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Nicotine Gums & Lozenges

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Why is nicotine gum so expensive?

Prices are charged based on what the market will bear. Smokers are willing to pay high prices for nicotine gum, so high prices are charged.

How does the stimulation from nicotine patches compare with the stimulation from nicotine gum and e-cigarettes?

It's always on. It isn't a hit, it's an IV drip that lasts all day.

Smoking a cigarette or chewing nicotine gum has never made me jittery. But patches did.

 

Is nicotine gum alone harmful to health?

Nicotine is what's called a vasoconstrictor, so yes it can be harmful to your health. It can cause hypertension, can lead to stroke, as well as other cardiac effects. It's abuse though that is often the trouble. Nicotine gum is never meant for long term use, so keep that in mind. It's like the old saying, "It's all in the dose" in the case of nicotine gum that's really the case.

 

Are nicotine gums bad for health?

Yes nicotine gums are bad for health, they are basically used to quit smoking but over consumption may lead to following health issues:

It increases the risk of heart disease, also leads to chronic vascular injury such as coronary artery disease, acute cardiac ischemic events, and hypertension.

Leads to oral cancer.

Accidental swallowing of saliva containing high amounts of nicotine may cause irritation.

Women who use nicotine gum and patches during the early stages of pregnancy face an increased risk of having babies with birth defects.

 

Nicotine: When chewing nicotine gum, how do I know when I've exhausted all the nicotine in the gum?

Your behavior influences the rate that nicotine leaves the gum and enters your body. 1) chewing the gum depletes the nicotine faster and delivers nicotine to the stomach. 2) even following the directions* the surface area of the gum in contact with the skin inside your mouth is proportional to the nicotine depletion rate. A ball of nicotine gum balanced on the tip of the tongue releases hardly any nicotine over time. A thin sheet of nicotine gum lining the inside of a cheek releases nicotine much more quickly in comparison.

Separately, the effects of nicotine are different depending on the dose rate and the route (stomach or transmucosal), but that's a topic for a different question.

You should at least read the directions, which instruct you not to chew the gum, except a few times to soften it initially. Then it should be parked in the cheek pouch.

 

I am considering using nicotine gum to replace coffee during my grad school work. Any advice?

Nicotine is far more addictive than caffeine. Oral ingestion of nicotine results in the formation of N-Nitrosonornicotine, a carcinogenic compound.

The elimination half-life of nicotine is only two hours. If you're in an environment where you can't chew gum (e.g. defending your thesis) you may well crash before you can get your next hit.

Nicotine can also worsen many latent medical conditions. It can make tumors grow faster. It can cause Crohn's disease or IBS to flare up. It can give you high blood pressure. The risks go on and on.

If you need some sort of stimulant to get you through your day, there are far better choices than nicotine.

 

Does dependence and tolerance develop with nicotine gum or nicotine patch use?

Yes. The regular use of any product that stimulates nicotine receptors will, over time, result in dependence and tolerance for nicotine. The argument for nictoine gum and patches isn't primarily about nicotine dependence - it's that they are a better alternative than smoking cigarettes.

That said, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT; gum, patches, lozenges, sprays etc) will release nicotine into the bloodstream more slowly than a cigarette so you won't get the same pleasurable rush of nicotine. NRT just reduces the withdrawal symptoms of smoking cessation - it doesn't reproduce the "high". For this reason, it is easier to cut down and quit the nicotine replacement than it is cigarettes. When using Nicotine Replacement Therapy as a stop smoking aid the risk of becoming addicted to the NRT instead of cigarettes is only about 5%.

For the above reasons it is difficult to see WHY someone would use nicotine replacement therapy if it wasn't part of an attempt to quit cigarettes? There would be little pleasureable effect. However, just so it is in black and white, people who aren't smokers should not start using nicotine gum or patches. You probably won't get any pleasure from it and, yes, there is a possibility of developing tolerance and dependance - and therefore withdrawal symptoms when you stop using them regularly.

 

Would chewing nicotine gum make one lose weight?

Studies have shown that nicotine and weight control do not go together. Some people use smoking as a means of weight control. However, the study showed the smoking acts more of a reward for good behavior than it does anything else.

In other words, people using nicotine for weight control practice good eating habits. They use the nicotine as an alternative to eating or binging. This same effect could come from any activity such as yoga, meditation or walking. It is more of the belief than anything else.