Enough S’nuff: How I kicked the can and quit tobacco for good

I hear the term “addictive personality” every once in awhile, and I am pretty sure I have one.  According to the internets, an addictive personality refers to a particular set of personality traits that make an individual predisposed to developing addictions.  I have always thought there was a positive side and a negative side to having an addictive personality.  I would attribute my dedication and disciplined approaches to work, exercise, and nutrition as positive addictions.  However, the negative side has been a dominant force throughout my life.  Since the young age of 11 I have battled an addiction to nicotine and tobacco.  This has been a constant struggle and I have officially quit smoking  or chewing only to turn to the other.  For over half of my life, I have quit chewing / dipping a few times, each time I returned for some type of expected comfort.  I have gone nicotine free for fourteen months, eight months, and two months before.  I have tried prescription drugs and nicotine lozenges / gum with only temporary success.

The day my first son was born, I decided to take my last dip of snuff ever.  When being a dad got tough, I took my last first dip ever.  It wasn’t until I saw my son spit, emulating his daddy, that I got serious.  Until that point, my tobacco use was just affecting my life, right?  Kids have a way of showing you just what you look like when they repeat your actions.  How could I tell my son he can’t spit but I could?

I reflected and analysed my previous attempts at quitting.  The prescription meds worked for the longest time, but the side effects and dreams were too scary to use again.  The gum and lozenges make me sick to my stomach and I know people that are more dependent on their lozenges than they ever were on their cigarettes.  I thought I would have to go cold turkey again.  Just remove something from your life without filling the void?  That was a recipe for disaster.

That was when I found Teaza pouches.  Teaza is basically a flavored tea bag that you can dip.  There was no transition period.  For me, it was just a complete swap over.  After the three hardest days, I didn’t miss the nicotine.  I didn’t miss the spit cans, or keeping secrets from my family, or the mood swings throughout the day.  I didn’t miss the dependency.  I didn’t miss the planning that went into making sure I had enough snuff to get through the work day.

My attempts to quit in the past had failed because I didn’t have a reward for quitting.  I would be proud for a few weeks or months and then think “What did I get for this?  Nothing? Okay, I guess I have nothing to lose if I go back.”  Or I would forget what quitting was like and rationalize that I could always just quit again.

With Teaza, I still get the act of dipping.  I am putting something into my body that is not harmful (caffeine notwithstanding).  I am completely nicotine free.  And I sometimes forget about it for whole days.  I can go days without it.  I am in control.

I am going strong for 7 months now.  I don’t even think about snuff anymore.  I don’t consider getting a can even when I expect to be traveling or drinking.  Teaza is there when I think I need something in my mouth.  It keeps me from drinking too many sodas or snacking throughout the day out of boredom.  It lets me focus on what is important.  Teaza fills the void I have needed to fill for 25 years.  For that, I am so appreciative.

What does this have to do with running?  Well, I have found that Teaza is also great as a caffeine supplement during workouts.  When I run with a Teaza pouch, I don’t get dry mouth, water tastes great (flavored), and I get a better workout.  The last one is probably a total placebo effect but I will take it.  My intervals are faster and my long runs are longer.  In fact, I took a Teaza to hammer out the last 5 miles of my last marathon at my targeted pace.  You probably know the closer you are to that finish line, the louder you mind is screaming at you to stop.  Teaza was my mental hack that day and most workouts since.

If you are a tobacco user, try Teaza.  If you aren’t, but just want to try something different, try Teaza.  There are several flavors and variety packs available.  Let me know what you think!

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