From patches to hypnosis to pills and even gum, there are many ways to quit smoking. But is there a downside to these common treatments?
We received this question from reader:
Dear Dr. Manny,
What are the long-term effects of using nicotine gum?
There's no doubt about it that chewing nicotine gum is better than smoking cigarettes. But it still contains small amounts of nicotine - which is what helps reduce withdrawal symptoms in people when they quit smoking.
According to the American Lung Association, people should not chew more than 24 pieces of nicotine gum a day and they shouldn't use it for more than three months.
Long-term use of nicotine gum has been linked with certain health problems like:
- Hair loss;
- Skin irritation;
- Elevated blood pressure;
- Irregular heartbeat;
- Insulin resistance;
- And gastrointestinal issues.
You should talk to your doctor about what you can do to get off the gum if you're having trouble.