About the Author

January 11th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

My name is Matt and I started this website and blog because I am addicted to nicotine and snuff tobacco.

I started dipping snuff when I was around 12 years old, starting with the ‘easy’ stuff, ya know Hawken, Kodiak, Skoal Bandits… etc. My first year of high school, I was introduced to Copenhagen snuff by a long time friend and have been addicted to that brand ever since. It sickens and shames me to admit it, but that was 24 years ago.

Yeah, Copenhagen has been there through high school, the Marine Corps, College, numeous jobs, numerous relationships, good times, bad times, and everything in between. I can honestly say that other than breathing, eating, and sleeping I have had no other habit or ritual that has been that consistent in my life… not working out, going to church, or watching football.

From age 12 to 18 I was a closet addict, not out of choice really, but necessity because it’s not legal in school and my parents would have killed me. Only my other guy friends and my brother knew that I dipped snuff. The best chance that I had to quit using and overcome the addiction at an early age, was after Marine Corps boot camp at age 19. Thirteen weeks with no Copenhagen and nicotine, but more importantly the associative habits were gone. All the experts agree, that it is the mental and associative aspect of snuff tobocco addiction that is the hardest to overcome. I had my chance, and I blew it three days after leaving Parris Island.

The age of 22 was another important chapter in my addiction to snuff tobacco and nicotine. While at college, in order to fill my increasing need for Copenhagen more throughout the day, I stopped spitting the juice out to be able to do it in class without grossing everyone out with a spit cup. At first it was hard to handle, then after a few years it became second nature. Without the need to spit, I could dip where ever and when ever I wanted, and more honestly, needed.

Through my late 20′s about the only times you would not catch me with a dip of Copenhagen in my mouth, was sleeping, church, or around my girlfriend. Yes, that means that I dipped at work, social functions, bars, restaurants, games, driving, working out, hiking, mountain biking, and of course always after eating. Not having the need to spit and taking small dips, enabled me to be in nicotine heaven for about 80% of every day.

The real turning points for me personally, came in my early 30′s as I began to date the woman who would eventually become my wife, and as I started to be more successful in my career. We’ll start with the later point first. Even though most of my work meetings would only last for 30-45 minutes, I could not and would not, resist the urge to have that dip of Copenhagen in my mouth. Now keep in mind, I didn’t take huge dips and spit in a cup, but I know if I am honest, I know that most of the customers knew that I had something in my mouth and since it never changed places it was either some form of tobacco or a genetic defect. The addiction was so bad at this point, that I stopped caring about my personal or professional appearance to others.

Which brings me to the other turning point… starting to date my future wife. When she and I first started dating at 31, I hid my Copenhagen and nicotine addiction for about the first year and a half.  I would do the more socially acceptable habit when we were together, smoke. While it was not my preference, it got me my fix and kept the demons at bay. It also hid any addiction factors, because most of the time we would have a drink or two, so I could use the ever popular, “I’m a social smoker, I only smoke when I drink”. Although she didn’t really like the smoking, as she is not a tobacco user, she just thought it was one of those things I would stop if things progressed and she asked me to.

As she and I started to spend more time together, it became increasingly difficult to hide my tobacco and nicotine addiction. After all, something I didn’t mention is that I love to run, work out, and eat healthy. Having run several marathons, I know how important not smoking is and how it affects your performance. We would go to the gym together and ride bikes together almost every time we were together, so I was forced to tell her about my snuff tobacco use and my nicotine addiction. Needless to say, she was not thrilled to learn about it, but was confident that I would have no problem kicking the habit, because she didn’t understand the severity. She said the same thing others did that knew me and my addiction, “how can you be so diciplined to eat right and work out, but not enough to quit the snuff?” The bottom line is that I am so addicted that I pretty much have Copenhagen in mouth at all times, even around my wife, barring intimate times of course. The addiction is so strong that I just expect her and everyone else around me to deal with my addiction. It is not right.

Well, that pretty much brings us to our current point in time. Thanking God, I am not going to tell you that I have developed mouth cancer and am dying, but I know that if I keep letting my addiction win, it will only be a matter of time before I am writing those words. So I decided to quit Copenhagen snuff and all forms of tobacco starting on January 1, 2009. I have tried to quit dozens of times and have used nicotine gum and patches, cold turky, Welbutrin, and Mint Snuff. Obvisously none of them have worked to this point, but I can’t fault the products or methods, I fault myself for not being truly ready. 

