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Being Addicted to nrt gum...


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#1 TwiceOver

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 04:32 PM

On Friday night we had our company Christmas party. Unlike previous years we had to cut back a bit and had have the party is a cheaper location. The "room" wasn't completely private and there was a lot of noise from the bar and such while our owner gave the speech. Our owner has been "quit" for several years (10+). I went to the coat closet to get my camera out of my coat and he came rushing in mumbling "damn drunks" and grabbing his pack of Nicorette out of his coat. He was literally shaking like I had seen myself in the past when I really "needed" a smoke. He has been hooked all this time...

My mom also suffers from the same addiction to nicotine gum. She actually pays more for the gum than per pack of smokes. Arguably it is a better solution, but still can lead to serious health problems.

Just a word of caution to those thinking of using the gum. I'm sure it has worked great for some in the past, but it can become just as addictive.
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#2 soul

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:19 PM

I know countless people addicted to the gum or to the lozanges. That is one of the reasons i went cold turkey!

I am a puff away from a pack a day!!


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#3 April

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:24 PM

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#4 WTBF

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:27 PM

I know someone at work that quit three years ago, but still uses NRT gum.

And as for following directions, I used Nicorette for six years while "trying" to quit. :roll:
Tim
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#5 lolopixie

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 06:37 PM

Wow, I really didn't think that people became addicted to the gum and other aids. This being my second quit, I have used the patch both times and was able to come off of it fairly easily. I knew that if I went straight cold turkey the first day I would never be able to make it. We are all nicotine addicts, and eventually in order to truly be free we have to quit whatever aid we are using to get over it (of course meaning aids that include nicotine). I think that the aids are a great thing to use, just as long as you either follow directions or take yourself off them before the directions say to. After reading Katie's story, I bet I do know people that are addicted to the aids and are just closeted about it - crazy!

Katie - I'm glad you were finally able to kick your demon. Good job!
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#6 Mountaingirl

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 07:04 PM

Wow Katie-Thank you for sharing that amazing story. I am sure that you are not alone and your story will be eye opening to many readers here.

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#7 WTBF

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:09 PM

Tim, it does not surprise me at all that you used both the gum and still smoked—I can totally see how folks do that. I did not, but if I were still smoking and had already tried the gum BEFORE...I am quite sure I would have done it too....you smoke when you can and then BECAUSE so many places are smokefree now, you use the gum when you cannot smoke--makes PERFECT sense to me and another reason why I think that gum is so insidious....


That's why I destroyed the gum I had at the same time I destroyed the cigarettes. After six years, it was pretty obvious that the gum was not helping me quit completely. It may have helped me reduce my cigarette consumption, but really it was just a trade-off; if I didn't use the gum my consumption would go right back up.
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#8 soul

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:20 PM

Katie,
Thank you for your honesty. It is indeed by telling our stories that we continue to change and heal. I have to be honest and say that whenever i meet people who are on the gum or on the lozanges and who tell me that they have quit smoking, i do see them as "cheaters". All i see is tht they replaced one form of intake with another. Almost as if an alcoholic told me that he quit drinking --beer-- by drinking wine.
One of my friends was with me for Christmas, i knew she has been addicted to the lozanges for TEN years!!!!! and at one point, she took two sheets of those lozanges, punched them out of that sheet, like you would punch out some pills, and put them in her pocket! I could not believe what i was seeing. I tried to bring that topic up later in the evening and she mentioned she was doing so much better, and had not had "one" in an hour and a half!!!!........
I felt so bad for her. I wish i could do something to help her. SHe has countless medical problems, blood pressure, low immune system, unexplainable rashes on her body, eosophageal narrowing and on and on ............
I am glad Katie that you are off that stuff, so glad.
Thanks again for sharing.

I am a puff away from a pack a day!!


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#9 lolopixie

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:23 PM

I just got done reading the link you put up katie and wow that is quite an eye opener. I had no idea that there were no studies about this stuff. What in the world?!?!?!!?!? Makes me ashamed to have grown up where I did. Winston-Salem, NC. AKA RJR Corporate. Take a look at the address on Camels, Winstons, Salems, (clever in the naming aren't they???), Kool, Dorals, Eclipse, Pall Malls...and one other brand I can never remember the name of....anyways, it will list Winston Salem, NC on there. Being the 2nd largest tobacco company in the world, I am pretty sure there are quite a few people in Winston-Salem that are getting some kick backs from these aids. Tisk Tisk. Another fun fact about Winston-Salem, NC is that it has the most millionaires per capita in the US (per capita not the most) all attributed to RJR money.

