Sandi & Wags:
You have our whole-hearted support and you can
do this. Don't let Meade's oral diarrhea discourage you.
I am currently finishing up my master's in public health and of course, tobacco use has been a frequent topic in a number of classes. Just the other day, we were discussing a quit smoking system that one of the profs helped develop with another prof who was quitting. I keyed in on the [i]correct[i] use of Nicorette gum which the two of them figured out.
1) only chew the "gum" once or twice and then park it in your cheek. The short chew action starts the release of the nicotine and leaving it hidden in your cheek (like a hamster
) allows for absorption into the blood via the oral mucosa. Continuing to chew it as if it is gum sends most of the nicotine into the stomach with the saliva. The stomach pH is highly acidic, around 2, and the nicotine is destroyed at this pH. So you are not getting any effect and of course you believe it "doesn't work".
2) Vis a vis the above, the pH of your mouth is critical. You should rinse several times with tap water to get as close to neutral, about pH 7.2 - 7.5, as possible before using the Nicorette. This also means you canNOT drink coffee, tea, orange juice, coke/pepsi/etc., alcohol while using the gum. This detail is apparently hidden in the reams of fine print on how to use the product, but the part about not chewing
it beyond the first bit does not seem to be widely known or hyped. Another reason why people can believe this doesn't work. Because it ain't working if you don't do these two things.
The other overall aspect contributing to the success of this system is that the Nicorette is used to gradually replace the cigarettes you smoke each day. Once you get to the point where you are only using the gum - because you've replaced your daily cigarettes with an equivalent amount of gum - then you start tapering off the gum until you are off it.
Their reported success rate is 45% who have quit following this system are still non-smokers a year later. Don't know what the five year rate is, but probably reasonably good. There is also a support program that goes with this including health checks so I'll guess that is a big part of the integrated system.
Anyway, the very best of luck to you both.