Remember that New Year’s resolution you make every year? The one where you resolve to finally stop smoking cigarettes? How’s that going for you? Have you actually quit?
Unfortunately, very few people successfully stop smoking without some kind of help. Willpower alone almost never works. The reason? Your body has become addicted to the nicotine and chemicals found in cigarettes. No matter how much you want to quit smoking, your body refuses to cooperate with you. It craves that nicotine.
Research shows that approximately 67% of U.S. smokers believe they have a cigarette addiction. Nevertheless, 74% of U.S. smokers say they truly want to stop smoking but just can’t seem to do it. The good news? Other studies have shown that if you chew nicotine gum for six months or so instead of smoking cigarettes, you have twice the chance of kicking the smoking habit for good.
How Nicotine Gum Works
Each piece of nicotine gum contains a very small amount of nicotine, but none of the harmful chemicals contained in cigarettes. Initially, you choose your preferred nicotine dosage per piece of gum: 2 mg or 4 mg. Start with the 2-mg dosage if you smoke less than a pack a day of cigarettes. You can always increase your dosage later if you really need to. However, the 4-mg dosage nicotine gum is designed for heavier smokers. You can also choose which flavor of nicotine gum you prefer: fruit, cinnamon or mint.
How to Chew Nicotine Gum
Unlike regular chewing gum, you use a “chew and park” approach when chewing nicotine gum. First, you put the piece of gum in your mouth and slowly chew it for a few seconds until you either taste the nicotine or feel a minor tingling in your mouth. At that point, stop chewing and “park” the gum between your gum and cheek. Keep it there for a minute or so or until the tingling stops. Then start chewing again.
Continue this “chew and park” procedure for about half an hour, by which time you likely will have used up all of the gum’s nicotine. Make sure not to eat or drink any acidic foods or beverages such as citrus fruits, coffee, carbonated soda pop, or juices for at least 15 minutes prior to beginning your chew or while engaged in it.
How to Dispose of and Store Nicotine Gum
When finished, spit out the gum into a tissue or piece of paper, wrap it up, and throw it in the trash. Never swallow used gum or flush it down the toilet.
Store your fresh nicotine gum in the container in which it comes. Do not put it in something like a pill-taker device. Why? Children can too easily get into pill containers, and it goes without saying that kids should never come into contact with nicotine gum or any other type of health care product.
Keep your nicotine gum supply away from heat, light and moisture. It should always stay at room temperature. A childproof dresser, cabinet, or desk drawer makes the ideal storage place. Do not keep nicotine gum in your bathroom. The high moisture in kitchens and especially bathrooms negatively affects the gum’s potency and therefore effectiveness.
Where to Buy Nicotine Gum
You can buy over-the-counter nicotine gum at virtually any grocery store, drug store, convenience store, etc. Some companies even allow you to order your supply online, after which they deliver it right to your door. What could be more convenient?
As for cost, nicotine gum compares quite favorably to cigarettes. For instance, you can expect to pay around $60 for a 16-day supply of nicotine gum. In contrast, if you smoke a pack a day of cigarettes, you will pay somewhere between $84 and $184 for a 16-day supply, depending on where you live.
If you’re serious about quitting smoking, give nicotine gum a try? However you look at it, you have nothing to lose but a very nasty and unhealthy habit.