Are you a long-term nicotine gum user?
Despite occasional reports in the media, there is no solid evidence that nicotine causes cancer in humans. This issue has been addressed in a bit more detail in a previous post:
Does nicotine replacement therapy cause cancer? Aug 24, 2009.
To me, in the absence of evidence of serious harm to health from long term nicotine use, it is primarily a question for the user. If they would rather stop using the NRT, and are only using it because they feel addicted to it, then its time to focus on helping them to stop using. If they are quite content to use NRT, and are not experiencing any negative effects from it, or feel that it is continuing to help them stay off tobacco, then I see no reason to rush to stop using it. Its clearly far better to be chewing nicotine gum than smoking cigarettes.
Some long term gum users say they enjoy it, that it helps them focus their mental concentration when they need to, and so they continue using it recreationally. I don’t see a massive problem with that.
I’ve known some long-term gum users who quit by gradually substituting sugar-free (and nicotine free) gum. Ive known some who temporarily used the nicotine patch while weaning off the gum. The vast majority say it was far easier stopping using nicotine gum than stopping cigarettes.
So if you are a long term nicotine gum user who is tired of using it, pick a Quit Day in the future (next month or so), and start reducing your gum consumption by cutting in half each week until that day when you quit. If you are troubled by cravings and other nicotine withdrawal symptoms, then it may be reasonable to use a nicotine patch for a few weeks while she comes off the gum and replace it with sugar-free gum.
I’d love to hear the experiences of long term nicotine gum users, and these who tried to quit nicotine gum.