Several types of nicotine replacement therapies are available, including nicotine patches, gums, nasal sprays, inhalers and lozenges. The objective in using nicotine replacement therapy is to break the habit of smoking, while gradually overcoming the physical addiction to nicotine. These methods provide a low dosage of nicotine without the harmful tars and other contaminants found in cigarette smoke. Clinical evidence does not prove which replacement therapy is best, since individual preferences vary.
Overall, when using a nicotine replacement, consider the following:
- Not cheating on the first day of nicotine replacement increases the chance of quitting permanently tenfold.
- Nicotine replacement therapy is temporary and is used to aid in smoking cessation. These therapies should never be used as a long-term substitute for smoking.
- Counseling, self-help, or group therapy programs can enhance the effectiveness of the nicotine replacement therapy.
- Smoking is prohibited while using nicotine replacement. Smoking and using nicotine replacement simultaneously can cause toxic levels of nicotine in the bloodstream.
- Most users will experience some side effects from nicotine replacement, including headache, nausea and insomnia.
- Nicotine replacement may adversely affect individuals with certain conditions such as heart disease, circulatory problems or pregnant women. No matter what your health, check with your doctor before beginning any nicotine replacement therapy.