One of the most effective ways to quit smoking is by using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
Nicotine is an addictive substance, and often the chemical that’s responsible for someone’s dependency on tobacco.
Going through withdrawal from nicotine is one of the hardest challenges most people face when trying to quit smoking.
NRT products work by replacing some of the nicotine a smoker would have been getting from smoking.
There are a number of NRT products on the market. While there isn’t a “best” product or way to quit smoking that works for everyone, using a combination of NRT products has been proven to be one of the most successful methods of quitting smoking.
How nicotine replacement therapy works
Basically, NRT products work by supplying a small amount of nicotine which helps the user manage the cravings for a cigarette after quitting.
Cravings are physiological responses in the body that causes us to yearn for something we’ve become used to getting.
Nicotine cravings, in particular, can last for several minutes at a time and be very intense and uncomfortable. Often resulting in a person giving in to the cravings and resorting back to smoking.
The facts are; most people who try to quit smoking fail within the first month – usually due to the overwhelming cravings and withdrawal symptoms from going “cold turkey” on nicotine.
Using NRT is a way to deal with these cravings. You can use NRT products as soon as you quit smoking, and a lot of people transition immediately from smoking to using them.
By replacing the addictive chemical in tobacco, you will not experience cravings or that intense yearning for a cigarette.
There are some other challenges involved in quitting, nicotine is only part of the battle for most smokers. But it’s one of the most important aspects of quitting.
How effective is NRT?
NRT has been proven to be very effective, although more so in combination with other aids to help you quit smoking.
Nicotine replacement therapy only deals with physical dependence. There are also emotional and psychological struggles to conquer when quitting, and these need to be dealt with in another way.
Why should I use NRT to quit smoking?
There are two main reasons why using NRT products to quit smoking makes a lot of sense for most people:
- With nicotine being the most addictive substance in cigarettes, continuing to supplying that chemical allows a person to detach from smoking
- Nicotine is relatively harmless, it’s the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke that cause the health issues
Types of NRT
The most popular types of NRT are:
Patches – These are available over the counter and can be stuck directly onto your skin. They provide a small amount of nicotine on a consistent basis while being worn.
Gum – These are also available over the counter. Some people prefer chewing gum as it gives them something to do to replace the action of putting a cigarette into their mouths.
Inhaler – These are only available with a prescription and deliver a specific amount of nicotine through a mouthpiece.
Nasal Spray – Also only available with a prescription, this allows the user to spray nicotine into their nostril.
You may need to discuss these options with your GP or pharmacist to find out which is the most suitable option for you.