Despite several people dying from tobacco-related illnesses, tobacco is one of the most preventable causes of death. Most people think that tobacco use is solely by preference but despite having the zeal, a large number of tobacco users will have a hard time quitting. This is primarily due to the addictiveness of nicotine, which is the main ingredient in cigarettes.
Nicotine dependence can cause some very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms to a user willing to quit. It is due to this fact that nicotine replacement therapy was born.
Nicotine replacement therapy is the process by which certified medical practitioners use products with low amounts of nicotine to help addicts stop smoking. These products do not contain the harmful substances found in cigarettes. The whole point of nicotine replacement therapy is to reduce nicotine cravings and to make its withdrawal symptoms easier to deal with.
Forms of nicotine replacement therapy
There are several forms of NRT. They come in the form of inhalers, gums, patches, lozenges, and nasal sprays. With proper usage, these can be very effective in stopping nicotine usage altogether.
Let’s delve into specifics.
- Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)
Electronic cigarettes are one of the most used electronic nicotine delivery systems. These are devices that contain an electronic vaporizer, rechargeable batteries, a cartridge and controls and are used to vaporize nicotine and deposit it into the lungs of the smoker. The cartridge is what contains the liquid that is vaporized.
One of the most popular brands is V2 Cigs. They contain a variety of flavors the smoker can choose from.
However, there is a recommended dosage of the cartridges to be inhaled. It all depends on the level of dependency of the patient. It ranges from 4 to 20 cartridges, which gradually reduces over approximately 6 months.
Also known as the transdermal patch, it is applied to the skin and passes nicotine into the body at a steady rate. Patches are available in a variety of doses. This allows for heavy smokers to get a stronger patch as compared to light smokers. Then, reduce their dosage gradually over time, allowing their bodies to get used to lower levels of nicotine until they are at a stage where they can do without it.
However, users have to keep changing the nicotine patch application site to minimize the chances of suffering skin irritations.
- Nasal spray
Nasal sprays have to be prescribed by a medical practitioner. They are mostly used following sudden uncontrollable urges to smoke. It is one of the fastest ways to get nicotine into the body as peak effects can be felt 5 to 10 minutes after use.
Some side effects include throat, eye and nose irritation. It is also only recommended for limited use of not more than 6 months.
- Gums or lozenges
These forms of NRT can be bought without any prescriptions. They are a favorite for users who need controlled nicotine dosages. They are both held in the mouth for 30 minutes to release nicotine. The only difference is that the gum is chewed and the lozenges are held in the mouth to dissolve.
After a few weeks or months, a user will decrease daily doses until it is no longer needed.