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ARE TREATMENTS LIKE NICOTINE CHEWING GUM EFFECTIVE TO GET RID OF SMOKING HABITS?

Nicotine chewing gum is a very effective way to get over nicotine addiction. There are currently two different types of nicotine chewing gums, one with 2 mg and another with 4mg nicotine. However, these products can take several weeks to reach full effect. The duration of the quit smoking treatment may depend on individual smokers’ habits. Moreover, character traits also play a role.

What are other ways to go without a cigarette?

Smoking is a very addictive habit to break. Nevertheless, you can do it! There are many alternative ways to give up nicotine addiction. Many smokers have successfully quit cold turkey. On the other hand, others go for nicotine patches or hypnosis. Know that for each person quitting smoking is different. Therefore, there are many other options to help you achieve your aim.

What is NRT?

NRT is short for Nicotine Replacement Therapy. It is a term that covers any nicotine-containing product that you use to help reduce your nicotine dependence. This quit smoking treatment works by providing your body with a source of nicotine that has been taken away from the other substances in tobacco smoke. Moreover, NRT releases low doses of nicotine into your body. It allows you to function with far less of the addictive chemical in your blood.

Many different forms of nicotine replacement therapy can help in getting rid of cigarettes. Each type is available over-the-counter without a prescription at most pharmacies. Nevertheless, always consult with your doctor before using any product.

What are the forms of NRT?

The four main types of NRT-

  • Patch
  • Gum
  • Inhaler
  • Spray

They come either as a single product or in combination with each other. For example, you could purchase the Starter Kit, which contains both the nicotine patch and a 14-day supply of gum, lozenges, or spray to help you abandon your habit. These are available in most pharmacies.

  • Nicotine patches

They are one of the most popular forms of NRT. Nicotine patches are relatively inexpensive. They are effective at reducing cravings. Moreover, you can get them over-the-counter. This quit smoking treatment is easy to use and comes in different strengths. Patches are available without a prescription. Therefore, you can purchase at most pharmacies.

  • Nicotine Gum

It is another popular form of NRT, which is inexpensive. Nicotine gums are easy to use and are available over-the-counter.

  • Nicotine inhalers

They are effective at reducing cravings. Nevertheless, your doctor may have to prescribe them for you. Inhalers are available by prescription only.

  • Nicotine Lozenges

The lozenge form of NRT is available over-the-counter without a prescription in most pharmacies. They can help you leave your habit.

  • Nicotine nasal spray

The nicotine nasal spray is not as widely used or available as the other forms of NRT. Nevertheless, it is very effective at reducing craving. The spray is accessible by prescription only.

What are the risks of nicotine replacement therapy?

Before using any NRT product, it is vital to discuss the potential side effects with your doctor. Side effects typically take place in the initial weeks. Moreover, they often decrease over time. The most frequent aftermaths comprise –

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Trouble sleeping (Insomnia)
  • Other possible side effects include-
  • Abnormal taste
  • Hiccups
  • Heartburn
  • Coughing

These side effects usually go away as your body adjusts to this quit smoking treatment. In addition, they may also go away as you lower the dosage of nicotine. It is crucial to discuss any side effects with your doctor. He or she may help provide relief and find ways for you to manage any discomfort.

In addition, if you experience any of the following symptoms stop using NRT and contact a doctor immediately-

  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Swelling in the hands or feet
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble concentrating

Who shouldn’t use nicotine replacement therapy products?

People who have heart disease need to be especially careful with using NRT. If you have heart disease, consult your doctor before using this therapy. Moreover, it is significant to talk to your doctor before starting this treatment if you are pregnant. 

How does behavioral therapy work for smoking?

There are two main components to behavioral therapy for smoking cessation.

  • First component

The first is to identify the triggers that lead to your desire to smoke. Moreover, it helps you learn how to handle them without smoking. For example, if you notice you typically crave a cigarette after breakfast, try-having tea instead of taking a short walk before lighting up.

Discovering deterioration prevention skills is also a crucial element of this quit smoking treatment. For example, if you usually smoke when you go out with friends, try suggesting alternate activities. You can also join clubs or groups that interest you.

  • Second component

The second component is developing healthy coping skills for cravings and anxiety. It also includes other behavioral changes. They include impeding all smoking paraphernalia (lighters, ashtrays) in your house to evade triggering cravings.

Doctors may prescribe this individually. However, it can also be done with a group of people trying to quit. Experts often prescribe nicotine replacement therapy in conjunction with behavioral therapy.

How much time does this treatment take?

It generally takes several weeks to months to show the full effect. The reason being it takes time for new behaviors (like stopping smoking) to become automatic. Nevertheless, some people may experience strong cravings or withdrawal symptoms in the initial weeks of treatment. They can be disruptive and make compliance difficult. However, this should settle down if you continue with this remedy as your coping skills improve.

What are the side effects of behavioral therapy?