But yes, after reading that information about people losing their hair and their blood pressue sky rocketing, I am shocked that there have not been studies conducted. That is just crazy to me. I don't know how big business is allowed to get away with what they get away with. At least we now know that smoking is bad for us. I know it wasn't always like that, and for MANY they found out too late. But if you smoke today you are well aware of the side effects. I'm going to have to check my patch box when I get home to see if it has any warnings listed on it....will report back later!
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#10 April

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:53 PM

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#11 slocum

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:54 PM

Wow, a paradox Katiem...smokeless but not really free for almost 6 and a half years! Congratulations on your 5 months! Thank you for sharing your experience.

The freedom comes from letting go of the nicotine and whyquit.com has expressed this several times that when we use the word "cigarette" we need to replace it with the word "nicotine".
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#12 WTBF

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 09:15 PM

Personally, I think it took a lot of courage to make that admission, and I am proud of you for doing so, katiem. From what I have seen on this board, no one changes their quit date to the date they stop using NRT, Zyban or Chantix, so I don't think you should have to either.
Tim
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#13 *Lena*

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 09:43 PM

Oh my goodness. Reading that article about people getting as hopelessly addicted to NRT as they seemed to be to the cigarettes now makes me actually GLAD that my second attempt to quit smoking (that time I used Nicorette) failed!

I do have to say though, in subsequent years when I'd occasionally think of quitting, it did occur to me that being hooked on nicotine gum or patches or lozenges "had to be better than smoking cigarettes," from the health standpoint (i.e., no more breathing in the toxic fumes of the cigs or forcing other people to breathe it), and I'd think back on my failed Nicorette quit (the gum didn't "satisfy" me, plus I expected quitting with it to be "painless" which it wasn't, so I went back to smoking cigs after only 3 days on it) and wonder maybe if I tried the gum again, or maybe the patch or lozenges this time and and was more persistent/determined? There were times I'd walk into the pharmacy for something else and think to myself, "I'm here, why not buy some nicotine gum or patches and try to stop smoking, or maybe even use gum or patches from now on instead of smoking?" but just didn't, I don't know why. Well, reading this article, WOW.

Now I'm REALLY glad I quit smoking cold turkey.

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#14 April

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 10:21 PM

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#15 KarenLou

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 01:49 AM

Katie my dear friend....you have absolutely no idea how proud I am of you these days....and you do know why. What you have said here about your nic gum addiction took ALOT of courage for you to say. I'm so glad you are beating this complete addiction...you are becoming the Katie the Good Lord intended for you to be...free of addictions. Your future is looking brighter and brighter from my perspective! Love you girl :D

My lungs have been thanking me since August 1st, 2013 :D


#16 Rain Forest

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 02:09 AM

Wow... oh wow... I'm in total shock, katie! It took tremendous courage for you to admit an addiction to the nicotine gum... wow, all these years. I'm really not sure what to say here, dear lord I'm speechless! lol

I am so glad you posted about it though. Since I've been at this forum, I see so many people on NRT's, then they go thru hell when they quit them... and my dear friend Stoshi, I quit bugging him ages ago because he still uses those nicotine lozenges, but omg, maybe people that are still on these things after a long period of time will read what you said, will check out the link you posted, and wow, you prob'ly just helped a ton of people.

I think the thing I'm sad about is that you went thru the nicotine withdrawal all alone, no help from us at this forum. We would have been here for you, ya know... I certainly would have been.

Oh, I almost forgot... of course you should stick around this forum... you are part of this place. You and I have had our ups and downs (lots of downs, huh? lol)... but when it comes right down to it, we're family.

Rain :)

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#17 stosh

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:16 AM

It is really easy to fall into the NRT trap. I’m a prime example. It’s true that I have not had a single puff since 05/05/09 but I have found myself addicted to the lozenges. I am working hard on it but to be quite honest sometimes I feel like just saying to hell with it all…but I don’t.
If you want to read up on a few real life experiences check out: http://www.askapatie... ... TTE&page=1
Its definitely an eye opener…shocking is more like it. Honestly, I think that Katie has a lot of courage for coming clean on her dependency with the gum. That woman has given a ton of support to people for a long time here.
You all know this support site is NOT made up of cookie cutter quitters. We don’t all go cold turkey and live life happily ever after. I wish we all could do it that way. Fabu is right; we are all part of this family. We are only human and can only do the best we can.
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#18 justsayinisall

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:24 PM

At any rate...if most of you all feel strongly that I should step away...PM me and let me know

That's just silly! If someone DID ask you to do such a thing I'd be disappointed. As Stosh said; "You all know this support site is NOT made up of cookie cutter quitters" You HAVE to stick around and help people with the NRT issues.
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#19 patti1953

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:38 PM

Following is my very first post at QSMB back on March 30, 2008. I acknowledged that I had an issue with nicotine gum upon arrival and FINALLY determined it was NOT part of my quit smoking solution, but rather a problem. I highly recommend that if there are others out there, please step forward so we can help you here, too. Education about nicotine addiction, above and beyond smoking, is critical.

