Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Saving Lives With Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Experts say that smoke alone from cigarette already contains over 4,000 chemicals in it, 40 of which are known carcinogens, and at least 200 of those chemical are considered poisonous. That is why if second hand smoke can kill, how much more can smokers be in greater risk of its hazardous effects because they breathe in both mainstream and sidestream smoke?

While cigarette smoke is worse than nicotine in itself, it does not discount the fact that nicotine is a harmful drug. Long term use of nicotine may affect how the body's function, increases pain by putting stress on the heart and increases blood pressure. As nicotine harms the linings of our arteries, it leads to the build-up of plaque, thus, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Moreover, nicotine suppresses insulin output creating a hypoglycemic condition. It could also lead to cancer.

For people who are trying to quit smoking cigarettes, there's a substitute for oral activity that provides a source of nicotine to reduce withdrawal symptoms usually experienced when smoking is stopped. This substitute is nicotine chewing gum.

Nicotine chewing gum has already helped many thousands of people to stop smoking successfully. It isn't easy to quit from smoking and nicotine chewing gum is just one of the many nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products in the market today. Having a wide variety of quit aid options ultimately means more lives saved.

However, NRTs are not intended for long-term use because some quitters are getting addicted to them, like the nicotine chewing gums and lozenges, that they find it hard to quit from the new habit. Aside from being expensive, the gum can also potentially stick to and damage dental work. Health professionals do not advise pregnant and nursing women to use nicotine products due to the side effects, such as headaches, hiccups, sore jaw and hives.

Treat NRTs the way you would a prescription drug. Consult your doctor and follow the product directions. Proper use helps ease the discomforts of recovery from nicotine addiction. Be sure to wean yourself off in the time period suggested. Being dependent on it may lead to an increased risk of a smoking relapse. As in the case with habit-forming drugs, tolerance will increase over time and so will the intake.

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