Healthy Substitute for Cigarettes and Chewing
Tobacco. Freshens Breath, Too!
How Dentists & Hygienists Can Help Their Patients Quit
do people use tobacco?
Where Can a Person Buy Mint
Information on the
Limited Sample Program for Professionals ONLY
do people use Tobacco?
Knowing why a patient uses tobacco helps identify what
method will help them quit. Some of the reasons are:
- Peer pressure- This seems to be
one of the first reasons that kids especially start using tobacco.
They usually first get it from a friend (or parent!) who urges them to
try it and be like the "big kids". By the time the child
goes to the store to try to purchase tobacco, many might
have already been using it for several days or even weeks. Some of
these kids say they need to display the "ring on their rear"
in order to be accepted with some of their peers. In others, the
circle on the back pocket is a coming-of-age or emancipation
symbol, marking the passage to adulthood and "independent
- Social pressure and Association-
Being in an environment that condones tobacco use (sports,
bars, outings or any place they are around others who use it) can be a
great motivator. Users are often able to quit for a significant length
of time but begin again when they're around others who dip or smoke.
- Behavior- Some chewers have been
"dipping" so long that they miss the ritual of opening the
chew can, getting the "dip" and putting it in their mouth.
The most common statement heard from these users is "I just miss
something in my mouth" (i.e. oral gratification). Here they have
a choice of either quitting "cold turkey" and dealing with
the loss of the behavior or using an oral alternative while they cut
down. Mint Snuff products are great for these people
because it allows them to yield to the cravings of the behavior yet do
so with a harmless product.
- Nicotine Addiction- There is a
significant amount of nicotine in smokeless tobacco. Although many
young users might not be addicted yet others get that way rather
quickly. You might ask a user how long they have been using smokeless
tobacco and how many cans a week they use to get an idea of possible
levels of addiction (the range is one to three cans per week). Many of
the questions asked of smokers apply to chewers to determine addiction
levels. Many health professionals use the nicotine patch or nicotine
pills with non-tobacco chew to help their nicotine-dependant patients.
- Salt Cravings- A typical can of
smokeless tobacco contains over 1100 mg of salt. Some people not only
suffer from nicotine withdrawal but also from salt cravings once they
have quit using smokeless tobacco. These cravings might be confused
with nicotine withdrawal.
Over the years, several smokeless tobacco cessation and prevention
techniques have been tried with varying levels of success. Some of them
One of the easiest and first lines of defense in cessation is to educate
them on the dangers of tobacco. Give your patients literature from the
American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. We have some
pamphlet and booklet suggestions in this web site. Posters, pamphlets
and repeated reminders (i.e. intervention) from health professionals to
their patients to not start using tobacco can be very influential.
Encouraging and educating young people regarding non-tobacco use can
also help that person become influential to their peers.
“Cold turkey”- People can and do quit chewing on
their own. The health professional can be very helpful by encouraging
quitting and giving support whenever possible. Chewers who have not been
chewing very long are often successful with this method.
an alternative- Oral gratification
"missing having something in my mouth", behavioral rituals and
peer pressure are powerful influences to keep a person using smokeless
tobacco. Here is where using healthy alternatives like Mint
Snuff All Mint Chew or Pouches becomes so
valuable. They allow the patient to continue the behavior and yield to
whatever pressures keep them chewing but without the danger of tobacco.
Some people can quit the behavior altogether after a few weeks, others
take longer. If they quit and then feel the need to relapse, they can
once again use Mint Snuff until the urge passes.
Some chewers who have strong nicotine withdrawal find it
helpful to mix Mint Snuff with their tobacco. Some mix it with tobacco
in a ratio of 1:4 one week, 1:3 the following week, 1:2 the next, 1:1
afterwards and finally to straight Mint Snuff. Click
here to see Dr. Dan Laizure's method.
dips- Use tobacco and Mint Snuff
alternately starting every other dip then gradually using Mint Snuff
more and more until they don't use tobacco anymore.
of nicotine patches- For those chewers
who display definite signs of nicotine withdrawal, doctors may consider
the use of nicotine patches. Please check the latest information on
suggested levels and age criteria for the use of patches with smokeless
gum (Nicorette)- Studies have suggested that nicotine
gum has not been very helpful in the cessation efforts. However, it is
always worth a try if the patient wants to try it.
