Science Questions

Sun, 9th Jan 2005

Part of the show Addiction & Anti-Nicotine Vaccines

Question

Billy asked:

Nicorette gum has helped me to give up smoking. What happens if I get addicted to the gum?!

Answer

Nicotine gum is useful because it provides a bridge while you are trying to stop. It won't cure your addiction but helps ease the withdrawal symptoms. At the end of the day, the gum doesn't cause damage like smoking does, and so the gum is a much better option. Smoking causes a third of all cancers and the total number of deaths attributable to smoking is 120 000 per year. This is roughly the same as those washed away in the tsunami and is the same as a jumbo jet crashing in this country every day. Smoking does cause lung cancer, but most people don't live long enough to get it: they die of heart disease long before this.

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