Rising star Luke Combs is kicking an old habit to the curb thanks to his girlfriend. The country hitmaker tells Taste of Country he finally ditched chewing tobacco with a little loving coercion.

"I'm trying to quit dipping — well actually, I have quit," Combs says. "It was 'cause of my girlfriend. She hated that I dipped and you know it was just time. Time to just kick it."

Combs instead turned to lozenges to help wean him off the old go-to. "I'm just kind of rocking these lozenges," Comb says. "A little plug there. They work. But they don't taste really great."

Combs says the decision to quit dipping was also a career one, noting the habit can negatively affect his singing voice. "I always lied to myself and was like, 'Oh it's okay you know,'" he says. "But really the worst thing in the world for your voice is any sort of acid reflux, heartburn type thing. Obviously, I eat a lot greasy stuff anyways, and then I dipped, so that's really what kills your voice more than anything."

Given the choice between quitting certain food and quitting dip, he says the "choice was obvious." But not necessarily easy. "I do miss it every day, but I'm getting better," Combs says.

It's a busy week for Combs, who is hoping to take home at least one of his two nominations at Wednesday night's (Nov. 14) CMA Awards. Combs earned both New Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year nominations. He's also slated to perform during the ceremony.

It's been a banner year for the new artist, who notched an additional two No. 1 singles in 2018, bringing his career total to four. Not bad for an artist still on the deluxe version of his first album, and a good sign, considering he never had a fallback plan.

"I don't know what I would be doing really [if it weren't for music]," Combs admits. "I guess there was never a plan B. I don't think that's a smart thing, but anybody who gets to this point, there really isn't a plan B. For me that just wasn't an option. I'd probably be working in a job that I hate, to be honest with you."

Combs credits fellow singer Brantley Gilbert with helping him get a big boost early in his career. "He called me and asked me to be on tour before 'Hurricane' was on the radio," Combs says. "He took a chance on us really early. We really started to hit our stride on tour. Him taking that chance on us was a really big moment."

Combs is hoping for another big moment on Wednesday, when he's got a shot to bring home his first major award as a country singer. The 52nd annual CMA Awards air Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8PM ET on ABC.

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