Some of the smoking alternatives that are being used are nicotine gums, nicotine patches, electronic cigarettes, etc. One of the most common among these are, however, nicotine gums which contain 2-4mg nicotine thus fooling the brain into thinking that the person is smoking, but the hazardous constituents of smoke are not being delivered to the body.
Nicotine Gums Side Effects and Real-Life Stories of People:
However, with the passage of time, people have started noticing some really alarming side effects of nicotine use which has started a debate in the medical community as to whether or not the gums should be used in the nicotine replacement therapy ( NRT), which helps people in quitting smoking. Some of the side effects reported by individuals on different medical forums are as follows:
Increased Heart Rate
The mechanism of action of nicotine in the body is such that it causes the release of stress hormones and neurotransmitters (noradrenaline) from the adrenals which can send your heart into the hyper-excited state if the amount is not kept in check. Increased heart rate will cause hypertension which can be a serious problem.
A close friend and a colleague of mine has the firsthand experience of having to deal with increased heart rate because of nicotine gums. Here’s what she has to tell, “I quit smoking 2 years ago, and I have been using nicotine gum ever since. Suddenly, I noticed that I have two or three episodes of sudden increase in heart rate, per day. I exercise regularly, have healthy food habits and sleep well at night; I didn’t know what’s wrong until I consulted my doctor who told me that the nicotine I am taking daily in the form of gums is affecting my heartbeat.”
High Blood Sugar
Some diabetic patients who quit smoking because of its destructive effects which aggravate effects of diabetes were put on NRT. For some time that apparently helped, however, many people have complained of a rise in blood sugar levels with the consistent use of nicotine gums.
A 38-year-old veteran, who is also a diabetic patient, sent us an email with his concerns about nicotine gums, “I have presented compliance with my diabetes treatment; however, my FBS is constantly rising. Should I quit using nicotine gum as well? Because this is the only way I can help, restore better health.”
Human body has nicotine receptors which act on nerves and muscle fibers, their main effect on the brain is that of excitation and in this way nicotine excites the brain and when such stimulation is continuous the brain cells start firing up abnormally. “I have become irritable, and I have started having panic attacks recently. When I was informed by my doctor that I was developing a lung infection, I switched from cigarettes to nicotine gum. Since then, I have been unable to concentrate on my work, and it has affected my memory as well,” says a 40-year-old journalist in one of his articles.
Addiction and Dependence
People quit smoking because they feel they have become a cigarette slave, yet recently it has been reported that nicotine gums too have got people addicted to them. The cause is simple, the nicotine taken daily by the user is acting on average body receptors which get used to the high amount daily. Their threshold has been set to a new level and now the body needs that much nicotine to perform its functions.
As stated by a young medical student, who turned to nicotine gum trying to cope up with the stress and withdrawal symptoms, “This has taken a toll on me; if I don’t have access to nicotine gum, I feel my muscles twitching and I feel drowsy. It was getting harder for me to concentrate on my work and I often get angry. Nicotine has got all over me.”
This change has started giving anxiety attacks to the ladies all over the world with nicotine gum use. “My hair was gorgeous and thick before, even when I was smoking, yet ever since I have started chewing nicotine, my hair fall has increased ten times than the usual. I am anxious that I will go bald if I don’t stop using the gum. Can anyone suggest me some better alternatives than nicotine gum.” says a 31-year-old model in a TV interview.
Are There Better, Safer Alternatives to Nicotine Gums?
In addition to nicotine gums, there are two other commonly used approaches used by people for getting their nicotine fix: e-cigs or electronic cigarettes and nicotine patches. While researches show that nicotine patches work well in crushing your body’s nicotine cravings, however, the biggest issue with them is that they don’t simulate actual smoking practice. Your hands and lips yearn for the sensation of holding and sucking on to a cigarette. This is where e-cigs excel; they not only satisfy your nicotine cravings but also simulate smoking and even offer a considerable throat hit. In other words, once you get used the slight change in taste, you’ll hardly remember that you’re vaping not smoking. To top that off, most e-liquids – the juices used in e-cigs – allow you to choose different nicotine levels so that you can gradually decrease the nicotine strength and eventually stop using any nicotine.