Trying to stop smoking is a very difficult process. This is a recognized fact. If you have tried to quit, then you completely understand how hard it is.
One of the best methods found to help someone stop smoking is the use of nicotine replacement products. There are a variety of products on the market, and they may be the one option that can finally help you stop for good.
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To understand how nicotine replacement products work, you first need to understand how nicotine works to cause addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens explains that nicotine is so addictive because of the way it works in the brain.
Your brain reacts to nicotine by releasing dopamine, which is a chemical that makes you feel pleasure. Every time you smoke, the nicotine prompts the brain to release this chemical and teaches your brain that this is a good thing. It conditions your brain to want more nicotine to reproduce this feeling.
Your brain will react if you do not get nicotine, which causes you to feel unpleasant side effects. Your brain now encourages you to seek out nicotine.
How Replacement Products Work
Since your brain triggers the addiction to nicotine and you will suffer withdrawal symptoms if you do not get it, a replacement product can provide the drug instead of a cigarette. There is no secret about how harmful smoking is. Cigarettes contain many chemicals and harmful substances in addition to nicotine that can harm your body.
Nicotine replacement products, according to the CDC, are safer than cigarettes. They will only contain nicotine and the rest of the ingredients are safe to consume or use on your body.
How a replacement product work specifically depends on the type of product. There is a variety on the market.
A popular option is nicotine lozenges. Many have success when using this type of product. The Mayo Clinic explains that lozenges work by allowing a small, controlled amount of nicotine to enter your bloodstream through the lining in your mouth. You will suck on the lozenge as you would a cough drop.
Another common option is nicotine gum, which works in a similar way to lozenges. Both of these options also help to settle the oral habit you may have with cigarettes, which can combat that part of the addictive behavior.
Another option is nicotine patches, which work a little differently. They go on your skin and you absorb the nicotine this way.
Inhalers and nasal sprays are other nicotine replacement options. They will also allow you to get nicotine into your bloodstream through inhaling it as you would when smoking a cigarette.
Do They Work?
Nicotine replacement products can be a successful way to quit smoking. However, they only handle the physical effects of smoking. A replacement product can only help ease the symptoms of withdrawal. They will not break the underlying habitual activity of smoking.
You have to do some work in addition to using the product, and understand that a replacement product alone will not make you stop smoking. It takes a conscious effort to not grab a pack of cigarettes and start smoking again.
The American Cancer Society explains for the best results you should use these products in conjunction with a stop smoking program that will address your mental and emotional addiction to nicotine.
You Can Quit
It is notoriously difficult to stop smoking, but it is not impossible. People do it every day. With the help of a nicotine replacement product and support from a stop smoking program, you can successfully give up cigarettes.