Most medicines cause side effects, but the hope is that the medicine will give you more positive relief from your problem than side effects. Unfortunately, after reading a lot of personal stories and research studies, we don't think this is the case when it comes to nicotine gum.
There have been many reports of side effects, both short and long term, by nicotine gum users. They range from the bizarre (crazy dreams) to the very scary (hair loss, stomach ulcers). We've collected some information on some of the reported side effects of chewing nicotine gum.
Recommended: Cheaper and Healthier Alternative
We have many readers who are looking to get a new alternative to nicotine gum. The simple fact of the matter is that nicotine gum has plenty of negative side effects to using it (don't believe us? Read more below...).
If you're looking for more information on the side effects of nicotine gum, then read on!
Nausea and nightmares
Nicotine gum has been said to have caused nausea and uncomfortable stomach pains. 'I actually smoked when I used the gum. A lot of the time I felt the need to throw up' a 25 year old entrepeneur claims. One of the main problems with the nicotine gum, he argues, is that there is far too much nicotine within it. This sends the body into shock and causes nausea. This is the body's response when there are toxins in your bloodsteam - you get a similar reaction if you drink too much alcohol.
'The worse complaint I hear is people experiencing nightmares or strange dreams'. Says a male entrepeneur. He adds that he suffered from such problems himself whilst on the nicotine gum and this made it very difficult to sleep. Sleep deprivation can also cause a multitude of health problems in the future.
Addiction and long term use
The issue with nicotine is that it is incredibly addictive, and though supermarkets leave a warning on the product to not use for more than 12 weeks, some people become dependent on them for years. 'I also personally know people who have used them [nicotine gum] for years and have experienced stomach problems, high blood pressure, borderline glaucoma and hair loss' says a 67 year old wife and mother. All these complications disappeared when they stopped using the gum.
She had been smoking for over thirty years and only managed to quit with the help of the nicotine patch and nicotine gum. 'I have now been smoke free for a decade, but not gum free. It took me years more to get over that addiction, and my experience is far from unique.'
Her personal struggle with fighting the addiction of the nicotine gum made it very difficult for her to come off of the nicotine replacement therapy. Compared to the nicotine patch (which we do recommend), the nicotine gum seemed to take a much larger toll on her health:
I threw out all my cigarettes one night and slapped the patch on. After four weeks on the patch, I decided to use nicotine gum instead, figuring that I would taper off even more on the gum till I was using no nicotine replacement at all.
It didn't happen. Like any addict, I stopped counting how many pieces of gum I chewed. I kept buying my supply and ignoring the fact that it was taking more and more of the substance to satisfy me. I got so bad that I liked the taste and looked forward to my lozenges the way I had once enjoyed cigarettes. I told myself that it was OK to keep using my lozenges and gum because at least I wasn't smoking.'
Various Other Health Problems
Nicotine gum also causes various other health issues that develop after long term use. 'I've been on the gum for about three years, after quitting smoking 20 years ago. My left eye has gotten worse and worse in the last few years and has resulted in my getting glasses and I've had four teeth pulled. I use up to 20 pieces of gum per day.' says a 44 year old musician. These health problems may not be connected to the gum, though most seem to appear once the gum is used as a long term therapy.
Chewing nicotine gum can also cause complications on your skin and make it very uncomfortable and unattractive. A 58 year old software engineer claims that a year ago he quit smoking and relied upon nicotine gum instead: 'My face had become horribly dry during the last year. At various times I would get pimples on my face which would leave scars - I now have 11. I now have reddish skin with white dots upon the rash.' After visiting three different dermatologists, they could not determine what was causing such an outbreak.
Nicotine gum may seem like an easy and simple way of quitting smoking, and it's definitely the most popular "nicotine replacement" product on the market. But we urge you to look at the side effects and horror stories and think before trying the gum. but there are other options that you can use which are arguably healthier. We particularly like nicotine patches and electronic cigarettes because of their lack of side effects and promising potential.