Stop smoking aids are seemingly everywhere. There’s a couple of different pills you can take, some gum, even a patch. So which ones work and which ones don’t? That is a good question. Let’s focus on just the nicotine replacement therapies and how they compare to quitting cold turkey.
1. Nicotine Gum
2. Nicotine Lozenge
3. Nicotine Patch
4. Nicotine Inhaler
5. Nicotine Nasal Spray
Each nicotine replacement therapy is designed to address a component of the smoker’s habit and addiction. First of all, it addresses the addiction to nicotine by offering a different method of nicotine delivery. This is important because the body gets the nicotine without the harmful side-effects found in the tobacco products. Secondly, the therapy hopes to mimic a behavioral component to occupy the hands and mouth. Transdermal patches would be the one exception to this.
This is is one of the most popular and oldest over the counter stop smoking aids on the market. It comes without a prescription in two strengths – 2 and 4 mg’s. Most people use this method incorrectly and suffer side-effects and poor outcomes as a result. There do not appear to be any long term or lingering side-effects to this form of nicotine replacement, when used correctly. It essentially doubles your chance of quitting over cold turkey alone.
This too is available without a prescription. These work in the same way as the nicotine gum. Since it does not need to be chewed, it may be easier for people to use. It has similar side-effects to the gum and its cost is similar to both the gum and a pack of cigarettes per day. It also has the same success rate as the nicotine gum, roughly twice that of quitting cold turkey alone.
The Patch is available over the counter without a prescription. It allows a steady absorption of nicotine through the skin and maintains levels of nicotine in the body which are very similar to traditional smoking. It is important to move around the skin contact point to minimize the side-effects, which include mild skin irritation and dermatitis. People with eczema or psoriasis may not want to use this form of smoking cessation. The patch, like most other nicotine replacement therapies, double your chances of quitting over cold turkey. eliquid
The nicotine inhaler is much different than an inhaler used to treat asthma or COPD. In fact, the nicotine dosing takes place in the mouth and not the lungs. Each nicotine inhaler contains 10mg of nicotine. Doses may be prescribed between 4-16 inhalers a day. Because this mode of therapy requires so much hand to mouth motion, it may be ideal for those people who find themselves needing to do something with their hands. Side effects seem to be limited to mild mouth and throat irritation. However, it does require a certain coordination to perform this therapy which may not be well executed by those with arthritis or other similar physical challenges. Results are similar to the other nicotine replacement therapies. However, it is important to realize this is available by prescription only and is the most expensive form of nicotine replacement therapy available.
Nicotine Nasal Spray
The nasal spray is quickly absorbed into the body and has been described as the most like a cigarette in how it makes a person feel quickly satisfied. The stop smoking rates are similar to other nicotine replacement therapies, right around 5 to 7.5%. Unfortunately, the nicotine nasal spray may prolong the addiction by 1 year in 3 to 13% of the users, perhaps in part to the higher blood nicotine levels seen with this nicotine replacement therapy. This is a much longer dependence period than is seen with other nicotine replacement aids. Side effects include nasal irritation, especially in the first 48 hours but can continue for several weeks afterward.
There is a lot more to learn about each of these therapies. How to use the drug, full list of side-effects, concerns over their use, etc. Some try to use them in combination with each other or with other stop smoking aids. This should only be done under the professional direction of a licensed physician.