Nicotine gum: What you need to know

Smokers who have finally come to a decision that they will quit smoking can be helped by counseling and therapies. Such therapies include the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). The therapy includes nicotine replacement products such as a nicotine patch, nicotine gum, nicotine spray, nicotine inhalers and nicotine lozenges.

What is nicotine gum?

It is a special chewing gum that slowly releases nicotine into the body to reduce the cravings of a smoker from smoking a cigarette. Nicotine enters the body through the mucous membrane of the mouth. The gum is available in 2 mg and 4 mg strengths.

How does nicotine gum work?

Smokers who consumes 25 or more cigarettes per day, who smoke minutes after waking up or those smokers who can’t stop themselves from smoking in non-smoking or restricted areas should best start with a higher gum strength which is 4 mg.
They can then slowly lower the dose to allow the body to adjust to low doses of nicotine.
Before using the product, you should know that the gum does not fit people who use dentures and other dental works because the gum can stick and damage these materials.

What are the benefits of using the gum?

• Since the gum delivers nicotine into the body, the withdrawal symptoms of smokers who quit smoking are reduced.
• It gives a smoker a daily dose of nicotine without the harmful effects of smoking tobacco.
• It reduces the addiction of smokers to cigarettes

What are the side effects in using the gum?

Some possible side effects of nicotine gum use include:
• Bad taste
• Throat irritation
• Mouth sores
• Hiccups
• Nausea
• Jaw discomfort
• Racing heartbeat
• Nausea

What should you know about the product?

• Nicotine addiction can be diverted from smoking cigarettes to constant chewing of the gum. Users of the product can develop nicotine dependence out of constant use of the product.
• Improper use of the product such as chewing the gum too fast and swallowing the nicotine gum can result in symptoms involving the stomach and the jaw.
• Some available gums have bad taste. But you can choose those flavored gums. Mint and citrus flavored gums are available.
• A tingling feeling in the tongue is felt while chewing the gum.
• Let the gum stay in between your cheek and gum until the taste of the gum fades. Then chew the gum again. Do this process again and again.
• Chew not more than 24 pieces of gum in a day. Gum use is usually recommended for 6 to 12 weeks, with the maximum of 6 months. Taper down the amount of gum you use as you approach 3 months. This may help you stop using it.
• If you have sensitive skin, you may prefer using the gum over the patch.
• Do not eat and drink for at least 15 minutes before chewing the gum and while you are using the gum.
• Read and follow the instructions in the package of the nicotine gum carefully.
• The product is available over-the-counter but it is best to seek a doctor’s advice before using the product.



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