How To Chew Nicotine Gum

Aleksandra Osadcha March 19, 2022
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You want to quit smoking, but every time you try, you fail.

The cravings are killing you.

You could find a support group and try hypnosis again, or maybe even try going cold turkey! But is there another way?

Yes! Try nicotine gum. It helps smokers kick their habit and have a healthier lifestyle! 

What Is Nicotine Gum?

When you quit smoking, your body has a lot of adjusting to do.

One of the hardest things is coping with nicotine withdrawal. As your body adjusts to not having as much nicotine in it as it was used to, you’re going to feel pretty anxious, irritable, and just plain miserable that you might not feel yourself pulling your own hair out. 

It’s not your fault. In fact, nicotine itself is extremely addictive. It can actually change your brain chemistry and make you crave cigarettes, even years after quitting.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a way to get small doses of nicotine into your body without inhaling all the other harmful toxins that come along with smoking cigarettes. 

One type of NRT is nicotine gum, which provides a small dose of nicotine in every piece of gum, helping you manage your cravings and withdrawal symptoms so quitting isn’t as difficult.

It’s not easy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible either. Nicotine gum can help make the process easier so you can make living smoke-free a reality for yourself!

Who Should Use It?

Nicotine gum is a type of nicotine replacement therapy that, when used alongside a quitting plan, can help you to stop smoking or cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke.

If you suddenly experience strong cravings for nicotine, gum could be the best option for you. It’s also a useful way to distract yourself from smoking and satisfy your oral fixation, as it can often be difficult to give up cigarettes without something else to do with your hands and mouth.

But before using nicotine gum, speak to your doctor or pharmacist to make sure that the product is suitable for you.

Moreover, do not give it to children and pets (obviously). Nicotine in any form can be harmful to children, so don’t share it with them.

And if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor about whether nicotine replacement therapy is right for you. Your doctor will know best!

How to Use Nicotine Gum

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re looking for ways to quit smoking cigarettes. But, before you buy a pack of nicotine gum and call it a day, you should know about how to use it for maximum effectiveness.

Although nicotine gum isn’t a ‘miracle cure’ and quitting will still require effort on your part, it can significantly increase your chances of quitting successfully.

But for it to work, you need to know how to chew nicotine gum properly. It sounds like a silly statement, you’re thinking, “of course I know how to chew gum, and if you’re wondering, I can count past 100 too.” But before you start popping one in your mouth, follow the directions on your nicotine gum package label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. 

These is some essential information to keep in mind before using nicotine chewing gum.

  • They come in 2mg and 4mg doses, so make sure you start on the right dose.
  • Use one piece of gum every 1-2 hours for the 6 weeks of your quit attempt. Be careful not to use more than 24 pieces a day.
  • If you also use the nicotine patch, you don’t have to chew gum as frequently.
  • Eat or drink nothing for 15 minutes before or during use as that can reduce the effects of the gum.

Now that you know the precautions when using nicotine gum, let’s move on to the way you should chew it!

  1. Bite down slowly on the gum until you feel a tingling in your mouth. 
  2. Then place or “park” it between the inside of your cheek and your gums
  3. Hold it for about a minute to let the nicotine absorb into your body
  4. Repeat this this “chew” and “park” process until the tingling stops (usually 30 minutes)
  5. Occasionally change where you “park” the gum in your mouth
  6. Make sure that you do not swallow this nicotine gum after use. It is not intended as an edible, and doing so can have adverse effects on your intestinal health. 

So you’ve made the choice to quit smoking. We are so proud of you!

But if you’ve tried to quit smoking before, you know it’s not easy. It takes a lot of willpower and dedication. You have to be strong in the face of temptation and surround yourself with support from your family and friends.

We’re going to give you everything you need to kick that nasty habit for good. We have a variety of plans that offer different lengths— 12-weeks, 16-weeks, and 22-weeks —so you can stop smoking for good and take advantage of the benefits that come with your brand new habit.

Don’t give up hope when you’re feeling like cigarettes are taking over your life—we at Quittercheck will be with you every step of the way.

How Nicotine Gum Helps

Nicotine chewing gum is one of the oldest forms of nicotine replacement therapy.

The gum releases nicotine into the bloodstream as the user chews it, helping to curb cravings for cigarettes and tobacco products. Whether you’re a chain-smoker looking for a way to wean yourself off cigarettes or an occasional smoker who wants a healthy way to reduce your dependence on smoking, nicotine gum can help curb your cravings, soothe your nerves, and help you concentrate on your daily tasks without feeling overwhelmed by your former smoking habit.

