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My world of Nicotine -- a HOWTO of chew.

By Profane Motherfucker in Culture
Wed May 08, 2002 at 07:54:01 AM EST
Tags: Focus On... (all tags)
Focus On...

The shit has its hooks in me. I've tried every form of the substance known to the white man since the 1600s. In my house at this moment, I have a tin of snuff, a pack of Lucky Strikes, and a tin of Kodiak.

I smoke, but chew is my preferred medium -- and for good reason.

Even to a pathetic smoker, the world of chew is one of gauche depravity. As one who partakes of the Lucky Strikes whilst boozing, I don't understand why. There's little more disgusting than having the smell of a burning plant cling to your every pore, soil your clothing, and yellow your fingers.

Chew, on the other hand, only yellows your teeth, and soils your social reputation. Quite the fucking improvement, I must say.

One chew manufacturer has an iron-grip on the market
Unlike cigarettes, where selection is bountiful, here in the United States, one manufacturer monopolizes the chew market in a way that makes every Microsoft and Verizon exec crap his pants with glee. American Tobacco -- the godfather of the chew business. They sell Copenhagen, Rooster, and the ubiquitous Skoal brands, which, by my guess, are at least 90 percent of the market. Conwod Company produces my preferred brand, Kodiak. They also produce Xtreme, a debutant in the chew field.

As one who has tarnished his lip with every brand sold at the local Cigarette Outlet, I shall impart this nugget of knowledge: they all do the job. What doesn't do the job is the cheapass ghetto shit that one is tempted to purchase when it comes down to buying some dip, or doing laundry. Never settle for any of the bush league shit. They cost a hell of a lot less, but the quality is so substandard, it's a disgrace. If you wish to fatten your lip with a known carcinogen, at least have some dignity: get a decent can of chew.

The Nomenclature of Chew
Chew comes in two basic forms: fine cut, or snuff as it's sometimes called, and long cut. True snuff is for inhalation, but in this case snuff refers only to size of tobacco -- puny. Copenhagen bucks this trend by offering a mid-cut that splits the difference. Fine cut is pure shit. Don't bother. The stuff has the consistency of coffee grounds, and tends to find its way into every gap of your teeth possible -- from incisor to molar. Cleanup is a nightmare. I don't understand how one can chew it. The stuff is all over the mouth. Tame that chew! I stick with long cut.

If the can sitting on my desk is a good representative sample, long cut ranges from 2mm to 4mm shards, about .5mm thick -- like a mechanical pencil lead. Once in the lip, it stays put. That's what you want.

American Tobacco has a splendid color-coding system for their chews: silver topped cans contain fine cut, and gold-topped cans contain long cut. This is handy when the clerk hands you the wrong chew. You can accost her as she stares blankly at the rack. Yell "Gold top! GOLD TOP!"

A substandard chew, like Rooster or Red Seal, will have a wide variety of size in one can, neither long cut, nor fine cut. They also seem fond of filling the tin with stem pieces. That is not quality control, quality assurance.

An odd duck in the mess are Skoal Bandits. Unless you are in high school, or trying to hide this from your wife/girlfriend/employer, this is not recommended. Even if you are trying to hide it, better options exist. I'll explain this later.

Skoal Bandits have the tobacco in little teabag-like pouches, about 2cm long, and 1 cm across. The idea being that one can ditch the bag, having easy cleanup and none of the turf tooth that comes with normal chew disposal.

Not only do they have a shitty value, giving you precious little nicotine and tobacco, but the stuff in the bags is of such poor quality that I get pissed just thinking about it. I cut one open once, and the fucker was full of what looked like sand, sprinkled with chew. I had to stuff so many in my mouth just to get any buzz that my $4 can was gone in under three hours. This defeats the purpose. Perhaps they're good for weaning yourself, in the horrific event of quitting, but I've never tried that.

It's like a carcinogenic Baskin Robbins
As flavors go, the selection is rather simple: minty ones, and everything else.

In the Skoal line:

  • Wintergreen
  • Mint
  • Spearmint
  • Cherry
  • Classic
  • Key
  • Straight

    In the Copenhagen line:

  • Classic (unflavored)
  • Bourbon (only available in mid-cut)

    For Kodiak:

  • Wintergreen
  • Ice
  • Xtreme (which is technically it's own brand, but I include it here just to simply things).

    Straight, Key, and Classic, among others, require a bit of explanation as to their flavor. Straight: a sweet, tangy mix that has a molasses flavor, spiced with a touch of mint. That's my best guess.

    Key: Industrial Strength unflavored, dosed with a hefty shot of ammonia to increase its pH and enhance nicotine delivery. The taste and odor are offensive, even to a long-time chewer like me.

    Classic: Unflavored tobacco. I see zero difference between Skoal Classic, and Copenhagen Classic.

    Bourbon: A rather new entrant from Copenhagen, taking the idea of things like Tequiza or Desperados beer, and applying it to chew. It has a bourbon flavor. If one is trying to chew surreptitiously, avoid this at all costs. You will be mistaken for an alcoholic, as the smell in your cubicle will resemble that of a Jim Beam soaked drunkard.

    Xtreme: Wintergreen flavor.

    Ice: Same as Mint.

    Among the mint family, the differences are subtle, but readily apparent once you throw a pinch in the lip. Mint is a peppermint flavor -- strongly peppermint. The other two, just as their names imply.

    The perfect dip explained
    Brand and flavor preference aside, there's only one-way to obtain a good dip: proper packing. If the chew is loose in the can, it will be loose in your mouth. You want that dirty wad packed tight. I do this:
    Grab the tin of chew in your hand, holding its circumference with your middle finger and thumb, making a C shape. With your index finger relaxed on top, give the can two or three quick snaps. This does two things: the action of your wrist forces the chew along one edge, and the finger motion shakes frees the loose pieces from the side whereby they can become compacted. It also creates a thumping sound, announcing your addiction to the rest of the world.

    Ritual is key here, just as with smoking. Think of this like packing your smokes. It establishes you as an initiate in the world of cancer and lymphoma.

    Now the chew can be enjoyed.

    I take rather large dips, by virtue of my addiction. Size is entirely a matter of personal preference, but for maximum effect, grab a dip about as large as the pad on your index finger. I tell people this because large people tend to have large hands, and therefore need a larger dip to obtain the proper effect, and vice versa.

    Placement is key. Two locations work best: lower lip, right along the gum directly in front, or immediately opposite this on top. Putting a chew in your upper lip next to your incisors is only for when the lower lip has been chewed raw, and is too tender. I find that the upper lip is more sensitive, and therefore more effective for nicotine delivery, but it looks extremely base. Only do this in private. I'm doing this now, because you cannot see me. But in public, or on the jobsite, I opt for the more socially acceptable lower lip.

    Any derivation of location has consequences. Failure to place the dip in the center will result in Chew Migration - a malady where the chew hops up over the teeth, and into the mouth at large. I hate the shit in my mouth, so I've learned to avoid this. Please, take my advice. You're not a ballplayer; so don't try the side mouth. That's a disaster waiting to happen. If you swallow your chaw, you will vomit.

    Disposing of juices
    Only the diehards swallow. Don't be a hero. Don't swallow. You will vomit.


    A pop can with the top pushed in works well to spit into, and can be easily disposed of. I use a coffee cup sometimes, a mason jar in a jam, or a beer bottle if I'm hitting the sauce. At the movies, or in your cube at work, a fountain pop works best. Spit into the straw. This can be left on your desk, and it traps all the odors. Getting your technique just right so you don't overload the straw takes some practice, but this method is by far and away the incognito way to spit. It looks as if you're sipping some rather thick Coke.

    Dechewifying your mouth
    A moderate size dip will last about 30 minutes. You can go longer, but the flavor is gone quicker than with a piece of shitty bubble gum. I've yet to find an easy, clean method for doing this. With rare exception, I just grab the chaw out of my mouth and throw it into the sink, and rinse with some water. Some chew aficionados will use their lips and tongue to spit the chew out, but I find that this leaves a great deal of residue, and rinsing is still obligatory. Nevertheless, do be polite. I personally don't care if you drop the load into a drinking fountain, or restroom sink, but others might. Moreover, since they probably think you are an unwashed savage just by chewing, don't give them any ammunition.

    Parting thoughts
    It took me about a year to develop a hardcore psychological addiction. Cans cost from $3.50 to $4.50, depending on your locale. Though it's cheaper to purchase a log (10 cans in a roll), I find this practice too gauche and too shameful. I'd rather go quietly, one or two cans a time.

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    My world of Nicotine -- a HOWTO of chew. | 123 comments (101 topical, 22 editorial, 1 hidden)
    It was my understanding (3.00 / 2) (#7)
    by cyclopatra on Tue May 07, 2002 at 11:21:57 PM EST

    ...that snuff is for snorting, which might explain why it doesn't work for chewing. This is borne out by a quick search on snuff, which shows it being hawked separately from chewing tobacco, and as a 'nasal tobacco' product (which sounds awfully strange, but there you go).

    All your .sigs are belong to us.
    remove mypants to email

    Only some snuff is for snorting (4.00 / 1) (#22)
    by wanders on Wed May 08, 2002 at 01:33:24 AM EST

    There's yer dry snuff which is made for snorting (this hurts like hell, apparently, and why wouldn't it?). Then there's your wet snuff, which is what I suppose could be the "fine-cut" author has stumbled upon. The correct way to (ahem) enjoy that is to roll it into a tight ball with your fingers and place it under your (upper) lip.

    Over here in Sweden (where it's called snus), it also comes in tiny little tea bags which makes the whole process a lot more simple.

    [ Parent ]
    Note to self: (none / 0) (#23)
    by wanders on Wed May 08, 2002 at 01:35:19 AM EST

    Read the article, before commenting. That is all.


    [ Parent ]
    Actually... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Profane Motherfucker on Wed May 08, 2002 at 01:40:50 AM EST

    I wish some sort of track changes thing was present -- versioning is an issue when the changes are invisible, and especially when comments refer to an outdated version of the text. I changed it specifically in response to this poster's comment.

