Which different options for NRT are there?
There are several different types of NRT, and the most suitable one for you will depend on how heavy a smoker you are and whether you’ve tried any before.
Some smokers benefit from using more than one type of NRT at the same time. NRT is designed to be tapered off slowly, so you will need to gradually reduce the dose over time.
The number of cigarettes you smoke every day and the time you usually need to have your first cigarette will determine the strength and dose that’s best for you to start on. If you’re not sure, ask a pharmacist or your doctor.
Nicotine patches are worn on the skin and deliver a constant dose of nicotine over 16-24 hours. A 24-hour patch is best for you if you need a cigarette as soon as you wake up in the morning, otherwise a 16 hour patch should be fine.
These are helpful for people who miss the habit and physical action of smoking a cigarette. They look like pens, come with cartridges that need to be replaced regularly, and are used to inhale nicotine vapour through a mouthpiece.
Lozenges are dissolved in your mouth to release nicotine, starting with one lozenge every one to two hours.
Microtabs are small tablets that dissolve under your tongue. Dosage wise, you’ll usually start with one or two tablets hourly. You mustn't use more than 40 per day.
Nicotine gum can be useful for the times when you find yourself tempted to reach for a cigarette. There’s a special way of chewing the gum that isn’t like standard gum, to make sure that the nicotine is effectively released.
Nasal spray can help you combat strong cravings for nicotine rapidly. Nasal sprays deliver nicotine into your bloodstream faster than any other NRT product. You can use a nicotine nasal spray up to twice an hour in each nostril.
Mouth sprays are similar to nasal sprays and a relatively new NRT option. You use them to spray nicotine in your mouth when you feel a craving for nicotine. You can use a mouth spray up to 64 times (sprays) per day.
Are NRT products suitable for children?
NRT preparations can be used by anyone over the age of 12 years except for Nicotinell® lozenges which should only be used by children under the age of 18 on doctor’s advice.
NRT is not the only available treatment to help you stop smoking. The prescription medication Champix reduces withdrawal symptoms and reduces enjoyment when smoking. Champix does not contain nicotine.