How can nicotine lozenges help me quit smoking?

One of the most important things you can do for your cardiovascular health is quit smoking. In addition to other strategies such as learning to avoid your triggers and seeking counseling, there is a range of medications that may be able to help you quit smoking. One common form is nicotine lozenges, a type of nicotine-replacement medication that provides nicotine to help you crave cigarettes less while you are quitting.
What It Does: The nicotine lozenge proves nicotine in a tablet that is dissolved in the mouth and absorbed through the lining of the mouth. 
How to Take It: If you smoke within 30 minutes of awakening, use 4 mg lozenges. Other smokers use 2 mg lozenges. Place the lozenge in your mouth and allow it to dissolve for 30 minutes. You may use 1 to 2 lozenges per hour (up to 20 per day) in response to the urge to smoke.
How Long to Use It: Continue use for up to 12 weeks. Use for 6 weeks, and then reduce the dose over the second 6 weeks. 
Other Considerations: Unlike nicotine gum, nicotine lozenges can be used in people with braces, dentures, bridges, or significant dental restorations.
Nicotine-containing lozenges as an over-the-counter aid to stop smoking are the newest form of NRT on the market. As with nicotine gum, the lozenge is available in 2 strengths: 2 mg and 4 mg. Smokers choose their dose based on how long after waking up they normally have their first cigarette.
The lozenge manufacturer recommends using it as part of a 12-week program. The recommended dose is 1 lozenge every 1 to 2 hours for 6 weeks, then 1 lozenge every 2 to 4 hours for weeks 7 to 9, and finally, 1 lozenge every 4 to 8 hours for weeks 10 to 12. The manufacturer also recommends the following:
  • Stop all smoking when you begin to use the lozenge.
  • Do not eat or drink for 15 minutes before using the lozenge. (Some drinks can reduce how well the lozenge works.)
  • Suck on the lozenge until it is fully dissolved, about 20 to 30 minutes. Do not bite or chew it like a hard candy, and do not swallow it. The medicine is taken in through the tissues of the mouth.
  • Do not use more than 5 lozenges in 6 hours, or more than 20 lozenges total per day.
  • Stop using the lozenge after 12 weeks. If you still feel you need to use the lozenge, talk to your doctor.
  • Do not use the lozenge if you keep smoking, chewing tobacco, using snuff, or use any other product containing nicotine (such as the nicotine patch or nicotine gum).
Possible side effects of the nicotine lozenge include:
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Hiccups
  • Coughing
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Flatulence (gas)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.