I am ready now and that is why I created this blog. To share my journey and story, and maybe help a few other people along the way. I find that writing about my addiction helps me, and may give me that extra push I need to get over the top this time. I’m not promising a lifetime of being tobocco and nicotine free at this point, I’m just going to commit to trying to be each and every day for the rest of my life. I will be using the assistance of nicotine patches for the first month to ease the physical withdrawl symptoms. Aside from that, I will be eating healthy, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, and of course sharing my thoughts and feelings every day.

I hope this helps or at least gives you some insite to an addiction that is often brushed aside as just a lack of will power.

God Bless,

Matt

  1. Murphy
    January 23rd, 2009 at 00:06 | #1

    Dear Matt, thanks for putting this site up. I’ve not read forward yet to see how it’s going as we get to the tail end of January, but if you are still clean or have slipped, we can kick this thing!

    I say we, because I started Skoal & Red Man in college when I was 20 and quit Copenhage (and all other tobacco) on December 17th 2009 at the age of 50! A few months ago I stared feeling something in the back of my mouth and after a month or so of still feeling it, was pretty much convinced that it was cancer. My doctor looked at it and referred me to a Otolaryngologist (HEAD AND NECK SURGERY) and I had an exam. They probed and looked and even stuck a camera down my nose into my neck, past the voice box (not as unpleasant of an experience as it sounds) and he said: “I can tell you right now that it’s not cancer”

    How sweet was that to hear? As I was going home I ran into one of my friends (who did not even know that I did tobacco) and told her that I had just left an exam with a surgeon with no follow-ups scheduled! I damn near started crying when I was telling her. I had not told one single person about my fears, or even that I had quit.

    By the time I had the exam, I have 27 days off tobacco under my belt. In the 25+ years of daily hard core use, I had 2 weeks (after a gall bladder removal) when I did not dip snuff. I started again back then after going to a party and a friend had Copenhagen there.

    When I finally quit on 12/17/09, I made up my mind to buy a new Macbook as reward – before I quit – and even though I could not really afford it. How many times over the years have I done that? (buy something big and rationalized that if I quit snuff…) Oh, about 100! Well, this time I went to Costco first and to the rack of nicotine replacement tools. I’d done no research on what would work best, or dose, but I saw the “Commit Lozenges” – and just grabbed the best deal – the 2mg 216 pack. With those in hand I went out and bought the Macbook (it was a one day sale on the 17th) – spitting out the last chew before I went into the store. It was not the exact one I wanted, but it was the one that would not put my card over the top.

    I had 3 weeks off from work ahead of me, so my only job was to NOT start using again. The new fast computer and an amazing amount of snow over those 3 weeks helped to get me over the hump.

    After reading up on “Commit” and the gum, patch – I found that the commit was not recommended for chewers, but after talking to one of the coaches at “Free & Clear” (tobacco quitting program through my insurance) they said it’s whatever works. Being I bought the first 12 weeks worth of “Commit” out of pocket (the nicotine replacement products are $15 off at Costco until Jan 25th), I have the option of 8 more weeks of product FREE through the program. My insurance is also really good for pharmacy if I need to go to them.

    25 would have been a much better age to quit, but 50 is a hell of a lot better than never!

    Good luck to you my friend. I am going to pass your website on to the coach from the “Free & Clear” program, and any others I find.

    I know that there are tough times ahead for me and all of us who fight this, but it’s good to see others kicking it’s ass at the same time.

    Take Care,

    Murphy

  2. Michael
    March 24th, 2009 at 13:09 | #2

    Good Luck, I’m on the verge of joining you.

    I was surfing the net to see if there were resources on quitting snuff and came across your blog. Its like looking in the mirror. I started at age 17, I am now 37. Everything else in my life is pretty healthy except this. Not many people even know of my addiction (or would believe) and yes I hid it from every girl I ever dated for the first 6 months…I also used social smoking to cover up in public, that’s been a disaster on my running and biking.

    No pressure, but I’ll be reading so lead the way!!

  3. johnny
    January 3rd, 2010 at 18:41 | #3

    Hey there Matt,

    Are you still successful about a year later? I stumbled across your site in my quit process, and it’s been really helpful. I’ve been dipping Cope snuff for almost three years, tried to quit 4 or 5 times; i was up to 1 can/day, so this is hell right now.
    Take it easy.

  4. Tim
    May 22nd, 2010 at 06:10 | #4

    Matt…I found your blog today after doing a quick search about how many mg’s of nicotine are in Copenhagen. Great information, thank you. I hope that you are still winning the battle against your nicotine addiction as I have started my 4th real attempt at quitting after 20+ years of Copenhagen. Your story is very similar to mine. I started dipping in H.S., and have “quit” only 3 times since. The first was the 3 months of Parris Island, 2nd was OCS and the 3rd last year for 6 months(my longest to date). I didn’t last 3 hours before I bought my first can after boot camp. The Marines don’t really make it easy for me to quit as I am surrounded by it everyday and the urge is always there. Finding sites like yours reaffirms me that I am doing the right thing so thank you for your story. Semper Fi!

