Nicotine is an addictive substance but is not responsible for causing cancer and heart attacks. It is largely responsible for the 'craving' you feel for cigarettes in the initial phase when you give up smoking. It is now possible to take nicotine in a 'smoke free' form through patches and nicotine-based chewing gum. This reduces the withdrawal symptoms which may otherwise make you want to 'go back'.
If you wish to use a nicotine replacement it is vital that you do not smoke as the effects may be very unpleasant. If you do not smoke the effects are often mild. You may feel slightly sick or dizzy and some people describe nightmares. Other side effects described are
You should not use nicotine patches if
Usually no longer than two or three months.
No they do not have the same potential for addiction as cigarettes.
You can bathe and swim for short periods without disturbing the patch if it has been applied properly.
Dr Nishan Wijenaike, Consultant Physician
West Suffolk Hospitals Diabetes Service