Give Your Mouth Something To Do
One final piece of advice for those of you who are well on their way towards completely controlling their nicotine addiction deals with being busy with your mouth when that sudden craving hits. If you take some sugar-free candy, fruit, seeds, nuts, or veggies, and chew or nibble on them for a few minutes, the craving may stop. It is all about the psyche and it could be the aforementioned habit kicking in, not your need for nicotine. Try it a few times and you will get hooked on something far healthier than tobacco that will replace your mouthâs cravings.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy : Frequently Asked Questions
There are many quitting options and methods out there. How do you decide what’s best? Watch the video and read below to learn more about the different types of nicotine replacement therapy : nicotine patches, gum, mouth spray, lozenges and inhalator.Its also a good idea to speak to your doctor or pharmacist before starting NRT, so they can help you work out which types will suit you best.
If you would like information on prescription stop smoking tablets, see here.
Is It Possible To Get Addicted To The Nicotine Gum Or Lozenge
Yes! It happens. Quitters sometimes become addicted to the nicotine gum or lozenge. Nicotine is the insanely addictive substance thats naturally in tobacco. Its the key reason why tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and anything that contains nicotine is so addictive. Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs on the planet.
The goal in using nicotine replacement products is to help you quit tobacco. I wrote about the purpose of using these products in greater detail here: What Is The Purpose Of Nicotine Replacement Therapy?;Its not super common but sometimes Quitters find it hard, in particular, to stop using the nicotine gum or nicotine lozenge after theyve quit tobacco. Some Quitters develop a reliance on these quit smoking medications and find it hard to stop using them.
Don’t Miss: How To Stop Being Addicted To Alcohol
Can You Get Too Much Nicotine From Nrt
Nicotine overdose is rare, but possible. Nicotine replacement therapy products are labeled to match the amount of nicotine you get from NRT to the amount you got from tobacco. If used this way, you should get a nicotine dose fairly close to what youve been getting. You dont want to get more than that, because higher doses of nicotine can cause harm. To avoid this, follow dosing instructions carefully. Also, dont use heat on the skin near your nicotine patch you could absorb more nicotine due to the increased blood supply.
Nicotine absorbs through the skin and mucous membranes, so you must store and dispose of your NRT safely. Nicotine overdose can be fatal, but this is rare and requires taking in very high doses of nicotine. Overdose is more of a problem in children and pets because of their smaller size. Keep NRT and used gum, patches, empty cartridges, bottles, etc., safely away from children and pets. Never drop them on the street or in open trash cans where kids and animals can reach them.
Isn’t The Gum Addicting
If you’ve ever felt as though you were becoming hooked on nicotine gum, you might not have been imagining it. Even though the nicotine levels in the stop-smoking product is lower than in cigarettes, there could be an addictive component to its use in some individuals.
“In the Lung Health Study of about 3,100 users of nicotine gum, some of whom used it for five years, all had been daily cigarette smokers when they entered the study,” says Robert Murray, PhD, professor and director of the Alcohol and Tobacco Research Unit at the University of Manitoba, Canada. “So through cigarette use, these people had established a physical addiction to nicotine, and the gum may have perpetuated that addiction.”
Some people experience withdrawal symptoms when they toss out their nicotine gum, according to Murray. These withdrawal effects can include headaches, as well as irritability, depression, and difficulty concentrating.
Nevertheless, a recent study by Hughes concluded that only a small number of long-term gum users truly meet the definition of addiction or dependence, which includes an inability to control their use of the gum. Many more could stop, he says, but are choosing to use the gum for months or years because of their fear of slipping back into cigarette use.
“If the gum were something we knew to be harmful, I’d get upset about its chronic use, and insist that they get off it,” adds Hughes. “But it doesn’t seem to be harmful.”
Recommended Reading: How Do You Know If You Have An Addiction
You Can Apply A Similar Taper Down Strategy You Used To Get Off Tobacco And Nicotine Gum/lozenges To Quit Other Substances
Maybe you replaced the nicotine lozenge with something unhealthy so now you have to deal with that. If you went from your smoking addiction to an addiction to the nicotine gum, and then replaced the gum with something else, there is a silver lining. The positive side is that you have new skills youve learned. You now have some tools in your toolbox that will help you move forward to get whatever that thing is out of your life.
For example, lets say you formed a reliance on Skittles. Since you quit the nicotine lozenges youre now eating bags of Skittles all day long. From the time your feet hit the floor in the morning to the time you go to bed at night you have Skittles tucked away in your cheek. Youre not smoking cigarettes or chewing nicotine gum anymore, but youre now buying large boxes of Skittles at Costco.
