In the UK, statistics for 2019 show that 14.1% of people aged 18 and above smoke cigarettes. That’s around 6.9 million people.
The number of smokers has fallen in recent years, although quitting cigarettes is still a challenge with a low rate of success when people try to quit ‘cold turkey’.
It’s been proven that people who use NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) products, along with other cessation aids that work for them, have the highest chance of successfully quitting.
In fact, it’s been proven that the chances of quitting smoking long-term increases by 50-60% when using NRT products.
How effective are NRT products in helping people quit smoking?
A study published by Cochrane detailed how 136 trials, which included 64,640 people in the main analysis, were performed into the effectiveness of NRT products as smoking cessation aids.
Trials lasted for six months, and participants were typically smoking at least 15 cigarettes a day.
The types of NRT products used were; gum, nasal and oral sprays, inhalers, patches, lozenges, and tablets. All of the NRT products that are generally used in the UK.
The results showed that all forms of NRT products made it more likely that a person was able to quit smoking. The increase in success rate over trying to quit without the aid of NRT was in the 50-60% range.
The study concluded by saying, “There is high-quality evidence that all of the licensed forms of NRT can help people who make a quit attempt to increase their chances of successfully stopping smoking.”
Why does NRT help people quit smoking?
The main reason why people smoke and find it hard to quit is because they are addicted to nicotine.
Nicotine is just one of the thousands of chemicals in cigarettes, but it’s the most addictive substance. Interestingly, nicotine is one of the least harmful chemicals used in cigarettes on it’s own.
This is why it’s fine for someone to use nicotine products, and why NRT products are so effective at helping someone quit smoking.
By using NRT, a person is able to maintain their intake of nicotine without any of the harmful chemicals found in tobacco products.
If someone does attempt to quit without using NRT, the chance of success is so much lower because they will experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings when they stop ‘cold turkey’.
It’s these withdrawal symptoms that leads to people returning to smoking tobacco. By using NRT and stopping the physical symptoms, it’s easier for a person to focus on the other aspects of their lives that may cause them to relapse.
NRT products are available in various strengths and can be used at different intervals throughout the day. To find a product and strength that will work best for you, you should consult a GP.
For more information on how inhaled nicotine can help you quit smoking more reliably, and safer, reach out to a member of our team for more details.
ons.com – Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2019
nhs.uk – Stop smoking treatments
McMaster University – Quitting Time: Does nicotine replacement therapy work?