Have you tried to quit smoking by using nicotine replacement therapy but failed? Well, it may be because you are drinking that morning cup of Joe while chewing nicotine gum or just after putting your nicotine patch on.
Smoking is an addiction of tremendous power. The bonds between a smoker and his or her nicotine are stronger than the addiction ties to cocaine or even heroine. In order to help fight the battle, an endless number of gizmos and gadgets have been tried, some with greater success than others. A few years ago one promising idea was a set of six cigarette holders, with the widest aperture being used the first week, then each week the opening became narrower and narrower. At the end of the sixth week the smoker could now suck a tennis racket out of an opponent’s hand, but they were still smoking.
One of the more effective aids, however, has been nicotine taken in patch form or made available via chewing gum. With a patch or gum, nicotine levels in the blood rise slowly and stay high for more than two hours, while a cigarette would “spike” nicotine levels within 20 to 30 minutes and then lead to a quick reduction, which can be responsible for inducing craving and more smoking. The patch is relatively more effective than the gum in stabilizing blood nicotine levels and may make it easier to eventually quit.
These products provide the smoker with their nicotine fix, and yet bypass the lungs, as well as the rituals involved in the habit. Nicotine replacement therapy can be very helpful to some to stop smoking, but many fail on it.
Now it turns out that the reason for failure may well be coffee, according to a National Institute on Drug Abuse study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researcher Jack Henningfield found that coffee makes saliva more acidic for about fifteen minutes, and this acidity blocks the nicotine medicine in the gum or patch from getting into the bloodstream. Not only coffee can neutralize these nicotine replacement products, one should avoid any substance more acidic than tap water, including cola, chocolate milk, beer, fruit juices, soy sauce and mustard.
Here’s an action tip:
If you are taking nicotine gum or a using a nicotine patch to quit smoking, make sure you follow the instructions carefully. Also make sure that you do not have any acidic foods or beverages while you chew, or, if you have, make sure you rinse your mouth clear with tap water before starting the gum. And if you need more motivation to quit, review this: /post/2011/02/06/Trying-to-quit-cigarettes-Dont-let-your-plans-go-up-in-smoke!.aspx