Nicotine Replacement Therapy- Your Aid To Stop Smoking

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Smokers trying to kick the habit are willing to try?just about anything to beat the addiction. Of the many options out?there, the one most frequently sought is that of nicotine replacement?therapy. But understanding nicotine replacement therapy, its different?forms, and how to use it properly is essential to its success.

A) What is nicotine replacement therapy?-

Nicotine replacement therapy is the most commonly used medical approach in smoking cessation. It is intended to help ease the withdrawal of?nicotine by temporarily providing the drug by a means other than?cigarettes. As a result, nicotine replacement therapy helps reduce?physical withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, sleep difficulty,?restlessness, and headaches.

As a result of the assistance nicotine replacement therapy provides with?coping with the physical symptoms, the smoker is better able to deal with the psychological?symptoms of cigarette withdrawal, such as an oral fixation or breaking?the ?habit? of smoking in response to specific triggers.

Nicotine replacement therapy is considered to be a safe means for quitting?smoking. There are, however, certain side effects that some people?experience, such as sinusitis, irritability, palpitations, and breathing?problems. In addition, pregnant women and those with endocrine, heart,?or circulatory problems may experience other complications. Any?individuals falling within these categories should be carefully?evaluated and tested by a doctor before beginning any form of nicotine?replacement therapy.

B) Type of nicotine replacement therapy-

There are several forms of nicotine replacement therapy currently available.?Nicotine gum is the oldest type of nicotine replacement therapy and it?can be purchased over the counter. Nicotine inhalers, which are similar?to the inhalers used by asthmatics, are another form of nicotine?replacement therapy. This form of therapy is available only through?prescription. The nicotine patch, which is available over the counter?and by prescription, is placed on the skin to provide a constant flow of?nicotine. The easy to use nicotine nasal spray, which is only available?by prescription, is another option for nicotine replacement therapy.

C) How to use nicotine gum-

When using nicotine gum, you need to periodically place the gum between you?gums and your cheek in order to let the nicotine get into your bloodstream. It is important to keep from swallowing the nicotine because it results in far less getting into your bloodstream and it can also cause gastrointestinal problems.

If you are a heavy smoker, which means you smoke more than 25 cigarettes?per day, you should use the 4 mg strength. A smaller 2 mg dose is?recommended for lighter smokers. Even if you do smoke less than 25?cigarettes, however, you might find it necessary to use the stronger?dose at first in order to wean yourself down to the lower dosage. When?using nicotine gum, you should avoid acidic beverages such as tea,?coffee, and fruit juice because they interfere with the nicotine?absorption.

D) How to use a nicotine inhaler-

Nicotine inhalers provide a small amount of nicotine with every puff. This makes?it necessary to use the inhaler frequently. For some people who are?trying to smoke, this is an advantage because it gives them something to?do with their hands. The effectiveness of nicotine inhalers, however,?decreases in temperatures of 50 degrees or less. It is necessary to?avoid acidic beverages in order to obtain the full effect.

E) How to use a nicotine patch-

Nicotine patches are available in both 16 hour and 24 hour dosages. Most commonly, light smokers use the 16 hour version while heavy smokers use the 24 hour patch. Those who have trouble sleeping when using the 24 hour patch also choose to use the 16?hour patch because it is not intended to provide nicotine during the?night. Some brands of nicotine patches offer varying strengths of?nicotine, as well. This allows you to taper off the amount of nicotine?you use in your nicotine replacement therapy.

Some people experience skin irritation from the patch. If this happens to you, you?should look at using a lower strength or changing from the 24 hour patch?to the 16 hour patch. If this doesn?t help, you might also switch?brands. If you are unable to resolve the skin irritation and it is very?problematic, you should look into one of the other forms of nicotine?replacement therapy.

F) How to use nasal spray-

Nasal spray nicotine replacement therapy provides immediate relief from?cravings. Some individuals, however, experience side effects such as?coughing, sneezing, and runny nose.

No matter which form of nicotine replacement therapy you choose, it is important?to also participate in counseling or other methods for dealing with the?psychological aspects of cigarette addiction. Nicotine replacement?therapy should not be considered the ?cure all? for smoking cessation.