In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our November-December 2011 issue, we asked James Beckerman, MD, WebMD's heart health expert, for tips on quitting smoking.
Q: I'm finally ready to quit smoking. Do you have any tips for making it easier?
A: We all know that being tobacco-free is essential to a healthy life. In fact, the most recent report from the Surgeon General details how any exposure to tobacco smoke...
All forms of NRT have side effects. But most side effects go away after the first week or so.
The patch is easy to use, because:
You put it on once a day and forget it.
You do not have to avoid certain beverages.
The patch is hidden on your body, so no one will
know it's there.
Gum, lozenges, or the inhaler can be a good choice, because:
They can get nicotine into your system quickly if you feel stressed or are having strong cravings.
They can replace the feel of a cigarette in your mouth.
You can use these whenever you need them as long as you do
not go over your recommended daily dose.
You can use them if you need something more while you are using the patch or taking quit-smoking medicines.
For most people, the side effects from nicotine replacement products are mild and only bother them for the first week or two.
People who smoke heavily and choose the patch, lozenge, or gum are
more successful using the strongest forms of the product (gum or lozenge with
4 mg of nicotine, or patches with
21 mg or more nicotine in each patch).
Experts recommend combining the patch and another nicotine product. Talk to your doctor about this option.