Smoking and Quitting Smoking (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

How can nicotine-containing products be used safely?

Users of nicotine-containing products should understand that all of these products have side effects as well as effects on other underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and heart disease. Furthermore, these products can have interactions with other prescribed medications such as pain relievers, blood thinners, and high blood pressure medications. And finally, they do have their limitations. The following guidelines are to help you safely use these products to achieve your goal of quitting smoking.

  1. Always read the labels and know the ingredients in the products. Never take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor first.
  2. If you are pregnant or nursing a baby, seek the advice of a health professional before using any nicotine-containing product.
  3. Do not use a nicotine-containing product if you continue to smoke, chew tobacco, use snuff, or other nicotine-containing products.
  4. Consult a physician before using nicotine-containing products if you are under 18 years of age and:
  • Have heart disease, an irregular heartbeat, or have had a recent heart attack (Nicotine can increase your heart rate.)
  • Have high blood pressure that is not controlled with medication (Nicotine can increase your blood pressure.)
  • Have a history of, or currently have, inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) or ulcers of the stomach or duodenum (peptic ulcer disease)
  • Take insulin for diabetes.
  • Take any prescription medications (Nicotine interacts with some medications, such as aspirin, some medications for the heart, and female hormones to decrease their levels in the blood.)
  • Have a skin disorder, such as dermatitis, which may increase the likelihood of skin reactions by the skin to the patch
  1. People should stop using nicotine-containing products and see their physician if they have or develop:
  • Mouth, tooth, or jaw problems (applies to Nicorette gum)
  • Irregular heartbeats or palpitations
  • Symptoms of nicotine overdose, such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, and rapid heartbeat
  • Severe rash, redness, swelling, burning, or itching at the site of the patch
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/30/2015

Quit-Smoking Pictures Slideshow: 13 Tips to End Your Addiction

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Quitting Smoking- Effective Treatments Question: What treatments have been effective to assist in quitting smoking.
Smoking (How to Quit Smoking) - Obstacles Question: What are/were your biggest obstacles in quitting smoking?
Quitting Smoking - The First Day Question: What was it like the day you quit smoking? Give others an idea of what to expect by describing your experience.
Quitting Smoking - Prescriptions Question: Did you try a prescription treatment to quit smoking? For someone who's never tried it, describe what it's like.
Quitting Smoking - Methods That Work Question: Discuss the various methods you tried to quit smoking. What, if anything, worked?
Quitting Smoking - Tips for Quitting Question: Did you quit smoking for good? If so, how did you do it? Please provide tips to help others who are trying to quit.