For smokers who have developed a dependence on tobacco, quitting may sometimes prove to be tough. However, there are a few treatments available to help them quit smoking such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) where they can chew nicotine gum or use nicotine patches, inhalers or lozenges. NRT has proven to be one of the most effective ways to help one quit smoking. It addresses the physical dependence on smoking by replacing all the harmful chemicals inhaled along with nicotine – addictive substance – with just nicotine minus the toxic chemicals. Smokers will have to seek counseling and go for rehabilitation to address their psychological dependence on smoking.
Though replacing nicotine to quit smoking is one of the more effective ways available, one needs to take nicotine under expert guidance. There is always the possible side effect of overdosing on nicotine otherwise, which can prove to be harmful.
Some of the symptoms of nicotine overdose include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, cold sweat, rapid heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, restlessness, weakness, agitation, confusion, tremors, seizures, high blood pressure that drops rapidly later, low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting spells, rapid breathing, pale skin, and trouble with hearing and vision. If one thinks one has had a nicotine overdose it is best to call Poison Control for emergency help. If even after taking only the prescribed dosage one experiences these symptoms, it is better to lower the dosage after consulting with the healthcare provider.
Nicotine patches are available as well. For some users, there could be side effects. These include red and itchy skin, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, nausea, headache, insomnia, disturbing dreams and stiff, aching muscles. Nicotine gum doesn’t need a prescription. It is fast acting and is absorbed through the mucous membrane in the mouth. Chew it till you get a peppery taste and tuck it away in your cheek till the taste fades. Then, chew gain till you get the peppery taste. Repeat for about half an hour and avoid doing it fifteen minutes before or after meals because nicotine interferes with digestion. You can control the doses with nicotine gum, unlike nicotine patches. You can also use it only when you have a craving to smoke as opposed to having scheduled doses.