First step: Get out your calendar and set your sight on a Skittles Quit Date. Leading up to that target Quit Date, apply similar taper down techniques to get off the Skittles. In regards to tapering off the Skittles you have options. You can cut down one bag or individual Skittle at a time, or you can try eliminating certain colors first.
If you go the colors route, theres five colors in a bag of Skittles that youll have to work through one at a time. You can stop eating the delicious red ones first. After a few days stop eating the purple ones, and then onto the green ones after that.
Use Of Nicotine Is Not Without Risk
Although straight nicotine from the gum or lozenge is much safer than using tobacco, its not ideal to remain on nicotine for an extended period of time. Theres risk involved in using nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant that has an impact on your cardiovascular system. It can raise blood pressure and put strain on your heart. If you have high blood pressure or a heart condition, it may become an issue to use too much nicotine. This is another reason why you always want to speak with your doctor before using NRT products.
Some studies on the use of nicotine have even demonstrated a link to oral cancer, which is a little scary. As additional studies are conducted in the future, well learn even more about the long-term impact of using nicotine products.
Recommended Reading: How To Beat Marijuana Addiction
What About Side Effects
Its very rare to get serious side effects from using NRT. Mildside effects can occur, which usually dont last long. In many cases, theseside effects are caused by incorrect use of NRT. For example, its important topark and chew nicotine gum as this not only makes sure it works to relievecravings and withdrawal symptoms, but also reduces the amount of nicotine youswallow, which can upset the stomach. When it comes to the spray, itsimportant you point the spray under your tongue and not at the back of yourthroat, which can irritate your throat and give you a coughing fit.;
Also, sometimes people mistake nicotine withdrawal symptomsfor side effects. For example, having trouble sleeping can often be a symptomof nicotine withdrawal, but sometimes people think it is caused by NRT.;
How To Use Nicotine Gum
You must stop using tobacco altogether when you start using nicotine gum.
How to use nicotine gum:
- When you want to smoke, chew 1 piece of nicotine gum. Chew slowly to avoid ill effects.
- Stop chewing when you get a peppery taste or feel a slight tingling, usually after 15 chews.
- Park the gum by placing it between your cheek and gums.
- Start chewing again slowly when the peppery taste or tingling is almost gone, about 1 minute.
- Start this process again until most of the nicotine is gone from the gum, about 30 minutes.
- Do not use more than 30 pieces of Nicorette® or 20 pieces of Nicorette DS® per day.
- As your need to use smokeless tobacco goes awayusually within 2-3 monthsuse fewer pieces of gum.
- Stop when you are using 1 or 2 pieces a day, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- Carry the gum with you at all times in case you feel the need to smoke again.
Don’t Miss: Why Am I Addicted To Alcohol
What Is Nicotine Gum
Nicotine gum is an over-the-counter, medicated chewing gum that delivers a dose of nicotine orally. Itâs intended to replace the nicotine that people would otherwise get from smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products.
While it contains the chemical responsible for the addictiveness of cigarettes, nicotine gum doesnât include any of the other nasty substances. Itâs also sugar-free.
Itâs a scientifically tested product, and research shows that it can be very effective as a quit smoking aid. However, itâs important to note that the reasons for taking up smoking and maintaining the habit are complex, and the addiction to nicotine is only one part of the problem.
Experts therefore advise that nicotine gum should be used in conjunction with therapies that target the psychological factors associated with smoking, whether thatâs through visiting a therapist, or using an evidence-based virtual therapy like the Quit Genius app.
Nicotine gum should be used in conjunction with therapies that target the psychological factors associated with smoking.
How To Quit Nicotine Gum
Work out a realistic plan to wean yourself off of nicotine gum. Some steps that you can take to reduce your dependence:
- If there are specific times of the day that you use the gum, e.g. first thing in the morning, after meals, etc, choose the one that is the easiest to let go.
- If you’re chewing two or three pieces of nicotine gum per day, start by eliminating just one piece.
- Substitute a piece of sugar-free gum or a snack instead, and have a plan for a distracting activity should you need it.
Once you are comfortable with the new regimen, repeat the process with the second piece of nicotine gum and then the third until you are off of it;completely. It doesn’t matter how much time that you take between each elimination. Step down when you are feeling comfortable, always keep your goal in mind.
Recommended Reading: What Are The 12 Steps Of Addiction Recovery
How To Use Nicotine Gum Properly
You can follow this method called chew-and-park:
- At first, just slowly chew the gum to soften it until you feel its flavor.
