How Does Nicotine Gum Help You To Quit Smoking For Good?

September 17, 2021 | Written By: Mohd Syafiq

How Does Nicotine Gum Help You To Quit Smoking For Good?

Looking for a solution to quit smoking?

The risk of getting a smoking-related illness can be reduced when you stop smoking. One of the treatments to quit smoking is using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).  In addition, there is a drug called Varenicline, which is a non-nicotine medication for smoking cessation.

The main purpose of NRT is to replace the nicotine supply in cigarettes so that the desire to smoke can be reduced and smokers can quit smoking at the same time. According to a study, in 2008, NRT was able to increase the smoking cessation rate by 50% to 70%.

One of the nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) is in a form of nicotine gum.

Nicotine Gum 

Nicotine gum is available at most pharmacies. This gum contains nicotine so that when chewed, nicotine will be absorbed through the oral lining. It is similar to chewing regular chewing gum, but the difference between the two is the nicotine content.

Nicotine gum contains nicotine in low doses without other harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke. It serves to send simulations to the brain in place of nicotine from cigarettes. The aim is to reduce the craving for nicotine as well as to reduce symptoms of withdrawal syndrome that may occur during the process of quitting. Typically, the use of NRT is for a period of two to a maximum of six months. Are you dependent on nicotine? Find out through this quiz!


How To Use Nicotine Gum?

How to use nicotine chewing gum depends on the condition of the smoker. For example, if you smoke less than 25 sticks per day, you only need to use nicotine gum containing 2mg nicotine. However, if you smoke 25 cigarettes a day or more, you are encouraged to use chewing gum with 4mg of nicotine.

After getting the right chewing gum, follow the steps below to use nicotine gum effectively:

1.Chew the nicotine gum slowly until it feels spicy or minty.

2.As the taste gets stronger, place nicotine gum in the space between your jaw and cheeks. Nicotine will be absorbed through  your mouth lining.

3.After the taste disappears, chew the nicotine gum until the spicy or minty taste becomes strong again.

4.Repeat steps 2 and 3 for 30 minutes.

Refer to the table below as a guide to use the nicotine gum:

Weeks 1-12

8-12 tablets per day

Week 13-14

4-6 tablets per day

Week 15-16

2- 3 tablets a day before reduced to 1 tablet per day if the desire to smoke comes back.

Other Things you Need to Know:

  • Do not chew like ordinary chewing gum. Use the "chew and insert" technique.
  • 1 piece of nicotine gum gives you 30 minutes of nicotine 
  • It is not advised to eat or drink 15 minutes before using nicotine chewing gum.
  • If you ingested food or drink 15 minutes before, rinse your mouth with water before using nicotine chewing gum.
  • Avoid using nicotine chewing gum if you have a history of jaw pain such as problems with TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint).

Mouth pain, jaw pain, hiccup and stomach ache are some of the side effects of using this nicotine chewing gum. Not following the right steps can also precipitate these symptoms.

Side Effects Of Nicotine Gum

The following are some possible side effects. Some of these side effects may be rare but they can occur at a serious level. Seek medical advice if you experience any of the following side effects, especially if the symptoms persist.

  • Mouth pain or ulcer
  • Frequent hiccup
  • Dyspepsia (Heartburn)
  • Jaw pain
  • Gum Inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness or headache
  • Seizures
  • Arrhythmia
  • Fatigue 

Nicotine gum is not suitable for these people:

  • Those who are allergic to nicotine or other contents stated in the NRT
  • Non-smokers
  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • Having symptoms of TMJ problems
  • Cardiac illnesses

Does Nicotine Gum Help Someone Quit smoking?

Many studies have been done to prove whether NRT (nicotine gum) can help smokers who want to quit smoking at six months or longer.

The results proved that all forms of NRT, including the nicotine chewing gum is able to help someone to stop smoking. The chance of quitting smoking has increased by 50% to 60% with the use of NRT. NRT is proven to be successful with or without the help of additional counseling and does not require a doctor's prescription. 

From a safety standpoint, various studies have been conducted specifically to look at the safety aspects and the results are very encouraging when only a few people experience the negative effects of NRT. Evidence from other formulations clearly indicate NRT is safe to use.

Conclusion

Smokers who find it difficult to stop immediately (cold turkey) can turn to nicotine replacement therapy and stop gradually. Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal syndrome experienced by smokers can be reduced through this method.

Quiting smoking also is much easier and bearable now with the existence of Smoking Cessation Clinics (KBM) in government hospitals and district clinics. KBM has a complete team with Medical Officers, Pharmacists, Assistant Medical Officers and Trained Nurses. Throughout the KBM program, patients will receive regular counseling assistance that will be delivered by experienced members.

If pharmacotherapy treatment is required, appropriate medications will be given. In government hospitals and clinics, there are two types of drugs available to help quit smoking, namely nicotine replacement therapy in a form of nicotine gum or patch. Counseling and clear instructions will be given by the Pharmacist to the patient every time the pharmacotherapy treatment starts.

Therefore, those who want to quit smoking do not have to worry and hesitate to start moving towards a healthier and smoke free future. A lot of therapies and support assistance are available. Yes or no? Ask yourself. Get help from a doctor to quit smoking today!

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