Cigarette Smoking vs. Nicotine Gum

Kicking a habit is never easy. A habit is defined as a tendency towards an action, which has become spontaneous by repetition. There are any number of activities that can be described as habitual – your morning routine, the route you take to work, the way you brush your teeth.

Some habits are good for you, like healthy eating and regular exercise. Then there are the others. The others are not so good for you – coffee cravings, chocolate bingeing, etc. One of the number one habits considered bad for you is smoking!

Roughly 15 billion cigarettes are sole every day – that’s 10 million every minute. And though smoking statistics are on the decline, it is not because people are refraining from even starting, it is due to the number of people quitting.

Around 80% of smokers started before the age of 21! In fact one in five high school students smoke and will continue to smoke for many years! Why? Well, there are a number of reasons. Perhaps it is for peer acceptance or the need to feel more mature or self-confident. Maybe they think smoking will alleviate stress.

Whatever the reason, cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health! And, more and more people are realizing this fact and are opting for a healthier lifestyle! The trouble with quitting is the addiction! Nicotine is addictive, and those who try to stop may experience temporary side effects that may affect their daily lives. Commonly, nicotine withdrawal can cause headaches, irritability, difficulty concentrating and possible depression.

That’s why millions of people reach for help – the most common form is a supplement of sorts. Nicotine-laced gum, such as “Nicorette” was introduced in 1984. Since that time, 1.5 -2 million Americans try it each year! Recently, it has become even easier to try this popular supplement as it is now available over-the-counter.

Marketers of this invention recommend using the gum up to 12 weeks. After that time, they recommend a consultation with your physician if you still feel the need to smoke. Yet, almost 10% of users of the gum utilize the gum longer than recommended. In a sense, you are kicking one habit and trading it for another.

By this time you may be asking, “Is that bad?” The answer lies in education – knowing the facts! Sure, a nicotine habit is bad – just like that caffeine addiction you have, but what’s worse smoking or nicotine-laced gum? The answer is the smoking!

The major harm that comes from smoking is not necessarily in the nicotine addiction. Cigarettes contain carcinogens and carbon monoxide, which have been associated with heart disease and cancer. Nicotine-laced gum does not contain cancer-causing substances.

Smoking a cigarette gives you a quick surge of nicotine, whereas the gum delivers the nicotine slowly through the mucous membranes of your mouth, plus the levels of nicotine are lower. However, the gum can perpetuate your physical addiction to nicotine, and kicking the gum chewing can result in the same type of side effects as smoking.

This specialized gum is not cheap either! You can pay up to the price of a pack-and-a-half of cigarettes, so using it longer than the recommended 12 weeks will not save you any money in the long run! But, if you must have an expensive habit, gum chewing is the healthier option!

So, if you find yourself addicted to the gum, especially if you are hesitant to quit for fear of reaching once again to cigarettes, consult with your physician for any other options, because quitting the nicotine habit will result in a healthier you!

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