Quit Smoking Help Support: 04/14/06

Friday, April 14, 2006

Facts About Nicotine Gum That You Should Know


This article explains a few things about nicotine gum, and if you're interested, then this is worth reading, because you can never tell what you don't know.


Now that we've covered those aspects of nicotine gum, let's turn to some of the other factors that need to be considered.


Nicotine is the addictive substance of tobacco, and smokers become accustomed to the stimulation that nicotine provides. When smokers try to quit, the cravings that they feel are mostly due to nicotine withdrawal. A Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can help overcome these cravings for nicotine.


Some of the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include irritability, inability to concentrate, drowsiness, insomnia, and dry cough. An NRT like nicotine gum reduces these symptoms and allows the user to gradually cut down on the amount of nicotine his system needs to function normally. At the same time, his exposure to all of the other toxic substances in cigarette smoke is eliminated.


Of the many NRTs available, one of the most popular and easy to use is nicotine gum. Unlike patches, nicotine gum allows the user to control when and how much nicotine goes into his system. As an added benefit, it provides an oral replacement for those who need to overcome the habit of having a cigarette in their mouth.
Nicotine gum is available in different strengths.


Heavy smokers are advised to start off with gum which has a relatively high amount of nicotine -- 4 mg. As dependence on nicotine is reduced, the strength of the gum can also be reduced to 2 mg. Most manufacturers offer gum in these two strengths.


The gum can be taken at certain intervals during the day to maintain a constant level of nicotine in the bloodstream, or it can be taken only when there is a craving for cigarettes. The gum is usually taken at regular intervals at the beginning of the therapy and then gradually reduced over a period of weeks.


It is advisable to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using nicotine gum. They can offer guidelines about how to use the gum and the length of time the therapy should continue. Using nicotine gum in combination with certain medications may be contraindicated, so it is especially important to consult with your doctor if you are on any other kind of drug therapy.


Nicotine gum is used differently from regular gum. It should not be chewed continuously, but rather only until you feel a slight tingling in your mouth. When this happens, stop chewing and put the gum between your teeth and your cheek for about one minute until the tingling stops, and then again resume chewing slowly. Repeat this cycle for about 30 minutes or until there is no more taste left in the gum.


Gradually reduce the amount of gum you are using over a period of about three months. By this time, you should be taking no more than two or three pieces of nicotine gum a day. Do not continue using the gum for longer than three months.
Most people can use nicotine gum without experiencing any side effects, but adverse reactions sometimes occur.


It is possible that the gum may bring on headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, and soreness in the mouth. If these conditions persist consult with your doctor. More severe side effects include seizures and difficulty breathing. If this happens, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.


Thousands of people have found NRT to be an effective aid to quitting smoking. The nicotine replacement method you decide on is a personal preference, but chewing gum has the advantage of being easy to use and providing doses of nicotine when it is most needed.


Manufacturers of nicotine gum include Nicorette and Rite Aid.


Of course, it's impossible to put everything about nicotine gum into just one article. But you can't deny that you've just added to your understanding about nicotine gum, and that's time well spent.

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