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The Truth Behind Nicotine Patches and Gums

Quitting Is Always the Best Option. But Will Nicotine Gums, Patches, and Drugs Do the Trick?

Old habits are just hard to break. Quitting smoking is even more difficult if you do it without any help from people and available medical inventions.  You’ve seen former smokers moving around with patches on their arms or chewing a gum without holding any lighted stick in between fingers. You then discover that they have sought reinforcements to keep the smoking urge at bay. But are they really effective enough to make you stay away from smoking? Experts seem to agree that they are. See how these things work.

Varenicline (Chantix/Champix)


The FDA has approved this anti-smoking drug that is supposed to be taken over the course of three months. Studies have found that 33% of its users have quit smoking for good. It works by reducing nicotine cravings. However, it cannot be used together with nicotine replacement therapies.

As with any drug,  Varenicline may have side effects such as constipation, nausea, flatulence, and even dreams. The FDA requires that manufacturers include on the medicine label the warnings against side effects, particularly psychological ones. Research has further revealed that those taking the drug may be at a higher risk for strokes and heart attacks. The best precaution to take is to have your doctor closely monitor your mood and know when to discontinue use if your body does not agree with it.

Bupropion SR

This medication works by targeting your brain to lessen your nicotine withdrawal symptoms. The intake is done twice a day and for three months. There are those who may need to extend the dosage for longer periods. However, a physician should be the one to decide this. Bupropion is ideal for those whose nicotine withdrawal symptoms are intense to severe.

Former smokers have the option to use it together with nicotine replacement therapies or alone. The typical side effects are trouble sleeping and dry mouth. Psychologically, the other aftereffects may include hostility, agitation, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and depression. Therefore, it is not recommended for ex-smokers who have eating disorders, seizures. It’s also prohibited for those who are suddenly ceasing to use sedatives and alcohol.

 Nicotine Patches and Gums


Nicotine-GumThe purpose of these inventions is to help replace the nicotine in your body but in a harmless way of course. Researchers have uncovered that a nicotine patch works by releasing nicotine. The nicotine is in turn absorbed by your body through the skin. Though it may not entirely stave off the cravings, it promises to reduce withdrawal symptoms dramatically.

Nicotine gums provide the same objective by giving off nicotine as you chew them, thereby helping to lessen the withdrawal symptoms like irritability and cravings. Both of these nicotine-replacement discoveries should be used after you have quit smoking. Experts believe that they can be used safely for two to three months. After this, former smokers should also keep a spare patch or gum with them should they suddenly have the desire to smoke.

Support and Counseling

Seeking the help of groups and allowing yourself to undergo counseling works very well together to aid in your quitting for good. Doctors and health experts can give straightforward advice to someone on the verge of or a person who has quit altogether. Formal smoking cessation interventions are also available in certain communities.  Joining programs like these and within the context of group meetings adds further credibility to the effectiveness of tried-and-tested methods. It makes you more convinced and determined to kick the habit.

Don’t just use one

The ideal approach is to use a combination of the suggested remedies, based on what works best for you. Don’t feel disappointed if you don’t succeed the first time. What’s important is that you have the drive to conquer the habit and a positive mentality to back you up.

As a final note, smokers who are thinking of quitting need not worry too much about their life after quitting. Is weight gain possible? The answer is yes, but only because there are people who try to replace their smoking habit or deal with their withdrawal syndrome by eating a lot. Researchers have noted that almost all anti-smoking drugs help you to quit smoking while lessening the probability of weight gain. Now, that’s good news!

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