Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine Replacement Therapy: What You Need to Know

Of all the substances and chemicals you inhale as you smoke, nicotine is the drug you should be most concerned about. Nicotine is a stimulant, so it accelerates your heart rate while boosting your blood pressure. Nicotine is also highly addictive, so you can blame it for your inability to just leave those cigarettes alone.
If nicotine is the main reason why you’re addicted to cigarettes and other tobacco products, it makes sense that getting rid of nicotine in your body will help you quit smoking forever, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy for many people. Cutting off your body from nicotine leads to nicotine withdrawal, which causes some pretty bad cravings. For some people, the cravings are so great that they feel they have no choice but to relapse into smoking.
This is why it’s generally beneficial if people are eased off their smoking habits through methods such as nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine replacement therapy gives smokers a way to easily cope with the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

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What is nicotine replacement therapy?

The premise of nicotine replacement therapy is simple; nicotine is delivered to the body not through cigarettes but through other sources such as nicotine patches, lozenges, or gum. Nicotine replacement therapy is mainly used to regularly decrease the amount of nicotine your body gets. The dosage is gradually reduced until your body gets used to having no nicotine at all. Eventually, you’ll feel no adverse effects of the lack of nicotine from your body. At that point, you can stop the therapy altogether.
Nicotine replacement therapy can be done through various methods. Patches can be applied to the body, and the patch slowly supplies nicotine so it’s easier for you to deal with the cravings typically caused by nicotine withdrawal. These patches come with varying levels of nicotine and multiple patches can be used at once, if needed. Nicotine lozenges and gum, on the other hand, deliver nicotine through the thin tissues of the mouth.
How effective is nicotine replacement therapy?
Nicotine replacement therapy is the quitting method most recommended by medical professionals. There are different approaches to nicotine replacement therapy, but the therapy is generally considered to be effective at helping people quit smoking.
For many smokers, the therapy is enough to completely replace cigarettes. Other smokers feel the need to supplement the therapy with one or two cigarettes every now and then, but the decreased amount of nicotine intake through cigarettes is enough to deem nicotine replacement therapy effective.
Nicotine replacement therapy can be effective for many smokers, but it’s not without its dangers. Nicotine overdose is still possible with this therapy, since smokers who are dissatisfied with the nicotine delivered by one patch can simply use more patches at once to get more nicotine. This can make nicotine addiction even worse than before.
Problems can also arise when smokers self-medicate for nicotine replacement therapy. The temptation to administer more nicotine than is strictly needed may be too great to resist. This is why smokers interested in nicotine replacement therapy must consult with a doctor or specialist. Only such professionals can give proper instructions on gradually lowering the dosage of nicotine delivered to the body.


Don’t forget when you replace smoking with an alternative you want to set a quit date if you have found yourself cheating. At the very least try to cheat less frequently the longer you go. Be sure to avoid any triggers.