The side effects of this quit smoking treatment are usually very mild. Nevertheless, they include-

  • Irritability
  • Mood swings

It can be strong in the first few weeks when a person goes through nicotine withdrawal. Moreover, it can also appear sometimes after the medication has worn off. If this happens, you can manage it with additional techniques such as relaxation.

  • Headaches
  • Reduced appetite or feeling sick

You can manage it by taking regular small meals, chewing sugar-free gum, and drinking water. Loss of weight is common. However, it is usually only 1-2kgs throughout treatment.

What is Champix/Chantix?

Champix is an anti-smoking medication. It is also known as varenicline. The drug works by blocking the effect of nicotine if you continue to smoke while using it. Eventually, it helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, making it easier to quit smoking for good.

How do these tablets work?

Chantix belongs to a group of medicines called selective nicotine receptor partial agonists. It works by acting on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain. The drug reduces withdrawal symptoms by mimicking the actions of a naturally occurring chemical messenger called acetylcholine. Moreover, it also fights away cravings.

How do you take this quit smoking treatment?

It is best to take the first dose before starting smoking your first cigarette in the morning. Furthermore, take one pill daily for three days, followed by a pill twice a day on days 4 to 7. After that, take one tablet a day until you have left nicotine completely for seven full days.

What are the side effects of varenicline?

The most widespread side effects of this drug are-

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Dizziness
  • Vivid dreams or unusual or strange experiences while you’re asleep
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Headache

In addition, to these side effects, some people may also experience-

  • Flatulence (gas)
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Decrease in sex drive

Champix may cause a severe skin reaction or other serious side effects. However, it happens in rare cases. They include-

  • Chest pain or heavy feeling
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Swelling of hands, ankles, or feet
  • Fever with chills or sweats
  • Mental or mood changes
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there) Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression

Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these signs while using this quit smoking treatment.

How can you keep yourself motivated while quitting smoking?

If you are having a hard time staying motivated or avoiding weight gain, try the following-

  • Frequent exercise

Even just walking around the block can help keep your mind off cigarettes and keep your metabolism up to help control weight gain. Keep yourself occupied with activities that do not include smoking to stay away from cigarettes.

  • Limit your alone time

It is much easier for people to slip back into old habits when they are by themselves. Surround yourself with friends who do not smoke. Moreover, get involved in other hobbies besides smoking, such as sports, art, music, etc.

  • Reward yourself

Make a list of things you can do like buy new clothes. Moreover, you can take a vacation that you have been putting off because of the money going towards cigarettes. You could even try a massage.

  • Plan while using a quit smoking treatment

Frame plans before times get tough. In addition, think about how to avoid cigarettes in that situation. If you know it is your time of the month where you are more likely to crave cigarettes, plan an extra special spa day for yourself.

  • Keep a journal to track how you feel each day

It helps make controlling nicotine seem more manageable and not so daunting. For this, you can look back at all of your achievements to motivate you.

  • Know that cravings are temporary

Remember that nicotine is a drug. Furthermore, it would be odd for anyone to go without a cigarette cold turkey without noticing some withdrawal effects. If those feelings become too overwhelming, remember that they will pass. It shows how physically dependent you were on cigarettes and why quitting smoking is so vital.

  • Have a healthy snack

Pair a healthy snack with a craving to kill a cigarette craving. Two of the most popular snacks used are carrots and celery. These vegetables help remove the irritants from your throat. Moreover, they can happen when you get over nicotine addiction. Drink at least 6 glasses of water every day to keep your body hydrated and flush toxins.

  • Look for support

Ask others for their support while using the quit smoking treatment, especially those around you who can help distract you from cravings. For example, if your partner goes to smoke outside, go with him or her. Chat while you walk around the block. Moreover, it is also helpful if your friends decide to go out and smoke.

If you are feeling overwhelming stress from withdrawal, try these tips-

  • Get moving

Even just 15 minutes of exercise per day can help you manage stress. Breathe, sit down, and focus on your breathing. Furthermore, take deep breaths through the nose and out through the mouth. Do it again for some more time until you feel soother.

  • Talk to someone

Vent your frustrations or seek advice from others. Sometimes, talking about what is bothering you can help relieve stress.

  • Take a break

Use a 5-minute break for a cup of tea, a quick walk outside. Moreover, you can also take a nice hot shower along with using the quit smoking treatment.

  • Go to bed early

Take some time out for yourself and get an early night. The extra sleep will do you good!

It is common for the body to experience side effects when you try to control your nicotine addiction. Moreover, these can be even worse if you are also experiencing nicotine withdrawal. Some symptoms include insomnia, constipation or diarrhea, anxiety, and weight gain. However, they will soon disappear as your body adjusts to not having the drug in its system.

Above are some well-working treatments for smoking. Know that they can also lead to some side effects. Therefore, always consult your doctor before using any remedy to get rid of nicotine. There are various treatments available. However, your doctor may help you pick the best option for you.

Use the home remedies along with using your quit smoking treatment. Seek support from your loved ones. Moreover, reward yourself for your every win, no matter how small it is. Motivation will help you keep going and achieve your aim.