How Nicotine Addiction Works
So you’ve learned a few things about Re-learning Habit. And you’ve made it through the first part of re-learning life without cigarettes — how to deal with all of the habits you connect with lighting up. But smoking is more than just a series of “bad habits." It's a physical addiction.
So let’s talk about re-learning what you know about addiction. Few people realize how the nicotine in cigarettes actually changes their brain. Dr. Richard Hurt from Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center is a leading expert in the field of smoking cessation. In the videos below, Dr. Hurt explains the physical nature of addiction to cigarettes and just how powerful it can be. He’ll also tell you how medication can DOUBLE your chances of quitting smoking and help you pick the right one for you. Lots of people say they don’t want to use medication to quit smoking, because they think it’s something they should do on their own with just their willpower. Or they’ve tried a medication before and don’t think it worked. If you’re one of those people, all we can say is trust us on this. Just hear what Dr. Hurt has to say and then make up your mind.
Nicotine gum is one of the most popular options and it's convenient because it's sold over the counter and does not require a prescription. Plus, it now comes in many different flavors and two strengths. The best part is that you determine when you use it. You feel your craving coming on, use a piece of the gum. However, don't just chew it like regular gum. To get the best results, you use the chew and park method. To start, you bite into the gum slowly a few times until you feel a slight tingle or notice a peppery taste. Then you park it between your cheek and gum and you leave it there. When the tingle or taste is gone, bite into it a few more times, and then park it again. Repeat this cycle until the tingle or taste goes away completely, usually about 30 minutes. If you still have the craving, it's okay to use another piece.
Video: Quit Smoking Aids: Nicotine Gum
Nicotine gum is the most popular nicotine replacement, partly because it’s easy to use and because you don’t need a prescription. You can buy it over the counter. Whenever you feel a craving, pop a piece in your mouth, and you'll get a dose of nicotine. But you can’t chew it like bubble gum. Listen to Dr. Hurt talk about how to make nicotine gum can help you stop smoking.
Can't see the video? Don't stress! Dr. Hurt videos are available to view on the desktop site.