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How Does Nicotine Patch Help You Stop Smoking?

How Does Nicotine Patch Help You Stop Smoking?

December 27, 2022
How Does Nicotine Patch Help You Stop Smoking?

The goal of nicotine patch use is to wean the body off of nicotine gradually. The nicotine patch was approved by the FDA in 1991. From 1992 to 1996, the patch was available in the U.S. by prescription only. Since 1996, it has been available over the counter. Other forms of medicinal nicotine products include gum, lozenges, inhalers, and a spray.

What Are Nicotine Patches?

The nicotine patch is a popular and effective quit-smoking aid. Research has found that using a form of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as the patch increases a person’s chances of successfully quitting by about 50% to 60%.

Nicotine patches can help you quit smoking by replacing the nicotine in cigarettes. The nicotine in tobacco is an important part of cigarette addiction. When you stop smoking, your nicotine levels drop quickly. This drop can cause withdrawal symptoms such as craving tobacco, nervousness, irritability, headache, weight gain, and difficulty concentrating. Stopping smoking is hard and your chance of success is best when you are ready and have made a commitment to quit. Nicotine replacement products are part of a total stop-smoking program that includes behavior change, counseling, and support. Smoking causes lung disease, cancer, and heart disease. Stopping smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health and live longer.

What Are Its Side Effects?

  • Skin irritation 
  • Dizziness
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Sleep problems or unusual dreams (more common with the 24-hour patch)
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches and stiffness

No one has all of the side effects, and some people have none. Some side effects, such as a racing heart, may mean the dose of nicotine is too high for you. Stop using the patch and talk to your healthcare provider if this happens. You could also have nicotine withdrawal symptoms if your NRT dose is too low.

How Does Nicotine Patches Help Stop Smoking?

Nicotine patches act as a replacement for cigarettes, cigars, and other nicotine-containing products. They do this by slowly releasing small amounts of nicotine to curb cravings. Nicotine is an extremely addictive drug and breaking the addiction can be very difficult. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. 

One of the most popular smoking cessation aids is the nicotine patch. The patch attaches to your skin like an adhesive bandage and delivers a small, constant amount of nicotine through your skin into your bloodstream. By gradually reducing the amount of nicotine delivered to your body, the patch helps you reduce your dependence on the drug.

The patch might be the right choice for you if you:

  • Have strong morning cravings
  • Want something you can put on and forget about
  • Want something discrete to use

If you choose the patch, it is important to use it properly. Follow the directions on the package and be sure to apply it to intact skin that is clean, dry, oil-free, and not covered with hair. Choose a different site every day, and wait a full week before reusing a site. All patches should be kept where children and pets can’t get at them.

If you don’t like the idea of wearing a patch, nicotine replacement products are available in the form of gum, lozenge, and inhaler. There are also non-nicotine medications that are available with a prescription.

Usually recommended by many doctors nicotine patches:

man in a sweater using a nicotine patch on arm

While it’s possible to experience nicotine overdose as a result of using any product containing nicotine, overdoses are more common with vapes, liquid nicotine, and children accidentally consuming nicotine lozenges. You mustn’t exceed the recommended dosage of the nicotine patch. 

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