Does nicotine replacement therapy help people stop smoking?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

A complete program to stop tobacco use may include nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) if you have a high addiction to nicotine. A person is considered to have a high nicotine addiction if they smoke more than 10 cigarettes day, smoke within 15 minutes of waking, or find it difficult to not smoke where it is forbidden to smoke (such as libraries, hospitals, airports, etc). NRT cannot “stop” you from smoking, but can help you cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine is the substance in tobacco products that makes it physically difficult to stop using tobacco products. NRT provides nicotine in a safer form.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) damps down those effects, which seriously ups your chances of getting smoke-free. While about 2% of people manage to quit cold turkey, NRT boosts your chance of success to 60%. It may also help you gain less weight, a common obstacle to quitting.

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Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and other medicines have been proven to double a person's chances of quitting smoking. Nicotine dependence develops fairly rapidly -- often within six months of regular use. NRT comes in gum, patches, lozenges, pills, inhalers and nasal sprays. They are lower concentrations of nicotine and may not have the other 7,000 chemicals and chemical compounds found in cigarettes.

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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.