July archives. Your sharp wit, and caustic sarcasm helped get me through many crave ridden days. Thanks.

If you are reading this speech looking for inspiration to break your own nicotine addiction- just QUIT! Life is short. Why make a conscious decision to try to make it shorter? You can wake up tomorrow and be an ex-dipper. Just don't dip. That's all there is to it. This isn't rocket science. You will probably be climbing the walls for a week or two but so what? What are a couple weeks of unpleasantness? Look at what you will be accomplishing! There are a lot of things in life that are much, much harder to deal with than quitting tobacco, (chemotherapy for instance). Don't be a pantywaist. Just dump the can and don't look back, choose not to chew. Breaking the chains of nicotine is worth the discomfort of quitting, I guarantee it. If you don't believe me just ask anyone here in the HOF. Take the journey, in 100 days you will be writing your own speech.

Tobacco Free Forever,
Pres

Tempe, AZ
QB 20040308 Like many at Quit Smokeless, I began dipping in my early teens. It was cool and I was invincible. Fast forward 25 years and I am an almost 40 year old professional with a great family and a very nasty and unhealthy habit. About 3 years prior to my quit I began to understand the risks of dip. As I learned more and more about the health risks I became convinced that if I did not quit tobacco I was going to die a very painful, humiliating, premature, needless death. Even knowing this I could never quit for more than a few hours. In the meantime, I was living with the constant fear of having a horrible disease and the shame of not being strong enough to quit something that I knew was going to kill me. How could I be so selfish, I am the sole wage earner in my family. Was I going to let my wife and kids live in poverty? I was so ready to quit I just didn't know how.

On March 8, 2004 at approximately 10:00 AM I typed in "quit smokeless tobacco" on an internet search. Included in the listing of sites was a promising site called quitsmokeless.org. It took me only about 5 minutes to realize that this was exactly what I needed. These guys have the same disgusting habit as me, have the same fears, are experiencing the same emotions as me and are being ruled by a stupid little can just like me. At about 12:00 I went a flushed my last 2 cans of Timberwolf long cut and began by quit.

In the early part of my quit I really didn't have a strategy other than just don't put the shit in my mouth. One of the June Crabbies then came up with whatever you do, 'DIPPING IS NOT AN OPTION", simple but effective. On my bad days (and there were plenty) I leaned on my quit group hard and man did they deliver. I also carried the contract to give up in my wallet and promised myself that before I decided to get a dip I would read this out loud to myself. One other thing that I did was write down my reasons for quitting. I then stumbled across "What Price to Save Ourselves" by Spongebob. These articles and the June quit group are the reason for my success. In particular I'd like to thank the 5 members who responded to my first post at QS. Last but not least, I'd like to thank Saint Matt van Wyk.

It's now been close to 200 days. I still think about dip in a nostalgic way but know that I will never dip again. It's great to be free.

Tulsa, OK
j_pac13 20040310 Like many of my predecessors, I was a closet dipper. However, I was forced out of the closet when my wife called telling me my life insurance was going up $400 because I tested positive for nicotine. I came clean with her after six years of lies. Luckily, she has forgiven me.

I have to admit that my initial reason for quitting was only because my wife wanted me to. But now, despite having gained 20 pounds, I am proud to say that I won't cave because I don't want to. The very thought of sticking that nasty stuff in my mouth sickens me.

Of course, I have to give it up to the June Crab Crue. There's talk that we may have graduated the biggest class ever and I'm very proud of all of them. It's amazing that a bunch of crazy morons like us can help each other accomplish one of the toughest tasks of our lives. I also appreciate that every time I had a weak moment in my quit, their help and advice was available to me right away, and there was plenty of it.

Oh, and of course, I'll never forget the brown foam!

 
off the wagon 20040319 100 days is a mere start to what can be a lifetime of freedom from tobacco. For those starting out:
  1. Do whatever it takes during the first hundred days to stay quit. Fake snuff, seeds, nicotine gum, patches or drugs. Whatever it takes. Everyone is different and no two quits are the same.
  2. Be true to yourself, If you cave, admit it, quit again and move on.
  3. Enjoy a dip free life. It's the best route to go.
  4. Never, Never forget why you quit and always resolve to stay that way. You don't want to go through this again.
 
metalman2u 20040328

I took my first dip at the age of 5. Everyone thought it was cute this little fellow was spitting. My parents smoked, so they bought the snuff for me, thinking, At least he is not smoking. "By the way, I smoked on and off all through High School and College." Now 25 years later I finally did it, I QUIT. I will no longer let a substance rob my family of my time and money. I figured it up, I dipped 8256 days before I quit, that's 35000 plus interest. IF it is true I have to be quit as long as I did it, I still have a long way to go.

TO those of you who read this wondering if you can quit. Let me tell you , you can. I have learned so much about myself in the last 100 days. I learned how to quit through this site, thanks, Matt. I used to say I could get off crack easier than Cope, but I did it. What was the secret, DON'T DO IT!!!! Easy right, not!!!!!! I didn't use welbutrin, but it comes highly recommended. I did use SMC and seeds. I have to be honest, it was not easy, I fell off the wagon twice, I lost my place in the JUNE group, but I kept on quitting and it stuck. I can remember sitting in my floor crying to my wife, trying to explain how bad I felt about something so nasty having such a hold on me. Now 100 days later, I am stronger, I wish I could say I don't have to fight anymore, but the demon still rears his ugly head, I just kick him back down and remember what hell week was like. I quit because I realized I was addicted and I really didn't want to quit. I had to make a choice everyday not to dip. It came down to who was in charge, me or a tin. I realize I am in charge, and I make the decision everyday not to dip.... You can too.

Thanks to JULY 2004 for being there, thanks for the laughs and the fights. I wish we could all get together, cause I know it would be a non-stop party.

TO everyone considering quitting, Please quit. Do it for your well-being, do it for your spouse, do it for your kids. A young man I work with asked me why I wanted to quit. I told him, I was tired of Cope robbing kisses from my wife, Time from my family, embarrassing me in the grocery store, Seeing my 4yr old spit wike Daddy, or my 9yr old asking if I spit in her can drink. I want to see my kids graduate, I want to see them in their adult life, I would like to have grand-kids, I would like to spend my retirement enjoying what my wife and I built, not hooked up to some damn machine keeping my faceless body alive cause "I loved dipping so much"

I found this site looking for help to quit dipping cope. I found Hope, and Friendship that I hope will last a long time. Best of all I am tobacco free for the first time in 25 years. It feels great, I wish I would have found this site sooner.

THanks again QuitSmokeless.org

Sincerly,
Metalman2u Grenada, MS

Grenada, MS
calql8ng 20040402 I started killing myself with dip in 1976...I was 10.

My big brother is to blame for my 25 plus year dependence on the can...actually he really isn't to blame...but I like blaming things on him nonetheless... I am 100% to blame for my 25 plus year dependence on the tin!!!!!!

There is a 4 year difference between he and I...he was a kewl cat in school (the chic's really dug him). He was dipping Happy Days Wintergreen. Like most little brothers I wanted to be just like my big brother. So I started dipping Happy Days Raspberry...he called me a sissy...the can was pinkish in color...I was not a sissy...I was a pink snuff can dipping dummy. The biggest problem with wanting to be just like him was...he quit several years later...Needless to say I was hooked. Thus the inception of a long revolting day after day pathetic habit.

Like many of those that quit with the help of this site before me. I to tried many times to stop killing myself...the majority of my quits were not more then several hours...when I quit on July 02, 2000 I actually made it 17 months without the crap!!!

Then on December 27, 2001 I started dipping again. No real reason just riding around one day and decided to stop and grab a can. I figured...hey it's been 17 months I can handle one little dip...HOW STUPID WAS I... There I was over 3 years later and I was still dipping.

On Friday April 2, 2004 I stopped dipping period.

My wife was at Wal-Mart and called to see if I needed anything. I said yeah pick me up a roll of Copenhagen and if it's still on sale ($16.99/roll) get two. She said honey you just bought two rolls last Friday.

I had not realized it...however she was right. So in 7 days I had gone through 20 cans. But hey!!! I was getting a great deal...Copenhagen for $16.99/Roll plus taxes. Bad Wal-Mart...Bad...Bad...Wal-Mart.

Good deal or not when I realized I was using almost 3 cans a day...I realized that my one little dip had taken me down a road whence I had never been down. During my first 23 give or take years of dipping I was not using 1 can a day. During the last 3 years I had grown to almost 3 cans a day.

When I stopped dipping on April 2, 2004 I understood how to get through the short-term stuff...I just really didn't know how to deal with the long-term stuff. After finding this site and joining up with the great guys in July 2004...I know this time I would have a lot better outlook on the long haul. Now I can in all honesty say I am finished with dip FOREVER!!!

If you are considering quitting...you can do it...if you doubt it...think about your loved ones...because if you don't stop the dip...YOUR LOVED ONES WILL ENDURE THE ULTIMATE LOSE IN YOUR UNTIMELY BUT YET PREVENTABLE DEATH!!!!!!!!

