Nicotine Substitutes Can Help You Quit
If you're ready to stop smoking, then you must be ready for the challenge when your quit date arrives. Clean out your ashtrays, and throw away any lighters and old packs lying around. Doing so can help you get smoke-free for good.
Of course, you probably will have to face the symptoms of withdrawal. Quitting may frustrate you, even make you irritable or anxious. Headaches, restlessness and problems concentrating are also common. At times, the urge to smoke may feel too overwhelming to take. Some people are able to quit "cold turkey" and withstand these feelings. For many smokers, using nicotine substitutes can ease these symptoms.
Beating the nicotine fit
You get a small dose of nicotine from both the patch and gum. Neither provides the rush that inhaling cigarette smoke does, but both can ease withdrawal. They are also less addictive and easier to stop using. They also lack the tars, chemicals and radionuclides (radioactive lead and polonium) that are in cigarettes, so they are not as dangerous. In general, the patch is easier to use than gum. You simply place it on your skin, and it works for 16 to 24 hours. It can, however, cause dizziness, skin irritation where it is applied, and headaches.
Chewing the gum releases nicotine through the lining of your mouth. It also helps replace the emptiness from not having a cigarette there. If used incorrectly, however, it can cause you to swallow nicotine, which can upset your stomach and prevent the nicotine from reaching your bloodstream as quickly.
You can buy both the patch and the gum over the counter, but you should talk with your doctor to see which is best for you.
Kicking the habit
Nicotine addiction is only part of the problem. The smoking habit is the other part. You'll need to learn to cope with situations you used to handle by smoking. A support group or smoking cessation program can help you do this. Your chances of quitting for good are better if you combine the patch or gum with this kind of support.
Whatever methods you use, withdrawal symptoms are likely to fade within seven to 14 days after you stop smoking. People vary greatly in the severity of their withdrawal symptoms over time. Those who use nicotine products are usually free of both cigarettes and substitutes in three to six months. So don't lose faith. You can be smoke-free if you really want to be.