Explore Nicotine replacement therapy for a successful way to quit smoking.

Why is smoking cessation important?

Smoking is the act of smoking tobacco in the form of burning it so they can breathe it or to taste the smoke. Nicotine is a chemical in tobacco which is toxic and highly addictive and can be smoked in different ways. It is the largest preventable cause of death in Australia. Affecting the health of the individual smoking and of those around you through second hand smoke. 

Smoking poses severe health risks, increasing the likelihood of cancer, heart problems, and respiratory issues due to the addictive nature of nicotine. Quitting smoking, however, brings benefits like improved breathing, energy levels and over time, lung repair begins, reducing coughing and breathlessness. In the first year the risk of heart disease is halved and in 15 years after quitting the health is the same as a non-smoker.

Quitting smoking is an important and life changing journey towards better health. There are steps to take on how to quit successfully. Begin by determining the reasons for quitting, understanding the withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and identifying smoking triggers. The journey can be challenging and there are numerous strategies and various approaches to quitting. 

Some individuals stop suddenly (cold turkey), others would gradually cut down on the amount of cigarettes until they reach zero. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available in various forms and prescription medication is in the form of tablets. Alongside the above, getting professional counseling and support is essential. 

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is an effective way to quit smoking. It offers various options to help manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms, making the process of quitting more manageable. These are available in Nicotine patches, gum, inhalers and lozenges.

The nicotine patch is one of the most widely used, discreet, adhesive patches applied to the skin. It delivers a steady, controlled dose of nicotine throughout the day. Patches are available in different strengths, allowing for a gradual reduction in nicotine intake and a succesful way to quit smoking.

Nicotine gum provides a flexible and portable option to help in quit smoking. Chewing the gum releases a controlled amount of nicotine, helping to alleviate cravings. It follows a chew and park method – biting down slowly on the gum and as the tingling begins, park the gum between the inside of cheek and gum. It can be held there to let the body absorb nicotine and rechew when needed.

These dissolvable tablets are placed in the mouth and release nicotine gradually. Nicotine lozenges can be particularly helpful for managing sudden urge to smoke and are available in various flavors and strengths.

The nicotine inhaler mimics the hand-to-mouth action of smoking. It delivers nicotine through vaporized liquid, which is then inhaled. This method is a popular choice for those who miss the physical act of smoking and makes it easier to quit smoking.

The nicotine nasal spray offers a rapid method through the nostrils, it quickly delivers nicotine to the bloodstream, helping to address intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The nasal spray is available by prescription and can be particularly effective for heavy smokers.

Some individuals benefit from using more than one form of NRT simultaneously. Combining a patch with a fast-acting form like gum or lozenges allows for personalized nicotine management, addressing both immediate cravings and long-term withdrawal symptoms.

Quit Support 

It’s essential for individuals looking to quit smoking to consult with health professionals to determine the most suitable type of combination of NRT or other prescription medications for their specific situation. With the right support and a proper quit plan, individuals can increase their chance of successfully  reducing withdrawal symptoms, side effects and achieving a tobacco smoke free life.

People who smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes could attempt to quit on their own, however long term smokers or heavy smokers should seek health care professional help. A doctor or pharmacist can guide which options are best for each individual taking into account, ones medical history (e.g. blood pressure), amount of smokes used a day and the financial aspect.

Consult a doctor