He says it works — ‘If I feel like a cigarette, I have a piece of gum and it stops the cravings’ — and has noticed real health benefits. One day, I’ll try to give up nicotine completely — but the gum is addictive.’ His case is far from unusual.
‘My breathing is already better and I can walk and run properly.’But he is definitely addicted. While gum was meant to bridge the gap between addiction and freedom for smokers, many have trouble weaning themselves off it.
S., found nicotine was such a powerful carcinogen, it caused thousands of cell mutations similar to those known to be a precursor to cancer.
Half of all lifelong smokers die early, losing around three months of life expectancy for every year after the age of 35 that they smoke, according to a report last month.
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And nausea, dizziness, insomnia and headaches can also be side-effects of the gum, but they are for most medications.’There is some evidence of more serious harm.
In 2014, a study by scientists at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, in the U.
He can’t go anywhere without it.‘I never wanted to give up cigarettes,’ he says. Initially, the gum was prescribed by the NHS — you’re given a 12-week course (in fact, the manufacturer’s recommended dose), with the idea that you use it to wean yourself off nicotine. Instead, he started buying the gum in the High Street, where it is available everywhere, from Sainsbury’s to Boots.
He buys a box, costing up to £26, a week and chews 15 gums a day (the maximum initial amount recommended by doctors before you should taper off and stop completely).