God Bless...
calql8ng, Stony Point, NC

Stony Point, NC
PS 20040406 One day when I was 19 years old I decided a cool thing to do would be to start dipping. I had just been dumped by my girlfriend and was feeling kind of low so I started in with a thing called Hawken. I knew from my younger years this was the easiest one to get started on; like drinking a wine cooler and graduating to beer. Several weeks later I moved to Skoal Mint, you know the blue one man it was nice to be a Skoal bro just a pinch between the cheek and gum, then a year or two later I moved to Skoal Spearmint in Fine Cut; then finally I graduated to Copenhagen. A guy who persuaded me to try Cope told me once I tried it I'd never go back. Boy, was he right. Not only would I not go back to Skoal becasue nothing came close to the nic buzz Cope gives you but I wouldn't be able to give it up at all; not for my wife, our first born or our second. I tried a few times to scale back and go back to Skoal and found myself ge tting sick from Skoal, I NEEDED Copenhagen. I'd always told myself when I started, "when I get a serious girlfriend I'll quit or she'll make me quit". It (the quitting) never happened. When I met a girl I just told her I only did it when I fished or played softball or was out for a beer or on a long ride or hell I did it all the time and when she didn't like it I just told her I quit and took my Cope into the closet or the bathroom(that's an ex dippers inside joke). I hid my dip everywhere and sometimes in so many places I couldn't remember where it was which would send me into a full out frenzy when I needed it. It got to the point where I realized I was constantly paranoid about any little canker sore and I was wanting to quit but for one reason or another I always found my fingers going back into the can. The addiction went off and on for 15 years, sometimes 1 dip a day sometimes 5 it a ll depended on the circumstances. 14 weeks ago it had deteriorated into me going to bed and waking up with a lower lip that felt like I slept with sawdust in my mouth. All the toothpaste, floss and water in the world would not erase that awful feeling.

In the first week of April 2004 I noticed a distinct lump on my gum where I had rested the dip for 15 years, it scared me because it was unlike any other I had seen in my time dipping. I went to my dentist she told me it was an absess but it truly, this time, had me scared out of my mind. I had an endodontist appointment scheduled and went home. That night I was sitting in front of the TV with my 2 year old daughter asleep on the couch beside me and I began to contemplate going out into my fishing bag in the shed in the dark to fumble around for a pinch; that's when it really hit me how addicted I'd become. The strange lump on the inside of my mouth which had me half scared to death was not an absess and the endodontist had me go to an oral surgeon. At that appointment he told me it was nothing to worry about but by that time the original distinct lump had mostly gone away. I have to go b ack for a follow up but while I was there I observed everything there and considered what I would do if they told me it was something awful that didn't have to be but I decided to dip for 15 years. The thought I had in that office were unbearable. I remembered an old sergeant I had in the National Guard who after having a hole cut in his throat either so he could breathe or to stop his throat cancer from spreading was smoking thorugh the hole thinking it was funny. I thought he was sick and knew if I ever had a problem with the dip I'd quit. It was time to live up to that but I knew I couldn't do it alone.

That night I resolved to quit and I've now kept to it for 14 weeks+. I started with help from the nic gum, seeds, Jerky chew, SMC and finally nothing but determination. It is till a monumental challenge when the cues come and I don't know if I'll make it forever but I do know I've beaten back the addiction these alst 14 weeks and it has a TON to do with this website and the guys who picked me up and kept me going in July. I'm not a major member of the group I check in when I can but that's for me and if I needed the guys in July they were there, I suppose that's what this is all about.

Thanks,
PS

Boston, MA
Mike K. 20020729 I was reading this site on July 29th 2002 and wanted so desperately to quit depending on Copehagen. I had tried candy, gum, skoal, smokey mountain chew, and none of them were doing the job. I would stop doing them long enough to get some Copenhagen. After reading this site I realized that there was only one way to quit. Just do it, and I had to really want to. I did, and it will be 2 years this July 29th. I cant say it was easy, there were times I was about to give up, but I stuck to it. Anyone can do it. You just have to really be ready to do it. I was tired of worrying about, not if, but when mouth cancer was going to kill me, or the thought of speaking through a hole in my neck just made me cringe. I just got tired of the worry and decided it wasn't worth it. There was also another advantage. No more indigestion. I was on 3 or 4 Alka-Seltzers a day. I have had 3 Alka-Seltzers in the last 2 years since I quit. I would advise anyone who wants to quit to just do it, I know what you are thinking "I have done it for so ling", I dipped for 21 years. The difference was I really wanted to quit. That was the key for me.  
Paul N. 20040201 I quit cold turkey on 2/1/04 and other than some cravings during fishing and after the occasional party, it has been much easier than I thought. I was able to do it by cutting down from several dips a day to just one and then finally none. The thought of quitting was more depressing than actually doing it. The web site got me thinking about quitting several times in 2003. The thought of losing teeth ultimately became an obsession that took away the enjoyment of the dip. When that happens, you know you are ready. Good luck. Clinton Twp, MI
Mark W 20040426 This site has been so much fun to sign in and be held accountable. What a God send, between The Power of Prayer to God and the fellows on this web site I knew I would be able to quit.

My wife still cannot believe the effects that nicotine has on a person, to the 2nd week of the quit that I was picking a fight on the internet.

Thanks again for this site.

Mark W

Bridgeport, NE
denial_king 20040428

It began with a pinch....

7th Grade (12 years old), Skoal Wintergreen Long Cut - "Hey, try this...just take a pinch of this" ("Best" Friend)..."I don't know, man"..."Come on, take a pinch, it's not a 'real' drug, it just gives you a little buzz, like drinking a coke or something, and then you can spit it out"..."Okay"

It continued with a puff...

8th Grade (13 years old), Marlboro Reds - "Isn't this cool?" (Same "Best Friend")..."Hey, pretty cool...[cough] [cough] [cough]"

It continued with a pack...

10th Grade (16 years old), Camel Lights - "Get your ass over here! What the hell are you doing? Do you want to kill yourself? You're suspended for two games!" (Varsity Soccer Coach)..."Sorry, coach"

Back to the pinch...

11th Grade (17 years old), Skoal Bandits - "Hey, man, pass me the can. Nothing like a good pinch after a good meal." (Same "Best Friend")..."Damn Straight, Man, it's the best"...

The rest of the story is similar to what you've heard in the past...and read many times in this website, QuitSmokeless.org...habit becomes addiction, and addiction only causes anguish for the addict and people in their lives. For the most part, I was a closet dipper who concealed cans of tobacco and spitoons.

Fast Forward to the Beginning of the End...From Closet Dipper to Closet Quiter

32 years old (ex-Kodiak Wintergreen closet dipper for 10 years after six years of experimenting with other nicotine and chewing tobacco products) - On the morning of April 28, 2004, I woke up like any other day, had my morning coffee, ate a bowl of cereal, and threw in my morning dip of Kodiak Wintergreen, which was spit out within twenty minutes (about forty minutes less than when I typically left dips in my mouth) since I had to go to a dentist appointment. I brushed my teeth and drove off to the dentist appointment. When I arrived, it seemed like any other dentist appointment until the hygienist started cleaning my teeth. While she was new, she was unusually quiet. During the cleaning, she stepped out into the hallway and whispered things to the dentist. She told me,"You know, if you switch your chew around, you won't get those sores in your gums."

The dentist came in after the hygienist finished cleaning my teeth, and kept looking in my lower right inside gum. He then sighed and asked me,"Have you been chewing tobacco?" I lied and stated,"Some times. But I've mostly been chewing sunflower seeds and hard candy." He replied,"Well, whatever you are doing, you need to stop NOW. See these two white patchy sores in your gums. Well, they are pre-cancer sores. If they don't go away, I will send you to an oral surgeon who will most likely cut them out of your gums."

I walked out of the dentist office with a heavy heart, contemplating my next step. I was definitely at a crossroads where I could take control of my life once and for all, or stay a slave to the Nicotine Demon. It was a "now or never" kind of moment. I kept holding the half-full can of Kodiak until I got to the laundry mat where I threw out the can without taking another dip. That morning dip before the dentist appointment on April 28, 2004 at 9:20 a.m. was the very last dip of my life.

I tried to quit once before in 2002, when my boss found out I dipped tobacco in the office and she received complaints from my student workers. So, I attended some nicotine cessation course complements of my employer. The one day course was geared towards smokers. I felt really out of place. At least I learned about some techniques like "choosing your quit date and sticking to it" and "alternative nicotine products." But the course didn't do shit for me. The brochures I received from the course collected dust for a year until I finally threw them out. During that quit, I couldn't handle the fog. I was a complete asshole to my coworkers, employees, and especially to my boss who was somewhat supportive, but expected me to be back to "normal" within a weekend. Yea, right! I was back using "the Bear - Kodiak" within 72 hours.

I digress...so, on April 28, 2004, I began the journey of becoming a non-dipper. Thank goodness I was working at home, and my contract work was slow during this time period, so not a lot of stress to deal with. The fog was terrible, but with limited stress, I got through those early days by chowing down on junk food, sunflower seeds, and lots of gum. I tried taking my dog for longer hikes more often during this time period as well. Also, some good things happened during this time period, like being offered a full-time permanent position with a local company on May 3, 2004 that I accepted. It was quite funny stopping by my new employer's office on May 5, 2004 after being in a fog for a week. I hardly remembered anyone I met when I started work on May 24th. :)

On May 5, 2004, after a week that my dentist found the pre-cancer sores, I revisited the dentist to replace two cavity fillings. He told me that the sores had virtually disappeared and said that my gums looked "100% better." He then reread me the riot act about how chewing tobacco is 90 times more dangerous than smoking cigarettes and contained 20 times more harmful materials. He threatened me again to quit or he would send me to an oral surgeon, and that I'd probably lose my bottom gum and jaw. That continued to scare the pants off of me. But, I started rationalizing after that appointment, I actually went to the local convenience store and stared at the dip display. The cashier who knew me said,"You want a can of Kodiak,right?" I yelled at him and stated,"NO, I quit. I quit." He said,"Good for you. Keep it up. I wish I could quit smoking."

