Overcome physical dependence to nicotine by using NRT

Have you been trying to quit smoking but can’t seem to be successful?

Nicotine replacement therapy may help you succeed in quitting. NRTs can increase your chances of of quitting.

BUT before you purchase an NRT, make sure to know how it works, how to use it, its side effects, and when to stop using it.

How does nicotine replacement therapy work?

With the months or years of smoking, your body has developed a physical dependency for nicotine, a chemical found in cigarettes. And because your body has gotten used to having nicotine, your body will respond to the absence of nicotine once you quit smoking. You will then experience the so-called nicotine withdrawal symptoms which include headache, strong urge to smoke, difficulty concentrating, chest tightness, constipation, increased appetite, and depression.

To help you cope with the physical effects of withdrawal, you can opt to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Nicotine replacements can come in different types: patch, gum, lozenges, nasal spray, and inhalers.

NRTs provide your body with the nicotine but NOT the other harmful chemicals in cigarettes. In this way, you don’t have to worry that much about the physical withdrawal symptoms (NRTs reduce withdrawal symptoms) and you can focus on the psychological aspects of quitting and succeed in quitting.

Who can and cannot use NRT?

Nicotine replacement therapy has been found to be safe for all smokers except:

  • People with heart or circulatory diseases

Taking NRT if you have heart or circulatory problems can have potential health risks but the benefits of quitting smoking outweigh the risks of NRTs. People with cardiovascular diseases can still use NRT but under the careful monitoring of the doctor.

  • Pregnant women

Although there is still not enough evidence to show that NRT is safe in pregnant women, pregnant women are NOT advised to take NRTs. This is because nicotine may have effects on the growing fetus and as the child grows up. So, women are advised to quit before getting pregnant or if already pregnant, quitting during the early stages of pregnancy can greatly reduce the health risks to the baby.

  • For people who smoke less than 10 cigarettes per day

NRT has not been proven to help smokers who smoke less than 10 cigarettes per day. But if you feel that you need it, you can ask your doctor for a lower dose NRT.

When should I begin to use NRTs?

The best time to use an NRT is on your first quit. Some smokers, however, use NRT while still smoking to help them cut down the number of cigarettes they smoke and quit eventually. If you want to use NRT while smoking, it is best to consult your doctor.

Can NRT cause nicotine overdose?

Yes, it is possible that get too much nicotine when using NRT. That’s why it is important that you check the product information. NRT products usually indicate the amount of nicotine you get with the number of cigarettes you usually smoke.

When using NRT, watch for the following symptoms of nicotine overdose:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Belly pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Cold sweat
  • Pale skin and mouth
  • Weakness
  • Tremors (shaking)
  • Confusion
  • Disturbed vision and hearing
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness or faintness due to low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Stopped breathing

When using NRTs, make sure that you know and understand well that NRTs only HELP you quit. NRTs only deal with the physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms BUT NOT the ADDICTION. In fact, you can quit without using NRT. Your success in quitting and staying quit still depends on 2 things—your DETERMINATION and WILLPOWER.



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