Requiem For A Pinch

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I’m not attempting to advocate any of the behaviors detailed below, but to educate the common public about a subculture of American society that I feel is judged far too harshly.

In these modern times, smoking is more or less accepted as a societal constant. Yet smokeless tobacco, whether it be dipping, chewing or spitting, has always garnered disdain from the uninitiated public. The best way to fight ignorance is with truth and information, and that is what I am doing.

Any person that uses smokeless tobacco is usually referred to as a “dipper” or a “chewer.”  The receptacle, usually an empty bottle that is used to collect the expelled spit, is known as a spitter.  The act of using smokeless tobacco is known as, “chewing,” “lipping,” or “putting in a lip.”

This topic brings me constant confusion and often times anger at the way in which smokeless tobacco users are treated.  When walking around campus it is easy to spot smokers because of the haze and clouds of smoke that surround them. Most people simply accept it and go on about their lives.  Yet, when I see someone who looks at me dipping, I watch as their face twists into a mask of disgust, disdain and revulsion simply because I am using smokeless tobacco.  Though I am not blowing smoke in your collective faces or throwing cigarette butts onto the ground to litter the landscape or possibly start a fire, you act as though I am some sort of depraved lunatic or war criminal. Then there are the people who spout off lines about how it will affect my teeth and/or gums.  These people act like they are the health police and are entitled to let everyone know what is best for them.  Allow me to clue all of you crusaders in on this fact: anyone that uses tobacco, be it smoked or dipped, knows that it is not a good habit. Since we live in America, and American citizens are granted certain freedoms, we choose to use it despite the health risks. To those who claim that dipping is unclean and disgusting, I would simply ask them if they have ever thought about how gross smoking can be: stained teeth, clothes and hair that smell like smoke constantly, stained fingers, and various other undesirable side effects of smoking that occur but are ignored by the greater masses.

As dippers you should thank us for not smoking and keeping our tobacco use to ourselves.  We do not force you to deal with the second hand effects of our habit like our inhaling cousins do.  We understand that you may not like to watch the physical act of someone dipping, but then again I do not like seeing girls walk around “muffin topping,” or any guy wearing jean shorts, or anyone at all wearing socks with sandals. But I do not chastise these tasteless idiots for their choices; I simply choose not to let them scar my eyes.

So, let us all get along to go along.  If you disagree with our habit we will not blame you or judge you.  At the end of the day we all simply wish to be left alone and not hassled about our choices in life, unless you wear jean shorts, in which case you should probably cut that crap out, it is just weird.

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