With Stoptober just under a month away, many of us will have quitting smoking for the 28-day challenge on our minds.
Typically when people quit smoking, they will use stop smoking treatments (NRT) to help curb those pesky cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
If you’ve not had much success with quitting before (did you know that it takes people several quit attempts before stopping for good?), then you may want to think about using NRT which increases people’s chances of quitting smoking from 50% to 60%.
There are a whole host of different NRT products out there to support you when you quit smoking, so you may be wondering which product is the best for you.
We’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of some of the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) we offer at Everyone Health to help you decide which product is right for your quitting journey.
Nicotine patches are one of the most common and popular forms of NRT available.
The patch releases a steady amount of nicotine throughout the day which helps to reduce nicotine withdrawal effects. Patches are either available as 16 hour or 24 hour patches, to help those who have early morning cravings.
Patches are very easy to use, and, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, are most likely to be correctly used out of all NRT products.
Your patch strength will be reduced over time so you can reduce your nicotine intake slowly.
There are some side effects such as: skin irritations where the patch is applied – ranging from itching, burning or tingling, to redness and swelling, or a severe rash or swelling, headaches, dizzy spells, and upset stomach sometimes leading to diarrhoea.
If you are on other medication you should consult with an expert before using the patch. You cannot smoke at all whilst using this product as you may overdose on nicotine.
The gum can be tailored towards lighter and heavier smokers. It is adaptable, cheap and available over the counter, and can also be used in combination with other NRT products.
For maximum effectiveness, the gum should be used in combination with another NRT product.
There is a possibility you may not like the taste.
The gum can also be chewed wrong (who knew!). There is a certain technique to chewing to avoid swallowing saliva, and you will also need to avoid certain drinks that would lower your intraoral PH (in simpler terms, avoid drinks that make your mouth more acidic).
The inhaler allows you to choose your own dose, so if you feel like you don’t need much nicotine one day then you can easily do so.
The inhaler can control sudden nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and is a great device at keeping your hands busy (very important when quitting!).
It can also be used in combination with other products.
You’re more likely to experience sudden intense cravings as unlike patches, the inhalator won’t reduce cravings throughout the day unless you’re proactive in using it regularly.
If you have a breathing condition such as asthma, the inhaler may not be the product for you.
The nasal spray works faster than other NRT products as the nicotine dose is the equivalent to smoking one cigarette.
Like the gum and inhaler, you must be proactive in regularly using the product rather than giving in to your cravings.
The spray can cause nasal and throat irritation and may not be suitable for you if you suffer from a sinus condition.
Microtabs are small white singular tablets that contain nicotine – they can come in a packet of 30 or 100.
The tablets can be tailored towards lighter and heavier smokers.
They’re very easy and straightforward to use – you simply place the tablet under your tongue and let it dissolve. As it dissolves, the nicotine will release and gets absorbed into the bloodstream via lining of the mouth.
You can also use microtabs whilst pregnant and if you’re breastfeeding which is a much safer option for you and your baby than continuing to smoke cigarettes. However, you shouldn’t become reliant on microtabs during your pregnancy and should aim to stop taking them as soon as possible – preferably after 2 or 3 months as any form of nicotine is harmful to your baby and their development.
The tablet can take up to 20-30 minutes to ‘work’ to relieve withdrawal symptoms, so if you’re looking for a treatment that works instantly, then you may want to seek an alternative product.
Dependent on the frequency and strength of your cravings, you may find that you run out of tablets quickly. You can have up to 1-2 microtabs an hour, and the maximum recommended amount is 40 microtabs in 24 hours. If choosing to opt for microtabs as your NRT, you should think about stocking up to avoid running out at any time.
You should refrain from chewing or swallowing the tablet whole as this reduces the effectiveness of the tablet, in addition to eating and drinking while using the microtabs.
If you live in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough, Healthy You may be able to provide you with NRT and FREE Stop Smoking Support to give you the best chance at quitting for good. To find out more and sign up, click here.