Quit Smoking Products – Tangible and Intangible Anti Smoking Products Available

Quit smoking products are designed to stop our cravings for cigarettes. They come in two forms in general – tangible and intangible products.

Tangible products can be divided into two groups – nicotine replacement therapy and prescription medications. As the name indicates, the nicotine replacement products contain nicotine or nicotine substitute of a certain level which enters into our body to fix the nicotine loss that happens when we do not smoke cigarettes. This means that the channels through which nicotine enters our body are swapped. Nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler and nasal spray fall into this category. Skin irritation is one side effect that happens oftentimes.

Prescription medications do not contain nicotine. They are designed to work by changing certain chemicals in the brain to eliminate our desire to smoke. But some side effects have been reported such as headache.

Tangible quit smoking products work in a short period of time. If we cannot quit during this time, we might began to be dependent on them. That is why I threw the costly patches away after I learned how it works.

As far as intangible products are concerned, hypnosis must be the first thing that have come to your mind. This can be done by a hypnotist and supplemented by listening to audios at home.

Another quit smoking product that I have to mention is book. A good book can replace your smoking time with reading. A good book can also wash your brain as hypnosis may do. In addition, this might be the cheapest and the least dangerous way among what we have mentioned.

You can not know what is suitable for you from the above-mentioned products without trying all of them. It is recommended to consult with a doctor or someone that has succeeded in quitting smoking cigarettes.

Nicotine Containing Chewing Gum – Some Facts

A nicotine containing chewing-gum has been developed for use in the treatment of cigarette smoking. The idea was proposed by a Swedish company in the early 1970s and the gum was extensively tested in the United Kingdom and other countries before being marketed as an aid in giving up smoking. Studies showed that the proportion of smokers who could stop was doubled when they were given nicotine gum instead of a placebo. The gum is now available as prescription only medicine in a large number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Chewing the non-nutritive gum, called NicoretteĀ®, releases nicotine, and the amount of the drug released indirectly relates to the rate and intensity of the chewing. The maximum amount of nicotine that may be extracted from one piece is two milligrams, approximately the same amount obtained from a cigarette. The gum is buffered so that the nicotine is well absorbed through the buckle mucosa (lining of the mouth and under the tongue). Its effects can be felt within a few minutes of active chewing. While other products have been advertised as substitutes for cigarettes, this is the only one that actually is known to deliver nicotine. The gum is a “methadone” for cigarette smokers. As such we might make a few observations: firstly, it could be the most important new advance in the treatment of cigarette smoking in decades; secondly, its effectiveness will be disappointing unless we learn from the methadone experience; thirdly, the gum is useful because it delivers a powerful drug. Each of these observations deserves brief elaboration.

Many smokers say that they would like to stop if they could do so without excessive discomfort. The gum may well be the biggest single step in giving people the freedom of that choice. Many studies have shown that the gum significantly reduces the discomfort and desire to smoke that accompany stopping. Additionally, the gum may replace some of the pleasure and benefit derived from smoking.

Just as simply giving methadone to drug abusers without consideration of their particular problem and without supplementary treatment is not terribly effective, we can expect that similar use of the nicotine gum would produce disappointing results. The first and most obvious consideration is that the gum will probably be of little use to people who smoke only a few cigarettes. In their case the nicotine itself is relatively unimportant. Here, a simple test such as the Fagerstrom tolerance questionnaire appears to be a useful predictor.

It is likely that persons who score highly on the questionnaire (in other words, are highly dependent on nicotine itself) will be better candidates for effective treatment by the gum. There is, however, a vast array of non-nicotine factors that should be considered. For instance, it may do little good to alleviate a few days of discomfort if the person gains too much weight or becomes ineffective at work. Such people are likely to relapse. The gum should be given in conjunction with a complete program for the treatment of smoking, perhaps tied to some of the more conventional treatments listed in the appendices.

