“Do You Spit...or Swallow?”

April 20, 2020

This is one of the first questions I ask a client who comes to me for hypnosis to stop using chewing tobacco. In my 18-year career as a hypnosis practitioner, I have helped many men (and one woman) free themselves from their unwanted dipping/snuffing/chewing habit. Most of these clients have received their hypnotherapy sessions with me online – when word got out that this is a specialty of mine and people from different parts of the country reached out to me.

The chewing tobacco habit is like the smoking one in that both pollute the body with not only nicotine, but also a daunting selection of other toxic chemicals including formaldehyde, lead, arsenic, ammonia, radioactive elements, and more. Exposure to these toxins create damage to the cells in the body, increasing risk of cancer and other disease.

Beyond the physical damage tobacco can cause, living as a slave to these products erodes a person’s sense of independence and self-control. In today’s less-than-tolerant society, users of smokeless tobacco often feel a need to hide their habit from others, sneaking it in privately. Often, family and friends pressure them to stop, fearing dire consequences will happen to their loved one.

Folks learn how to use tobacco, often when they are young. Some may have watched a relative or a coach, or a friend, “enjoy” the effects of smokeless tobacco and emulated them. They may not even have liked the taste, but they soon got hooked on the feeling the product gave them. The chemicals in tobacco are perfectly orchestrated to provide a rush of pleasure – nicotine is a “dopamine imposter” and mimics that feel-good neuropeptide.

Some people are surprised to hear that tobacco is not only cured in sugar, but sugar is added to smokeless products to not only improve the taste but to double that pleasure rush. But, while that rush may feel good temporarily, it sets into a play another physical response: as the blood glucose levels quickly rise, the pancreas releases insulin to regulate them. And, following that initial nicotine hit, the adrenal glands respond by releasing stress hormones adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine, also known as the fight or flight response.

You can imagine how, over time, this gets rather exhausting to the body. Many users of tobacco note that their energy levels diminish as the day goes on. This is also why tobacco contributes to premature aging of the body systems; they simply wear down and become vulnerable to disease and general burnout!

Dentists report that they can immediately discern which patients use smokeless tobacco. Keratosis, thickened white patches of skin, is apparent in the mouth where users tuck the tobacco and can appear shortly after starting the habit. These spots increase the risk for oral cancer but will disappear following the stopping of tobacco use.

If I have not yet made the case for stopping the use of tobacco, this may be of interest: nicotine constricts blood vessels. You can imagine what this means for circulation. We depend on a healthy circulatory system to pump oxygen-rich blood throughout our body and to remove waste materials. Restriction of the flow of blood can be catastrophic for people who are diabetic, have issues in their extremities or even suffer from skin problems. Poor circulation also plays a role in erectile dysfunction (how are things in the bedroom?!).


The truth is that most people do not want to hurt themselves. They know that using tobacco is harming them in some way and they would like to stop, but they find it difficult to do so on their own. Nicotine Replacement Therapy can help ease away from tobacco use but it does not work toward changing the psychological dependency that is in place. This is where hypnosis can play a powerful role.

Hypnosis not only helps with any withdrawal symptoms, providing ways to move out of discomfort quickly, it addresses the psychological dependency of tobacco use. Within a hypnosis session, we disconnect the associations to the habit that have sustained it, helping you to free yourself forever! And, the experience is interesting and comfortable for you. Many of my clients have said that it’s like a window that was previously sealed shut has been opened, allowing them to not only make this positive change but to imagine and begin to take action on other life goals!

Ready to stop worrying about whether you need to spit or swallow? Call me. Kelley 360-333-8577





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The Great Eavesdropper

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About Kelley

Kelley Woods I'm a hypnotist living and working here in beautiful Skagit County in Northwest Washington. Besides helping people improve their lives through hypnosis, I love boating, hiking our forestlands, and playing with my family and friends!