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When you quit smoking you can lower your risk for a number of health problems including lung disease, lung cancer and heart disease. Still, "kicking the habit" isn't easy, especially if you've smoked for many years. The good news is that thousands of people successfully stop smoking each year. A number of products are available to help you make the transition to a smoke-free lifestyle a little easier. First you need to make the decision to quit.
Cigarettes are a source of nicotine, an addictive chemical that smokers crave. Many people experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit "cold turkey." These withdrawal symptoms may increase the desire to smoke. Nicotine replacements supply your body with smaller, controlled amounts of nicotine to help relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms. This may reduce cigarette cravings. Nicotine replacement is available in a number of forms including patches, lozenges and nicotine gum. Your body absorbs nicotine at a slower rate when using replacement products. Plus, you aren't exposed to the other toxins in cigarettes like tar and carbon monoxide.
Nicotine gums are one of the most popular options for nicotine replacement therapy. These gums come in a variety of bold, tongue-tantalizing flavors like fresh mint, fruit and cinnamon. They're usually sugar-free so you don't have to worry about tooth decay. They are great for freshening your breath too! Nicotine gums are available in a regular dose as well as a higher nicotine dose for heavier smokers. Always follow the directions and don't chew more than the recommended number of pieces per day.
Nicotine lozenges are another popular option. Like nicotine gum, they supply your body with controlled doses of nicotine to help reduce the desire to smoke. Unlike nicotine gum that you chew, lozenges are meant to dissolve slowly in the mouth until they disappear completely.
It's possible to experience mild side effects like heartburn, rapid heartbeat, gas, headache, stomach upset or insomnia when using nicotine replacement products but these are usually not severe enough to cause concern. Don't smoke if you're using any form of nicotine replacement product. This could lead to too much nicotine. It is also important to take the product as directed and use it only for as long as recommended.
Some nicotine withdrawal systems use cigarette filters that gradually reduce the amount of tar and nicotine you take in with each cigarette. You would begin with the first filter and gradually work your way down to the last one. Each progression reduces your exposure to tar and nicotine more. By the time you reach the last filter, you've reduced your exposure by 90%. When you reach this level, you may be able to quit smoking without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. It's a step-by-step filtering system designed to gradually wean you off of nicotine.
Quitting smoking isn't easy but smoking aids can make it a little less challenging to kick the habit so you can enjoy the health benefits of being smoke free.