Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Quitting smoking is not an easy task. There are a huge number of products available to help a smoker when he decides to quit. Most of these products include some form of nicotine replacement. The idea of nicotine replacement therapy is to allow a smoker access to nicotine without the cigarette.

For a smoker, a cigarette is actually two addictions. It is the addiction to the nicotine obtained through the cigarette and an addiction to the actual physical tobacco cigarette in the smoker’s hand. Both of these addictions must be conquered in order to quit smoking.

Nicotine replacement therapy includes the use of patches, lozenges, inhalers, gum and other devices to place nicotine in the bloodstream. This allows a smoker to overcome the need to hold a cigarette in their hand while still obtaining nicotine in regulated doses.

Once a smoker begins this therapy, he or she will overcome the addiction to tobacco while gradually decreasing the amount of nicotine used over a period of time. Nicotine replacement therapy has been shown to be approximately twice as effective as other methods in the quitting process.

There are several types of nicotine replacement therapy products. All of these products deliver measured doses of nicotine to the body. The differences lie in how the nicotine is transmitted. Nicotine patches are one of the most common forms of this product. The patch looks similar to a band-aid and is self-adhesive. It is applied directly to the smoker’s skin.

The patch delivers nicotine slowly through the layers of skin and into the bloodstream. The patch can be placed on any area of the body with minimal hair. These places include the upper arms, shoulders, upper thighs or even the neck. Patches come in varying doses of nicotine. Some side effects of patch use include skin irritation. This is generally minimal and goes away once the patch is moved to a new location.

Nicotine gum and lozenges work in a similar manner to the patch. They also release regulated doses of nicotine into the bloodstream. This is accomplished by releasing nicotine as the user either chews the gum or sucks on the lozenge.

Many smokers find the gum or lozenges more satisfying than the patch because they are able to receive the nicotine at a faster rate. Nicotine moves more quickly through mucus membranes like the cheeks and tongue than it does through skin. The release of nicotine is still much slower than it is with a cigarette and the doses are easily lowered.

Nicotine inhalers are another product designed to help smokers quit. The inhaler can be shaped in the form of a cigarette and allows a smoker to continue to inhale in a similar manner to smoking.

Some inhalers are flat and wide, in the manner of an asthma inhaler. Regardless of the shape of the inhaler, the mechanical process for delivering nicotine is the same. The smoker inhales a vapor of nicotine and it reaches the bloodstream quickly through the lungs.

Smoking cessation is a profitable business. Most products cost as much or more than cigarettes, but the benefits of quitting are priceless.

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