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Dr Manny's Notes

Long-term health effects of chewing nicotine gum

From patches to hypnosis to pills and even gum, there are many ways to quit smoking. But is there a downside to these common treatments?

We received this question from Theresa in Riverside, Calif.

Dear Dr. Manny,
What are the long-term effects of using nicotine gum?

There's no doubt about it that chewing nicotine gum is better than smoking cigarettes. But it still contains small amounts of nicotine - which is what helps reduce withdrawal symptoms in people when they quit smoking.

According to the American Lung Association, people should not chew more than 24 pieces of nicotine gum a day and they shouldn't use it for more than three months.

Long-term use of nicotine gum has been linked with certain health problems like:

  • Hair loss;
  • Skin irritation;
  • Elevated blood pressure;
  • Irregular heartbeat;
  • Insulin resistance;
  • And gastrointestinal issues.

You should talk to your doctor about what you can do to get off the gum if you're having trouble.

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Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor. Click here more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center.