I knew that to beat this addiction that I'd need help. I knew I couldn't do it on my own. I knew that I couldn't count on anyone else since I was scared and embarrassed to share this addiction with anyone else. I did tell one of my best friends. But in the beginning, he was the only one. So, I went out to the Internet and researched "quitting chewing tobacco." I saw all the nasty pictures and read statistics about the crap, including rat poison and radioactive materials, that is put into chewing tobacco. But nothing really substantial, until I clicked on "QuitSmokeless.org." As soon as I reached the website, I knew that this would be a place that I could come back to and get help.

The more I read articles and forum posts in the QS website, the more pissed I became, at myself, the NIC demon, and the Tobacco Industry in general. It was more than dip rage, it was some inner negative feelings that had been shoved down due to years of using chewing tobacco as a crutch to combat stress and other problems in my life. I was enraged with how an inch diameter piece of crap could've controlled my life for so many years. I was angry at myself that I've become an addict, a nicotine addict, that is. I was embarrassed at how I dismissed my mom's and other's advice about staying away from cigarettes and tobacco. I was and am pissed that I've become like my grandfather who is also a nicotine addict, and has been Copenhagen and other nicotine product free for close to fifteen years, at the age of almost 89 years old. The sad thing is that he craves badly for Copenhagen quite often and shares that with all the grandchildren. I dismissed his cravings and his addiction.

Lessons Learned...

I have learned the following about myself and my addiction:

* I am a nicotine addict
* I am the only person to blame for becoming an addict
* I will have craves for the nasty cancer causing worm piece of crap until I am six feet under
* I must take each day at time, starting it by saying."I DON'T DO THAT ANYMORE", and repeating that as needed throughout the day, and each night, ending with,"I didn't do it [chewed tobacco or smoked]. Let's not do it again tomorrow."
* I must stay on track with my new exercise regiment and set of distractions to avoid the NIC demon

Advice for Other Quiters

* Quit for you, while others may serve as motivators, you need to commit to quitting for YOU, no one else
* Stay vigilant
* Don't ever become complacent
* Don't get cocky
* Do change your lifestyle, things that you can do to avoid or beat the NIC demon

Quitting is not for the weak. It takes raw determination, relentless commitment, and a fighting spirit. Fighting this addiction is worse than fighting a 900 lb. gorilla, it's more like fighting a 15,000 lb. tiger.

Quit Tool Kit

Here are some good things to have and do during your quit, especially during the earlier stages:

Physical Sustenance

* Water
* Coffee
* Work out (bike, walk, run, lift weights, whatever you can do)
* Sunflower Seeds
* Chewing Gum
* Altoids (I prefer Penguin Peppermints that contain caffeine, one problem at a time)
* Hard Candy (Jolly Ranchers are my favorite)
* Fake Chew (Mint, Smokey Mountain Chew, Baccoff - should be used as a VERY last resort)

Emotional and Psychological Sustenance

* Visit QS on a DAILY basis to view the Cancer Gallery, participate in daily ROLL CALLS for the group you join, post often when you're craving, read articles, etc.
* Share this experience with loved ones, including family members (this is one thing I regret not doing, my mom still doesn't know I've quit)
* Find a fight song or two that you can use to fight the NIC demon (me? I use "Burning Heart" from the Rocky IV soundtrack and "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night" from Bon Jovi's 2003 album, "CrossRoad"), and recite lyrics from them...like for me, it is,"In the Warrior's Code, there's no surrender" and "Taking each day and night at a time"
* Keep saying to yourself and others,"I DON'T DO THAT ANYMORE" (Pitch, B.O.S.S August 2004 member)

Gratitude and Final Thoughts

I have many people in this website to thank for their time, advice, and putting up with my shit for the past 100 days, hoping that they will be patient enough to
deal with my shit in the future. Most prominently, I thank my fellow B.O.S.S August Quit Group members, including Mark W, Bufff from KS, Pitch, Shill, Ironman, Ron Smith, Blade, Big Kahuna, robday, Jon from Texas, Laxman, MPete92, 25senuff, etc. for putting up with me for so long. I am sure I am missing someone, if so, I apologize. I would also like to thank members, including Penguin, vikesrule, toofatyet, Tractor, Chainstretcher, 35 YR Fool, etc., from other Quit Groups for their support. I can only hope that I can follow in your foot steps and help the newbie quiters get going with their quits.

I intend on continuing to use this website since reaching the HOF Hangout (100 Days Quit) is only part of the journey. There are many more milestones to reach, and many more challenges to resolve without the cancer rotting worm crap in my system. Like many veteran quiters have stated over and over again,"We are one dip/chew away from being an addict again."

Thank you, Matt, for your hard work and innovation in terms of using the Internet to provide support for chewing tobacco/nicotine addicts who are seeking assistance.

To those starting their quits, this website will help, trust me...use it, you can do it. I hope this HOF speech has been helpful.

To those who've quit, stay strong and continue the good fight! Keep telling the NIC Demon to stick it! YOU DON'T DO IT ANYMORE!

denial_king
Boss Of Spitless Summer (B.O.S.S) August 2004 Member
Quit Date: 04/28/04
QS Registration Date: 05/07/04
HOF (1st Floor): 08/06/04

Rocky Mountains
Ron Smith 20040503 Today marks a significant milestone in my personal journey in ending a fifteen year dance with a very uncompromising, manipulative partner - dip. Having passed this point and beyond in prior quits, I am not naive or cocky enough to believe 100 days free of dip means I am over this habit. However, I feel very confident that this time is forever. It is what I have learned from fellow quitters (and cavers) on this great site that provides me with this confidence.

I am not quite sure how I stumbled onto this site - I was getting prepared to quit dip back in late April (busted by the wife again - can't leave those c-store receipts in the car), when I believe I did a simple Google search and came across QS.org. Divine intervention, perhaps. I am pretty certain I wouldn't have made it through those hellish first couple of weeks without posting and reading several times a day. I am also certain that knowing that I would have to come on here and confess a cave to my fellow BOSS members (or evaporate from this site without a word) prevented caves at least twice. This site really works.

I would like to thank Matt for starting & maintaining this site. You truly have helped me, just like you have 100's of others fighting their addictions. I also would like to thank all of the August '04 BOSS men. Whether it be Mark W's religious convictions, Mpete's wicked sense of humor, Laxman's logical arguments, or DK's fervent admonishments to fight the "nic demon", each and every member has been a great help. Even members who caved made me more resolute (get back on the wagon!!!). Thanks a million.

Milbridge, ME
Pitch 20040509 First of all, big thanks to Matt for hosting and running this site. You may never know how many lives you have had a hand in saving but it will amaze you some day. Second, a huge, huge thanks to the men of August 2004 group, or the B.O.S.S. men. Everyone has contributed and helped me to be accountable. This was the hard part because I was a closet chewer (Red Man) and a closet quitter. When you only chewed by yourself, it is much harder and thus I needed these guys to keep me clean. Third, thanks to a very few close friends and God was I able to do this.

Just a few thoughts to everyone else, including those that will read this on down the road and looking for help. First, my theory is this: no one wants to quit. I mean, if it didn't cause cancer, basically rot your teeth out, be socially unacceptable in most cases and cost so much, I think most people would not quit. For sure, the drug-like crap that they have put into dip/chew takes hold of your body and I know you will never get the message from your brain that you should or "want" to quit. You have to make yourself do it. I knew it causes cancer. I knew it would rot my teeth out. I knew it was expensive. I knew I would get "caught" sometime and embarrass myself. But I kept on chewing...

The point is this, my friend: You have to quit. And, you can't quit for your wife/girlfriend/family/friends, etc. You have to quit for yourself. Life is not a dress-rehearsal. You get one shot. Chew/dip is a drug that will/has enslaved you and it will control you (12:30 am search for a store opened ring a bell?). Why do something so bad/expensive/time consuming/family time robbing? Why kill yourself one tin/pouch at a time? Why loose your face, literally? Hey, I'm not preaching - I'm in the same boat you and all my buds here are in - we here are all addicts. But this is the truth.

I learned that while I've quit before, I needed help to make it last. This time, it's going to take because of this site and these guy's help. Here's some tips that others before me have given and it helps:

1. Pay at the pump - don't even go into that c-store where you bought it before. Avoid it altoghther if you can.

2. Put anything in your mouth except that crap - food, gum, candy, toothpicks, seeds, smc, etc.

3. Tell yourself everyday "Not Today". Don't worry about tommorrow or next week; it'll be here soon enought. Just work on not doing it today.

4. Tell yourself after a while that "You don't do that anymore" when the craves hit ( and they will for a long time)

5. Do anything else to get your mind off it (exercise, whatever).

6. Pray if that helps you.

7. Post here often.

8. Repeat (I do everyday)

Men, you can do it. If I can after 12 years of this, you can too. Freedom from U.S. Tobacco is freedom, indeed.

 
NoSpit 20040511 People asked me why I chose to quit, always looking for the Jerry Springer drama response... your wife/new girlfriend made you... you finally have cancer... did your boss find out? The answer is none of the above, although the ex and new girlfriend wanted me to, I did have an appointment with an oral surgeon, and my assistant caught me.

