What About Nicotine's Side Effects like High Blood Pressure?
I had a heart exam the year before I quit smoking. All appeared normal except for slightly elevated blood pressure which is fairly normal for men my age (I take Lisinopril daily). If you have had any history of heart trouble or high blood pressure be sure to consult with your doctor. Show him/her this web site. Medical nicotine is a much safer form of nicotine than what’s in cigarettes – but it’s still a mild stimulant. Check with your doctor.
Also, see this British study by the Royal College of Physicians of London which says, “Although it is unlikely that medicinal nicotine (or any drug) is completely safe, there is no evidence that medicinal nicotine is carcinogenic, or that, in practice, its use increases appreciably the risk of acute cardiovascular events… To practical purposes, therefore, in comparison with smoking cigarettes, use of medicinal nicotine is extremely safe.”
Why Not Quit Cold Turkey?
I tried quitting cold turkey at least 5 times. Each time I went back to smoking weighing more. The longest I was ever completely off cigarettes was one month. I had made it to six months previously using the gum. That is why I tried two methods at once – with both lozenges and patches. I am over 60 and I have smoked for over 42 years. The odds of my relapse are high. Today I am on about 25-30% of the nicotine I was consuming when I smoked cigarettes. That’s a big drop in my nicotine, and I can always reduce it more.
Can people who Chew use this Method?
YES! This is the perfect method for tobacco chewers! Lozenges and flavored gum are a much cleaner, better way to get your nicotine fix. Also, most kissing partners would much rather taste a lozenge than tobacco.
What about Chantix and other medications to quit smoking?
I used Chantix on a previous attempt to quit smoking. I took it for several months and it helped me a lot. I had no ill effects and could have continued using it. But at the time you could not take Chantix for more than a couple of months. After I was taken off Chantix I soon started back smoking, plus I gained a few pounds more!! I have only good things to say about the time I used it. I did not use Chantex this time. I knew the prescription would soon end.
What about E-Cigarettes or “vaping”?
I have not used e-cigs, but these may help many people quit and I would try it if I were ever attempting to quit smoking again. E-cigs were very new when I quit. I fear the smoke/vapor could keep me wanting more to smoke real cigarettes. Plus, vaping probably won’t curb the munchies the way that lozenges and gum can. However, it’s is very possible that a person could use BOTH vaping and nicotine lozenges/gum – each as replacements for the cigarette, which is so much worse for us.
If I was starting over to quit I would probably use e-cigs. But I might not have lost weight by vaping and I might not have thought of using gum/lozenges. I would still need to go outside for my nicotine fix rather than reach into my pocket! It’s much easier to use lozenges and gum than to leave work for any type of smoke!
We need more research on e-cigs and other, less harmful forms of nicotine than cigarettes. New research suggests e-cigs may have hidden harms. However, medical nicotine products have been studied for decades and found to be safe when used as directed. Sadly, too many people feel it’s a choice between ONLY smoking or ONLY vaping or ONLY using nicotine lozenges. Nothing is as bad for us as smoking cigarettes (or obesity), so almost any change is good.
Did you use any Mind-Body Techniques and how did you cope with stress?
Yes, to boost my motivation I did positive affirmations and relaxation therapies every night for the first year. The affirmations were about quitting cigarettes, weight loss, exercise and relaxation. I still listen to them to keep my motivation up. For almost 30 years I’ve listen to Dr. Emmett Miller and Stephen Halpern’s music. You can find many of their programs on You Tube. Some might like working with a hypnosis practitioner or try acupuncture.
I have little fear that people will start chewing (or smoking) because of using medical nicotine. The two products are very different – one tastes terrible and one tastes like a cool mint. Today’s gum and lozenge taste much better than the old peppery flavor. For the safely of children, they are made with a spicy flavor that kids do not like but most adults can like.