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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.

Do  you have health questions for Dr. Manny? Send them to DrManny@foxnews.com.

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.
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