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Comparing Nicotine Replacement Methods

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Topic Overview

Nicotine replacement therapies are helpful for people who quit smoking. They are available in several forms, such as patches, gum, lozenges, and inhalers.

All forms of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) work equally well. But talk with your doctor about what products might be best for you and what dosage might be best for you.

Recommended Related to Smoking Cessation

Description of the Evidence

Background Incidence and mortality Over the period from 2004 to 2008, the estimated incidence of oral cancer in the United States was 10.6 cases per 100,000 persons per year. The most recent estimated mortality rate (from 2003–2007) was 2.5 per 100,000 persons per year. U.S. incidence and mortality rates are about 2.5 and 2.8 times higher, respectively, in men than women.[1] It is estimated that there will be 41,380 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed in the United States in 2013 and...

Read the Description of the Evidence article > >

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).

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 06, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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