When people decide to quit smoking, some quit cold turkey, without the aid of smoking cessation products. Others turn to these products to help them fight their nicotine addiction. One of the more popular products is nicotine chewing gum. However, this helpful product has its own dangers and side effects.
Nicotine chewing gum is meant to be a short-term aid to helping a person quit smoking a tobacco product, usually cigarettes or cigars. The gum delivers nicotine into the person's system, assuaging the cravings for a smoke that contains the same drug. Gradually a person can chew less and less nicotine gum until finally he doesn't need it anymore. That being said, the biggest danger of chewing nicotine gum is that a person can develop a nicotine addiction, or make an existing one worse.
Upon first chewing nicotine gum, there are several possible dangers and side effects. Some of the more common are muscle soreness in the jaw, mouth sores, headache, indigestion and an increased output of saliva. While these are all common reactions to the drug, they often pass if chewing nicotine chewing gum is continued.
If nicotine gum is chewed too quickly, then it is likely that other side effects will present themselves. Lightheadedness, dizziness, hiccups, vomiting and insomnia are all common effects. Often chewing the gum more slowly, making sure that the nicotine release doesn't happen as quickly, is the best solution.
Chewing too much nicotine gum (more than 30 pieces in a day) or chewing the correct number of pieces too quickly could lead to an overabundance of nicotine in a person's system, which can be very dangerous. This can result in cold sweats, fainting, confusion and a pounding heart. All of these symptoms are caused by an increased and unsafe amount of a stimulant.
Although it isn't common for those who have smoked or chewed tobacco to have an allergic reaction to nicotine gum, cases have been reported. Effects such as a rash, itching, swelling and trouble breathing are all telltale signs of an allergic reaction to nicotine gum. In this case a doctor should be notified immediately and the person should seek medical help.