    It was unclear, and the previous comment was correct.

    [ Parent ]

    Why I'm voting this up (4.76 / 13) (#11)
    by maveness on Tue May 07, 2002 at 11:59:26 PM EST

    NOT because I think chewing tobacco is cool. Please, let me assure you, as a card-carrying female person, that I cannot imagine ANY combination of good looks, Einsteinian brilliance, wicked humor, and/or heart of gold would induce me to kiss a person with a chaw.

    Allow me to be clear: yuck.

    The explicit detail of this article pretty much does my work for me. It might be improved by a couple of links to really graphic pictures of diseased mouths, but we can leave that as an exercise for the reader.

    Profane, my man, I wish you well, but I gotta wonder why you would deliberately sign yourself up for this remarkably repulsive habit. Doesn't life offer up sufficient opportunities for shame and rejection without purposefully seeking them out? Or is it easier just to blame the chew?

    Latest fortune cookie: "The current year will bring you much happiness." As if.

    Why I voted it up (3.63 / 11) (#12)
    by scanman on Wed May 08, 2002 at 12:07:24 AM EST

    I voted this up because it contains the word "fuck". To each his own, I guess.

    "[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
    "scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
    "I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

    [ Parent ]

    You know, I'm not quite sure. (4.16 / 6) (#13)
    by Profane Motherfucker on Wed May 08, 2002 at 12:08:16 AM EST

    I picked it up a few years ago when I was a reporter. Some mofo around the office had a can, and I guess that planted the idea. Ironically, it was at the dentist's office that I saw Skoal advertised in a Sports Illustrated mag, so I picked a can up.

    It's a hard sell, but I really do like it. Odd as that may sound. And the job environment where I am now is entirely tolerant of damn near any kind of self-destructive behavior -- so I've got a carte blanche.

    Obviously, it's not healthy. Obviously, it's not popular. But I live in a state with an extremely high rate of smoking, high alcohol consumption, and very old-fashioned in nature. Things are different here, and some stuff is much more tolerated. But when I travel, I do cut back quite a bit.

    [ Parent ]

    -1 What's next? (2.73 / 15) (#14)
    by ShadowNode on Wed May 08, 2002 at 12:21:06 AM EST

    • My world of Petroleum -- a HOWTO of huff
    • My world of Bulimia -- a HOWTO of purging
    • My world of Bleeding -- a HOWTO of cutting yourself

    Oh well, at least the detrius of your bad habbit doesn't give everyone else cancer.

    Bad habits (3.63 / 11) (#31)
    by DarkZero on Wed May 08, 2002 at 04:31:32 AM EST

    I notice you people always crop up when there are articles about smoking and drugs. Where the Hell are you when people write articles about movies, games, and DVDs that they sit on their ass watching and playing while scarfing down loads of popcorn and soda? Obesity is becoming a larger and larger problem in the more developed countries of the world, but the Puritan Brigade, for some reason, has decided to limit themselves only to the things that are already socially unacceptable.

    Pfft. Spare me your overly prudent complaints until you've become a wet blanket with a BACKBONE.

    [ Parent ]

    Puritan Brigade? Hardly (2.00 / 4) (#79)
    by ShadowNode on Wed May 08, 2002 at 02:33:10 PM EST

    I've no problem with smoking, or drugs. But chewing tobacco? Come on, at least cigarettes don't usually mandate a face-ectomy, or a spittoon.

    I'd vote down an exposition on choosing the right trailer park, or a commentary on getting the rust on your truck "just so" aswell. I'm just not interested in stupid redneck tricks.

    [ Parent ]
    Rednex? (1.00 / 1) (#116)
    by wnight on Sat May 11, 2002 at 04:58:37 PM EST

    At least this "stupid redneck trick" doesn't involve blowing the by-products towards me. Feel free to slowly kill yourself by whatever method you want, so long as you don't take me with you.

    Now, I don't think it's a bright idea, but neither, as others have pointed out, is eating KFC and playing video games all day.

    Beyond that, it's an informative article. I didn't know anything about the world of chewing tobacco (in any form) and now I do. Just for that, it's worth it.

    [ Parent ]

    +1 FP hell yeah. (4.80 / 10) (#16)
    by bakuretsu on Wed May 08, 2002 at 12:47:15 AM EST

    This is far and away one of the most candid glimpses into a filthy and disgusting ritual that I have ever seen. Bravo!

    Why I voted it up?
    It establishes you as an initiate in the world of cancer and lymphoma.
    Need I say more?

    This is a well written article that doesn't take itself too seriously and even manages to hint at the widespread opposite viewpoint. Merely imagining Profane Motherfucker dipping into his can of Skoal and squirting the cancerous juices down a straw makes me even less likely to ever try such a thing.

    Once again, bravo.

    -- Airborne
        aka Bakuretsu
        The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
    why i changed my mind (3.40 / 10) (#21)
    by three-pipe on Wed May 08, 2002 at 01:28:43 AM EST

    see, i hate destructive habits, especially addictive, profitable, and slicky-marketed ones. and tobacco has all that in spades.

    so, for those reasons i was going to vote it down. heck, the tobacco lobby/marketing department do a good enough job of that, why do it for free on kuro5hin?

    then the sheer disgustingness of the article hit me. i think every grade 6 kid should read this essay and realise how sick tobacco use is. and that includes the grade sixes reading kuro5hin.

    -chad \\ warfordium.org \\
    Good for you! (4.40 / 10) (#26)
    by xriso on Wed May 08, 2002 at 01:50:08 AM EST

    I congratulate you for prefering a habit which does not involve giving other people cancer or making you smell like crap.
    *** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
    Killing oneself (none / 0) (#91)
    by jharper on Wed May 08, 2002 at 05:16:39 PM EST

    ...and yet killing himself so much faster. =(


    [ Parent ]

    Ditto (none / 0) (#113)
    by wnight on Sat May 11, 2002 at 12:16:08 PM EST

    Ditto. Thanks for not polluting my air, or the air of your family/children. You're a responsible adult, taking what may be a stupid risk, but not making anyone else suffer with you.

    And as smokers point out re: Stupid Risks, who are we to judge? I eat McD's, and drink way too much pop, and enjoy downhill skiing.

    But I'd like to think that my choices aren't impacting others around me unfairly.

    Maybe I should get a can of chew for the smokers I know. Coupled with your tips for not looking really obvious (spit into pop can while looking like drinking) they might switch.

    Good article.
    "I find your lack of pants... disturbing."

    [ Parent ]

    This is an *optimistic* estimate... (3.63 / 11) (#27)
    by xymerian on Wed May 08, 2002 at 02:08:43 AM EST

    ...of what your mouth will look like after extensive chewing. In some cases, the lower lip can actually be eaten away.

    Be sure to see the before and after pictures! :)


    GASP! Tobacco damages your body?! (3.18 / 11) (#30)
    by DarkZero on Wed May 08, 2002 at 04:25:27 AM EST

    Thanks for the saving us from the ravages of tobacco, Captain Obvious. Whatever would we do without you?

    [ Parent ]
    +1 for the memories... (4.00 / 4) (#28)
    by Mzilikazi on Wed May 08, 2002 at 02:21:32 AM EST

    My tobacco consumption is restricted to one or two cigars every year, which is basically how long it takes me to forget how bad I smell afterwards. But this article took me back...

    I've always lived in Memphis, Tennessee, and while I've never touched the stuff, dip was a part of life while I was growing up. A lot of the adults I knew (and some of the teenagers) used the stuff, and while I understood the risks associated with mouth cancer and whatnot, it was always a lot less annoying than cigarette smoking (which my father did), but not nearly as blissfully delicious smelling as pipe smoking (my best friend's father). God, I haven't heard a good WHOMP-WHOMP-WHOMP packing sound from a can of Copenhagen in years. Guess I travel in different circles now, or it's just not as common...

    I do recall that in the gas stations around here you were able to get cans of ground-up beef jerky that were the same size and shape as a can of dip. You could then "dip" the beef jerky, though swallowing was presumably a much more pleasant experience than doing so with dip. ;) In retrospect, it was kind of an irresponsible product to sell to kids... Kind of like "Big League Chew" (shredded bubble gum in a tobacco pouch) or candy cigarettes (haven't seen one of those in ages, and unlike the other two examples, they tasted like crap). But it was a lot of fun.

    Hey, because I don't pay attention to the tobacco rack at the gas station, do they still sell those "Skoal Bandits", which are basically like little tea bags with dip in them? I never knew anyone who used them, and always thought they were kind of weird.


    Beef Jerky (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Jebediah on Thu May 09, 2002 at 04:58:43 AM EST

    Irresponsible?  It's not like they label it as a snuff replacement or slap a Copenhagen logo on the can.  Back in the day some baseball players actually used to chew bubblegum.  As a kid I wanted to grow up and have a couple pouches of Big League on hand when I played in the majors.  It was a lot better than trying to cram a whole bunch of Bazooka or Baseball card gum in your mouth anyways.  The candy cigarettes were a lot more insidious.  IIRC they used to have actual designs of Pall Mall, Lucky Strike, and others on the small boxes.  The candies weren't all bad, but I still agree that was going too far.

    They still sell the Skoal Bandits.  Only snuff I ever bought.  I tried some of my roommates, but my teeth are full of nooks and crannies so it took forever to get the shit out.  I think I still have the Bandits in my suitcase just in case the need for nicotine strikes on a plane (hasn't yet).  I wonder if the Bandits are still good after two years.  

    [ Parent ]

    Skoal Bandits... (4.00 / 5) (#34)
    by deefer on Wed May 08, 2002 at 04:53:21 AM EST

    Made headlines over here in the UK a while back.

    Banned within a year, IIRC. I was a bit too young at the time, but the cynic in me suggests that it wasn't as much the health concerns (that the government was hanging the ban on), but more that the tax on them was much lower. Bearing in mind a 20 deck will set you back about 4.50 these days, that's a lot of tax revenue to lose, especially as the anti-smoking lobby was gathering momentum at that time.

