According to the World Health Organization, more than 8 million people die from tobacco use every year.
In the Philippines, at least 321 Filipinos die due to tobacco-related diseases annually, according to the Lung Center of the Philippines.
For former smoker and successful quitter John Matthew Uy, Nicorette — a nicotine replacement therapy gum brand — has helped him on winning against smoking.
“Nicorette played a major role in my quitting journey. Definitely. Especially during the first week wherein cravings and other withdrawal symptoms are the toughest to overcome,” Uy said.
Nicotine Polacrilex or Nicorette is a medicated chewing gum that offers a blast of menthol-mint freshness and actively fights back against nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms to help smokers quit for good.
“Back then, before I discovered Nicorette, the first week of quitting would always be gruesome to overcome. It was a constant battle between quitting and the thoughts of having ‘just one stick.’ Eventually, the cravings would win and I would start my addiction to cigarettes again. But with Nicorette, and of course, my support system like encouragement from family and friends, I was able to successfully quit,” Uy said.
Before opting for Nicorette, Uy had tried different ways and other nicotine replacement therapy to quit smoking. He even tried the cold-turkey method.
“I have tried the cold-turkey method a bunch of times. Like I always say, quitting isn’t hard. You can quit multiple times. But to successfully quit, you have to make the decision to quit every day of your life,” he said.
He also shared that during the process of cold turkey, he always found himself having constant cravings, restlessness, acne, and bouts of stress-eating.
But through Nicorette, which he also considered as the main factor of his successful quitting journey, he was able to relieve himself from all withdrawal symptoms.
“Nicorette was able to help me manage my cravings, especially during my first week. I love how fast it works, true to its claim that it works in as fast as 15 minutes,” Uy said.
During his first try, he recalled initially feeling slightly dizzy due to rapidly chewing the gum. But after reading the instructions carefully, he has adjusted successfully.
“I started to breathe better. I smelled better, I could taste food more, and my acne slowly disappeared. That was when I realized how bad smoking really is for you,” he said.
“To be completely honest, Nicorette was really easy to incorporate in my daily routine. All I really had to do was to take it with me everywhere I just went like how I used to do with cigarettes when I was still a smoker. A pack of Nicorette is very slim as well, so it is not hard to carry at all. And whenever I started to crave, I changed my habit from pulling out a stick into popping out a gum. Most important part is to just always have it with you,” said Uy.
Now that his entering the life of fatherhood, Uy said he wanted to prevent his family from catching the health risks that smoking could cause.
“My partner is asthmatic, and I feared that my son might be, too. So when I found out I was going to be a dad that was a wake-up call to me. I did not want my family to live in a home with a smoker. I did not want to put their health at risk just for me to continue smoking,” he said.
“My one and only advice is to remind fellow quitters that quitting is not a one-time decision. It is a decision you make every day. For life. And this one decision will not only affect you, but the people you hold close as well so just stick with it every day, be consistent, and the challenge becomes much easier,” Uy added.