The answer is I wanted to do it for me; I want to see my kids grow up, I want to be the "fun grandpa", I want to leave the house without a chew ring in my pocket, I want to control myself and not let a little can control me.

So I quit. And it was/is hard. And judging on the last week, it will always be hard. But there is hope.

One thing that I found helped a lot is this website, Thanks Matt and the BOSS group. This adds a level of accountability that is hard to explain... I don't know these people, they don't know me, but they understand the issues and feelings, go through the same things, and hold your feet to the fire.

Here is what I would do if I ever had to quit again:

1) Do it for me

2) Focus on quitting, and don't do anything else big at the same time (I quit while losing one and starting another job, finalizing a divorce, and moving, twice)

3) Check in and participate aggressively with your quit group. (I didn't, see point 3, but I was there in my heart)

4) Don't give up. Think "Not today" and "I don't do that anymore" two of the BOSS mantras.

5) Read the HOF letters.

Thanks to the August 2004 B.O.S.S. group, you guys helped tremendously. Only 900 days to the 1K HOF.

Chicagoland
bufff from ks 20040513 As the Grateful Dead sings, so too I think: "What a long, strange trip it's been". I still have difficulty at times believing that I am here typing this up, that I actually am DONE with tobacco. Then I come to work, and sign on to QS.org., log in, and check in with my August brothers...then reality sinks in, and a nice feeling overcomes me, and all doubts slip away, and I smile knowing that yes, Virginia, I am free from nicotine!

Where to begin....I am a 39 year old lifetime Kansan. My family came from Missouri and Arkansas....can you say: "Tobacco potential very high?" Growing up in a rural area and chewing was kind of like growing up in the suburbs and going to the mall. My dad chewed (still does, even after heart surgery), uncles chew, cousins, friends. It is actually better now, with education....I digress, but I have to. You know how everyone longs for the 'good ole days'? Well, some things about today are better. Like being better informed and educated. Fewer people are using tobacco (I believe) today than when I started because we know more about what kind of crap it is. Same with seat belts...never wore one until I was an adult...now I am just grateful I was never in a big wreck growing up. Same with drinking and driving, in the late 70's and early 80's, there was no MADD or SAD, just a bunch of young people like myself following the lead our peers and parents set, which was to drive no matter what condition you were in. Again, I thank God regularly that I did not hurt anyone or myself....As a fellow HOF and August BOSS member says, "I dont do that anymore". Thanks for that, Pitch. I only mention this to highlight how IMPORTANT this site is to me. Let me explain...

Without this site, I would still be loving my Copenhagen. Without this site, I would be worried about a cave...after all, I have quit before, once for over a year, only to return to the dark side. Without this site, a crave would become a cave. Because that is what has happened on previous quits. With no one to share my thoughts with, the pain, the pleasure, the whole chewing/dipping experience, it was just a conversation with me and the demon dark side. And the odds are stacked in that bastard's favor; facing the demon alone is a very difficult task indeed. 2 hard cold facts stand out: 1) None of my family or friends that chew has ever successfully quit, and 2) NO ONE, except a chewer, can understand what a chewer feels like. I know that reason number 2 is a prime reason for past failures. I was not a closet chewer, except for my children. They do not know, thankfully, that I chewed tobacco. My wife knew, and hated it, and tried to support me in past quits, but I think was quietly relieved when I would cave, because at least then my behavior would go back to normal once I had my daily dose of drug therapy once again coursing through my bloodstream. Everyone else knew I chewed, but NO ONE understood me until I came across this site.

I also know that what I just mentioned is not the end of the story. You, the tobacco user, the nicotine junkie, have to WANT to walk away from it. Because walking away from it is hard, staying and making excuses is easy. I chewed tobacco for 25 years, and the duality of me FINALLY wanting to quit and finding quitsmokeless.org just happened to intersect at the appropriate time. I had my last chew on May 12, 2004, and woke up on May 13 ready for the journey down into the abyss...I actually made it through the physical torture alone, using my hillbilly hardheadedness and some Bacc Off when necessary. I was close to caving (craving bad, Jonesing for the chew, you guys know how it is) at the two week mark, and like others have said before, was searching the Internet for help, when like a flash up popped QS.org. And like Robert Frost said about taking the path less taken, "and that has made all the difference."

If you are a chewer reading this and looking for help, you have found it here with these men (and an occasional woman). Here is my advice to you:

1) If you really want this, and you want it for yourself, and not for someone else, you can beat this.

2) Use this site...read everything, read it again, come back to it when you are craving...and then post, post, post. Get to know people on this site. Join a quit group and get to know them. You may never become best friends and actually meet everyone, but let me tell you, these people REALLY DO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE FEELING. Find and print out the "Contract to Give Up Hope" That was a big motivator for me personally. Get involved with this site and the people in it.

3) Live for today only..dont worry about the future, or the past. Dont think about how sad you are because chewing is in the past, and dont think about how much tomorrow is going to suck because you dont chew anymore, think about how damn powerful you are because you have the ability today to say: "I will not use tobacco today."

4) Use whatever substitute you need or can find to handle the oral issues. It doesnt matter if it is fake chew, seeds, candy, gum, jerky, or dog turds. Stick it it when you think you have to...the crave will pass, and you will be nicotine free that much longer.

5) Change your routine...whatever that means for you, so be it, but shake it up and do different things...for a lot has been mentioned about us being identified as chewers, and we are not anymore. Therefore it is appropriate to change things up a little, do something new, to help you while quitting.

I want to thank all the members of the August 2004 BOSS group, for welcoming me, for listening and understanding me, and for supporting me in my quit. I wont mention individuals, for fear of leaving someone out...lets just say I am proud to have quit the same time these fine men did. I came to the group at the beginning of week 3, and didnt actually post and introduce myself to them until about a month into my quit, but they welcomed me like I was a founding member. You guys took my desire to be nicotine free and have helped make it a reality, at least for this first checkpoint on the road to freedom, the entry into the Hall. I am grateful, for I have fellowship with fellow addicts who were on the same journey as I. I say addicts, because we are. That is probably the final piece of the puzzle to making this quit final. Coming clean with yourself and admitting you are a drug addict...ouch! That is a tough one, but true. I am addicted to nicotine. Upon using it, I am completely and thoroughly enslaved by it. I have no control over it. My only desire upon receiving it is to, by whatever means necessary, continue to receive it. I am powerless when caught in its grip....My only salvation is to deny it. To never use it, never again. Only by total denial and zero usage can I be free from its incredible powers. I will not use tobacco today. I will never use tobacco again. I choose not to use nicotine for as long as I shall live. This shall make me free. Thanks, QS brothers for shining this light upon me.

Thanks also to members outside our group, like a lot of the July 2004 guys, who helped us along and still today are online helping out the new guys. Also, 2 persons in particular, Toofatyet and Penguin, have taken it upon themselves (thankfully) to be ambassadors of the tobacco free lifestyle, showing all quitters, including prospective quitters, that there is indeed life after tobacco and nicotine, and that it is good. It is a great day to be dip free and alive, Penguin, and I am discovering a new me, now that I realize that tobacco does not make me who I am, Toofatyet. These two gentlemen will help you with filling the 'void' you think you have when you break off your long relationship with tobacco. It took me a long time to realize that, and that is why I finally came up with a signature about rediscovering myself. The neat part is, I still am!

There are countless others on this site, both recent quitters and long time quitters, that have helped me. When I say everyone here has helped me, I mean that. There truly are magical powers here, if you are ready to experience them...

Thanks also to Matt for this site. You are probably tired of hearing it, but you are saving lives...I have personally witnessed it. Again, thank you.

Finally, I would like to thank my wife, who married a chewer over 14 years ago, and has stood beside me during several failed quits, and has stood beside me on this final, successfull quit. She has seen it all, and has not understood it, for fortunately, she is not an addict like I am. But she supported me, without question, during all stages of this final quit, and as you fine folks that have become nicotine free know, you go from being your fine self into several varieties of CYBIL, and everything in between. Had the roles been reversed, I only hope I would have been as compassionate. Thanks again......

Here is to my partners in quitting, my August 2004 Boys of Spitless Summer BOSS brothers!! As Denial King says, lets all stay vigilant, stay nicotine free, and beat the demon down. Or as MPete92 says, lets keep TKO'ing the biatch, forever and ever, amen...

Buff from KS
Started becoming a reformed drug addict on May 13, 2004
Hall of Fame Date August 20, 2004

Gardner, KS
rwsparky 20040517 I have made it 100 days. That is about 90 days longer than anytime in the past 20 years. The fact that it happened on my youngest daughters birthday (10) made the event more meaningful. I do not typically say a lot so thank you everyone in the August BOSS group and to the persons responsible for the site. Just reading the posts was enough to help me through this first big step.  
MPete92 20040524 Oh to be at 100 days. Seemingly a huge accomplishment that warrants me a night at the nudie bar, but in reality it is just step 1. Giving up something that had become such a part of my daily routine was the most difficult decision of my life. Unfortunately I had been here before, similar to so many patrons of this website. I was originally a member of the March 2003 quit group after dipping for 7+ years. During the first quit my utilization of this site was nominal to say the least. I had no internet, would have to trudge over to the campus library to post, heaven forbid I actually walk inside that place. Somehow I made it to the 100 day mark, cruised onto 200 days and even crept past 300 days without even realizing it. I think I posted maybe 10 times after the first floor. Critics may say I was cocky, Denial King would probably say I was a dumbass, agree w/ whomever you want but the fact was that I just grew complacent. I had quit but I think in the back of my mind, I wasn't really done with dip.

