I’ve been a smoker for about 13 years now. I picked up the habit working in the newspaper industry, which is high-stress and filled with people who turn to all sorts of vices to relieve said stress. When I developed TMJ disorder due to that stress, I couldn’t really afford to treat it properly (another side effect of the newspaper industry), and turned to smoking to help me relax.
It worked, but was hardly the ideal choice for helping me with my pain.
It ended up making things worse, just because quitting ended up amplifying my stress. I’ve attempted to quit about 5 times now. In some cases I was partially successful, but ended up in horrid pain as I was quitting without any sort of way to help manage muscle tension in my jaw. I recall one time I had quit left me unable to chew solid foods periodically for a couple months after the attempt.. I even had to go home early from one of the very few trips I had taken just because I was in so much pain I couldn’t even function.
I’m getting tired of smoking, though, so I decided to try something new. I finally have medical means to manage my jaw issues (muscle relaxers and anti-anxiety medication), and I’m on a long break from work for the holidays, so I made a plan: Wed. afternoon I’d finish my opened pack of cigarettes (more an issue with completion than anything else) and switch to Lucy Mints.
Lucy Mints are fairly standard: They are a form of lozenge that delivers nicotine as a quit-smoking aid. They are a bit pricy, though: If you don’t subscribe, you’ll be paying $40 for 3 tubes of lozenges, each of which contains 27 little mints.
Lucy Mints recommends for the first 6 weeks you pop one every hour or two, up to 20, but at least 9 per day. Let’s do some math here.
Let’s say you sleep 8 hours a night (you lucky dog), and consume one mint every 1.5 hours. That’s 10.6666 (ad nauseum) mints per day. We’ll round that up to 11. That means those 3 tubes will last you approximately 1 week.
Now, if you’re a smoker in an area where cigarettes are insanely expensive, and you smoke the “classier” brands, that actually works out fairly well cost-wise.
In my area, though, I get a carton of cigarettes for about 42 bucks with taxes. That carton will last me 10 days at my pack-a-day habit. If I want to keep my costs relatively similar to my smoking habit, I’d have to consume 9 or fewer per day (the minimum recommended initial consumption numbers).
So, for the first 6 weeks I’m spending more on Lucy mints than the cigarettes.
After those 6 weeks you start to taper down your consumption, but the initial investment is pretty high, especially if you combine it with other methods to help you quit (such as patches or vaping, not an uncommon choice).
Still, so far, these mints are working well. This morning I didn’t feel like I had to have my morning smoke, and instead took my daily meds, popped a mint, and felt pretty good.
You’re supposed to stick the mints in your cheek, shifting positions periodically. You don’t chew on them, or swallow them: They are designed to be absorbed through the gums.
They taste pretty good, and my breath is nice and fresh for once, but one gripe I have is just how long these little things last: If I’m not paying attention and shifting it around regularly, one mint will stick around for almost an hour.
For 15 minutes before, and during that time, you’re not supposed to eat or drink anything.
I will note that nothing is keeping me from my morning coffee, and my morning ritual after having my first cigarette of the day is to have a second when I sit down in my office with some coffee and relax before I start working on whatever I’m doing that day.
This morning I delayed my coffee as much as I could, but eventually had to have it while still working on the mint.
I didn’t notice any slacking in the effectiveness of the mint, but your mileage may vary.
Long story short:
Yes, but like all quit-smoking aids, they don’t completely “cure” you. You’ll need to plan ahead, supplement with whatever else you need (Chantix tore up my gut, patches itched like crazy and gave me even crazier dreams, and vaping didn’t feel right), and still have some willpower.
It helps, though.
The only negative is the cost, but honestly, they are about the same cost as comparable lozenges.
If you’re quitting smoking, good luck. Get that done. Sure, you’ll be paying a chunk of money during the process, but once you quit you’ll be saving plenty, too.. and gaining a bit of your life back.