Is nicotine harmful? Do I gain weight after quitting smoking? Will I become addicted to nicotine substitutes?? There is a lot of uncertainty about nicotine, smoking cessation and nicotine replacement therapy. Since quitting is hard enough, we’d rather offer you facts than myths.
Reducing cigarette use has high health benefits
Right and wrong!
Many smokers overestimate the health benefits of reducing their cigarette consumption. Therefore, they try to reduce their tobacco use rather than quit smoking completely. The fact is that reduction increases the likelihood of quitting smoking completely in the long run. However, smoking, whether 3 or 15 cigarettes, is harmful to humans. Unlike smoking cessation, reduction does not show a reduction in mortality risk.
A reduction in cigarette consumption only has a health benefit if it is followed in the long term by an end to smoking.
Myth: Nicotine is carcinogenic
Wrong! Nicotine is not carcinogenic according to the current state of science. Of the over 4.800 ingredients of a cigarette are 90 suspected to be carcinogenic.
The main causes of lung cancer and other cancers are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitrosamines, which are absorbed into the body with cigarette smoke.
Myth: Nicotine causes other smoking-related diseases
Incorrect! Cigarettes are well known to cause cancer, chronic lung disease, heart disease and other disorders, but the cause, according to current knowledge, is not nicotine.
Rather, the myriad toxins in cigarette smoke are responsible for the harmful effects. In other words, the delivery method, not the nicotine itself, causes the majority of tobacco smoke-related illnesses.
Myth: Nicotine is addictive
Correct! It is the nicotine that, when smoked, is particularly quickly addictive. A smoker’s body gets used to a constant level of nicotine in the blood or to nicotine injections at specific times.
When cigarettes are no longer smoked, the body sounds the alarm in the form of withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, nicotine is responsible for existing smoking cravings and the reason why many smokers repeatedly expose themselves to the toxic substances in cigarette smoke.
Myth: Nicotine replacement products are addictive
Incorrect! Nicotine replacement products such as NICORETTE® are not likely to cause an intoxicating effect. The way nicotine is ingested is responsible for this: nicotine inhaled through tobacco smoke triggers a "kick" in the brain within a few seconds. Here’s how inhaling nicotine works faster than injecting it.
Just a few cigarettes are often enough to make the consumer addicted to cigarettes. With all NICORETTE® products, the uptake of nicotine is much slower, i.e. a "kick" is not triggered as with normal cigarette consumption. Nevertheless, the positive effect remains: the smoker is deprived of the physical craving for the cigarette.
How exactly this is possible, you will learn in the chapter Nicotine replacement therapy. An overdose is not possible if the instructions for use are followed.
Myth: Nicotine replacement therapy is as dangerous as smoking itself
Incorrect! The nicotine contained in nicotine replacement products is produced by regulated pharmaceutical methods. Nicotine gum, Nicotine patch & Co. do not contain the harmful substances found in cigarette smoke. Therefore, they do not bear the risk of the serious diseases associated with smoking.
Myth: Nicotine replacement is more expensive than cigarettes
Wrong! Many smokers don’t even realize how much money they spend on cigarettes. Once they add up the cost for a week or a month, they will probably be very surprised. Nicotine replacement products cost money, but the goal of nicotine replacement therapy is the gradual reduction of nicotine. Costs are incurred only in the short term – in the long term you save money. How much money you could save, reveals our Cigarette calculator.
Myth: Nicotine is toxic
Right and wrong! Nicotine is basically not toxic in small amounts. Since smokers are usually accustomed to high doses, overdoses are not likely to occur.
Non-smokers may react with nausea and for small children higher doses of nicotine can even be fatal. Therefore, NICORETTE® products as well as cigarettes should be kept out of the reach of children.
Myth: Nicotine causes yellow stains on fingers and teeth
Wrong! It’s not the nicotine in cigarettes, but the tar that causes yellowish stains on fingers and teeth.
Myth: Nicotine is a man-made substance
Wrong! Nicotine is a naturally occurring substance in tobacco, which is extracted from the tobacco plant.