Rewind to my introduction to college. I arrived at school on a full football scholarship and seemed destined to prove I was worthy of the team. Only problem was that 30% of the team dipped but it was almost 'understood' that upperclassmen would only half whip your ass if you were a dipper. I would attend practice with my clean pair of britches while toting along my can of dip not to far behind. I'd shower, get dressed and throw in a lipper after practice. The coaches would dip during meetings, some would dip on the sideline ( which is where I spent most of my lackluster career) in turn my spitter would get half full after watching hours of film. Dipping seemed as much as way of life as did attempting to go to class.

Fast forward to October of last year. 10 months of being nicotine free. I live with a buddy I played ball with so of course he is constantly feeding his face with skoal. I was sitting around one night wasting some brain cells playing PS2 when I just locked my eyes on his can atop the t.v. Without even batting an eye, my QB called a timeout, I stood up, twisted off the cap and threw one in. Quicker than it takes Tractor to vacuum the kitchen, I had thrown 300+ days out the window.

Like an old habit I thought was dead and buried, obviously the familiarity of the old Pete started to come back. I'd dip once and then go two days without one. Dip for three straight days and then take another day break. Before long I was back to the usual can-a-day habit. I would awaken from the slumber of playmate filled dreams, only to think first of stumbling into the bathroom, taking a shower and then throwing in a dip on my way to work. The sad thing was, I really didn't feel guilty.

Pick up the remote again and fast forward to May '04. I fell asleep to Comedy central one night and had Rick James come to me in a dream, afro flappin' and said "You're dip's bitch!" (That's some Bufff humor) Honestly I don't have a particular earth shattering event that pushed me to quit again. I just woke up on May 24 and decided I was tired of being a liar.

I remembered the addy for this site and crept on to join the crazy goons known as B.O.S.S. Determined to prove to myself that I was done with dip, I took a different approach than the first quit. In a sense, I transferred my addiction from a deadly plant to an address on the web. I visited this site 10 times more than girlsgonewild.com, which used to be my favorite. I posted every day, checked the site while at work, dibbled and dabbled in other groups and just kept myself busy. My girlfriend thought I went nuts while I posted like a certain flightless bird on speed. I came here every day, eventually developing friendships with other quitters that had a common goal of freedom. This site is the catalyst for quitters. I digress... (shouts DK).

If anybody out there is entertaining the 'to quit' or 'not to quit' attitude, please join this site. The possibility of success is magnified with the help of others. The mountain is a lot easier to climb if you got buds behind you throwing rocks, pushing and yelling insults and or advice. To all you dippers, pause, and think of how your life has been overtaken by a drug. Your manhood, your being, even your simplistic way of life has been stolen by a 4 dollar can of chemically treated weed.

Wake up out of your slumber and take control. Any body can quit, it's all a matter of deciding in your mind that you are done. Your hand doesn't reach for the can without the command impulse from your brain. Craves will come, craves will pass. If you have it made up in your mind that your are done with dip, then the quit will succeed. It's called willpower, get it.

Thanks and appreciation goes out to Matt and all involved with this site. B.O.S.S, couldn't of done it without you slackers; Mark, DK, 25, Ron, laxative, Shill, bufffff, robday and all you others, I got tired of typing. To anybody and everybody else, there are many that influenced me and I appreciate it. The caboose is finally loose, a little less packed than when we started, but at least it ain't empty.

See yall at the party.

OUT

Burlington, NC
PatrickHenry 20040526 Where do I start, first let me say I'm a fireman and former Marine, I'm not good at putting thoughts to words. 22 years ago I started this journey when I started dipping during field exercises in the Marine Corps. I soon became hooked and even managed to get my friends hooked too. Around this time my wife also told me the worst thing she could have said, when she told me she didn't care if I dipped. In my eyes this was proof there was a God, what could be better than a wife who let you dip, I would later use that statement against her 100's of times.

Like most folks here I've quit many times, it wasn't the quitting that was hard, but the starting. I've always started one more time than I've quit. What this site does is get you to the point where if you dip after making the HOF you know exactly what you are doing. 100 days is a good goal to shot for. I have gone over 100 days before and because of that I don't really feel good about this quit just yet. I do plan to continue posting to help me get to where I want to be.

I found this site because I was scared of Cancer and knew I had to quit. I didn't spit into the spit cup that most have talked about here, I swallowed that gunk, did for years and years that way. My trigger was just simply if I was breathing, didn't take anymore than that for me to be dipping. I got to where most nights I would throw a dip in before hitting the sack. About the only thing I did without tobacco was eat. I lurked on this site for about 2 weeks and at the same time tried to taper back, somehow I was able to cut back to just a couple dips a day, then at my sons T-ball game I took my last dip.

The first 20 days or so was really difficult for me, but with this site managed to continue my quit. Seeing good people fail somehow helped me more than anything. Gordy sorry you caved but thanks. They are many others who helped in the same way. I just knew that I had to quit this time. I still worry about the big C and what I've done to myself over the long run. But I've seen many, many people here with the same struggles I had or still have.

Thanks to the September crew, believe me if it wasn't for you I never would have made it this far. If I wasn't senior guy of September I wouldn't have made it either, funny how things work out like that. For what ever reason I couldn't let myself fail with my name on top of the list. BL, I need to try to come to Tuscaloosa for some Christmas shopping or something and have lunch with you. Thanks again September Crew and also Matt who as we all know runs this site.

North Alabama
Gonnabeadaddy 20040527 Dear Maya,

On May 27th of the year you were born, your father took a step that he had been unable to take for over 13 years. I decided that I was tired of using a drug that would inevitably shorten my life and take from me the possibility of seeing you grow up, go to school, graduate, get married, have children and fulfill your own goals, dreams and ambitions. On that date I quit using Copenhagen Long Cut. On that date I quit using nicotine as a way to level my moods, cope with stress, celebrate victories, deal with work, overcome issues with your mother and as a general crutch for my existence. I was venturing out on grounds completely untested, because every moment and momentous occasion of my adult life had been experienced through the filter of nicotine. My entire life had been fashioned around the need to fulfill my daily, and then hourly need for a chemical fix. As I look back now, I am mystified at what was so necessary about waking up in a hotel room 1,500 miles away from your mother and putting in a gigantic dip before even getting out of bed, or why I had to have a little fix before going to class, or why I would cut the time I had with your mom short so I could go back to my dorm room and settle in to a long night of dipping under the pretext of studying.

I am a very weak and selfish person and it took the prospect of you coming into this world to help jar me back to the realities associated with my responsibility as a father. Chief of which is the absolute and imperative need for me to be there. I probably will not be the coolest dad, the most fun dad, nor the most attractive dad (close call on the last one :) !) but as your father I promise that I will be there for you in a way that my biological father was not there for me. Call it fate, call it genetic predisposition, call it whatever you want but at 27 years old I found myself in a predicament very similar to that of my father after I was born. Namely the ultimatum from my mother to him (and your mother to me): quit smoking (dipping), clean up your life and be a father or get the hell out. For whatever reason he was either unwilling or unable to stop doing the things that lead, inexorably, to his death 13 year later. I am haunted by the fact that even though he was never a part of my life, I have managed to almost perfectly emulate this specific aspect of his life. The question now is, do I have the strength, as a person and as a father, to be strong and make this a life-long quit? Will I be the father who was there, or will you be raised by a step-father the way I was? Your mother is a wonderful and intelligent woman just like your grandma so I am confident that she too will choose the right person to raise you and that you will turn out well. The question and the challenge is solely my own: am I man enough to be your father? On September 3, 2004 I completed the first 100 days of freedom from my nicotine demon and proved to myself that I am capable of living life without this debilitating crutch. For those 100 days I made the conscious choice to be the man who is there for you. I could not have done it without the help of your mother and my September brothers: Patrick Henry, Left Exit, BL, JD'sNass, Kevin_412, Chuck Moore, thisisit, gjcab04, genkski, theshakes, Iski1, THE DAD, Astrosfan, Bigbearboston, Know your enemy, Warren, Drew, Anthony and AndyM. Though complete strangers, my September brothers gave me the strength and ability to make this day happen and for that I am eternally grateful to them.

I am writing this letter as a way to clarify my progress and make it clear that I have not quit for you, but rather for me. You are going to be an absolute wonder to this world and I will continue to quit using tobacco as long as I am alive so that I can experience the thrill of being your daddy!

I love you already.
Gonnabeadaddy

AZ
Chuck Moore 20040527 Twenty six years ago, a friend and I decided it would be a good idea to start dipping. Twenty six years later, I am celebrating achieving a 100 day milestone. In the big picture, celebrating a mere 100 days seems a bit pathetic. But to the members of this site we know this is no small achievement. I have beaten back the demon and made the first step in a journey that will last the rest of my life.

Until I found this site I thought I was different. I was a closet chewer. No one, save a few close friends that have known me for twenty years or so, knew my disgusting secret. My wife, who I started dating twenty years ago and have been married to for eleven years, never knew I chewed. My co-workers never knew. I have gone to work for all these years with a can of Cope in my suit jacket pocket. I chewed all day long, sitting at my desk, gutting it all. I was different, I thought, there could be no one as gutless as me to be a closet dipper for all these years. There could be no one who had lived with the shame of being addicted to chew, and hiding it from everyone for all these years.