    It's odd to see the UK governments' relation to smoking. On the one hand, the government runs anti-smoking public campaigns, yet profits massively from the sale of tobacco. Although the fairly recent cave-in over tobacco companies being allowed to continue sponsoring and advertising at motor sport events straightens that one out somewhat...

    Kill the baddies.
    Get the girl.
    And save the entire planet.

    What a wad of flavor (3.50 / 6) (#35)
    by imrdkl on Wed May 08, 2002 at 04:57:37 AM EST

    Yes indeed. The forgotten spitcups, the stained t-shirts, the long brown streaks down the side of the car, the telltale ring in the back pocket of my blue jeans...

    High school wouldn't have been the same without copenhagen. I now prefer kodiak (red, not the wintergreen shit) but I cut my teeth on copenhagen. Great story, even if it didn't require much research.

    Heard Robert Earl Keene's song about dip? Garth covered it, but Keene does it best.

    Cool stuff... (4.00 / 4) (#38)
    by mirleid on Wed May 08, 2002 at 05:34:04 AM EST

    ...very well written, amusing, informative. Total thumbs up from me. The only thing is that you bash my favorite addiction, snus.

    Snus is kind of comparable to chew in little bags, although the flavors are different. My favorite is Goeteborgs Rape, and I dont really know whether you can get that stuff in the US, but, if you're curious, you can order it on the web at The northerner.

    Chickens don't give milk
    Swedish snuff (4.54 / 11) (#39)
    by JanneM on Wed May 08, 2002 at 05:49:34 AM EST

    In Sweden it's very common to use "wet snuff", or snus. Having lived in the US, there are some differences to the stuff you are talking about. It is fine cut, just as the stuff you disparage, but it is wetter (or maybe just fresher) so it stays together instead of spreading out all over your mouth. Also, it's not usually as heavily flavoured as the american stuff.

    Usually, you take a pinch and squeeze it into a ball about 1cm in size. The most common place to put it is under your upper lip, slightly off-center. After using this for a period of months, the pressure and the chemicals will form a slight indentation where you always put it, helping it stay in place. For whatever reason, I never feel the need to either spit or swallow (and neither do any of my friends who use it) as the body quickly adjusts and does not produce excess saliva anymore in response to the stuff. I tend to have one piece in for about 1-2 hours before the effect wears off. Also, there are seldom any problems with getting rid of it; it stays in shape and is easily removed without making a mess.

    The advantages of snus is obvious: you do not harass anybody else with smoke; you don't have disgustingly smelling clothes; and it does not (contrary to popular belief) cause cancer. No, not even mouth cancer - recently the warning labels were changed in Sweden as the evidence against this assumption became overwhelming. Another advantage is for the nicotine-addicted traveller - anybody who's seen the distress of a heavy smoker during an 8 hour flight knows what I mean.

    The disadvantages is that it does increase the risk of paradontitis (?)- i.e. loosening of the teeth. Also, if you plan to kiss someone, you either stay away from the stuff for the evening, or make sure you're dating someone who's also a user. In my youth, I once saw a happy couple making out during a party by moving a ball of snus between them during kissing... To each his own I guess.

    Snus is of course not a good thing to use - no drug is. If the choice is between using snus or smoking, however, the choice should be pretty clear.

    Trust the Computer. The Computer is your friend.

    snus unusual... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by richr on Wed May 08, 2002 at 08:29:56 AM EST

    Snus is interesting in that is was exempted by the EU ban on chewing tobacco- primarily because although it'll still kill you, it'll do so less fast as cigarettes...

    [ Parent ]
    Nope. (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by JanneM on Wed May 08, 2002 at 08:52:22 AM EST

    The problem EU has had with snus is that it does not kill you; there are pretty overwhelming evidence today. Instead, it's restricted in most EU countries on the basis of being very habit-forming, and thus not suitable for introducing into new markets. Sweden (and Finland, I believe) is allowed to continue to manufacture and sell snus freely - Sweden would likely not have joined the EU had they banned it. In other EU countries you are allowed to bring it along for your own consumption, but you're not allowed to sell it.

    Trust the Computer. The Computer is your friend.
    [ Parent ]
    Don't forget.... (none / 0) (#101)
    by Cornelius on Thu May 09, 2002 at 03:59:25 AM EST

    Heart disease. Nicotine is cardio-toxic, which you've probably noticed, when smoking too much or taking "snus" --- your heart beats faster. If you do that year in year out...


    "Your suffering will be legendary, even in Hell", Hellraiser
    [ Parent ]
    Is this tobacco? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Sir Rastus Bear on Wed May 08, 2002 at 10:01:47 AM EST

    So is this a tobacco product or some sort of artificial nicotine-laced substance?
    "It's the dog's fault, but she irrationally yells at me that I shouldn't use the wood chipper when I'm drunk."
    [ Parent ]
    It's tobacco (4.50 / 2) (#64)
    by JanneM on Wed May 08, 2002 at 11:04:12 AM EST

    It's ground tobacco leaves at heart, just like chewing tobacco. The consistency and taste is somewhat different, though.

    Trust the Computer. The Computer is your friend.
    [ Parent ]

    Non-carcinogenic tobacco? (4.50 / 2) (#70)
    by Sir Rastus Bear on Wed May 08, 2002 at 12:26:20 PM EST

    Your previous message states that snus does not cause cancer. My understanding is that keeping a wadded up ball of tobacco in your mouth has been clinically linked to lip/mouth/stomach cancers. Admittedly, this is not something I've researched, but I believe this is the general position of US medical health authorities. So are you saying that chewing tobacco doesn't cause cancers of the various affected regions? What kind of risks do they ascribe to the stuff on the warning labels?

    "It's the dog's fault, but she irrationally yells at me that I shouldn't use the wood chipper when I'm drunk."
    [ Parent ]

    Smoking kills, not tobacco (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by nusuth on Wed May 08, 2002 at 02:42:01 PM EST

    Overwhelming majority of cancer causing agents in tobacco are burning products or stuff that would not enter body in significant amounts had tobacco not been heated to elevated temperatures. Burning random vegetable rolled in paper and inhaling its smoke is just as dangerous. Except for nicotine, natural tobacco is harmless, and nicotine is not a carcinogen. Whether nicotine is metabolized into potential carcinogens was undecided last time I checked, I recommend a healthy dose of skepticism if somebody claims nicotine to be a known carcinogen.

    Of course, natural tobacco is not something you can buy from stores; tobacco is treated with various chemicals before it is available as a commercial product. I have no idea on relative safety of chemicals enter tobacco via these processes, but I'm inclined to assume they are as safe as other food chemicals and processes with one notable exception: fermentation of tobacco does introduce known carcinogens group nitrosamines.

    [ Parent ]

    Interesting (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Sir Rastus Bear on Wed May 08, 2002 at 06:07:53 PM EST

    What accounts for all those horrible pictures of people with their lips falling off from chewing tobacco? I had assumed that these were cancerous, mainly from the "tobacco==cancer" word association apparently. Is it that the stuff is highly caustic but not carcinogenic?

    "It's the dog's fault, but she irrationally yells at me that I shouldn't use the wood chipper when I'm drunk."
    [ Parent ]

    I don't know (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by nusuth on Wed May 08, 2002 at 06:41:47 PM EST

    People in those pics (=those posted in this thread) with horrible mouths don't have cancer though. At least those are not pictures of cancer. Prolonged local nicotine exposure may be responsible for deformation of gums and lips. Nicotine causes contraction of blood vessels in low amounts and is toxic in relatively higher amounts. But don't take my word for it, I am a chemical engineer, not a physician.

    [ Parent ]
    To make it clear (none / 0) (#105)
    by JanneM on Thu May 09, 2002 at 06:26:16 AM EST

    They may well be pictures of mouth cancer. Just as you can get mouth cancer without using snus, you can of course get it when using it as well. The point is, there have been found no increased risk of mouth cancer using snus.

    Just to make another point absolutely clear: snus is not good for you. As has been pointed out, it does increase the risk of paradontitis, mechanical gum damage, and maybe increased risk of heart diseases and blood pressure problems. It is also very addictive; more so than cigarettes. The medical 'benefits' of snus is mainly that compared to use smoking tobacco (or any smoke-inhaled drug), it is far less dangerous, and you do not expose other people to that danger.
    Trust the Computer. The Computer is your friend.
    [ Parent ]

    As below... (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by JanneM on Wed May 08, 2002 at 04:42:18 PM EST

    I don't know about other kinds of chewing tobacco, but there have been a number of large longitudinal studies on the use of snuff in Sweden and they have not come up with an elevated risk of cancer of the mouth (or any other cancer). Interestingly, the greatest risk factor for mouth cancer was living in a city, rather than a small town or rural area.

    As for the warning labels, they used to say "Causes cancer". Today they say (translated of course) "Can damage your health and gives rise to a dependency"; or "can damage gums and cause tooth loss". Not that uplifting, I grant you, but it's not about a lethal condition anymore...
    Trust the Computer. The Computer is your friend.
    [ Parent ]

    Cancer (4.00 / 8) (#43)
    by jgk on Wed May 08, 2002 at 07:19:23 AM EST

    I thought chewing tobacco caused cancer far faster than any other method of using tobacco... I think both mouth and on the inside (stomach, etc.).

    I think this led to massive unpopularity and it may be illegal lots of places if I'm right it would explain why there is a monopoly.

    Apparently snuff (the snorted tobacco) is the most addictive.
    Gore Vidal is cool.
    cite some research (2.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Wah on Wed May 08, 2002 at 10:18:32 AM EST

    and I'll change that 2 to a five.
    Choas and order, flowing down the drain of time. Ain't it purdy? | SSP
    [ Parent ]
    Oooh, what an incentive. (5.00 / 4) (#77)
    by fester on Wed May 08, 2002 at 01:28:54 PM EST

    You can take those points and shove them down your cancer-filled throat.


