What Are the Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal?
When you decide to quit smoking, experts agree that you are making one of the best possible decisions for your health. Still, since nicotine is a drug--and a very addictive one at that--you are likely to experience symptoms of withdrawal as it gets out of your system. While these symptoms (which might include irritation, insomnia, anxiety, and nausea) are not usually considered dangerous, they can be uncomfortable and disruptive to your life, so many people turn to smoking cessation aids like nicotine gum to make quitting an easier process.
How Does Nicotine Gum Work?
Nicotine gum works by providing your body with the drug that it craves without you having to actually smoke a cigarette. At first, the amount of gum you chew will give you a similar amount of nicotine as your body is used to. As you progress with treatment, however, you can chew less gum and taper yourself off of your nicotine dependency. You may still suffer from withdrawal symptoms as you use nicotine gum to quit, but they may be much less severe since your body is still getting small doses of the drug.
How to Choose Nicotine Strength
Over-the-counter nicotine gum is available in two different doses: 2mg and 4mg. In order to figure out which dosage is right for you, it's important to consider your current smoking habits and consult with your doctor.
If you smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day and/or need to have your first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning, you may be classified as a heavy smoker. It’s often recommended that heavy smokers use the 4mg dose of nicotine gum to try to quit.
Individuals who don't meet the criteria above are usually classified as light smokers, and they may be able to have success with the 2mg dose. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure what category you fall into.
How to Use Nicotine Gum
While chewing gum might seem like a pretty easy task, nicotine gum is very different from the non-medicated variety. You should follow the dosing instructions included in the package to determine the number of pieces to chew per day as well as the schedule for tapering off.
When you put a piece of gum in your mouth, begin chewing like normal until you start to feel a tingling sensation and notice a peppery taste. These signs indicate that the nicotine is being released, so you should stop chewing and place the gum between your cheek and your gums.
After the sensation stops, begin chewing again until the sensation comes back. Repeat this same procedure over and over again for about 30 minutes, and then throw out the piece of gum.
Making the decision to quit smoking is half the battle, so you may already be well on your way toward being cigarette-free. The nicotine gum you can find at drugstore.com can effectively reduce your cravings and could be just the tool you need to finally kick the habit for good.
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