How to Quit Snus

How to Quit Snus

Quitting snus or other nicotine products such as cigarettes or nicotine pouches is a big decision for many, and often requires a lot of resolution and discipline.
In this article we will guide you through the various stages of quitting nicotine and give you some tips on how to be successful in your endeavour.

Quitting Nicotine Timeline

Day 1-3: Nicotine Withdrawal

How to Quit Snus
The first couple of days are the hardest when it comes to physical withdrawal symptoms, and the cravings for nicotine can be really bad.
Many experience dizziness, nausea, concentration difficulties and difficulties sleeping. The dizziness comes as a result of lowered blood pressure. Nicotine causes constriction of the blood vessels and without it your blood pressure is lowered, potentially leading to feelings of dizziness.
You can ease the symptoms by making sure you get enough fluids, salts and sugar. Fluid replacement products can effectively be used for this and some people find that nicotine free pouches or chewing gum can help with relieving the symptoms. You might also experience a change of taste and smell. These initial symptoms usually subside within 2 days, so just hang in there, things will get easier.

Day 4–5: Reduced Nicotine Cravings and Headaches

How to Quit Snus
By now the worst physical cravings and withdrawal symptoms will have subsided.
Some will experience headaches that can reoccur during the first couple of months, but this generally improves over time. The mental cravings are often a bit harder to kick, so it’s important to stay strong and have a strategy for dealing with them when they do occur.

Day 6-7: Sugar cravings, headaches and mood swings

How to Quit Snus
When the worst nicotine cravings have eased off, along come the sugar cravings.
Nicotine works as an appetite suppressant, so quitting can naturally lead to increased appetite and weight gain. Studies also show that nicotine effects insulin and blood sugar levels, which is believed to trigger sugar cravings when quitting. (Source: https://www.verywellmind.com/snacking-and-weight-gain-when-you-quit-smoking-2824528)
The cravings can often come suddenly, so it is good to always have a healthy snack at hand; such as fruits or berries. Eating regularly and keeping a healthy diet also keeps your blood sugar at an even level, lessening the sugar cravings.
Apart from headaches, increased appetite and sugar cravings; mood swings are also common. But on the brighter side; after about a week the nicotine will completely be out of your system and your sleep should have improved.

1-2 weeks: Irritability and Unstable Blood Sugar

How to Quit Snus
Instability in blood sugar continues to cause problems. Sugar cravings and mood swings are still to be expected, and it is common to experience intense and sudden feelings of irritation. It is recommended to be open with family, friends and colleagues about quitting nicotine. This can help them be more understanding of your mood swings and make it easier for them to give you the help and support you need to quit.
Remember to be proud and applaud yourself every time you manage to resist using nicotine. And be aware that the time between the cravings will increase steadily.

4 weeks: Improved Oral Health

How to Quit Snus
If your oral health has been negatively affected by snus or other oral nicotine products, you should start noticing an improvement after about a month. Exposed gums or mucosal changes will have started to incline, and your oral health will continue improving during the first year without oral nicotine.
There might be certain occasions where you particularly crave a pouch, such as after dinner or out having a pint with friends. It is important to have strategies to avoid or cope with these situations. If alcohol is weakening your self-discipline, it might be better to avoid going to the pub or having that glass of wine for dinner at this time.

4-6 weeks: 40-Day Crisis

How to Quit Snus
Habits that have been formed over a long time become an addiction in themselves, so it is not only the nicotine that you have to resist when quitting. Your brain has to learn how to resist a habit it associates with reward. This process can take a long time, and around this time many experience a drop in motivation and difficulties fighting relapse.
It is also common to still be battling mood swings, sugar cravings and headaches. Make sure to be prepared for this and explain your situation to family, friends and co-workers, who might think that you have already “made it”
Remind yourself why you wanted to quit in the first place and try to find your initial motivation. Using nicotine free pouches might also help.

7-8 weeks: An Easier Period

How to Quit Snus
After the 40-week crisis comes a somewhat smoother period, although some might experience moments of mental fatigue. This is transitory and can be coped with by exercising. Exercise releases endorphins which prevent fatigue, and it also helps you keep your mind on something else. You can also try pampering yourself with something you enjoy, like tasty food or a massage. After all, you are worth it!

12–13 weeks: Nicotine Free Forever?

How to Quit Snus
After around 90 days without nicotine a milestone has been reached. Life without nicotine gets easier and you feel okay without it. Most people who get this far stay nicotine free, however you still need to be careful. Old habits are extremely easy to fall back into.

10 Tips to Succeed Quitting Snus

Be prepared – The better informed you are on what to expect when quitting nicotine, the better you are equipped to succeed. Reading this guide will have given you a great start!

Find your reason and stay motivated - Whatever your reason is, be it health or financial. Keep reminding yourself of why you wanted to quit.

Seek support from your loved ones – Tell the people you are close to that you are trying to quit. They might be able to give emotional support and informing them also helps them understand the difficulties you are going through. There are also support groups and mobile applications such as the NHS quit smoking app, that can also be helpful when quitting snus.

Avoid stress – Nicotine has a relaxing effect and many use snus to unwind. Cutting it out might therefore initially make you more vulnerable to stress. Try other ways of relaxing such as exercise, listening to music, a nice massage or maybe a new hobby. Try to avoid stressful situations during the first weeks after quitting.

Stay away from alcohol and other triggers – Alcohol weakens the ability to control ourselves, so try to avoid or limit your alcohol consumption while trying to quit. Try doing something else on the occasions you normally take a pouch; be it with your tea, waiting for the bus or after dinner. For example, chewing gum, brushing your teeth, taking a walk or texting a friend.

Stay active - Exercise can help control nicotine cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms. It does not have to be exhausting or high intensity. Even mild exercise, such as taking a walk or gardening helps. The calories you burn will also prevent weight gain.

Eat lots of healthy foods – Do not try to diet or count calories while giving up snus. Restricting too many things in your life at once can easily backfire. Although a healthy diet will make it easier for your body to cope with nicotine withdrawal and keep your blood sugar at an even level. Keep it simple and eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein.

Reward yourself – One of the perks of quitting nicotine is all the money you will save. Set a goal and spend some of the savings on something fun – maybe a holiday or visit to a nice restaurant?

Fill that void – Many who try to quit snus will miss the feeling of having something under their lip. There are nicotine-free pouches that can be used as a replacement.

DO NOT GIVE UP! – Most people try several times before managing to quit for good. Don’t be discouraged if you should happen to relapse. Try to learn from the situation that made you slip up and set a new quit within a month.



Other stories Go to lifestyle