    "All forms of smokeless tobacco contain high concentrations of cancer-causing agents. These substances subject users to increased cancer risk not only of the oral cavity, but also the pharynx, larynx and esophagus."


    "The amount of nicotine absorbed is 2 to 3 times the amount delivered by a cigarette. People who consume 8 to 10 dips or chews per day receive the same amount of nicotine as a heavy smoker who smokes 30 to 40 cigarettes a day. Nicotine is absorbed more slowly from smokeless tobacco than from cigarettes, but more nicotine per dose is absorbed from snuff and chewing tobacco than from cigarettes. Also, the nicotine stays in the bloodstream for a longer time."

    [ Parent ]

    Congrats (3.50 / 2) (#81)
    by Wah on Wed May 08, 2002 at 03:08:51 PM EST

    Oooh, what an incentive.

    Thanks, just trying to make the discussion as fact-filled as possible. I almost gave the previous poster a five for effort, then realized that you guys weren't one in the same and took it back, regardless, neither of those resources you cited mentioned any comparitive stats between cancer rates concerning smoked and smokeless tobacco.

    If you can find that, I've got another 5 in my pocket for ya.
    Choas and order, flowing down the drain of time. Ain't it purdy? | SSP
    [ Parent ]

    Nicotine and cancer (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Pelham Grenville on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:32:26 AM EST

    Nicotine doesn't cause cancer. So the nicotine absorption, while it may have a bearing on addiction, is not really relevant to this.

    The "cancer causing agents" are called TSNAs, and are found in all tobacco. In smokeless tobacco, they are virtually the only carcinogens. In tobacco smoke, they are one of thousands.

    No one (sane) is going to argue that dipping is good for you. But it's not as bad for you as smoking, for a whole host of reasons. Not only is it less carcinogenic, it also doesn't cause any of the respiratory problems that smoking guarantees. You do still have the higher risk of oral and throat cancer, which smoking also provides, and the risk of gum disease, which smoking also provides, and heart disease, which, yep you guessed it, smoking is better at giving you.

    If you get beyond the anti-tobacco scare tactics, you'll find that credible research mostly shows that it's not nearly as bad for you as smoking. Of course, few anti-tobacco organizations want to make that public, because they're more interested in pursuing their vendetta than actually improving people's health.

    [ Parent ]

    Actually... (none / 0) (#104)
    by Znork on Thu May 09, 2002 at 05:16:44 AM EST

    Actually, research in Sweden has yet to prove any link between cancer and various forms of chewing tobacco or 'snus' (20% of the male adult population uses it here).

    There are substances present that may cause cancer (like there is in everything from fries to barbequed meat), but they dont appear to be causing any form of cancer to any statistically noticable degree.

    There are, of course, several other health reasons to avoid it tho (cardiovascular risks from nicotine, diabetes risk, etc). But cancer doesnt seem to be one of them.

    [ Parent ]

    Red Man [TM] (4.00 / 7) (#45)
    by Da Unicorn on Wed May 08, 2002 at 07:49:35 AM EST

    Wow, that was very interesting, funny, entertaining, etc.

    I just bagged a 3 pack a day Camel Filters habit.

    Before I got on those I smoked cigars and chewed RedMan chaw. You didn't mention it or I missed it in there.

    Redman was so unlike regular snus that its more of a class of its own. Super long cut? It didn't migrate in the mouth much and looked more like shredded wheat than "normal" chew.

    My grandfather always said chewing tobacco ensured your stomach would remain free of parasites. He chewed Copenhagen Gold and I never saw him spit or remove a chaw. He even ate with it in his lip.

    While I enjoyed the story I would be a very happy man if no one ever took up the tobacco habit again. It is a nasty habit regardless of the delivery system. After 35 + years of tobacco addiction at one level or another I can truly say it was not worth it and advise anyone to waste your money on wild women faster horses and good whiskey. Shit forgot I don't drink anymore, either.

    Now where did I put that heat gun?


    Red Man is like candy to me (none / 0) (#63)
    by Profane Motherfucker on Wed May 08, 2002 at 10:43:52 AM EST

    Red Man, Levi Garrett, Beechnut, &c are chews that I really don't take seriously. Yeah, you get two and a half fuckloads of chew in a pouch, but it's so stringy. I don't care for the raisin taste of Red Man either.

    To get a buzz, it takes a good fistful of the mess. Speech becomes difficult. Spit flows like a May downpour. It's a fucking mess.

    However, and this is always good fun during company softball, it mixes well with gum. Take a large wad of some leaf tobacco, and throw in a piece or two of that bubblalicious (or whatever, the large pieces of gum) and chomp away.

    It's quite good, but you'll need to be outdoors so that you may spit. And spit you will.

    You're correct, it falls into a class of its own. I think the marketing term is 'pouch tobacco'. I've only ever seen old guys dip that stuff, and that seems to be to whom it's marketed.

    [ Parent ]

    Twists (none / 0) (#68)
    by needless on Wed May 08, 2002 at 12:03:08 PM EST

    I don't even know if this is marketed outside my area, but the "old guys" around here (Kentucky... yeah, yeah...) chew "Mammoth Cave Twists". It's just a cylinder shaped plug of pure, unflavored tobacco about the width of a large finger. Scary stuff.

    [ Parent ]
    A poem that my father used to say (4.77 / 9) (#46)
    by pyramid termite on Wed May 08, 2002 at 07:57:00 AM EST

    Love is sweet
    But oh, how bitter
    When you kiss the lips
    Of a tobacco spitter
    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    Umm (none / 0) (#65)
    by jabber on Wed May 08, 2002 at 11:21:59 AM EST

    I've never, ever met a woman who 'dips'.. Is there something about your dad that we should know?

    [TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
    [ Parent ]

    I still react with utter shock.... (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by Profane Motherfucker on Wed May 08, 2002 at 01:25:54 PM EST

    Hey, I'm not going to fucking lie here and claim that this is not the ultimate in hypocrisy. It is. But I still am taken aback when I see a woman with a tin of chew.

    At the gas station one day, a girl in her late teens picked up two tins of some cheap ghetto shit, like I mentioned in the piece. That tells me a few things: 1. She's chewed for a while. 2. She chews a great deal. 3. She continues to chew despite lacking the funds to get decent stuff.

    I would have written it off as Oh, she's just doing an errand for someone. But she had a chaw in whilst standing in queue. Close the case on that one.

    [ Parent ]

    Amusing anecdote (4.26 / 15) (#48)
    by eann on Wed May 08, 2002 at 08:35:46 AM EST

    Apparently, some airlines interpret regulations to ban the use of all tobacco products on domestic flights within the U.S. A dedicated chewer I once worked with had this to say to the flight attendant: "Okay, I understand smoking, because it smells bad and there's a health risk. But I've never heard of anyone getting cancer from secondhand spit."

    Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

    $email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.

    hmm.. maybe its not banned for health reasons? (none / 0) (#90)
    by Skywise on Wed May 08, 2002 at 05:15:16 PM EST

    Like cell phone usage, or at one time headphones... maybe "all" tobacco usage being banned is because they figure in someway they have a captive audience to sell their stuff too...

    Or prevent importing of restricted items?

    [ Parent ]

    Dipping on planes (none / 0) (#122)
    by Pelham Grenville on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:24:07 AM EST

    I've done that lots of times. For God's sake, it's the only way to survive a flight to Europe. When I smoked, I would go buy a tin before a flight for just that reason. I was always circumspect about it though -- quick trip to the bathroom, get it settled, and then back to the seat where I always made sure to have brought an empty opaque bottle with a tight screw top. No muss, no fuss, everyone else just thinks you're sipping on that Arizona iced tea for a really long time, and you get the added bonus of watching all the smokers start to tweak out around hour 6. :-)

    [ Parent ]
    yeah, better than cigarettes... (3.54 / 11) (#50)
    by skermit on Wed May 08, 2002 at 09:09:54 AM EST

    because instead of losing your lungs in 10-20 years, you first lose your taste, sense of smell, and then parts of your tongue/lips/gums until you look like a heroin'ed out addict with lesions and sores worse than a case of the gift that keeps on giving (herpes). oh yeah, but that CHEW... mmm... tastes good! assmonkies...
    -Super Kermit


    Good article (3.33 / 3) (#51)
    by CrazyJub on Wed May 08, 2002 at 09:39:00 AM EST

    Being an ex-smoker, I can relate to this guy's POV. Chewing isn't as popular here in Canada as the US, must be a southern thing.

    Trust me kids, this is NOT something you want to start....try heroin, it's easier to quit!

    Popular in high school (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by overtoke on Wed May 08, 2002 at 09:50:19 AM EST

    Cigarettes are banned. So is dipping. Can't smoke and get away with it? Dip. When is the last time you saw an anti snuf ad?

    [ Parent ]
    And the Army (4.50 / 2) (#55)
    by farmgeek on Wed May 08, 2002 at 09:58:26 AM EST

    I started in basic training, when they imposed a smoking ban on us.

    Hell, I slept with a chew in my mouth.

    Plus, smoke is a dead give away to a position, and when you're laying low for three days, you'll use just about any form of tiobacco you can get.  I've literally seen guys eat cigarettes...

    [ Parent ]

    Southern, perhaps. But there's other places too. (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by Profane Motherfucker on Wed May 08, 2002 at 10:36:06 AM EST

    I located in a state west of the Mississippi River, and east of the Rocky Mountains. Here's my rule of thumb on Chew Country: having travelled at length in western europe, where finding a good chew, nay, any chew is impossible, I began looking into it.

    Chew is (more) popular in the Scandanavian countries. The people who settled my region were from Scandanavia. That means a few things: Lots of coffee, and lots of tobacco -- both cigarettes and chew.

    I did read that West Virginia has the highest rate of tobacco use per capita, by my state isn't far behind, for the reasons noted above. It's just a cultural thing.

