Nicotine patch is one of the most common types of nicotine replacement therapy. The purpose of the patch is to replace your body’s source of nicotine so you don’t experience intense craving while in the process of smoking cessation. But just like other forms of NRT, nicotine patch should be used alone. If you’re using it as a quit smoking aid, make sure not to light up while the patch is attached on your skin. Otherwise, you expose yourself to some harmful consequences, such as:
1. Nicotine Overdose
Wearing the patch and smoking at the same time means that you are consuming nicotine more than you normally take. Overdose results from the build-up of nicotine which the body can no longer handle, leading to undesirable symptoms. Wearing nicotine patch while lighting up is like smoking two cigarettes at the same time, the other one however is pure nicotine. Nicotine overdose can lead to minor and major side effects which could be very serious. That’s why doctors discourage people from smoking and wearing nicotine patch at the same time.
2. Headache and dizziness
Wearing the patch while smoking cigarette may lead to unwanted side effects such as dizziness and headache. Some smokers experience intense weakness and fainting while others suffer from upset stomach or diarrhea. Other symptoms that users may experience are blurry vision and hearing loss. While most of these symptoms are only passing, it may cause discomfort and anxiety which in turn makes quitting very hard.
3. Stroke or heart attack
A life-threatening side effect of using the patch while smoking cigarette is the elevated risk of heart attack and stroke. Too much nicotine in the body could disrupt blood circulation and lead to heart attack. This is usually caused by blockage in the coronary artery. Stroke, which also results from disrupted blood flow, occurs when the blood fails to reach the brain due to a blockage or clot in the blood vessel. Symptoms of heart attack are severe chest pain and difficulty in breathing while the symptoms of stroke are numbness, and problems with balance and coordination, and speaking.
Nicotine patch, just like all other smoking cessation aids sold in the market today, is associated with health risks too. Anyone considering the use of patch should also educate themselves about the pros and cons of the product and make sure to follow the dosage instruction. Seeking professional advice before and during the use of nicotine patch is essential to ensure success and lower the risk.