Stop Smoking With Nicotine Gum

What Is Nicotine?

Nicotine is the active and addictive substance in tobacco. It's the nicotine that smokers become hooked on and develop cravings for when they try to quit. NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) is one way of dealing with this. Using an NRT means the smoker gets their nicotine fix from another source. One of the more popular types is nicotine gum - two of the most popular brands are Nicorette and Rite Aid.

Let there be no confusion here. Using nicotine gum doesn't mean that you've eliminated your need to smoke. It simply means that you're getting your nicotine fix by a less lethal means. The withdrawal symptoms of smoking (irritability, insomnia, lack of concentration) can be quite severe for some people so quitting cold turkey simply isn't possible or even feasible due to work or family committments.

How Does Nicotine Gum Help To Quit Smoking?

This is where nicotine gum comes in. It allows the quitter to actively control the amount of nicotine they get with each "dose" of gum. Heavy smokers can use a 4mg dose until they can reduce it to 2mg and then, ideally, stop using it altogether. At least by using gum instead of cigarettes the quitter is getting nicotine in a controlled dose minus all the chemicals present in normal cigarette smoke.

Using gum can also help many quitters deal with the urge to keep their mouth busy by smoking - the gum acts as a substitute for smoking. This takes their focus off finding a cigarette somewhere because their brain is associating the chewing of nicotine gum with smoking a real cigarette.

As with all medical treatments always consult your doctor before taking 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 (advised against) so it's extremely important to consult with your doctor if you are on any other kind of drug or medical therapy.

How To Use Nicotine Gum

Nicotine gum is not used the same way as normal chewing gum.  You shouldn't chew it non-stop. Rather, only chew 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. Once it does stop you can start chewing again. Repeat this cycle for about 30 minutes or until there is no more taste left in the gum itself.

One thing to be aware of is that most of the nicotine gum varieties don't taste very nice - don't expect to be in flavor country chewing this stuff.

After 90 days you should have reduced your use of nicotine gum to almost nothing - two to three pieces per day at a maximum. Nicotine gum is not designed for use past 90 days so you need to stop using it at this point in time.

Most people can use nicotine gum without experiencing any side effects, but adverse reactions do happen sometimes. Headaches, dizziness, mouth discomfort and nausea are all reasonably common side effects of using nicotine gum. If you experience any of these side effects then get immediate advice from your doctor. Don't leave this up to chance.

Hundreds of thousands of people have used nicotine gum to wean themselves off cigarettes. Replacing nicotine with another form of nicotine is not ideal but at least you'll no longer be causing severe harm to your lungs.