The information about detrimental aspects of smoking is now becoming rather commonplace, and there are an increasing number of smokers who now want to quit. The negative effects of smoking on one’s health are many and some of these include cancers of the mouth, larynx, lungs, pancreas, cervix, and bladders, as well as strokes, heart attacks, bronchitis, and emphysema.
Why is Quitting Smoking So Hard?
Tobacco contains nicotine, which is known to be an addictive substance. Nicotine dependency can lead to a smoker experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the smoker does not receive his regular nicotine fix; and this can lead to insomnia, irritability, restlessness, headaches, etc. Besides, quitting smoking can also be difficult because lifestyle changes are generally a part of most quitting smoking efforts.
The Help at Hand:
While quitting cold turkey is an option, a smoker walking on this path can face various roadblocks on the way. However, there are various options available when it comes to quitting smoking, and one method that allows a smoker to quit while continually reducing the amount of nicotine that the body receives is ‘nicotine replacement therapy’ (NRT). These therapies work by supplying the body with a controlled supply of nicotine without many of the risks associated with smoking. In doing so, the withdrawal symptoms are eased, and in cases when smokers are truly addicted to nicotine, this method does increase the chances of quitting.
There are various options in looking for NRTs, and these include various brands of nicotine patches, chewing gum, inhalators, nasal sprays, lozenges, and tablets. Amongst the most commonly used forms include the patches and the chewing gum. In both these cases, the dosage would wary from brand to brand, as the nicotine mg present in each product can be different. You can also get patches and gum from the same brand in different nicotine mg content.
If you are thinking about options in looking for a nicotine patch, do know that there are several brands that manufacture nicotine patches, some of which include Nicoderm, Nicorette, Nicotinell, and QuitX. A nicotine replacement patch is a transdermal patch that releases a steady flow of nicotine into the body through the skin. People using these patches are asked to refrain from smoking as this could lead to the body receiving an overdose of nicotine.
These patches should ideally be used along with relevant counselling, and counselling for quitting smoking is quite easy to come by. Also realize that using patches is not recommended for brief periods such as long plane trips, as they aren’t to be used as a replacement for cigarettes. You have to understand that even though you are using these patches, you still need the will power to wean off the habit. So while the patches would help you with the physical withdrawal symptoms, you still have to overcome the psychological aspects.
Using a Nicotine Patch:
Using a nicotine patch is fairly straightforward. The patch needs to be applied over a clean and dry area of skin which is devoid of hair. The patch needs to be applied firmly in order to keep it in its place, and washing hands after applying the patch is advised. Also advised is going through the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly as different patches are known to be left on the skin for different lengths of time and come in different volumes of nicotine content.
Side Effects of Nicotine Patches:
Many of the commonly seen side effects associated with the use of nicotine patches are similar to the withdrawal symptoms linked to nicotine dependency, and these include disturbed sleep, irritability, restlessness, and headaches, along with mild depression, mild hallucinations, and vivid dreams. A patch user could also experience skin irritability at the spot of application, and these are generally allergies to materials/adhesives used in the patch. If the skin irritability does not subside after using in patch in different regions, consulting a doctor is advised. You should also seek a doctor’s advice if you experience difficulty in breathing, tremors, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, or increased nervousness. Signs of nicotine overdose include dizziness, vomiting, drooling, weakness, blurred vision, etc.
Several manufacturers manufacture nicotine gum and some of the prominent ones include Nicorette, Nicoderm, Polacrilex, QuitX and Habitrol. The nicotine present in these gums is transferred to the body through chewing; and a smoker is asked to refrain from smoking whilst using these gums.
Using Nicotine Gum:
You have to stop smoking before you start chewing nicotine gum, and you can chew some gum whenever you feel the urge to smoke. Chewing the gum for about half an hour should work in all the nicotine being released into your system. Also, while 10-12 pellets per day is an average number during the early days, at no point should the daily intake exceed 30 pellets. Remember that you also need to reduce your intake over a period of time, thereby decreasing your everyday nicotine intake.
Side Effects of Nicotine Gum:
Commonly reported symptoms include throat irritability and hiccups. The first could be because of the high levels of nicotine in the saliva that you continually swallow. Other side effects include aches in the jaw muscles, mouth sores, headaches, and indigestion, but these are believed to diminish after the gum is used for some time. Nicotine gum should not be used during pregnancies and while breast-feeding. And as with the use of patches, you should also seek a doctor’s advice if you experience difficulty in breathing, tremors, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, or increased nervousness. Remember, signs of nicotine overdose include dizziness, vomiting, drooling, weakness, blurred vision, etc.
The brand Nicorette, which has been around since the 1960s and started off with the Nicorette chewing gum, now distributes its products in over 80 nations. One can now avail of the Nicorette patch, Nicorette Nasal Spray, Nicorette Microtab, and the Nicorette Inhaler.
The Best Nicotine Patch/Chewing Gum:
While different brands to claim to be the best, you have to realize that a majority function in the same basic manner. More important than looking for the best nicotine patch or chewing gum is your willingness to quit smoking. Although that, coupled with a controlled NRT, can surely increase your chances of leading a smoke free life.