Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Nicotine Alternative Options

The patch is a nicotine-replacement option.

Nicotine is highly addictive. Nicotine replacement therapy can make breaking the addiction easier by weaning people off of nicotine gradually. According to the American Heart Association, smokers can double their chances of being able to quit by consistently using a nicotine-replacement product. The options for nicotine replacement have grown. While the patch and nicotine gum are still popular options, there are other products now to choose from.

The Patch

The nicotine patch is available over-the-counter. It releases a continuous stream of nicotine into the bloodstream. It can be worn 24 hours a day, or taken off while sleeping. You use a new patch every day. Following the instructions on the box, you gradually step down to patches that contain lower levels of nicotine. A major advantage of the patch is that it is very convenient: you just change it once a day and then you can forget about it.


Nicotine gum is also available over-the-counter. Read the instructions before using it, because you shouldn't chew it continuously like regular gum. Instead, you chew for a while and then "park" it between your lip and your gum. An advantage of nicotine gum is that you can adjust your dosage of nicotine as needed. If you feel a strong craving for a cigarette, you can pop a piece of gum in your mouth, and you will feel the effect of the nicotine quickly.

Nasal Spray

Nicotine nasal spray is available only by prescription. To use, insert the tip of the bottle into a nostril, and squeeze the bottle. While the spray is not as discreet as the patch or nicotine gum, some people prefer it because it delivers the nicotine into their systems faster.


The inhaler also requires a prescription. Also known as "the puffer," the inhaler is a plastic cartridge that contains nicotine. Some people like it because holding it and puffing on it simulates the experience of smoking a cigarette.


Nicotine lozenges are available over the counter. They are easy to use; you simply put one in your mouth as if it were a cough drop or hard candy, and move it around from time to time. The lozenges are even more discreet than nicotine gum, and the effects are similar. The gum may give you a bit more control over the rate of nicotine delivery, though, as you can adjust that by changing how frequently you chew.

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