If you’re trying to quit dipping (chewing tobacco) and you dig a little caffeine buzz, replace your Copenhagen with high quality, organic coffee grounds.
Today, I sat with a former teammate and close friend in a really awful minor league clubhouse. “Kap,” my friend said, “I need a cup of coffee.” I, of course, eagerly shared the virtues of travelling with a French press and producing high quality coffee on the road. He shared with me his creative way of quitting his dipping habit. Instead of packing his bottom lip full of tobacco, he stuffed it with coffee. “It really helped,” he noted. Turns out, he’s not the only one. From techtimes.com:
Similarly to how nicotine gets absorbed into the blood when using dip, caffeine is absorbed through the blood vessels on the surface of the gums where the coffee grounds are placed. Each pouch of grounds has the same amount of caffeine as a quarter cup of coffee, which give users a slight buzz.
Go ahead and call me out here. I never dipped and have no idea what it’s like to have to quit. Plenty of ballplayers are struggling with this issue right now. Having smoked cigarettes for a time as a teenager, I do know what the nicotine hitting one’s bloodstream feels like. The jolt from the caffeine is not particularly similar. However, you do so with a lot less risk.
The user gets a burst of energy from the coffee ground without the harmful outcomes that come from chewing tobacco. Chewing tobacco and other smokeless tobacco products can cause cancer of the mouth, tongue, cheek, gum, esophagus, stomach and pancreatic cancer. Those who use smokeless tobacco also have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and heart attacks.
We speak often about value at the margins. By replacing your additive filled tobacco product with coffee, not only are you eliminating the increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular events, you’re also reaping the benefits of the nutrients found in the beans themselves. You’ve added in doses of riboflavian, panthothenic acid, manganese, potassium, magnesium, niacin…perhaps you can throw out a couple of bottles of supplements in addition to the dip you’re getting rid of.
Look, I’m not suggesting opting for dipping coffee over brewing it in the abstract. I would never endorse missing the sensory experience of a morning mug of the world’s greatest drug. But I played with thousands of dipping baseball players, many of whom are trying to quit. Many of them noted that kicking the nicotine wasn’t the only hurdle they faced, but swore that having something between their teeth and their lip is part of the allure. From cancer.org:
In many ways, quitting smokeless tobacco is a lot like quitting smoking. Both involve tobacco products that contain nicotine, and both involve the physical, mental, and emotional parts of addiction. Many of the ways to handle the mental hurdles of quitting are the same…There is often a stronger need to have something in the mouth (an oral substitute) to take the place of the chew, snuff, or pouch.
Addiction is a complicated issue, and people often miss the rituals that go along with their particular vice. If you’re looking to replace the fixation of carrying around a can of dip, there are even products on the market designed to replicate the experience from start to finish. Any step is worth taking, though I would recommend upgrading to high quality beans that you grind yourself for optimal flavor.