You’re Gonna Have To Face It You’re Addicted To Gum

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I’m a smoker—and no, I don’t smoke cigarettes. I smoke gum. Two packs a day. Well, no; but about four pieces a day. And ok, so maybe I don’t smoke: I chew. But I chew hard. And it’s getting tiresome.

What will it take to get me to quit? TMJ? An invervention? How did all of this begin?

I know how all of this began. A certain high school friend who reads this site got me on the habit. Her whole family chews gum. The idea is that it keeps your mouth minty fresh after every meal; no offensive odors to sabotage your job interview or ruin that date. Gum makes you ready to face the world.

My gum of choice, these days, is Orbitz. Opening a pack of Orbitz is very much like opening a pack of cigarettes. You have to peel off the plastic. Then you flip a lid to reveal two parallel rows of perfectly set sticks—in one case cancer sticks, in the other chew sticks.

But maybe the chew sticks ARE cancer sticks. That’s part of my worry.

Looking at the label, it reads: “Made of: Sorbitol, Gum Base, Glycerol, Mannitol, Natural and Artificial Flavors…”

I always think that’s funny when the side of a box says “natural and artificial flavors” as if distinguishing the two matters in a product as unnatural as gum. “Oh thank God!” wails an imaginary customer, “This gum has NATURAL flavors too!”

Continuing on: “…Xylitol, Aspartame, Acesulfame K, Lecithin, Blue 1 Lake, BHT (to maintain freshness), Color Added.”

Then, beneath: “Phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine.”

I’m a firm believer in only consuming products that you can pronounce. True, I don’t consume gum, but at the level I chew it there’s an awful lot of Xylitol and Acesulfame K going into my body…not to mention the phenylketonurics! Thank God for the natural flavors or I’d be really screwed.

But seriously, I have to quit.

9 comments

  1. i think xylitol helps prevent cavities. so if you are going to chew gum, at least that’s a good one, i suppose.

  2. You should come to Singapore. No importing gum, barely any sold… the only gum allowed is gum used for quitting smoking. Although it might have the opposite effect–I don’t normally chew gum back home (California) but here I find myself craving it regularly. When you see it sold in Malaysia it’s almost a shock.

  3. Hey can any let me in on where to purchase Lotte BlackBlack gum as I am addicted and can’t wait for friends to bring it to the US from japan, to stressful….. Re Matt

  4. i am addicted to gum too and my guy friend gives me a pack a day i ussualy chew orbit and trident but man do i chew a pack a day and i am getting worried too

  5. I typed in “I chew a pack of gum a day” into the google search tab and this came up. This is exactly the type of thing I someone who has that same problem, or is it even a problem? Maybe we just have better oral hygiene than the rest of the world. But, the way I see it it’s a problem, besides my jaw cramping and wallet going empty I fear I will need to start a “stride patch” that can some how relaes minty goodness into my body through my pores insted of the typical tiresome way via chewing. Thanks for letting me read such a well written article. Sincerly- Someone In Seek of a GA meeting not an AA meeting.

  6. I know this is a way old post to be commenting on…but SOME good must come out of the high school anatomy class i was forced to sit through, no?

    Phenylalanine is actually a natural substance that is found in almost every person’s body. However, some people’s bodies cant process it and it makes them really sick (they’re called phenylketonurics, see…) which is why everything that contains it has to warn you by law. Its like being lactose intolerant. So actually thats the one normal thing in your gum! Not that it makes the rest of it any more palatable.

  7. The phenylketonurics part refers to people with the condition of phenylketonuria, which is a genetic disorder that does not let the afflicted process or metabolize phenylalanine properly, so that large tag is a warning for phenylketonurics and most likely does not apply to you in any way.

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