But in this site, I found I was no different than all the others who had come before me. I wasn't the only loser who had hidden this habit for years. I wasn't the only suit wearing professional type guy who hid this habit from his co-workers, customers and friends. I wasn't the only person living with the guilt of lying to his wife for years and years.

On May 26th, at 10AM I spit out my last chew. I thought at the time that I didn't enjoy it, and I hadn't been enjoying it for a while. At that point I thought, "I should just quit". And as fast as that, I did. I left the office to drive to a drug store, and threw away my can on the way. I bought some Nicorrette gum, and that was it. There was no parting of the clouds, not music in the background, just a profound feeling in my heart that this was it, this was the last time I would ever quit, and this time I would be successful.

About a week later I started having these weird feelings in my throat. I went to the doctor and he felt around but didn't think it was anything. I was still scared witless, so I started searching on the internet for the symptoms, and ran across a post by SpongeBob describing the same thing. At that moment the symptoms subsided (I think a lot of it was stress). But better, I found QS.org. I registered, and started posting on the 12th day, and credit QS and the September group for my success. I spent the first month reading every post in my group, and many other groups. I didn't post as often as others, but I spent a lot of time reading all of the other posts. The last month I have posted even less, as the net-nanny software at work no longer allows me to view the site.

First, a huge thank-you to Matt. Matt, without this site I do not think I would have been successful at making 100 days. I and many others, owe you big time.

SpongeBob, thank you for posting and sharing. Because of your post I found this site. That just goes to show that you never know who you will help when you post. You never know who will relate to your post, and that post just may make a difference in someone's life. SpongeBob, your post made a difference in my life and I thank you for it.

Thank you to all the existing HOF'ers who continue to post. You are a source of inspiration. And thank you to BAMFOO. I haven't posted in your group much, but I followed your group pretty closely until recently, and you too have been an inspiration to continue this quit.

Most of all, thank you to the Embers. I am proud to be associated with you. You are the best group of quitters I have ever had the pleasure to be associated with. I won't try to name everyone, but a sincere thank you to each and every one of you (even the bastard who posted Tub Girl, a post I will never, ever, no matter how hard I try, as long as I live on the face of this earth, be able to get out of my mind). There is no way I would have made 100 days without you. You have been a source of comfort, strength, pride, humor, and yes, a little disgust. Thank you all.

PH, keep up the pace, next stop, second floor.

Glendale, CA
LEFT EXIT 20040529 There is one person that you know better than anyone, yourself. You have known yourself all your life, and that is an extraordinarily comforting thing. Even if the sun never rose again, you could always count on being you, right? The person I knew as me, dipped for 26 years. Like many of you, I always felt dipping made me unique. I always felt that it defined at least a small part of me. I have come to believe that I failed to quit many times because I was afraid to face daily life without…myself. If I did quit, who would I become?

Ironically the one thing I feared most about quitting had already come to pass. The addiction had stolen my soul, and I didn't even know it! This site, QS.org, validated my thinking. It reinforced my quit. I realized that I was not unique and that whatever contribution dipping made to my life was bad, and that I had to change.

The following are the behaviors that got me to the HOF. Take it or leave it...

First. I was, and am scared. I promised myself 100 days, cold turkey, no flinching. 100 days out of my life. A tiny, insignificant sacrifice. I've spent more time than that in traffic. More time watching shows on TV that I don't even like and more time worrying about whether I have cancer or not. If I couldn't do 100 days, I couldn't respect myself, maybe not even live with myself. How the hell could I ever teach my kids to respect themselves if I couldn't commit to 100 days?

Next: I knew that I would have to redefine some of who/what I was. Quitting created a vast chasm of emptiness where dip used to be for me, and whatever "it satisfied" would need to be satisfied by other things. I could choose between being miserable or happy, and I decided I had a free pass to become who or whatever I wanted to be. I figured that I would try and replace whatever was missing with what I believed were positive things, which would lead me towards a better life. Any positive changes would have to provide frequent rewards and reinforcements in order for my quit to stick.

I started a list of characteristics that I believe define happiness and success (or at least seemed enviable), and then added a column of where those characteristics could replace a dip-addiction characteristic or behavior. Then I practiced. I pretended that I had the characteristics. If something didn't produce the result I was looking for, I'd change it.

The results are amazing. My life is better than I had ever dreamed.

Look. I read all the posts, and everyone has their reasons to quit, and their ways to quit, their motivating thoughts…you can guess, you can listen, or you can find out for yourself what it's like to be free. 100 days. Don't be a sissy. Be a quitter!

Left Exit September 2004

 
AstrosFan 20040601 When I started dipping at age 18, I had no idea the addictive power that nicotine combined with the oral fixation of having tobacco stuffed in my lower lip would hold over me for the next 15 years. Introduced by fellow teammates and best friends it was something to do while shagging fly balls during high school baseball practice… but the dependency really dug roots as my study buddy in College. I was hooked and gradually it became like breathing air to me, it was part of my life and everything I did. I would freak if I lost a can and race to the store to buy more. Coping with Houston traffic and lots of windshield time due to my outside Sales career would have been impossible in my mind without my trusty can of Copenhagen.

A couple of things kept me from quitting all those years. The first reason and biggest road block was that I did not want to quit… I loved dipping, it just seemed to enhance my active lifestyle by day and then improve my enjoyment of hanging out with friends / fellow dippers in the evenings, kicking back drinking and watching whatever sports event. The next problem was that I didn’t think I could quit even if I tried.

On Memorial Day, May 31st, 2004 I decided to kick the habit for good. My girlfriend was getting more and more adamant about wanting me to stop and I finally saw myself for what I was… an addict and I asked myself why am I still doing something that is harmful to my health. Dipping and its effects on heart rate and blood pressure clashed with my fit lifestyle. I finally realized how stupid it all was and as dumb as this may sound, I made a stand… symbolically flushing the contents of my last can down the toilet with my girlfriend as a witness and we then drove all over town hunting for fake snuff which was my crutch for the first 100 days and will be until I can get on with my life without it. The good news is that I find myself depending on it less and less.

I think the key for me was that during my dipping days as I call them, I never tried and failed to quit. This is my first and only attempt, so failure for me is not an option. I am a very competitive person and I treat this whole thing as a battle of my mind vs. my former addiction a.k.a. the voice in my head telling me I need a dip. I have found that I AM stronger than the voice in my head and the battles are getting easier to win but it is going to be a long war… probably the rest of my life.

Another key has been this site and the accountability created by posting roll call everyday. I stumbled onto this site about a week after my quit date when doing a Google search for different brands of fake snuff. Also, I don’t think I would have made it to the HOF without the September 2004 Crew, spending time reading what you guys had to say probably kept me from dipping, it definitely kept me laughing. I am also thankful for never getting flamed too bad; the Embers are a tight bunch, with some being tighter than others. Also a big thanks to Matt for creating this website… you deserve the kind of money other website designers out there have made, but saving a life is priceless.

If you are reading this and think you can’t break free from your habit of dipping snuff… then you were just like me, so take it from someone who was in your shoes. You can beat this if you set your mind to it. At first it’s hard but once you realize how much better life can be without dip, it gets to where you don’t miss it as much. I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I am enjoying living dip-free, find out for yourself.

Go Stros!

Houston, TX
TheShakes 20040610 A little over a hundred days ago, my six-year old daughter asked me "Daddy, why do you use that stuff?" As I sat there trying to figure out how I was going to explain a Copenhagen addiction to a six-year old, I made my decision to quit. Most people on this site say that you have to quit for yourself and not anyone else--not me. I quit for my daughters.

If you're at this site, it's because you are either contemplating quitting, or you have already quit. If you are contemplating quitting, you have to be honest with yourself and ask if this is really what you want to do. If not, you probably won't make it. If you are serious about your quit, then this site is the best aid you will every find, period. This is the place that you meet up with people who are going through the exact same thing as you, and know exactly how you feel.

Although, I'll probably never meet the guys in the September '04 group, I'll remember them for a long time to come. Thanks for the help EMBERS!

Boise, ID
thisisit 20040614 It is fairly tough determining where to start this speach...so let me go back to the beginning. It all started 19 years ago when an innocent, very naive 18 year old took his first walk with the nic demon...a dip of skoal bandits. A high school buddy of mine and I thought it would be cool to try it! By the time I had gone through college I had spent 4 1/2 good years with my now new best buddy "skoal". Before I knew it the years had slipped by, one after the other and skoal was with me through them all. Skoal was there the day I graduated college, there to celebrate my wedding to my wonderful college sweetheart. Skoal was there with me that first week on the job and there when I welcomed my amazing daughter into the world. Two years later my friend was still with me when I got my new best buddy, my son and skoal was there when I moved into my new home. Through it all skoal was there to celebrate the good times, or console during the bad, to watch my biggest sporting moments or simply enjoy a "fall" evening. Always around, always ready. What I never realized was that this so called friend wasn't my friend at all. It was the worst possible relationship...the one that ultimately leads you to the grave. Looking back I realize that this chemical, this poison that I had become best friends with actually wanted to lead me to the grave, to take from me the life I so enjoyed living. I had tried many times to stop and had even done so for reasonable lengths...but that old so called friend always wanted to come back into my life, and I would let it happen. Near the end, it wasnt too glamorous anymore...a mid 30's business man with a family who was in the closet. Chewing when the kids went to bed or sneaking off during the day to break the monotony. Looking at my kids and knowing I was lying and listening to my wife plead with me to stop. 19 damn years already and I knew I had to change but didn't know how I could!