The last point is that the gum itself should be used with caution. It contains nicotine, and as we have seen, nicotine is a powerful psychoactive drug. While it is in a form that appears safer and more manageable than the nicotine delivered in conjunction with tar, CO, cyanide, and so forth, nicotine is nonetheless a drug with its own toxic effects. Persons with cardiovascular problems, and women who are pregnant, in particular, should be aware that chewing the gum involves some of the same health risks as smoking cigarettes.

The gum should not be viewed as a long term substitute. In fact, there is the proven possibility of persons becoming dependent on the gum itself. While it can be argued that these people are probably better off than they were while smoking, clearly they are still exposing themselves to an environmental toxin.

Products That Can Help to Stop Smoking

Quitting the habit is easy. In fact, so many people have done it for so many, many times. You can even say to yourself right now that you will never hold another pack of cigarettes for good. But would that work? In most cases not. It takes so much will power and real determination before one could truly quit from smoking. Every smoker has at least for once, tried to break the habit but too few have stayed true with their initial convictions for quitting.

Stopping yourself from taking your “last stick” is just as hard as forgetting something very special for you in the past. The urges to think about those pleasant- and sometimes painful- memories linger. This is just the same with quitting the addiction.

While some people can do it without the external support of programs and other things that would make quitting a lot easier, many would still require some help. Thus, the medical community and anti-smoking communities have devised ways and products to help smokers kick off the habit.

Because of the cumulative efforts of various individuals, institutions and health facilities, the following products have emerged:

Nicotine Replacement Therapy Products

Nicotine is actually the substance that urges you to stay physically hooked with the addiction. So Nicotine Replacement Therapy provides substitutes for tobacco through various products that contain nicotine. This helps the person focus more on the psychological aspect of quitting.

Nicotine patches or transdermal nicotine systems- This product help people quit smoking by providing controlled doses of nicotine which would be delivered through the skin. The gradual weaning off of this substance will contribute largely to the level of dependency the smoker has over nicotine. There are various strengths and types available which makes the control of nicotine intake feasible.

Nicotine gum or nicotine polacrilex- Nicotine gum is a non-prescription product to help people suppress the cravings of smoking. This works by replacing the need for nicotine in the mucous membrane of the mouth. For optimum results, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instruction on how to use the nicotine gum effectively.

Take note that the maximum nicotine gum that could be used for a day is just twenty pieces and if the 2mg gums do not work well for you, it is best to shift to 4 mg gums. Nicotine gums are also best for people who have very sensitive skins and do not react well to nicotine patches.

Nicotine nasal spray- This is a prescription only stop smoking product. This works by readily delivering the nicotine into the bloodstream through the nose. Because nicotine nasal sprays are easy to use, many people find them very satisfying and very effective. It helps the smoker relive himself from the usual attacks of cravings.

Nicotine inhalers- Inhalers work by helping the smoker execute the act of actual smoking without really having to hold a cigarette. Unlike most inhalers that deliver medication into the lungs, nicotine inhalers carry nicotine vapor directly to the mouth.

Nicotine lozenges- This product is the newest addition to the lines of nicotine replacement therapy products. This is a non-prescription product which is available in two dozes- 2mg and 4mg. Just like with nicotine gums and patches, the users are allowed to determine their own dosages.

Here are some of the advantages individual products have to help stop smoking.

Gums, inhalers and lozenges work by substituting the oral urges of smoking. Sprays, on the other hand, deliver immediate nicotine need mainly into the bloodstream. If you want something that will help substitute the acts of actual smoking, nicotine inhalers will best work for you. If the smoker doesn’t want anything that interferes with his system, he may require the benefits of nicotine patches.

Nicotine wafers and nicotine water- These were products that have become popular for people who normally have the urges to smoke in places where smoking is banned.

Nicotine lip balms and nicotine lollipops- Lollipops with nicotine salicylate are banned by the FDA due to the risks and dangers that are posed against the health of people using them. Also, these are quite dangerous when accidentally used by children.

Medications are also helpful in helping someone quit smoking. These include the following:

Bupropion (Zyban)- This is an anti-depressant that helps limit the symptoms of nicotine-withdrawal.

