Nicotine is what makes cigarettes addictive. This is not news, generic however, check we have to talk about it when giving up. When you smoke you get a hit of nicotine within about ten seconds. This gives you the pleasure feeling that is linked with smoking. A smoker’s body comes to expect these regular doses of nicotine and if it doesn’t get it things hit the fan, unhealthy including: Intense cravings, anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, as well as bad dreams, restlessness or frustration, headaches, increased appetite and problems concentrating. Nicotine replacement tries to smooth this horror over. It provides lower doses of nicotine more slowly, in a controlled way. The idea is that it will make it easier to stop smoking. The use of any nicotine replacement therapy almost doubles your chance of quitting.
So what are the options?
It is generally recommended that you use it for 12 weeks because if you use it for more than 3 months then you could easily get addicted to the replacement therapy itself. Here are the options in order of increasing effectiveness; nicotine gum, nicotine patch; nicotine inhaler; oral tablets/lozenges; nicotine nasal spray. There is evidence that combining a nicotine patch with a rapid delivery form of nicotine (any other replacement form) is more effective than a single type.
What happens when you quit?
After 20 minutes: Your blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal.
After 8 hours: Oxygen levels in your blood return to normal.
After 24 hours: Your lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris. So after a night out you’ll feel that smoking cough.
After 48 hours: There is no nicotine left in your body. This is when cravings kick in. Your ability to taste and smell is greatly improved.
After 72 hours: Breathing becomes easier. Your energy levels increase.
After 2-12 weeks: Circulation improves throughout the body, making everything a whole lot easier.
After 3-9 months: Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems get better as your lung function is increased by up to 10%.
Now here are some problems with the various aids for giving us smoking.
Nasal spray gives a hot, spicy feeling at the back of the nose or throat, so you’ll get a runny nose, sore throat, coughing, sneezing and watering eyes. It’s like a shot of tequila; the second one is always easier. The gum can cause ulcers and after chewing the recommended 10 to 15 pieces of it your jaw muscle ache and you can feel nauseous. The Lozenges can give you heartburn, nausea/indigestion and hiccups. The Inhaler can cause throat and mouth irritation, cough and stomach upset.
The patches may cause redness or swelling at the patch site for up to 24 hours.
However, let’s consider the problems associated with smoking.
You know them already, it causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases. It makes you smell like smoke, taste like an ashtray and damages your skin. You’ll get increased amounts of infections and impotence is also on the cards because of it. Bet the side effects of giving up seem a bit better now, eh?
Electronic cigarettes are being used more and more. The device heats the liquid nicotine and changes it to a vapour. Inhale as if it was a cigarette. There’s no smell, because nothing is burning. It’s a fast delivery system similar to the inhaler and the nasal spray but it isn’t as harsh. Since it’s a newer product there hasn’t been as much research on it but it looks promising. However, they are more expensive than other quitting tools but no aide is too expensive because you’ll save in the long run. It’s an investment in yourself.