Are you still smoking? If so, then you know that is not good. Most smokers have a difficult time quitting; let alone going cold turkey. Of all the smokers, only 4% to 7% are successful going cold turkey. If you are in the 93% to 96% group, you are at the right place. Most smokers have a hard time quitting due to nicotine addiction. Like any other drug, nicotine can be highly addictive to a person. The addiction to nicotine is one of the main reasons why smokers have a difficult time quitting. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is an effective way to overcome nicotine addiction.
What is NRT? How does it work?
NRT reduces withdrawal by giving you a little bit of nicotine, but not any of the other dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes and other forms of tobacco. This helps satisfy your craving of nicotine while reducing urge to smoke.
What are the different types of NRT?
Here are 5 nicotine replacement therapies that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
- Nicotine patch
A patch is placed on your skin and it delivers a small and steady amount of nicotine. There are 16-hour patch (for light or mild smokers) and 24-hour patch (for the heavy-chain smoker). Nicotine patch is available over-the-counter.
- Nicotine gum
You chew a gum that releases nicotine. You chew the gum until you experience a tingling feeling. Afterwards, you place it between your gums and cheek. Nicotine gum is available over-the-counter.
- Nicotine Inhalers
An inhaler that contains nicotine is attached with a mouthpiece. You inhale through the mouthpiece in order to receive small doses of nicotine. A doctor prescription is needed to get an inhaler.
- Nicotine Nasal Sprays
You spray a pump bottle (in which contains nicotine) through your nostrils. A doctor prescription is needed to get a nasal spray.
- Nicotine Lozenges
Resembling hard candy, you place lozenges in your mouth. The lozenges releases nicotine until it is completely dissolved. Lozenges is available over-the-counter.
Possible side effects of NRTs
Any type of medication you take will likely have side effects. Here are some of the side effects you may experience from taking one or more of these NRT:
- Skin irritation
- Rapid heartbeat
- Muscle aches and stiffness
- Sleep problems
- Mouth sores
- Itchy throat
These therapy options work by giving you nicotine without using tobacco. While all of these options have side effects, they are safe to use and very effective. To maximize effectiveness, combine NRT while undergoing behavioral therapy along with getting support from family and friends.
Note: If you are under the age of 18, you will need doctor’s permission to use nicotine replacement therapy.