Varenicline (Chantix)- this medication works by reducing the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and the pleasurable effects of smoking.

What’s Really In NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy)?

NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) is a common topic of discussion on the forums. These products are marketed toward (primarily) people trying to quit smoking and naturally people who are attempting to quit chewing are drawn toward these products as well. I often get asked about what’s really IN these products so I’m relaying this information which is directly from the Nicorette Gum product insert. I personally was a cold turkey quitter and believe it to be the best method of cessation but that is a different discussion for a different time. Here are the facts directly from the manufacturer (with some comments of my own thrown in for good measure)

“Nicorette Gum is intended to ease such withdrawal symptoms by providing your body with nicotine. This leaves your mind free to concentrate on overcoming your psychological desire to smoke.”

Note the bolded line there. These products contain nicotine… pure and simple. I’m of the firm opinion that until you remove ALL nicotine from your system you won’t truly be free. PLEASE note that I’m not suggesting that you cannot successfully quit using these products. I’m merely saying that you will not be truly “quit” until you no longer have the drug running through your veins. Again this is one man’s opinion.

If you have had any of the following, you should ask for your doctor or pharmacist’s advice before using Nicorette Gum.

These medical conditions may need consideration by or discussion with your doctor or pharmacist. You and your doctor or pharmacist can then weigh up the risk of using Nicorette Gum against the benefits you will get if you stop smoking.

The medical conditions include:

  • Angina (chest pain) or any other problem with your heart or blood vessels such as pain in one or more legs when you walk
  • High blood pressure
  • Previous stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Stomach ulcer or pain
  • Hyperthyroidism (a disorder of the thyroid gland)
  • Phaeochromocytoma (a tumor of the adrenal gland)
  • Diabetes

This is pretty standard stuff in my estimation. Just about any medication you run across will have similar warnings.

Nicorette Gum releases nicotine into your saliva. This nicotine is absorbed through the lining of your mouth and enters your bloodstream. Any nicotine that is swallowed in saliva is broken down in your stomach. It is therefore wasted.

Just pointing out once again that these products contain nicotine. I honestly don’t think that people understand that when they are using these products. That’s the reason that withdrawal symptoms are lessened when using them – you’re not actually withdrawing… you’re getting your fix.

And finally, here is an ingredients listing:

Nicorette Gum: nicotine-resin complex, chewing gum base, sorbitol powder, sorbitol 70%, flavour for smoker, haverstroo flavour, sodium carbonate anhydrous, and glycerol 85%, sodium hydrogen carbonate (2 MG only), quinoline yellow Al-lake E 104 (4 MG only)

Nicorette Mint Gum: nicotine-resin complex, chewing gum base, xylitol, peppermint oil, menthol, sodium carbonate anhydrous, and magnesium oxide light, sodium hydrogen carbonate (2 MG only), quinoline yellow Al-lake E 104 (4 MG only)

Many of those ingredients were Greek to me and I assume they are to you as well. Here’s what they actually are:

  1. Nicotine-resin complex – A 2 MG piece of Nicorette contains as much nicotine as about 2 cigarettes. A 4 MG piece of Nicorette contains as much nicotine as about 4 cigarettes. By comparison, chewing tobacco, dip and snuff have a significantly higher nicotine content than cigarettes.
  2. Sorbitol powder is a sweetener
  3. Sodium Carbonate Anhydrous is a sodium salt of carbonic acid
  4. Glycerol is an organic compound that is sweet-tasting and of low toxicity
  5. Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate is essentially baking soda
  6. Quinoline yellow Al-lake E 104 is a food coloring.
  7. Xylitol is a sugar substitute

There you go. A hopefully unbiased description of what’s in Nicorette gum. I haven’t done this amount of research on other NRTs (the patch, inhailers or other brands of gum) but I’m assuming that the ingredients list is going to be similar. Again, the intent of this post is NOT to say that you can’t be successful using these products. Just trying to provide information.