When used correctly, it can double your chances of success. This method is most effective when combined with a behavioral support program so that you are physically and emotionally supported on your quit journey.

Length of Nicotine Gum Therapy

You might be tempted to look at nicotine gum as a complete cigarette-replacement aid, but doing so could actually prolong the time it takes your body to fully recover. Nicotine gum isn’t a long-term solution—it’s more of a temporary band-aid that helps you fight your addiction by making the process smoother and more manageable.

As long as you’re delivering nicotine into your bloodstream, your body is still physically addicted to nicotine. 

Using these products indefinitely won’t help you break that physical addiction. Your body and mind need to gradually adapt to being smoke-free so that you can then wean yourself off nicotine gum.

Signs and Symptoms

Nicotine gum is one of the best ways to kick your smoking habit for good, but it isn’t without its drawbacks. When used correctly, nicotine gum can help ease your cravings for a cigarette and help you wean yourself off of nicotine. However, if you don’t use it correctly or for too long, it could cause some mental anguish and effect your health.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms you may experience when you’re underdosing nicotine gum:

  • Irritability
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Anxiety, frustration or depression
  • Headaches and dizziness 
  • Nausea 
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating

On the other hand, you may be using the gum excessively. This can cause nicotine toxicity. Signs and symptoms of nicotine overdose include the following:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Stomach ache and loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting

Consult with your doctor or healthcare provider if you experience these signs and symptoms.

For Your Best Chance At Quitting

Your best chance at quitting smoking using nicotine gum is to use it in conjunction with a cessation plan that is tailored to your needs, and to make sure you are using the correct dose. Using more than the recommended dose will not help you quit faster, but it can be harmful. Over-the-counter nicotine gum is meant to be used in small doses over time (usually 8 to 12 weeks) to wean your body off nicotine.

If you’re having trouble sticking to the plan or if you have any concerns about side effects or how to use the gum, reach out for help from your family and friends who want to see you succeed. It’s important that you don’t try a one-size-fits-all approach, and that you adjust your plan as needed. You are capable of so much more than you realize—and if you take the right steps now, all of the benefits of quitting smoking will be yours sooner rather than later.

Conclusion

If you’ve made the decision to quit, but you’re worried about nicotine withdrawal, you’re not alone. Nicotine gum can help you quit without feeling like your head is going to explode, but these are only a short-term solution. The maximum time that you should use nicotine gum is 12 weeks, after which it will actually start working against your efforts to quit.

The good news is that there are long-term solutions out there. Aversion therapy has been used for decades by doctors and psychologists alike as an effective method of quitting smoking or to change pesky unwanted behaviors. It works by creating a negative connection between the act of smoking and your emotional state. When you smoke, instead of feeling relaxed, happy, or alert (as you may have felt in the past), you’ll begin to feel nauseous or anxious—which will make it easier for you to stop smoking permanently.

One great program that uses aversion therapy effectively well is Quittercheck. Not only does it help people quit smoking by using aversion therapy strategies, but it also helps users track their progress and offers financial rewards for quitting successfully. You can use it with other quit methods like nicotine gum, but the gum (or anything containing nicotine) must be used before starting a Quittercheck plan and not during.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you just chew nicotine gum?

No! You cannot just chew it for the sake of it. Nicotine gum releases nicotine in a controlled fashion, which is then absorbed through your mouth into the bloodstream. Chewing it excessively will lead to an increase of nicotine levels in your system. This will lead you to experience some effects of raised nicotine levels in the blood such as;

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Stomach aches and loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting

The above reasons are why it is contraindicated to chew nicotine gum as you would a pack of Wrigley’s.

How many cigarettes is 4mg of nicotine gum?

Nicotine gum is available in two dosage strengths; 2mg and 4mg. The 2mg dose is recommended for smokers that smoke less than 25 cigarettes a day. 

The 4mg dose is recommended for smokers that smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day. This hints that one 4mg nicotine gum is akin to keeping nicotine levels at around the level where 25 or more cigarettes would do. Of course nicotine gum delivers pure nicotine without any of the other toxic compounds found in cigarettes.

How long can you chew nicotine gum?

Chewing one piece of nicotine gum after another continuously may cause hiccups, heartburn, nausea, or other side effects. Do not chew more than 24 pieces of nicotine gum a day. It is recommended that you stop using it after 12 weeks of use. Consult with your doctor if you need to use it after exhausting the recommended 12 weeks so that you can avoid adverse health effects.