    I can tell you this: in NYC, people fucking shat their pants to see someone with chew. They where flabergasted. Damn DARE programs and popular media.

    What's worse: pumping $5 a day to Starbucks, or $5 every two days to American Tobacco? Neither are particularly splendid corporations.

    [ Parent ]

    dry snuff (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by needless on Wed May 08, 2002 at 12:11:01 PM EST

    I can tell you this: in NYC, people fucking shat their pants to see someone with chew. They where flabergasted. Damn DARE programs and popular media.

    I went through a dry snuff habit for a couple of months purely for the feeling I got by dabbing a little white powder on the side of my palm, and then giving it a good snort in public. The incredulous stares you get from people is hilarious.

    [ Parent ]
    The side mouth.. (4.66 / 6) (#53)
    by farmgeek on Wed May 08, 2002 at 09:54:40 AM EST

    I've found that holding it in the side mouth works much better for me.

    It doesn't make your lower lip bulge out giving the monkey man look, and the surface area is larger, so you can pack more in there.

    The unfortunate side effect of this, is that I've stretched a pocket in one side of my mouth, so food likes to sneak down there when I'm eating.

    Fine cut (snuff) is the only way to go.  You just have to make sure you get a FRESH can.  Which means it's no more than a week old, or it has been stored in a freezer (as my local gasoline/smokes/liquor store does).  This is especially important for those brands that use cardboard cans (Copenhagen).  If for some reason you get stuck with a stale can, a thimble full of whiskey will give the can some renewed life.

    You also missed the other method of using snuff, which involves getting a twig from a black gum tree, chewing the end of it up until it's fuzzy and then dipping the end into a large can of Peach Tree brand snuff.  That's the way my grandmother did it, back when real men smoked and only women used snuff.

    Second that (none / 0) (#121)
    by Pelham Grenville on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:19:12 AM EST

    Copenhagen is the only way to go. It takes practice, sure, but you'll get the hang of it. Dipping is definitely a learned skill, and fine cut takes some more skill than the others. But the benefit is that Copenhagen isn't tarted up with all kinds of molasses and that sweet shit they soak the long cut brands in. It's a much better flavor.

    I'm also a side of the mouth guy. It also is completely possible to cleanly extract a dip (even Copenhagen!) without all kinds of finger-probings and mess. Again, this is a learned skill, which should be practiced. You're far more likely to have mouth problems brought on by all the nasty stuff that gets on your fingers in an average day than the tobacco itself. Keep those hands out of the mouth as much as possible!

    The other good thing about Copenhagen is once the main brunt of the flavor has worn off, you can swallow with impunity, provided you're not always prodding at it with your tongue.

    [ Parent ]

    Dippers Anonymous... (4.33 / 3) (#54)
    by kb3edk on Wed May 08, 2002 at 09:55:59 AM EST

    I've been dipping for three years now - did it because I didn't like cigarettes. I'm addicted to nicotine, but I also have been known to exercise from time to time and the shortness of breath that smoking causes is much more annoying than a sore lip now and then. I don't dip at the office - I dip at home, two or three times a day. I find it a much more manageable form of addiction then smoking - when I smoked, it was half a pack a day and I used to take "smoke breaks" all the time. My girlfriend doesn't know I dip and I'm currently undecided as to whether to actually tell her or not...

    Good lord man... (4.00 / 3) (#78)
    by GriffX on Wed May 08, 2002 at 02:24:43 PM EST

    Don't tell her!

    [ Parent ]
    That's tough. (3.50 / 2) (#89)
    by jharper on Wed May 08, 2002 at 05:06:22 PM EST

    Dude, you're stuck. If you tell her, she'll probably break up with you. If you break up with her now in anticipation, you're the inconsiderate bastard who broke up with her over your hidden habit. If you don't do anything, she'll find out eventually and be even more pissed that you said nothing. Or you could quit taking dip.

    It all comes down to how much you care about her and how much sex you're getting. And how addicted to this stuff you are, too. If it's just a slightly elevated above fuck-buddy relationship, keep it going. If it's more serious than that, you've got some brain-wracking to do. =/


    [ Parent ]

    Similar situation (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Pelham Grenville on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:13:14 AM EST

    I dipped for four years in college, and a grand total of one person knew about it (my roommate, and I'm pretty sure he didn't realize I did it all the time). My girlfriend didn't know, and it was surprisingly unhard to keep it secret. The addiction schedule of dip is a hell of a lot more forgiving than smoking. I could go three, four, five hours or more without real suffering, if I happened to get stuck in a social situation where popping off to the john was out of the question. Smoking is different. I don't know why, but I would become useless after a maximum of two hours without a smoke.

    On the down side, it's an awkward kind of existence, with all sorts of weird neuroses and things you have to keep track of, and not one I particularly recommend. It can be done though.

    [ Parent ]

    Great Article (4.58 / 12) (#57)
    by Wah on Wed May 08, 2002 at 10:16:36 AM EST

    I had no idea there was so many holier-than-thou people around here. Oh, wait, yea I did.

    Anyway, as a smoker (who will quit or die, and then die anyway) it's always nice to see people who hold no illusions about their habits. And if you're going to do something wrong you might as well do it right.

    Anyway, thanks for the informative article. Maybe next time we should have a primer on how to go out, get blasted (in public, no less), and hook up with a nice fine lady (or so she looked last night). Then the holy rollers around here will have some more ammunition to fuel their jealousy guns.
    Choas and order, flowing down the drain of time. Ain't it purdy? | SSP

    NOTICE TO ALL NON SMOKERS! (4.57 / 7) (#71)
    by drblubgut on Wed May 08, 2002 at 12:28:36 PM EST

    NOTICE TO ALL NON SMOKERS! Things to consider before talking to a smoker (tobacco user) 1) We are not dumb! We know what it does and that it killed your $RELATIVE 2) We know it stinks, it makes us stink, the world stink.. etc 3) Unless you've quit using tobacco (and I guess I'll give the H users an in here) you have no clue as to what its like to quit. 4) We like most people respond to polite request better then slightly veiled insults..you don't want us to smoke near you or in your car... politely ask us to move away or put out the smoke usually works better then coffing and waving your hand and making no specific comments about how much you hate smoking. The list goes on but you get the point. We are people and some of us enjoy it. Some of us are trying to quit. Some people have quit quitting.... Be nice.

    [ Parent ]
    NOTICE TO ALL SMOKERS (2.41 / 17) (#73)
    by fester on Wed May 08, 2002 at 01:16:30 PM EST

    1). Yes, you are dumb.  Unable to learn from the stupidity of others puts you in a good place to win a Darwin Award.

    2)No, you don't know how much it stinks.  Your farts smell 10x worse to someone else than they do to you.

    3)So you are invoking the "takes one to know one" rule?  Geeze, bring me back to 3rd grade while you are at it.

    4)who said anything about "thinly veiled insults"?
    We actually encourage you to continue smoking. In fact, triple your nicotine intake. The faster you're gone, the better.

    [ Parent ]

    by pyramid termite on Wed May 08, 2002 at 04:31:49 PM EST

    1) You're probably doing something just as dumb and haven't figured it out yet.

    2) You're probably doing something somewhere that somebody finds just as obnoixious.

    3)You'll probably come up with some kind of rationale as to why you don't even have a problem and don't have to consider quitting whatever your problem is.

    4) There's always one person you meet a day who wishes you dead, too.
    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    [ Parent ]
    the funny thing is (4.00 / 1) (#118)
    by gtx on Fri May 17, 2002 at 07:29:02 PM EST

    it's posts like this that really make me WANT to smoke.  there's just something about telling self righteous assholes that their world is my ashtray that really makes me smile.  

    perhaps you should consider the possibility that slowly dying from smoking isn't all that bad compared to living longer around your bitching.


    i don't have anything clever to write here.
    [ Parent ]

    THANK YOU! (4.33 / 6) (#83)
    by budlite on Wed May 08, 2002 at 03:37:21 PM EST

    You're right, it's a filthy habit, I don't even know why I took it up, I want to quit, but I'm finding it extremely hard.

    Every day I worry about what it's doing to me, the fact that if I keep it up then like as not I'm going to end up being consumed by a terrible disease. But still I can't quit. Being at University, surrounded by other smokers, being a member of a family of four in which two of the other members smoke, it all makes it that much harder to escape the pull of the cancer stick.

    I make no excuses for smoking, I have none, if I could stop I would, god knows i've tried. But I can't, and non-smokers are just going to have to put up with it a while longer until I finally manage.

    [ Parent ]

    I can't imagine (3.42 / 7) (#58)
    by Dphitz on Wed May 08, 2002 at 10:16:37 AM EST

    taking up a habit where the downsides can range from nasty-ass breath to having part of my head removed because of cancer.  But then again, it is so appealing watching people spit smelly brown crap into a cup or bottle, or finding someone's old spit cup or wad of chew on the ground, sink or fountain.  

    I imagine the author doesn't enjoy being addicted to nicotine.  I would have liked to have seen some examples of the negative side of this habit.

    God, please save me . . . from your followers

    good for you! (4.66 / 3) (#93)
    by kingcnut on Wed May 08, 2002 at 06:21:41 PM EST

    good for you if you can't imagine taking up nicotine addiction. Today is the first day of stopping smoking again, for me.

    Smoking used to be a very enjoyable social habit coexisting peacefully with a drug addiction (nicotine). Since there are so few addictive drugs legally available it often comes as a surprise exactly what addiction feels like. Addiction is the feeling when control over your own actions is ... maybe not "taken away" ... but "strongly influenced" by an ambiguous force. You don't crave nicotine, you crave a release from the agitation your mind is feeling, whether that feeling is caused by the situation around you or simply because you've not had a ciggie for an hour or so, you know another cigarette will alleviate it at least temporarily.

    Anyway, the enjoyment waned and the feeling of being under control waxed, so I gave up. Several times. There's no reason to think this time won't be the one where my lifestyle changes and the effect becomes permanent. That would be nice.