8. A prescription of
wellbutrin (also called Zyban, a prescription
anti-depressant pill) and the use of Mint
Snuff Chew or Mint Snuff
Pouches. A few un-named professional baseball players quit using
One of the most difficult things to deal
with when intervening with a patient about tobacco use is how and when to
do it. Until now, just telling a patient that they should quit chewing and
not offering any assistance or alternatives created some stress for the
patient. By offering an alternative, you can now establish a good
relationship and give the patient something to use in their own quitting
process. When combined into a comprehensive intervention plan, the
overall effect towards ultimate cessation can be quite effective. Here
are some other suggestions of how to deal with different patient ages:
every patient (especially adolescents) on each visit if they
use tobacco. If they don't, praise them for non-use and urge them to
continue avoiding tobacco. If they do chew, briefly inform them of the
dangers of tobacco, provide them literature and ask them if they want
to quit. Consistently asking someone about their tobacco use,
especially young adults, offers many opportunities for intervention.
- Kids from about 8yrs
to 14yrs- These kids can be some of our best
ambassadors of health! You may want to ask them if they use
tobacco in either a direct or offhand manner: "I assume you
are still not using tobacco, right?" or "How do you feel
about kids who are using chewing tobacco?" Ask their opinion
about tobacco use and if they know others who chew tobacco.
Whatever answer they give you can lead to an intervention
- "No, I don't use tobacco"-
Your response- "Wonderful, and I don't ever want you to
begin.." Some have expanded this opportunity to ask if
they know about the dangers of chewing tobacco so they might
be able to tell one of their friends that does use tobacco.
Ask if they would like to take some brochures on tobacco
cessation to a friend. By intervening now, and letting them
know how you feel about tobacco use, they can begin creating
an anti-tobacco attitude before they are
offered tobacco from a peer or another adult!
- "Yes, I have (or do) use chewing
tobacco" - It can happen! The best you can do now is
to find out how much they are using, why and then tell them
briefly about the dangers of tobacco and that they should
think about making their own decision to quit. There are no
good reasons for them to be chewing tobacco.Offer them
information about the dangers of tobacco and try to find out
why they chew.
- Kids from about
14yrs to 21 yrs- Sometimes this is the toughest group
to get to but represent the majority of new users. Asking if they
would like to quit and then giving them information about the
dangers of tobacco use are a great way to begin. If it is obvious
that they are probably going to continue "dipping"
anyway, you might want to suggest they do so with a healthy and
harmless product like Mint Snuff and offer them a sample can.
- People 21 yrs and
older- Many of the chewers in this age group have been
chewing for many years. However, they may have also read about the
dangers of chewing and/or have had their girlfriends or wives urge
them to quit. For whatever reason, the health professional can
again ascertain their desire to quit and offer an alternative if
they need one. These people may need extra help with nicotine
- Find out
if the patient is ready to quit-
If the patient uses tobacco, tell them of your concern that they quit
and ask them, “Do you want to quit?” If the answer is YES,
continue with the cessation program. If their answer is NO,
state “When you want to quit, let me know and we can help,” then
go on with your normal procedures. Don't badger, just let them know
that you care and you can help. Cessation experts report that unless a
person is ready to quit, your chances of helping them is very low.
- Offer help-
If your patient uses smokeless tobacco, ask them why they chew, and if
they would be able to quit “cold turkey.” Ascertain whether or not
they chew for social and/or behavioral reasons (i.e. “other guys do
it...,” “only during baseball..,” “I need something in my
mouth..,” etc.) If they feel like they want to continue chewing but
need help with their behavior by using an alternative, offer Mint
Snuff™ All Mint Chew™ or All Mint Pouches™.
Can You Send Patients to Buy Mint Snuff?
Snuff Chew™ and Mint Pouches™ are usually found in the tobacco section
at grocery and convenience stores. Many Krogers and Kmarts now carry Mint
Snuff Chew and Mint Snuff Pouches. Please ask your favorite store to carry
it for you or your patients. For a store near you click
here or call 1.800.EAT.MINT * 1.800.328.6468 8:30a-5:30p Pacific Time
Samples Available to Health Professionals ONLY
If your clinic would like to have a limited number
of complimentary samples of Mint Snuff™ products, informational
brochures, or tobacco education posters please e-mail your request to us.
Please include your street address, UPS cannot deliver to a post
office box. This offer is limited to health professionals. If you are a consumer looking for samples from a local dentist, please
email firstname.lastname@example.org We are in
the process of building a national database of dentists and hygienists
that stock Mint Snuff Chew and Pouches for their patients.
If you are going to have a special promotion such as
a health fair or have needs that will require more than the basic sample
kit, please call the Oregon Mint Snuff Company at 1.800.EAT.MINT *
1.800.328.6468 or email email@example.com
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