  5. David
    June 7th, 2010 at 15:01 | #5

    Hi Matt,

    I can relate all to well to your blog. I started when I was 12 or 13 years old and I am now 38. I have not wanted to stop except to maybe save the money. But I also, dip at work or anywhere else I want, 80% of the time I have a dip. I do not have gum or teeth trouble. Not even one cavity my whole life. I hope you are able to quit, I do know how bad the addiction is.

  6. Clay
    December 10th, 2010 at 19:36 | #6

    Matt- i am just 24 hours quit and surfin the web to get motivation resources.. this is awesome!!! helping me for sure.. please let us know your status

  7. Nathan
    January 25th, 2011 at 22:42 | #7

    Hey Matt, Copenhagen has got to be the worst addiction in the world. I hope you and all the other folks who replied are having a good go at quitting. I started Skoal at 15, and was doing a can of Copenhagen a day by 19, I was doing over a can a day by 21, and had been gutting it for as long as I remember. If I could quit anybody can. Just get serious and have a good reason, stay tough. One tip that helped me: In the first few days after you quit, there will be times of delusion or confusion, when things are just kinda blurry. Those were the times when I felt like I needed it the worst, I would rationalize that I physically NEEDED it. Don’t give in to it, because you dont need it, you dont need cancer, you dont need to die without watching your kids grow up. Anyway, the tip is to slap your face or just yell really loud to snap out of the foggy mind games. Other than that drink lots of water, and eat some peanuts to replace the salt thats in Copenhagen. Wheatgrass was a must have for me, I would chew on it and stick it in for a “dip”. It is also very healthy and is said to pull toxins out of your mouth, hey Jesus chewed on wheatgrass, must be somethin to it. Stay tough and overcome!

  8. April 24th, 2011 at 18:02 | #8

    I have been using powdered snuff for over 20 years and it has become a very expensive habit. I want to quit, but I am afraid of the withdrawls. Any advice would be great.

    Katrina

  9. Chris
    October 8th, 2011 at 14:05 | #9

    Hey Matt just wanted to say thanks for this website. I had my first dip of Skoal when I was in high school and used off and on over the years. I am now 27 and for the past several years it has gotten increasingly worse. My product of choice is Copenhagen Long Cut. I go through about a can every few days. Like Tim in an earlier post I found your blog after searching how much nicotine is in dip. I am now one day clean. I look forward to reading your blogs as well as other people’s comments to help me in my fight against the addiction.

  10. Philip Brotman
    December 21st, 2011 at 23:47 | #10

    I was addicted to Nicotine For 26 Yrs Bad ,It was my Best Friend ,my companion ,my happiness all in a little dip I quit Dec,9 2009 ,Probably one the hardest things I ever did, The crazy part is the drug doesn’t make you any happier or fulfilled,all you are doing is chasing a high the entire day ,you are a puppet on a string being control,d by a chemical .Its insanity just don’t do it you will feel so powerful after time passes.Also my mood swings are way less this stuff makes you freaking nuts ,it won’t be easy but anything worth anything in life isn’t easy .

  11. charlotte
    December 28th, 2011 at 17:39 | #11

    Matt, thank you for putting up this site. As I write this my mom is 62 years old and addicted to snuff. She is visiting for Christmas and over a two week time period I have watched her go through 8 boxes of Navy. I am sick to my stomach as I write this because she constantly complains about not feeling well but does not associate the poison she is in jesting to be the cause. You should see her teeth and I want to help her. What should I do?

  12. Simone
    February 28th, 2012 at 16:53 | #12

    Matt, Thanks for this website. My husband has been chewing snuff since he was 14. He has stomach issues and esophagus issues as well and may possibly need throat surgery, but the doctors haven’t confirmed that it is the snuff usage that is causing this. He used to only chew Skoal, but in the last 2 years moved on to Copenhagen and has “tried” quitting, more to humor me. I have watched his addiction destroy our marriage because his need for the snuff is more powerful than anything and he will spend every last penny we have on filling his addiction, even taking money intended for bills. We have tried everything to help him control it or to quit completely, but his addiction is so strong that he has made the decision that he would rather have his addiction that his wife and children, so he is no longer living with us. I told him that when he is ready to overcome the addiction, I will be there for him.

