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Smoking and Tobacco

Quiting Spit Tobacco & Leaving Confusion

06/10/2010

Question:

I have quit spit tobacco (Skoal longcut) it has only been 106 hours, and I have no urges to use.

Over the past few years I have been having TIA`s that can last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours - where I am unable to communicate verbally or written. In fact, the week leading up to quiting I had 3 separate events that lasted for an hour at a low level. However, each day I always felt stressed and did not always feel alert-or felt that I would have a TIA at any point. In other words, frequent confusion or concern of confusion existed - basically a mental fog... I would feel alert from the time I woke up, until around noon/early afternoon - then the fog would start.

I am starting to think that the the work stress, newly wed, birth of 2 children, and use of Spit tobacco from 7 AM until 6 or 7 PM Monday through Friday (at the high point, 3 cans a week-but had nicotene product in my mouth almost every minute of the 11 to 12 hours), may have caused my TIA`s and other mental confusion (I am ADD). Since I quit, my mental state has felt much more alert, and I am much more relaxed. I have had no confused thoughts, anxiety, or concerns of TIA`s or felt anything close to a fog. Every day, I am feeling alert from as soon as I wake up until I go to sleep. Do you think that the improvements I am feeling are permanent? Or could they be temporary? IS it too early to tell?

Do you think that I am attributing too much to spit tobacco?

Sorry for having so many questions, but think if time proves my theory out, I will have one excellent testimonial for you to use to encourage people from stopping.

Answer:

Unless you've seen a qualified physician, I am not certain that these events you describe are indeed "Transient Ischemic Attacks -- TIAs". What I am certain about is that you need urgent medical attention if there is any possibility that these are TIAs, because TIAs are risk factors for devastating strokes. I am glad you are off the Skoal, and glad you are feeling better, but that in no way changes my opinion that you must see a doctor URGENTLY.  

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Response by:

Rob  Crane, MD Rob Crane, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University