    [ Parent ]

    Negative side (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by baka_boy on Thu May 09, 2002 at 08:10:59 PM EST

    The article wasn't called, "Should I chew or not?" Nor was it titled, "Chew is fun and exciting!" or "Since chew is so great, here's what kind to buy." In fact, the author made few compelling arguments for starting the habit, and his evaluations of brands and flavors of tobacco tended to range from basically tolerable (at the high end) to absolutely disgusting (everything else).

    There is an abundance of rabid anti-tobacco advertising, education, and public opinion these days; expecting someone who most likely is already harassed regularly for having such a "nasty habit" to contribute further to such a well-funded "movement" that already adversely affects them is (in my opinion, anyway) unfair and unreasonable.

    [ Parent ]
    It's all about the nicotine, baby (4.50 / 4) (#60)
    by Sir Rastus Bear on Wed May 08, 2002 at 10:23:50 AM EST

    Nicotine is one of the most addictive things I've ever run across. To get it out of my life, I had to redefine my entire lifestyle.

    I started dipping to quit smoking. I figured it would be was easier to quit chewing cold-turkey than it would be to quit cigarettes. It worked for me, but if I had to do it over again I'd use the nicotine gum, or walk around with about 15 of those patches on my arm.

    "It's the dog's fault, but she irrationally yells at me that I shouldn't use the wood chipper when I'm drunk."

    Oh yeah, one other thing (4.25 / 4) (#61)
    by Sir Rastus Bear on Wed May 08, 2002 at 10:34:34 AM EST

    When I dipped, I was lazy and usually just swallowed the juice. Never vomited, but maybe I've trashed my stomach lining.

    Valuable safety tip: if you do chew and spit, and you're hanging around with friends at a bar, do not spit in a beer bottle (particularly the dark brown bottles that you can't really see inside of when the lights are down) and put the bottle back on the table next to all the other bottles.

    "It's the dog's fault, but she irrationally yells at me that I shouldn't use the wood chipper when I'm drunk."
    [ Parent ]

    It's official. (2.87 / 16) (#66)
    by Mr. Piccolo on Wed May 08, 2002 at 11:41:28 AM EST

    With this story K5 has jumped the shark.

    The BBC would like to apologise for the following comment.

    Sounds... (2.87 / 8) (#67)
    by m0rzo on Wed May 08, 2002 at 11:45:35 AM EST

    ..like the most vile, uncouthe habit known to man. Disgusting.

    My last sig was just plain offensive.

    Disgusting? (4.40 / 5) (#75)
    by cosmol on Wed May 08, 2002 at 01:23:44 PM EST

    Can someone tell me exaclty why smokeless tobaccoo is vile and disgusting?

    Is bubble gum disgusting, how about chewing sunflower seeds? Sucking on caffeine mints? Is it the fact that tobacco is brown what turns people off?

    I am of the opinion that smoking is many orders of magnitude more disgusting than chewing. There is a constant stream of repulsive smoke coming from the lit ciggarete. I cannot just stop breathing to avoid this smoke. Cigarettes leave a smell on the smokers clothing and skin long after they have finished smoking.

    What is so offensive about someone having something in their mouth (which I might add is how humans naturally consume things)? This isn't like the "chewing tobacco class" episode of the simpsons where chewers are spitting all over the walls and each other. A chewer spits less often than one would think, and as long as they aren't spitting on you or your things, what is the problem?

    [ Parent ]

    Disgusting. (2.75 / 4) (#85)
    by m0rzo on Wed May 08, 2002 at 04:26:42 PM EST

    I've seen tobacco chewers spitting out long trails of dark spit onto the pavement - It's disgusting both to watch and to have to walk past. I'm not just prejudiced against chewing; smoking is equally as repulsive.

    My last sig was just plain offensive.
    [ Parent ]

    is that all you can say? (3.75 / 4) (#95)
    by cosmol on Wed May 08, 2002 at 07:30:32 PM EST

    Well you still haven't said why it looks disgusting, but that's all right you can have an unfounded personal preference if you like. So you think it looks disgusting, are you being forced to look at people who chew?

    If you think that smoking is equally bad, why did you call chewing the most vile habit?

    [ Parent ]

    Chewing IS disgusting (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by deadcow on Thu May 09, 2002 at 03:35:22 AM EST

    First Post! Just for you! Feel Special!! EXTRA CAPS!!!

    ugh, glad that's over with. Anyway--I'm from Taiwan, where "chew" is betel nut, a small green nut usually combined with a mint leaf or some other flavoring. When chewed, it forms a red paste that looks like blood and causes problems like mouth cancer similar to chewing tobacco. What usually ends up happening is that the red paste gets spat out all over the sidewalks in cities in Taiwan, leaving great red stains all over the place. It's bad enough to have the stains on the ground, but some truck drivers(the largest betel nut users) spit the juice out of their windows while they drive. You can use your imagination for the rest of -that-. I have no real problem with mannerly chewing, but in my experience, that's hard to come by, especially with the more popular forms of self-abuse(witness the omnipresent cigarette butts in American cities).

    The one good thing that's come out of betel nut chewing though, are the betel nut babes.

    [ Parent ]

    No, smoking is... (2.50 / 2) (#99)
    by Argyle on Thu May 09, 2002 at 02:46:51 AM EST

    Others don't breathe in your chaw.

    Smokers are no different than people waving pieces of dog shit in around so everyone can smell it.

    [ Parent ]
    Not second-hand effects (4.00 / 1) (#114)
    by wnight on Sat May 11, 2002 at 12:40:34 PM EST

    It may be disgusting, in that you wouldn't want to kiss someone who chewed, but at least you don't have to breathe it.

    [ Parent ]
    Speaking from experience as an ex-smoker (4.54 / 22) (#72)
    by pexatus on Wed May 08, 2002 at 12:35:34 PM EST

    I think a lot of people get in to habits like this as part of some sort of empty rebellion.  You find new smokers (or chewers) bragging about smoking the way college undergraduates brag about drinking.  Then they get hooked, then some decide they'd rather not be doing it, but can't quit, so the empty rebellion stays on board as an excuse.  I remember my fellow smokers in classes going out and smoking with me after a long test, and all the nonsmokers would walk by with those looks on their faces that said, "you dirty bastards".

    So we'd talk about what brands of cigarettes were better, and we'd practice blowing smoke rings, and tell cute stories about how our lack of aerobic ability gives us trouble walking up the stairs.  We'd see those "Just Eliminate Lies" commercials on TV and everyone would chuckle and say, "That makes me feel like having a cigarette," and we'd go outside and smoke and pat ourselves on the back for demonstrating that the commercials didn't work.  Anything to convince ourselves that we really meant to be doing this, that it was still a choice we made, and the people who thought it was a dirty habit, they were just narcs who wanted to trample our rights.

    I saw some comment below that said it's "nice to see people who hold no illusions about their habits," and how someone should do an article about picking up girls, and then all the holy-rollers could have ammunition for their "jealousy guns" again.  Hold no illusions about this:  people not addicted to nicotine are not jealous of people who are addicted.  I spent most of my time as a smoker jealous of people who didn't smoke.  I actually wanted cigarettes to be outlawed, because if smoking required the same expense and effort of hiding from view that smoking pot did, it would have been easier to quit.

    Tobacco is poison, and it should be outlawed.  People can talk all the shit they want about how they should be allowed to make their own choices, and they aren't harming anyone else.  The fact remains that people do not have the free will they think they do.  I saw a Seinfeld episode opening once where he talked about "morning guy" and "night guy," and how "morning guy" really hates "night guy" for making him stay up and be tired in the morning.  We are slaves to our situations and to the emotional and physical pressures that our body exerts on us.  Tobacco delivers a chemical, nicotine, that exerts a STRONG pressure to make us do something stupid like inhaling smoke.  You'll never see a lung doctor walk around behind his car and take a hit off the exhaust pipe, but you'll see plenty of them light up a smoke.  The reason he doesn't do the former is the same reason he shouldn't do the latter, and yet he does anyway.  He's not stupid; it's an addictive drug, i.e. a leash.

    I hate to think what the young readership of K5 is taking from this article.  Intelligent though I was, I probably would have read this when I was 16 and thought it was a great article, and it was something I ought to do despite The Man and his attempts to curb my free will.  Because after all, addiction is only something that happens to those with weak mental discipline.  I had the willpower to do anything.

    Well, that was in the nighttime of my life, and now the cold light of morning is here.  And though I was finally able to quit, morning guy is still rather pissed at night guy for all the money wasted ($3/pack * 1 pack/day * 365 days/year * 5 years = $5475), all the 24-hour colds that took 72 hours to get over, all the hacking fits in the morning, all the workouts cut short because I couldn't breathe worth a damn.  Should we be allowed to make free choices?  Of course.  Are we always able to make free choices, even when their is no authority there to order us around?  Unfortunately, our biochemical nature means that a chemical can have more authority than any government.


    It's not all chemical (3.80 / 5) (#84)
    by thesk8ingtoad on Wed May 08, 2002 at 04:01:54 PM EST

    Though I agree with your assertion that many people start smoking or chewing with the idea that they will look cool and never get addicted, I also believe that there are many people who actually enjoy their habit. I am one of these people I like everything about smoking. I love the act itself, I love the feeling that comes with a good smoke, I even love the smell. I also like the fact that I know where my dispensible income has gone. If I didn't smoke, I'd probably spend my money on something just as unhealthy, like fast food. At this point in my life, I like to smoke, at others, I didn't. When I ceased to enjoy it, I quit. When and if I cease to enjoy it again, I'll quit again. I think that sometimes people just want to have problems, when they don't have them they invent them like nicotine addiction. While I agree that it is addictive, the withdrawl isn't all that bad. Well, that's my two cents, but by the time they take out taxes, you'll probably only get about a cent and a half.
    If you build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day. If you set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
    [ Parent ]
    Agreed (4.66 / 6) (#86)
    by pexatus on Wed May 08, 2002 at 04:29:54 PM EST

    Remember Trainspotting?  The line (refering to heroin) I'm thinking of went something like, "What they forget is the pleasure of it.  I mean, we're not fucking stupid; at least we're not that fucking stupid"

    I agree with you.  I liked to smoke too, even when I wanted to quit.  I probably could write a whole article just like this one about the various nuances of smoking and how to make it more enjoyable.  And if you're able to quit that easily, more power to you.  The hardest part for me as well was not physical, but breaking the psychological associations I had (loved to smoke after meals, with friends when they light up, when drunk, etc.)