- Then park right in the middle of the tongue, as you are biting a cigarette. This helps provide you with a stream of nicotine that leads to your brain.
- When the taste is about to fade, repeat the chewing and parking loop.
- Keep on chewing and parking the gum for the next 20 to 30 minutes. At that point, the intake process of the nicotine is whole.
Path To Improved Health
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians , certain groups of people are more likely to use smokeless tobacco. These groups include men, athletes, and people who live in rural areas. Smokeless tobacco is addictive, which makes it hard to quit. You actually get more nicotine in your bloodstream from smokeless tobacco than you do from cigarettes. This is one reason why quitting smokeless tobacco can be harder than quitting smoking.
Using smokeless tobacco is a developed habit for most people. You may use it in certain situations, such as social events or sporting games. Or you may use it when youre around certain people. It can be hard to break these patterns of behavior. However, smokeless tobacco users have quit successfully, and so can you. Your family doctor can help you quit. The tips below can help, too.
Also Check: How To Get Over Phone Addiction
Will Smoking Or Using Tobacco Products Containing Nicotine Hurt My Baby
Nicotine can cross the placenta when a pregnant woman uses tobacco products. This can negatively impact the baby, including, but not limited to: premature labor; low birth weight; respiratory failure at birth; and even sudden infant death syndrome .3, 8, 9, 10;
Women who use tobacco products can have unique health complications that affect them, their reproductive health, and their pregnancies. If youre a woman who uses tobacco products, consult your doctor and learn more about how you can quit smoking.;
If You’re Thinking About Quitting
If you’re thinking of stopping smoking, chat with one of ourqualified Quitline counsellors on 13 7848, Mon – Fri 8am – 8pm. Quitline providesnon-judgmental, empathetic and tailored support to help you along yourquitting journey. Quitline is a culturally inclusive service for all, includingthe LGBTIQA+ community. We also have Aboriginal counsellors available as wellas an interpreter service for people who speak languages other than English.
Please note, this information is not intended to replaceconsumer medicines information or health professional advice. If you would liketo provide feedback, please contact .
For more information about NRT, you can also view the patient resources;on the Alfred Health website.
Don’t Miss: How Addiction Affects The Brain
Reasons Why People Are More Likely To Get Addicted To The Nicotine Gum Or Lozenge Instead Of Other Nrt Products
Nicotine Gum For Weight Loss
Chewing gum definitely keeps your mouth cool and busy rather than craving for any cigarette or any food.
Research from Louisiana State University stated that chewing gum was effective in reducing your appetite, cutting off your daily intake of about 40 calories.
If you cut 40 calories a day by chewing gum, then make another difference in your lifestyle, like taking some quick exercises, you will effortlessly cut 100 calories every day.
Then it leads to losing 10 pounds a year.
Don’t Miss: How To Control Video Game Addiction
What Do I Need To Tell My Doctor Before I Take Nicotine Gum
- If you are allergic to nicotine gum; any part of nicotine gum; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have any of these health problems: Chest pain or pressure, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, or a recent heart attack.
- If you still smoke, chew tobacco, or use other products that have nicotine while using nicotine gum.
- If you have temporomandibular joint disease.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with nicotine gum.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take nicotine gum with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
Are There Any Precautions When Using Nicotine Gum
- Do not overuse nicotine gum successively longer than 6 months; it can cause adverse effects and addicts to the gum.
- Chew the gum gradually to protect your dental health.
- Consult your dentists instructions to avoid any side effects of the gum.
- Do not eat or drink and chew the gum at the same time.
- If there is any allergic development, like hives or rash, immediately stop using the gum right away and find your doctor for the solution.
- Revise your medical history before deciding to use nicotine gum.
- Do not use the gum along with other drugs and medications.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Addicted To Nicotine
How Nicotine Addiction Works
Using tobacco is more than just a series of “bad habits.” It’s a physical addiction. So let’s talk about addiction in a real way.
You may not realize how nicotine has changed your brain. In the videos below, Dr. Richard Hurt, Founding Director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center, explains just how powerful nicotine addiction can be. He also describes how medication can DOUBLE your chances of quitting and helps you pick the right one for you.
Some people don’t want to use medication to quit. They think quitting is something they should do on their own, just with willpower. Or they’ve tried a medication before and don’t think it worked.
Using medication can make quitting more comfortable and less stressful. And theres no shame in using it. Think of it like taping up a blister while youre out on a hike. It will help you enjoy the journey and get where you want to go.