Hi All,
My name is Patti and I quit smoking for the final & last time on March 2, 2008 at 7:30pm (CT). I started smoking when I was 22 and have attempted to quit multiple times during the past 32 years. I've been married for 27 years and have 3 children, ages 25, 24, 21. I bring up the children and their ages as it wasn't a KNOWN "big deal" back then to smoke. The worst they said would happen back then was it would cause smaller birth weights. OH, but don't we know differently now.

Anyway, my longest quit attempt in the past was from Jan-Nov 2006. I was on zyban for the first 6 months and on nicotine gum the whole time, which I never really got off of. During 2007, I continued to chew nicotine gum during the business day and only smoke at home (outside, of course) in the morning, evenings & weekends. I attempted to quit at the beginning of 2008 using Chantix, but I couldn't even "get out of the gate" with intense nausea and major mind altering things going on that I just couldn't deal with and I hadn't even stopped smoking yet.

So what have I been doing since my final & last quit on March 2, 2008, you ask ????? I have spent as much time as possible getting educated on the http://www.whyquit.com website, I have read Allan Carr's EASYWAY book, Joel Spitzer's "Never Take Another Puff" and routinely go back to these resources for reinforcement. My quit on March 2nd was intended to be "cold turkey", however, I slipped the evening of March 7th after a couple beers.... NO, NO, NO... I did NOT have a cigarette. I chose to slip up by chewing a piece of nicotine gum. I justified it as only "half a slip" which went on with a few more pieces over the course of that weekend. Went after my "cold turkey" approach again on Monday, March 10th. Guess what ??? Friday night came around again and I had two more pieces of gum. Got up on Saturday morning, March 15th, felt like ... not so good and popped one more piece of gum.

Now the good news... I finally "got it". I was extending my own withdrawal symptoms. I went through "cold turkey" withdrawals in some way, shape or form for three weeks in a row. YES, I said this was "good news" in that "I FINALLY GOT IT" !!! There is absolutely no reason good enough to make me go back. My chosen approach is "cold turkey"... no more nicotine and no extracurricular drugs.

So, why am I here, you ask ????? I've been hanging out at a tv show message board for people who are quitting during March. It seems that environment was right for me to get through this initial hurdle, but I want to associate with an actual quit smoking message board for on-going support. I'd like to think that I am making a long term commitment to get support and ultimately give support based on my own experience. I would like to acknowledge ERIC who suggested I check out this particular message board.

So that's my story... If you think of anything else you would like to know that I selectively or unconsciously omitted, please ask.

Look forward to getting to know you all and become one of your supporters, too.
Thanks,
Patti


Take care of you, Patti
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#20 Not2Old2Quit

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 01:44 PM

This is a great thread! Like others here I have used and abused NG many times and over a period of many years. But it has also been a part of every quit attempt I've ever made, at least the ones that lasted longer than 24 hours. :roll: I had at least two occasions where I had stopped smoking for 4 months but was still chewing like crazy. Both times I went back to smoking. The first, last and only time I ever followed the instructions I got completely free of nicotine after 5 months and stayed free for over 2 years. I guess it really does pay to read the instructions. :D

I definately agree that it is possible to get addicted to NG and will even go so far as to suggest that it's possible to develop a seperate and concurrent addition to NG and Cigs. What makes it so insidious is that NG tricks us into believing it is our "medicine" and therefore we can use it totally guilt free. So Katie don't get down on yourself. Like a lot of us you just got tricked by the nicodemon in a way we didn't expect.

I'm sure everyone knows what it's called when you do the same thing over and over but expect different results right? As I started this quit I knew it had to be different and I made it job one to get off the NG ASAP. I was thrilled when I was able to stop after only six days. I used one a day three times after that, right around days 10-12 and ever since have been totally nic free. What worked for me is I would keep the gum in my mouth as long as possible. The nicotine is gone after about 10 minutes so after that it's just gum but it helped me resist the urge for a fresh, nic loaded piece. Also by the 3rd day I started substituting regular chewing gum and using the same way as the NG, chewing it then parking it for a while.

If you have struggled with cold turkey, Chantix, or Welbutrin, NG is worth A try. Just please be aware of the potential dangers and avoid them. Maybe try reading the instructions while you're at it. :D
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