"The Patch" and nicotine gum like Nicorette are popular treatment options for people trying to quit smoking, but are they actually the best option to nicotine addicts?
FitPerez reader Kaley wrote smoking counselor Craig Nabat for advice about possible side effects before starting to use either product, asking:
Yo Craig! Love you on fit perez, love all your Q&A's!
I want to start using the patch - What are some of the side effects of using "The Patch" to quit smoking? Do you have any personal experience with "The Patch"? What about nicotine gum?
According to Craig:
The side effects from the nicotine patch are pretty mild, itching and nausea can occur. The worse complaint I hear is people experience nightmares or bizarre dreams, if they sleep with the patch on. My personal experience of using the nicotine patch is like many others, I actually smoked when I had the patch on. By doing this it makes you want to throw up, because you are taking in much more nicotine than you are used to. Logically it doesn’t make sense to use nicotine to get off nicotine. A lower dose of nicotine just causes you to constantly be thinking about smoking over the next 30-60 days, when you could have been off cigarettes within 3-7 days.
I went from the nicotine patch to nicotine gum and then back to the patch again. Using the nicotine patch or gum to quit did not work for me. I used a low-level laser treatment to finally quit smoking.
Kaley, the reason you continue smoking is nicotine. You must deplete all the nicotine from your body to end the physical addiction to it. It takes 3 days; give yourself another 7 days to get all the toxins out of the body. During this 10 day quitting period realize you CANNOT take a hit of one cigarette, because the “quit” clock would start all over again, because you will trigger your original nicotine addiction. You get addicted to a constant level of nicotine in your system, anything less causes a withdrawal to occur. The cutting down approach does not work, it must be complete abstinence.
You can quit!
For more tips to quit smoking, feel free to tweet Craig questions @freedomlaser or write to firstname.lastname@example.org!