Myth: You gain weight after quitting smoking
True and false! It is true that many non-smokers gain weight after quitting smoking. This is due to the nicotine, which previously stimulated the metabolism and curbed the appetite.
This is where nicotine replacement products come in. These release controlled doses of nicotine to help quit smoking while controlling metabolism and appetite.
In addition, as a non-smoker, you often eat more at first because, first, you miss the "hand-to-mouth movement" and, second, you "mistake" the craving for cigarettes for feelings of hunger. To counteract this, you can prepare small healthy snacks such as vegetable sticks or fruit. Learn more at Quit smoking without gaining weight.
Myth: Smoking helps regulate stress
Wrong! Here is the opposite: smoking increases internal tension because it increases the heart rate. It is rather the action of the smoker who expects the cigarette to relieve the stress that occurs between two cigarettes.
Smoking therefore causes stress, which it then supposedly alleviates. Learn more about this topic Stop smoking: Benefits.
Myth: The will is decisive when quitting smoking
True and false! Motivation is important when it comes to quitting. But: The resolution alone leads unfortunately rather rarely to success. Quitting cigarettes without aids succeeds only in 3 to 5 percent of cases the first time around.
It is now recognized that smoking is addictive in two senses: In addition to the psychological aspect, the physical addiction to nicotine and the resulting nicotine withdrawal make quitting smoking so difficult. Learn more about the problems of Smoking cessation.
Which nicorette® products are available?
You want to stop smoking with nicorette®? Discover our different dosage forms now and find the right product for you!
Info videos on how to quit smoking
Our expert answers the most frequently asked questions about quitting smoking in our infovideos.
You have questions?
In our FAQ you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about nicotine replacement therapy, nicotine myths as well as about our products.
Nicorette ® Inhaler 15 mg
Active ingredient: Nicotine. Scope: Treatment of tobacco addiction by alleviating nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Supporting the withdrawal from cigarettes. Also to reduce smoking consumption (smoking reduction), to achieve smoking cessation in this way. Warning: Contains Levomenthol. As of 11/2019
Nicorette ® Chewing gum 2 mg / 4 mg freshfruit / freshmint / whitemint
Active substance: Nicotine (as nicotine-polacriline (1:4)). Area of application: Treatment of tobacco dependence by relieving withdrawal symptoms. Smoking cessation support. Also to reduce the consumption of cigarettes (smoking reduction), in order to achieve smoking cessation in this way. Warnings: Contains levomenthol, peppermint oil, butylhydroxytoluene (E 321). Status: 07/2021
Nicorette ® TX Patch 10 mg, 15 mg, 25 mg
Active substance: Nicotine. Area of application: Treatment of tobacco addiction by alleviating withdrawal symptoms. Smoking cessation support. Status: 09/2019
Nicorette ® freshmint 2 mg / 4 mg lozenges, pressed
Active ingredient: Nicotine (as nicotine resinate). Area of application: Treatment of tobacco dependence by relieving nicotine withdrawal symptoms and reducing nicotine cravings for smokers with low tobacco dependence (2 mg lozenge) or. for severe tobacco dependence (4 mg lozenge) over 18 years of age. For immediate smoking cessation as well as for reducing cigarette consumption (smoking reduction) in order to gradually achieve smoking cessation in this way. As of 08/2019
Nicorette ® Mint Spray, 1 mg/spray; Nicorette ® Fruit& Mint Spray, 1 mg/spray puff
Active ingredient: Nicotine. Indication: Treatment of tobacco dependence in adults by relieving nicotine withdrawal symptoms, including the desire to smoke, when trying to quit smoking immediately or to reduce cigarette consumption (smoking reduction) , in order to achieve complete smoking cessation in this way. Complete cessation of smoking should be the final goal. Warning: Contains ethanol, propylene glycol and butylhydroxytoluene. Status: 11/2020
For risks and side effects, read the package leaflet and ask your doctor or pharmacist.