  13. Devin
    July 30th, 2012 at 21:11 | #13

    Hi Matt and all,

    I have used either cope or kodiak over the last 20-21 years. I have set my quit date to go cold turkey for 14 August. I have quit twice during this time span.
    The first time i was in an auto accident and they took me to the hospital because they thought i had brain damage. i was throwing up and my pupils were all dialated, but it wasnt from brain damage, it was from swallowing my dip. This lasted for about a year, but i was in the military and when all your buddies are dipping, its easy to get that “fix”
    The second time was about 8 years ago and i went for six months, but then got an urge and started up again.
    I am going to try the cold turkey approach again. I feel what you and others have posted. I never see the actual risk reduction posted for if you quit, you lower your risk of cancer, etc by this much after so and so amount of time. Sometimes you wonder, hey something is going to kill me, at least this is my own little vice. its going to be this or some other mystery way. or i would think, hey even if i quit i have a good chane of dying of this cancer or that anyways for my ill judgement by dipping in the first place.
    A little glimmer of hope i have in my mind is that although there are no published reports of how much the risk is lowered, i feel that the positive effects on both my health and how i feel will outway the negatives of continuing.
    I wish all of you luck, and hope you wish me the same. My coworker still chews so i will have just block that out.

  14. Kirk
    October 18th, 2012 at 20:14 | #14

    Like Clay listed above, I am on my first day of quitting with the help of the patch and Gum and I am still having struggles. I am motivated to keep going but the symptoms are tough. I started off years ago as a casual user and then became one can per day user. This is too much and need to stop the cycle of over 30 years of use. I can relate to many of the stories listed and for today it was what I needed to read. Hope to all to stay Quit

  15. Dave
    January 1st, 2013 at 10:50 | #15

    Hey Matt , I am 43 and have been chewing snuff since I was about 15. I have quit several times over the years with no avail. The longest being 27 days. I have tried everything under the sun. 4 days ago I decided to give it another whirl. I came across this stuff called ” Smokey Mountain premium Herbal snuff” in wintergreen. It is Tobacco free.Check out the web site at http://www.smokeysnuff.com. It has only been 4 days but it’s takeing the edge off and by now I would have allready yelled at my wife and kids.I have a 2 and 6 year old running around the house and I feel good , which is really wierd. So we shall see , so far so good.

  16. idk
    February 13th, 2013 at 18:47 | #16

    I just got out of a 2 month coma I’m still dippin all day everyday

  17. Rich
    March 15th, 2013 at 21:59 | #17

    Matt,
    I can definately relate to your story! At the age of 13, I began dipping skoal, I was suspended from school (in Junior High) for dipping in class. While I was attending Saturday make-up for the 3 days that I was suspended, I was caught dipping again and recieved an additional 7 days of out of school suspension. I suppose that it doesn’t help that this was about the same time that my alcoholic tendecies reared their ugly head. I am now 45 years old and haven’t had a drink in over 14 years. When I go in to the doctor for my yearly physicals, I didn’t tell him that I dipped and every I used the results of every physical to justify that I wouldn’t worry about cancer (after all, the doctor said he wished that his numbers were as good as mine were). To make a long story short, I quit dipping (cold-turkey) 10 days ago and I would have thought that the symptoms would be subsiding by now, but each day, I seem to be more edgey than I was the day before. How long will this last? Today, i strongly considered buying a can just to curb the symptoms. I thought that quitting drinking was tough! That was a walk in the park compared to this!!!!!!! Thanks for you blog! I will be checking back frequently to follow uo with your progress as well as to let you know how I’m doing.

  18. Rich
    March 15th, 2013 at 22:11 | #18

    Matt,
    Just to add to my previous post. I, like you rarely spent a woken moment without a dip in. I dipped in my upper lip because it was far less visible and I “had” a mustache which also helped to disquise it. I couldn’t wait for my wife to leave to go shopping or something so I could get my fix. Luckily, my workplace just went to a tobacco free workplace which meant that I could no longer dip at work so I figured this was the right time to quit.

  19. Dale
    May 5th, 2013 at 19:09 | #19

    Hi Matt, I know this is a very late post but I hope you have had success. My story is similar to yours except I am 55. I started with Skoal at age 16 and then moved up to Copenhagen shortly after that. I was introduced to Copenhagen by a friend. At first the feeling was great. I always thought that I could quit at any time. Well I have quit 4 times since. The longest I went was 3 years. During that time, I found I was still getting cravings. They would come and go. Each time the cravings were stronger and I found I was dipping again. I have now been back to dipping for 10 years since the last time I quit. My day starts with a dip. I then dip constantly through the day. I dip at work, at home, at the gym. I dip until I go to bed each night. This stuff is really powerful. I am addicted and hope to someday quit for good. I have been fortunate that my health is good. I have some gum recession but still have my teeth. They are stained but still there. I know what you are going through and I wish you much success.

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