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How should I use a patch as nicotine replacement therapy?

Smoking cigarettes is one of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The sooner you quit, the sooner the health of your heart and blood vessels can begin to improve. There is a range of medications that may be able to help you quit smoking as part of a larger smoking cessation plan. One common form is the nicotine patch, a type of nicotine-replacement medication that provides nicotine to help you crave cigarettes less while you are quitting.
What It Does
The nicotine patch delivers a continuous low level of nicotine across the skin during a 24-hour period.
How to Take It
Place the patch on a non-hairy area. Change the patch daily, rotating placement to avoid skin irritation. If you weigh less than 45 kg, or smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes/day, start at 14 mg/day. Otherwise, start at 21 mg/day for 4 to 6 weeks, gradually tapering to 14/mg/day and then 7/mg/day over 2 to 4 weeks.
How Long to Use It
Continue using the patch for up to 8 weeks, gradually decreasing the dose after 4 to 6 weeks. 
Precautions/Contraindications
People with skin conditions (psoriasis, eczema, atopic dermatitis) should consider other products.
Other Considerations
The patch may be a good option for most smokers to start with, and can be used along with other nicotine-replacement medications as needed in response to the urge to smoke (called the “patch plus” option).
If you smoke a lot, purchase a higher dose patch. Apply the nicotine patch to the most hairless area of your skin above your waist and below your neck. Wear one patch for one full day and then replace it. You may have strange dreams while wearing the patch, but the longer you wear it, the fewer withdrawal symptoms you may have. You must stop smoking completely before beginning to use nicotine patch.

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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.