Smoking and Quitting Smoking (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Smoking and quitting smoking facts
- What problems are caused by smoking?
- What is addictive disease and why is smoking considered addictive?
- What are the signs of cigarette addiction?
- Why should someone quit smoking?
- What are the steps in quitting?
- Getting ready to quit smoking
- On the day you quit smoking
- Staying quit
- What methods can help a person quit smoking?
- Behavioral modification and self-help literature to quit smoking
- Nicotine replacement therapy to quit smoking
- What prescription products are available for smoking cessation?
- How are nicotine-containing products used safely?
- What is in the future for smoking?
- Smoking FAQs
- Find a local Internist in your town
How are nicotine-containing products 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 mellitus, 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.
- Always read the labels and know the ingredients in the products. Never take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor first.
- If you are pregnant or nursing a baby, seek the advice of a health professional before using any nicotine-containing product.
- Do not use a nicotine-containing product if you continue to smoke, chew tobacco, use snuff, or other nicotine-containing products.
- Consult a physician before using nicotine-containing products if you:
- Are under 18 years of age
- 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
- 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
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