    But just because you can quit easily doesn't mean everyone can.  You may have no chemical addiction whatsoever, but the fact that so many people can and do develop an addiction to nicotine that causes them to smoke ridiculous amounts of it, check out of life early, and leave their families in debt is reason enough to ban it.  I mean, it's fun for the minority of people for whom it creates no problem, but it's not that fun.  You may be able to quit easily, but you are a small minority.

    Just as important to note is that before a person starts smoking, he has no idea how to tell how difficult it will be for him to quit.  I'll bet if you did a survey, the majority of people would say their willpower to quit something they're addicted to is higher than the average person's.

    [ Parent ]

    to continue this line of thought... (4.00 / 1) (#107)
    by cyclopatra on Thu May 09, 2002 at 07:57:39 PM EST

    But just because you can quit easily doesn't mean everyone can. You may have no chemical addiction whatsoever, but the fact that so many people can and do develop an addiction to nicotine that causes them to smoke ridiculous amounts of it, check out of life early, and leave their families in debt is reason enough to ban it.

    But just because you can quit easily doesn't mean everyone can. You may have no chemical addiction whatsoever, but the fact that so many people can and do develop an addiction to alcohol that causes them to drink ridiculous amounts of it, check out of life early, and leave their families in debt is reason enough to ban it...

    But just because you can quit easily doesn't mean everyone can. You may have no chemical addiction whatsoever, but the fact that so many people can and do develop an addiction to credit that causes them to use ridiculous amounts of it, check out of life early, and leave their families in debt is reason enough to ban it...

    But just because you can quit easily doesn't mean everyone can. You may have no chemical addiction whatsoever, but the fact that so many people can and do develop an addiction to fast food that causes them to eat ridiculous amounts of it, check out of life early, and leave their families in debt is reason enough to ban it. ..

    Need I go on? It's not your place to decide whether I kill myself by smoking, or skydiving, or eating Big Macs. You can't go around banning adults from doing things just because they're endangering themselves. Not only would you have to ban nearly everything that people enjoy doing, it's the flip side of taking responsibility for one's actions - the right to do stupid things as long as you're only hurting yourself.

    All your .sigs are belong to us.
    remove mypants to email
    [ Parent ]

    Read my first post (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by pexatus on Thu May 09, 2002 at 10:29:26 PM EST

    I talked about how people don't have the free will they think they do.  You argue for a person's right to choose assuming that 35 years from now, when he's hooked up to an iron lung, he'll feel the same way about smoking as he did when he was 16.  He will more likely than not be thinking, "Aw shucks, I wish I had never done this.", at which point he will roll over and cough up some more black stuff.  The trouble is, when he decided to quit, it was too late.  Now you can say, "Well, he's just stupid and shouldn't have started in the first place", but the person who chose to start is not the same person who chose to quit, because the addictive nature of cigarettes transformed him.

    If you don't believe me, start smoking for about 5 years.  If you already have smoked for a long time, don't have one for a month, just to prove me wrong.  If you really have a right to choose, you should be able to, but it's not so easy, is it?  Now smoke for 30 years, and come back and tell me about your free will, and how the tobacco companies defended it by selling you cigarettes.

    Now, to answer your first few examples:

    You raise some good points here.  Psychological addiction is a tricky thing.  It's much harder to protect people from dangers when it's not a physical substance drawing them to the danger.  This especially gets tricky when you deal with something like credit, which also provides an service to society.  Maybe credit card companies should be required to disclose more candidly the risks associated with credit.  Maybe fast food joints should be required to hire heart disease patients who carry their respirators around with them, so customers can make a more educated choice of sustenance.  I don't pretend to have the answers to these problems, though they are problems.

    Cigarettes, though, have nicotine in them.  This is a substance that has been shown to cause physical addiction in humans.  Tobacco companies artificially added ammonia to cigarettes in order to strengthen this addiction (see http://www.cnn.com/US/9802/04/minnesota.tobacco/), to weaken free will in the people using it.  I'm not trying to strip you of your rights; the tobacco companies are.  If they want to sell smokes, and people want to buy them, fine, but they should be required (and I'm fairly sure this is not possible) to remove all the nicotine, so that smokers end up walking around with essentially lit twigs between their lips.  I think we'd see a lot less smoking.

    My whole point is that you can talk all you want about your right to choose.  I'm not talking about your right to choose.  If you can smoke cigarettes for 30 years, and stare one in the face and say you don't want it anymore, then you have amazing willpower.  If you are smart enough when you are 16 to say, "These things are nothing but trouble, so I'm avoiding them", then you are smarter than the average bear.  Congratulations.  The trouble is, I don't give a crap about you.  I care about the poor schlub who didn't know any better, who wants to quit now but can't.  I'm talking about his right to choose.  Everyone knows cigarettes are bad for your health, but everyone also thinks they are the one with special powers that can stave off addiction.  Some of them are right; most of them aren't.

    I'd like to note that everything I've said so far applies even under the assumption that smokers only hurt themselves.  Clearly this assumption does not always hold.  My stepdad died of lung cancer.  He was my younger brother's dad, and so my brother grew without a dad since he was 4 years old.  Of course I blame my stepdad; after all, he chose to smoke.  He also chose to start long before he had anyone around, like us, who would be so hurt by his decision to hurt himself.  And he didn't stop once we were around because of his addiction, not because he was irresponsible or didn't care.  Granted, I blame him, but I also blame the tobacco companies for intentionally snaring him.  And since he's dead, and they're still alive, it's pretty clear with whom I ought to be angry.  And if I could go back and take away his right to smoke, I'd do it in a heartbeat, and I wouldn't give a damn if it took away your right to smoke as well.


    [ Parent ]

    The point is (5.00 / 3) (#111)
    by cyclopatra on Fri May 10, 2002 at 04:22:00 PM EST

    ...that there are probably a million things that I will do in my life that I will later wish that I had never done. It may even be that one of them will kill me (and at this moment, my strong desire to learn how to paraglide is more likely to do so than my smoking). That is not sufficient reason for anyone to prevent me from doing those things.

    You lost a stepfather to lung cancer. I'm sorry - I really am. I lost my grandmother to emphysema, and it sucks. But if he had died in a car accident, or a plane crash, would you want to ban cars or planes? Or better yet, if he had died of heart failure related to a poor diet, would you want to regulate heathy eating?

    I know that at this precise moment, I have a lot less choice about the cigarette I'm about to smoke than I did when I started smoking twelve years ago. That doesn't change the fact that I made that choice, for better or worse. I have no one to blame for my morning cough except myself. I knew they were bad for me, I knew what they did, and I picked the damn things up anyway - and kept picking them up, until I couldn't *not* pick them up.

    Nicotine addiction doesn't happen overnight - you have to be pretty persistent about it to get completely addicted. Personally, it took me about three years of moderate-to-heavy smoking (and about seven years from my first cigarette) to become addicted. At any time before that, I could have simply stopped smoking - I know that, because I *did*, for months at a time - and every time, I made the conscious decision to start smoking again.

    I don't think the surgeon general's warnings on cigarettes came as a huge surprise to anyone. You'd have to be pretty dim to think that inhaling burning plant material could be *good* for you - and even if you got that far, there are plenty of smokers around, coughing and choking, to convince you that it's not such a great idea.

    I guess my point is that people can do lots of stupid things to mess up their lives, and they do. Women have children that they're not ready for, people eat Big Macs despite mounds of evidence that they're probly not good for you, and skydivers do something that I can only describe as insane. But as long as someone is only taking their own life into their hands, how can you justifiably prevent them from doing it?

    All your .sigs are belong to us.
    remove mypants to email
    [ Parent ]

    . . . I might crash into a school bus on my drive (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by the1realdave on Fri May 10, 2002 at 06:11:31 PM EST

     . . . the fact that so many people can and do develop an addiction to nicotine that causes them to smoke ridiculous amounts of it, check out of life early, and leave their families in debt is reason enough to ban it.

    I don't know when this concept of preventative lawmaking started happening but it is robbing human beings of common sense.

    Removing the context, your argument reads like this:

    The fact that people tend to start doing something that can turn out real badly is reason enough to ban it.

    The whole concept of individual freedom (in the traditional U.S. sense), is that the people have the right to do whatever they want up to the point that it conflicts with the same right in others.

    This means that the legal system should be based on acts of commission, not the contributing factors.  For instance, it is against the law to break out of prison, but not against the law to document a breakout plan.  It is against the law to kill someone, but not against the law to write a book about how it could be done. Buying a knife is legal, but stabbing someone with it is not.  Getting drunk is legal, but hurting people because you are drunk is not.

    Modern nations have traditionally not passed laws to prevent a bad thing, they criminalize the bad thing itself.

    You said:

     . . . the fact that so many people can and do develop an addiction to nicotine that causes them to smoke ridiculous amounts of it, check out of life early, and leave their families in debt is reason enough to ban it.

    Two bad things happened here:
    • Early death
    • Family in debt
    The early death is the only side effect of the smoking, and as painful as it was, life and death are a personal thing.

    Leaving the family in debt is bad too, but that is more a result of bad money management and lack of life insurance.  Any other early death would have produced the same result. You might argue that the number of cost of tobacco contributed to the debt, but that is probably a straw man. The benevolence of others is not a right.

    A fast-food diet, adventurous sports, high-stress careers, and alcolhol consumption can all cause early death, and are all as addictive (to some) as tobacco is to others.  Should they be banned as well?

    The "bad thing" should be the crime not the contributing influences.

