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I know that I should give up smoking, I know that there is a large chance Iím going to get cancer, heart disease or some other nasty and die a premature death if I continue. I also know that it is a highly antisocial habit which makes me stink, makes my fingers yellow and that my smoke can make others ill. Trouble is that as well as being well and truly addicted I actually like smoking and the desire to give up is more of an intellectual rather than heart felt one. My friend, A, is more serious about quitting the evil weed than I am and attends an NHS stop smoking clinic. One of the products she was prescribed there was NiQuitin lozenges and as she didnít like them she passed them along to me.
The idea behind these lozenges is that you use them as a nicotine replacement therapy and instead of getting your dose of nicotine from the cigarettes you get them from a lozenge thus reducing your cravings to smoke. There are two components to smoking, the first is the physical addiction and the second the psychological addiction. Using nicotine replacement can help you deal with the physical withdrawals allowing you to tackle the smoking behaviour.
The mini lozenges are around the size of a tic tac and come in handy little packs allowing them to be carried around in your bag. A pack containing 60 lozenges currently costs £13.99 in Boots, just over 2/3 of the price of 60 cigarettes. You can also get them on prescription where it will be free for some people, £3 in Scotland and £7.10 in England which will help with the costs.
The lozenges can be sucked when you feel a craving for a cigarette. The taste is absolutely truly vile, like a souped up extra strong mint mixed with the contents of an old ashtray and formed into a small pill. It says that the lozenges dissolve in around 10 minutes but I would say they last more like 20 minutes and every second that you have one in your mouth is pure torture. I know that I was screwing up my face in disgust while sucking on the lozenge so although I could suck them on a plane or train I would be getting some funny looks.
As if the foul taste was not bad enough I found that I suffered a number of horrible side effects. The first one was that they irritated the inside of my mouth making the skin peel off and taking several days to heal. The second was the burping and nausea, the lozenges are said to help with the food cravings that you have when stopping smoking and I can only conclude it is because you feel so sick that you are unable to eat anything. From the patient information sheet it tells me that more than one and 10 patients will suffer gastrointestinal effects which is a very high proportion of people to suffer in this way.
I didnít even fond the lozenge was particularly effective in reducing my cravings for a cigarette, I could suck a lozenge and then still want to smoke straight afterwards.
As you can guess I absolutely hate the NiQuitin lozenges, they taste foul, make me ill and didnít even help with the cravings. Iím quitting using NiQuitin and going back to the fags and Nicorette gum.