Nicotine gum is one of the most popular and oldest over the counter stop smoking
aids on the market. It comes without a prescription in two strengths - 2 and 4 mg's.
People defined as "heavy smokers" - greater than 25-30 cigarettes per day - may
benefit from higher doses of the gum. Consult a doctor or other health care
professional to ensure you are placed on the right strength. Although nicotine gum
is available without a prescription, the simple act of prescribing it may improve its
Is Nicotine Gum Bad For You
I think the question should be changed to whether smoking is bad for you. I think we
know the answer to that question. The gum is not bad for most people. A simple
reading of the instructions and precautions on the package and insert will tell you if
it is bad for you personally. If you have questions, you can always ask your doctor,
which we recommend.
Nicotine replacement therapy, like the gum, is designed to slow down the nicotine
withdrawal symptoms. Clinical studies show much higher quit rates than what is
seen in the real world. This is likely because those volunteering for a smoking
cessation studies, might be more serious about quitting than the average person.
Quit rates on this and all other nicotine replacement therapy is about double over
quitting cold turkey alone.
Use it Correctly
The correct way to use nicotine gum is to chew it a few times until a tingling
sensation is noticed. Once this is achieved, the gum should be kept between the
cheek and gum until this sensation is no longer present, this is called "parking" the
gum. Once the sensation has left, the person should begin chewing it again, until
the sensation returns. People usually start out chewing between 10-15 pieces per
day, but then settle down after the first week to about 5-8 pieces. The gum is typically
recommended for a 3 month period.
Nicotine Gum Side Effects
Side effects are usually limited to gastric upset, especially if it is vigorously chewed.
This action will create excessive mouth watering which then gets swallowed.
Nicotine gum side effects become evident once the nicotine is swallowed in the
saliva. Once in the gastric system, it passes out of the body without achieving its
desired effect. Long term, there do not appear to be any lingering nicotine gum side
effects. In fact, it has been studied in patients who have used it for up to 5 years with
no ill effects. Addiction to nicotine gum is certainly a potential side effect.
Nicotine lozenges work in the same way as the the gum. Since it does not need to
be chewed, it may be easier for people to use. Much like the gum, the nicotine is
absorbed in the mouth and should not be swallowed. Both can be used in
combination with other stop smoking aids, but only under the direction of a doctor.
The cost associated with these two forms of nicotine replacement therapy is about
equal to the cost of a pack of cigarettes per day.
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