    All these should's and would's though fall apart in the liability era.  We now somehow think it is virtuous legislate risky behaviors out of our lives on the off-hand chance that a bad-thing might come of it.  Anything to keep ourselves from becoming a victim.

    This is the same vacuous argument that produces such jewels as the coffe cup labeled "HOT COFFEE" with a warning stating "WARNING: Contents may be hot."  Or the label in the above the cruise control stating "The driver must remain alert with hands on the steering wheel while the cruise control is engaged."

    By making all the tests of common-sense illegal, we will end up breeding ourselves into a world of risk-averse, simpering idiots without a shred of common sense ripe for the take over by someone who brought a set.

    Personally, as long as your risky behavior does not directly endanger others and it makes you happy, knock yourself out!

    Smoke out, drink up, jump off, go fast, argue loudly, work hard, masturbate repeatedly.

    Cancer, cyrrhosis, broken bones, strained muscles, heart atacks and blindness bedamned.

    [ This .sig has been removed because of death threats from religious zealots* who seek to control my life out fear of their own hidden desires ]

    * They are the same yahoos that sue because their coffee is hot
    [ Parent ]

    Tripe (3.20 / 5) (#102)
    by Jebediah on Thu May 09, 2002 at 04:46:14 AM EST

    Smoking is a better medication for me than anti-depressants. I smoke for a couple of reasons. I get jaundiced from time to time. Smoking helps get rid of it. I have digestive problems. Smoking helps get stuff through my system. Smoking also calms me down a great deal. I was / am rather nutty without nicotine to help regulate my moods. I see very few bad effects from smoking. Other medical problems will take me out years before heart disease, lung disease, or cancer will. I don't cough when I smoke and I don't get sick when I smoke. I aslo quit every once in a while just to get all the chemicals out of my system, but if I go too long (more than a week) without my smokes I'll start getting nutty. As for the cost, I really don't care. I get some decent Seneca Lights for $11.00 a carton off the net. If all my medications were that cheap I'd be happy. And those cartons last a good while. I only smoke between 1/3rd to 1/2 pack a day. Now then, if anybody would like to come take my cigarettes away from me come and try. I'll feel a lot crappier and be very angry...

    [ Parent ]
    The reason I chewed. (3.80 / 5) (#74)
    by cicero on Wed May 08, 2002 at 01:19:37 PM EST

    I attened a boarding school, one of those places that re-define privacy and introduce you to shitty cafeteria food at a horrendously young age. At that school, it was very difficult to get away with actually smoking. Sure, we had our ways (one such way required the cover of dark and involved an empty soda can, with the top spun around), but they were involved, and only managed to provide for cover during the actual act of smoking. they did nothing for the smell to our clothes, skin, and room in general once we were done.

    anyway, chew was just so easy to get away with. Chew in the showers, just spit down the drain. Chew on the toilet, just flush it down the toilet. Chew in the room, just be sure to empty your spitter before room-check. easy as cake.

    I can't count the number of times I've popped pusy cancerous little things in the inside of my lips though. And my teeth. My mouth is crowed enough already, but after chewing for a month I always felt my bite changing.

    But if you are addicted to nicotine, I would suggest using this stuff over any sort of inhalent. For me at least, it was easier to quit.

    I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
    Request for Clarification (3.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Canar on Thu May 09, 2002 at 01:03:00 AM EST

    It's like a carcinogenic Baskin Robbins
    For the ignorant among us, myself included, what is a Baskin Robbins?

    My apologies... (3.00 / 2) (#97)
    by Profane Motherfucker on Thu May 09, 2002 at 02:37:17 AM EST

    It's an ice cream store that was famous for it's "31 flavors". A bit U.S. centric, so my apologies.

    [ Parent ]
    Also in Australia. *shrug* (NT) (none / 0) (#117)
    by mesh on Thu May 16, 2002 at 11:04:26 AM EST

    [ Parent ]
    Baskin Robbins (4.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Argyle on Thu May 09, 2002 at 02:44:17 AM EST

    For the ignorant among us, myself included, what is a Baskin Robbins?

    Baskin Robbins is a ice cream store chain in the western United States. They are known for always having 31 different flavors of ice cream available.

    It made for tough choices as a child.

    [ Parent ]
    Not just the western US (none / 0) (#115)
    by Zorkon on Sat May 11, 2002 at 02:01:08 PM EST

    Baskin Robbins also exists in eastern Canada - in Ontario at least.

    [ Parent ]
    As Norm MacDonald once said.. (4.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Your Moms Cock on Thu May 09, 2002 at 03:07:07 PM EST

    In reference to cigarettes and cigars...

    "I'd rather be sucking on the small white cocks than the large brown cocks."

    Mountain Dew cans. Cat hair. Comic book posters. Living with the folks. Are these our future leaders, our intellectual supermen?

    Idle Minds (4.00 / 1) (#110)
    by blacklite on Thu May 09, 2002 at 10:51:47 PM EST

    I did chew a few times, one boring summer, over drinks and roleplaying games. It's horrible stuff, but I enjoyed it at the time. A few weeks later I discovered some sort of bump on the inside of my lower lip and deep down I wondered if I was going to die or something. Wonderfully written stuff. Observations on weird phenomena of modern-day life are exactly what I like in the culture section.
    If you'd like to e-mail me, don't laugh.
    Copenhagen freak! (none / 0) (#119)
    by birdsintheskytheylooksohigh on Sun May 19, 2002 at 08:26:01 AM EST

    Repulsed in the past from pictures of damaged gums and mouths, chewing tobacco was something I always refused when offered. After reading this article, however, I happily rushed out and bought my first tin of Copenhagen the day following my grin reflecting from the surface of the monitor,  the chew article underneath. I'm switching to chew. It's very nice! Not only does it pack a punch as far as nicotine is concerned, but it's very easy to bring into environments where smoking would not be allowed. When I bought my first can from a freezer section, I carried it around during the day and put it into the freezer at home to keep it fresh, removed it during use and again returned it (repeat process). Do I have to worry about mold growing in this since it's very moist in a closed container? My concern about this possibility (and freshness factor) led me to this ritual.

    I'm very surprised at the small amount of chew it takes to provide a very intense rush of nicotine. A very good article, Mr. or Ms. P.M. Thank you for sharing your addiction with us, as well as the disgusting consequences of such a nasty habit. In closing, I'd like to say that I'll be thumping my can of Copenhagen with a smile and sneer about whatever crowded room I'm in, slurping my nico-treat until I'm able to quit one day.

    (While I may be cheering about this new found treat, this is NOT a recommendation to those reading this to try this or any tobacco product if you do not already do so. Don't be stupid, don't start!)

    Chewing tobacco is a safe alternative to smoking (none / 0) (#124)
    by slkyk on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 05:26:45 PM EST

    For the record, I am not a user of tobacco of any kind, but I do have a interest in studying the cause of cancer and cancer research in general.

    It seems evident to me that there is no proof that the use of chewing tobacco products causes cancer of any kind.

    The study most often used in anti-tobacco sites to back up the claim is a a 1981 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study found an oral-cancer rate of 26 per 100,000 among long-term users of smokeless tobacco, compared to 6 per 100,000 among nonusers. Thus, the argument that "one is 4 times more likely to develop oral cancer using chewing tobacco.."
    Not only is this study highly critized for using questionable scientic methods; They also fail to mentioned that oral cancer is in fact EXTREMELY rare, both in users and non-users.

    Even more interesting, later studies in Sweden (1997) and UK (1999) found NO increased oral cancer rate in users of chewing tobacco and snuff.
    In fact, the Swedish study found FEWER cases of oral cancer among snuff users than non-users. The disparity was withing the margin of error, but it suggested again the chewing tobacco products do not cause oral cancer.

    Longevity studies in Sweden has also shown that even a heavy user of snuff has an life expectancy of 80.9 years, vitually IDENTICAL of that with non users.

    I find it extremely intellectually DISHONEST when anti-Tobacco organizations claim there is a link between oral cancer and snuff use.
    For instance, when the show photos of people suffering of oral cancer, they claim that is proof of the effects of snuff use.

    The fact is that it the photo is just of an individual who also happened to use chewing tobacco products, but with NO scientic link btween the cancer and the fact that he did use these products.
    Even an innocent child can develop oral cancer, but is a extremely rare and relativly highly treatable cancer.

    So I am yet to see any conclusive evidence that chewing tobacco is cancer causing at all.
    In fact, for individuals already addicted to nicotine, I would suggest that the government encouraged switching over from smoking to chewing tobacco, the latter being a far healthier product.

    Warning labels on chewing tobacco has been REMOVED in several European countries, and for good reasons. The same should be done here in the US.  

    chewing tobacco is NOT safe (none / 0) (#125)
    by xzap on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 06:51:45 AM EST

    I live in India, and tobacco is THE item of choice (as against ciggies etc) here and has been for centuries, especially in rural India, where about 7/10 males use tobacco.

    There are 2 cancer surgeons in my family and a cancer physician. My uncle was recently diagnosed with oral cancer and had to have his jaw removed. During this time,when I was with him, I had a chance to interact closely with the said doctors and specialists. Apparently oral cancer constitutes a huge majority of cancer cases in all Indian cancer hospitals and invariably (the doctors said 9/10 cases) are people who have been using tobacco.

    If you google around, you will probably find enough data to prove this. Later maybe, I will write a story about it. Tobacco is not that widespread in the U.S and that is why people think it is safer that ciggies. But in India, it is the other way round. Believe me I have seen my uncle suffer before, during and after the operation. It is hard for him to take down any solid food now and his speech has distinctly deteriorated. Tobacco is as unsafe as ciggies, probably more, and while I do not know much about the effects of lung cancer, let me tell you that it cannot be any worse than oral cancer.

    Remember the unique wonder and terror of life, and knowing it, live. - adequate nathan

    My world of Nicotine -- a HOWTO of chew. | 123 comments (101 topical, 22 editorial, 1 hidden)
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