One evening in June I began to search for the solution...how could I end this addiction! How could I terminate this destructive relationship which threatened to take my life and to cheat my wife and children of our future together? I decided to get on the internet and find as many sites with oral cancer as possible so that I could imprint in my brain the destructive potential of this addiction. That night God sent an Angel! An Angel in the form of QS.org and the September brothers! That night I committed to a new life and a new friend to take the old ones place! I signed up with the tag name "thisisit" because for me I knew that THISWASGOINGTOBEIT! My avatar was a little green frog in representation of my son who I never wanted to know that I did this to myself and who I want to set the right example for. Even thought I have always had the love, support and partnership from my wife, this time I was aided by the help of other guys who felt the way I had and who had done what I did for so long. Ironically the guys in September are probably the most diverse group of individual's you could bring together but we all had a common bond and goal in mind. We laughed a lot and I know some of us cried a lot (tractor its o.k. for us guys to cry). Sometimes we fought each other verbally and sometimes we cheered and pleaded relentlessly but the point is we were there together! Together every day and night for 100 days!

Thanks to September and to Matt because today life is different. I am no longer a slave to my addiction! I know that each day is a new one...one that I will stay clean and embrace and one that I will not need the crutch I had become accustomed to. It feels so incredible to be free. Now that I have accomplished this the possibilities are endless and I somehow feel more empowered than ever...that for whatever reason this experience has made me a stronger. Thanks to God for the strength and for my family that I love and will stay clean for because I want to spend the next 50 years with you! One last thanks to my new buddies that have taken the place of an old one...one that I now know never really was there for me. SEPTEMBER, QS & MATT THANK YOU!

PA
Kevin_412 20040614 Well, today is Tuesday, September 21, 2004. I am getting married on Saturday and this is my gift to my bride, the woman of my dreams. However, it is different this time. It is not only a gift to her but also to me and that is why it will stick. I now enjoy doing things I haven't been able to in a long time. I floss everyday (without bleeding or wincing), I eat apples (without worrying about my teeth falling out), and there are a hundred other things (including chuckling to myself when I see people in line to buy dip or cigarettes at my local C-Store...although, it is a reality check, just 100 days ago that was me...I wonder if anyone laughed at me).

On June 14th, with a splitting headache, a mouth full of sunflower seeds, and the inability to focus after just one day without dip, I didn't think there would be life without it; I thought it was a part of me (as Jerry Maguire would say, it completed me). Well, I soon found out that is not the case. I no longer plan my days around finding time to dip...think about that...planning an entire day, or __ years (you fill in the blank) around making sure you have time to stick some cancer in your lip. I don't have to plan time to sneak away from people so they don't see me dipping or cut short our time together so I can get away for a pinch - this has strengthened my relationships immensely.

It's funny because I had so many things I wanted to put in here. Something that might help even one person during a moment of weakness or while pondering quitting, but I'm drawing a blank. My quit is to the point now where it is not a very big deal to me. That's not to say that I'm not being vigilant or that I'm overconfident; what it means is just that I have come to the realization that quitting is just the right thing to do. I owe it to myself, to my wife-to-be, to our unborn children, to my parents, even to my dog (my fiancé is too petite to wrestle with the dog and too stingy with the sandwich meat in the morning...without table scraps the poor girl would starve to death).

At first, I truly felt like a conquering here; every day was a victory over this demon. However, I feel less like a hero and more like a decent, halfway intelligent person now. I am not deceiving the people I love, not putting those who depend on me at risk, not being a total jack@ss. Why did I ever dip? Why pump my body full of toxins and carcinogens? I've noticed one thing about the people here...most are pretty mechanically inclined so here's a questions (it's a rhetorical question, JD...no need for an answer): isn't dipping a can a day a lot like dropping a can of metal shavings into your truck's oil pan every day (Tractor, I'm not sure if you even own a car or if you just drive your redneckmobile everywhere, so just substitute the word "tractor" for truck...JK).

Damn, I gotta go...thanks to the Embers and Matt for putting this thing together. It literally is a life saver...I'll finish this when I'm back from the wedding...

Stay strong...

South Plainfield, NJ
LetsRoll 20040624 WOW...what a great feeling to wake up this morning and see my QUIT TRACKER reading 100 days quit!!

I'm going to approach this HOF moment by first thanking Matt who started QuitSmokeless.org! Without your vision and will to do something to help others, I'm not sure I would be sitting here dip free for 100 days! Your website, which you have so graciously opened up to the entire WORLD, has been the conduit for my quit! What an awesome use of the internet, to bring together men and women who have a similar problem they want to solve and allow them to communicate openly and honestly with each other, to allow them to totally support and push each other toward a common goal. 10-15 years ago so many of us would have continued on with our chew addicted lives, with nowhere to turn for help. Again Matt, you cannot be thanked enough for launching this site.

I want and need to thank my wife for supporting me and giving me the space I needed to change my life. Unlike so many other countless times I have tried to quit, this time I decided to involve my wife from day 1. The very day I joined QS.org and started posting, I came clean with my wife about my addiction and told her what I was going to do about it! I was going to quit for good this time and I told her I found this great website to help me do it. She has been very supportive and encouraging along the way. She has put up with my wild ass mood swings and crazy cravings and been there for me! She makes me want to be a better man and has been a big part of the reason for my quit!

I've decided that I'm not going to spend much time looking back. I made a poor decision 15 years ago and started chewing. That poor decision turned into a full-blown addiction that eventually took over a good part of my life and how I lived each day. Thank god I finally came to realize how much I hated my addicted lifestyle and searched for help. 100 days ago I sat at my computer with a chew in my lip and decided to register at QS.org and commit myself to quitting for good. It wasn't my birthday, or a holiday, or any special day. Just a day that I finally said enough is enough!

Lucky for me there is a bunch of incredible guys that were all going through the same thing, the same epiphany, and also decided to join QS.org about the same time. We are the BAMFOO of 2004. There were many that started in our group and faded away. For all of them that are not with our group now I hope they see this and know that they at one point or another played a role in my quit. I hope they show up in another group and find success! For the rest of BAMFOO that are fighting the fight today on their way to the HOF, I say thank you. I look at QS.org as a meeting place, a place to go where I know that I'm not alone. A place where I can go and talk to others that made a poor decision and lock arms with them on a path to correcting that poor decision! The October 2004 group is awesome! We are BAMFOO! We fought together through the early days and weeks of withdrawal and emerged strong and committed. We have fought back craves and tempting moments and emerged even stronger and more committed. I would not be entering the HOF if it were not for an incredible bunch of guys that locked arms with me! The HOF is only a stop on our journey. I hope we can all stay together and keep posting well beyond everyone's moment in the HOF. It's good to celebrate milestones and I promise to be there for each and every one of you as you hit the HOF!

TO ALL MY FELLOW BAMFOO...THANK YOU!

For anyone reading this that is thinking about joining this site as a way to help quit your addiction. PLEASE sign up and get involved. You can quit and it feels really good when you do!

Onward and upward! This speech is over and I'm heading for the stairway leading up the 2nd Floor!

Denver, CO
jd'snass 20040621 Let's start here...my name, JD'sNASS. Many of my friends from college call me JD. When I dipped for 17 years, I was "an ass". There you have it. If you ax my September brothers, they might have a different explanation for why I am an ass, but I digress.

My addiction started in 10th grade (in 1987). I had a close friend return from his elitist prep school and come to my public schools' Homecoming Carnival. After the bonfire and everything else we took a walk with a group of friends, probably to quickly down a few Bartles and James Wine Coolers or a couple Bud Pounders. We were too cool. On the way, my "friend" Andy whipped out a little white bag. It was Apple Jack. We had so much fun calling it "Apple Crack", that I decided to rip off a few pieces and shove it in my mouth. Thanks Andy, thanks a lot.

For some reason, over the next few years I continued to chew occasionally. I remember buying my first pouch of Beachnut, than it was Redman, than Redman Golden Blend, and finally, the Gold Standard of all chews, Lancaster. Black gold as all my friends called it. (If you have never had Lancaster, I suggest you try it. It's like spitting oil.) This continued until my freshman year in college.

In the meantime, I remember a car ride that same year with a couple friends that were seniors. They passed the green and orange tin of Hawken back to me. Being the cool kid, I decided to give it a try. (Do you remember the Saturday Night Live skit for Bad Idea Jeans? I was living it in that car.) From that night, I started buying myself the original Wintergreen Skoal, fine cut. It became a regular weekend event for me to have a few beers and than throw in a lipper. To this day, I can smell it. I could take off that lid and just about fall over from the pungent odor.

Speaking of odor, I was playing in a high school tennis match about 6 months later when another "friend" offered me the real black death, Copenhagen. Being the dipping fool that I thought I had become, I decided to throw one in. Well that lasted for about all of 5 minutes. If you are a dipper, you know what I'm talking about. The dry heaves started about 15 minutes later. What the f&#*!? This should have been the red flashing light that I needed, but no, I was a dipping fool, an ass.

The summer after my senior year in high school I decided to cut grass with a local landscaping company. Everyday I would tuck my pouch of chew into my Igloo cooler. This was really the beginning of my "hidden life". As the summer drew to a close, I kept telling myself that I would stop once I went to college in August. Guess what? It didn't happen quite like that.

Off I went to college with my Igloo cooler (for some reason). This quickly became the place for me to hide my chew in my closet in the dorm room. I wasn't sure what my roommate would think. "Wow, who's this hick from Pennsylvania?" I hid it for a while. Unfortunately, I had the greatest roommate ever. He would have been a buddy if he told me it was gross or disgusting, but no, he was just like, "...whatever dude. If you want to kill yourself, go ahead!" Again, what the f? Why wasn't the red light going off telling me that it might be time to stop this insanity?

I continued chewing over the next couple years. Trying to find a cube in the library out of the way so I could throw in a chew or a dip. For some reason, I decided in October of 1991 (my junior year) that I was done. Without much fanfare, I quit. Possibly this was the problem, I didn't have much fanfare. I quit for about 6 months. No problem whatsoever. I remember it clearly to this day, sitting in my awful rathole of an apartment and it was Opening Night of the baseball season, and for some reason, in Burlington, Vermont, my beloved Phillies were playing the New York Mets on TV! My roommate was a huge Mets fan, and well, what else can I say besides..."Now batting for the Phillies, #4, Centerfielder, Lenny Dykstra!"

I loved Lenny, huge wad of chew and all. I watched for about an inning, and then I headed to the local convenience store for a pouch. That was it. It's been downhill ever since that day!

Later that year, I started hanging around with a new group of guys. Guess what? We all dipped Mint Skoal! How great, what a cool way to hang out together and bond! You asshole. What the heck had I done.

I remember the next "I'll quit soon" moment was "I'll quit once I join the real world in the workforce." Wrong again, butthole. I've been through all of the "next times", "when I move back home with my parents, when I turn 30, etc., etc."

I've been through the same living hell that all dippers go through...sores in my mouth that would scare the shit out of me, avoiding the dentist like the plague, bleeding gums, running out of the office in the morning to sneak a dip, having a dip the instant I got in my car. It goes on and on.

To be frank, I'm an addict. Today I am on Day 107 without the dirt and I would still love to have a dip. How sick is that?

It all came to an end on June 14th, 2004. A friend of mine in the office came into my office and told me that he had found qs.org and that it was time for both of us to quit. Ironically, it was about 16 hours after my Grandmother had just died of cancer. No shit, I'm not making this up! His qs name is thisisit. We laughed and compared notes about how ridiculous it is that we had both thought about how we would commit suicide if we got cancer. What the f #8!!! Here we both were, 2 of the luckiest guys in the world talking about ending our lives because of our addictions. No thought of our families, it was plain and simple, just selfish.

I had agreed that I would quit "my buddy" the following Monday. I never thought I could do it, but I did. The fog, the unrest, all of it, I did it. The first week I went to bed about 9 pm each night and got up about 3. That sucked.

When you are a closet dipper like I was, the best piece of advice I can give anyone is to come clean with people closest to you and those you love. I came clean to my secretary first, then my brother, than my sister. Mom still doesn't know about my addicted secret life of 17 years, an addiction that has been overcome, I hope for life. It's the best gift that I could ever give to my family and to myself.

To all my September brothers, it has been one great trip. Thank you to each one of you, even you Kevin_412. Matt, you have helped me get part of my life back. Thank you so much.

p.s. The H.O.F. coin makes a terrific coin for Texas Hold-Em. I hope to carry mine next year when I play in the WSOP.

Bethlehem, PA
Lets Go Mountaineers 20040626

My story is no different from yours. We have never met, but yet I know you very well. You are addicted to smokeless tobacco and feel that you can never let go of the tin. If you are reading this then you have found the single best resource in the world to quit this habit – QuitSmokeless.org. I was about 16 years old and my best friend and I thought we would be real men and try some snuff. Well that was the day that Skoal wrapped its hands around my throat and for the next 13 years slowly began squeezing the life out of me. I mean to tell you I was hooked, I loved it more than anything in life. It defined who I was as a person, my daily schedule revolved around dipping and when I could get my next one in. Skoal wintergreen fine cut was my best friend. It was always there for me. It helped me through tough times, comforted me when I was weak, and helped me through the stresses of life. But one morning I woke up and finally realized that my best friend was slowly trying to kill me, leave my wife a widow, and leave my daughter without a father. It was that morning that I came back to this site, joined and started reading and posting, reading and posting. I mean I stayed on here all day, and you know what It worked. The greatest gift that this website provided me with was education. Education about nicotine addiction. I feel that the main reason I could never quit is because I did not give nicotine addiction as much credit as it deserved. I mean I knew I was addicted to smokeless tobacco, but never even once considered myself a drug addict. There I said it I am a drug addict, and I know now that I will always be a drug addict and will always battle this addiction for the rest of my life because of a stupid decision I made when I was 16 years old. I never knew that nicotine and tobacco were one of the most addicting drugs in the world today. I mean people can give up cocaine and heroin easier than we can quit smokeless tobacco. The biggest thing I hated about my addiction is that I was so ashamed of it that I began to hide it from my wife, the one person in this world that cares for me like no other. I would tell her that I quit, knowing full well it was a promise I could not keep. I lied and lied and lied to her about it, and was caught many times. I never lied because I did not want her to know that I chewed, I lied because I was so ashamed that it had such a tight grip on me that I could not quit. How could I tell my wife that I couldn’t quit. I mean its just snuff it should be easy. Through all the dark roads that this addiction has taken me on this is the one I regret the most. I have completely lost my wife’s trust, and part of the reason I came to this site was to gain it back. For most of my life I have been a closet dipper, thus making me a closet quitter. By the time you read this I will have told my wife about this site and my quit, because this is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life and I truly want to share it with her. I hope that this speech provides anyone with the insight to quit. I must say that it is possible and well worth the fight. Quitting isn’t easy, but nothing worth doing is. I still miss dip everyday that I’m alive but I also know that I enjoy my life much more now without it. And I know now that I will be able to kiss my wife every night and watch my baby girl grow up. 

Many members on this site have helped me more than you know, I would like to thank the following and if I left anyone out I am sorry: 

The April Fools: You guys were my first quit group, and although I could not walk into the HOF with you, I strongly feel that the reason I made it today was through things I learned while with you. 35YR.FOOL: It really helps to know that the people on here on indeed real people, thanks for the phone call and catching me that day on the road. I look forward to running into you again, and talking a little Wolfpack football. 

Gonnabeadaddy: I owe you a big thank you my friend, you were the one always pushing me to share this with my wife. Thanks for your advice and posts. I can’t describe what sharing this with her has meant. 

Tractor & Chainstrecher: Man I logged on during some difficult days and you two guys always had funny posts and stories to read. I can’t tell you enough what having the vets look after the rookies means. You guys are awesome, and thank-you. 

Tom Kerns & Family: I have never met you and unfortunatly never will, but you payed the ultimate price to keep me clean. I cannot begin to tell you what your story has meant to me and other members on this site. There were many days that I thought the hell with it, I will go ahead and have a dip. But thinking of your story always fought that away. There is a special place in heaven for you, and I have and will pray for your family everyday. 

Matt Van Wrk: I know everyone always thanks you in there speech, I hope you know how much we mean it. I don’t think that I could have done this without this site. You have helped many and will continue to do so. Thank you for creating a place where we feel like we are not alone. 

BAMFOO: 

What can I say, you guys are my boys. We have never met, but I owe you guys MY LIFE. I will always remember the early days when everyone was fighting there own little wars, but we always helped each other through. You guys were my cure for cancer. You helped me get through something that my wife and even the birth of my daughter could not. You managed to get a piece of shit like me off of smokeless tobacco. I owe you guys everything. I look forward to keeping up with all of you. We did it and will continue doing it every day. The fight is not over, it’s just beginning. I love all of you guys like brothers and will always remember the battle we won together. LetsRoll, madtown, Chesko, Chewy, Jman45, whodatter, NH Boy, Nickoakes, Mach1, shanks, doneferlife, Drewman, Rokay Rob, Pellaeon, Dizzy, DCoach, Sloopy and others. Thanks for everything. 

Jennifer Ann: I know that throughout our marriage this has been a black eye. I want you to know that I have truly put this behind me now. I am sorry for all the lies and deceit, it was not intentional. This addiction had me harder than I ever thought. Thank you for always being there for me, thanks for you support throughout my life. I am a better person due to you. This site has given me the strength to get through this and never lie to you again. You stayed with me through it all and never left. I never meant to hurt you, but just could not help it. I can’t wait to grow old with you, and spend the rest of our lives together. I love you very much. 

Rachel Taylor: The morning your mother went into labor with you, I stopped at the store on the way to the hospital to buy a can of snuff. Because I thought I needed it to get through. One day when you are old enough you will read this. I want you to know that you mean the world to me. I will spend the rest of my life trying to shield you from the clutches of addiction in any form. I can’t wait to show you all of the things that this world has in store for you. Thanks to some friends that daddy made here, I will be able to watch you grow up, take you to your first day of school, take you to your first game, walk you down the aisle, and watch you have kids of your own. Daddy is not perfect, never was and never will be. But I want you to know that I love you very much. I get a smile on my face every night when I pull in the driveway, because you come out screaming “My Daddy”, “My Daddy”. Now I know I will never lose that. You are the greatest gift I have ever been given, and like my signature line on here has always said: I only hope that I can grow up to be the person you think I am. I love you very much. 

Lets Go Mountaineers – 100 Days – 1 Lifetime Saved.

Havelock, NC
doneferlife 20040628 Howdy.

100 days. It sorta feels like I quit just yesterday. In other ways it seems like a million years ago.

At the 100 day mark, they say I'm supposed to write a HOF speech...I'm not much for speeches, but i can talk for a while.