It May Be Time To Reconsider Using Nicotine Replacement Medications to Help You Quit Smoking

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Jun 17, 2011

Some people say quitting smoking "cold turkey" without using any medicines of any kind is the "best way" to quit.  They may be concerned about getting addicted to the patches or gum or they may believe that the sooner nicotine is out of the system the better.


On the surface this may seem to make sense; however, there's a great deal of research that finds the opposite.  For example, using the nicotine patch doubles a smoker’s chance of quitting compared to placebo patches.  Combining a nicotine patch with another nicotine replacement medication like the nicotine gum, lozenge, nasal spray, or inhaler will further increase the likelihood of stopping smoking. 


Tobacco smoke contains over 6000 chemicals which cause cancer, heart disease, and other serious health effects.  While nicotine is one of the ingredients in cigarettes, it is not one of the substances that will cause health problems.  Stopping smoking rather should be the priority rather than being free of nicotine. 


So, maybe if you're trying to stop smoking “cold turkey” and are struggling, we would suggest that you re-think your approach.  You need not be concerned about the nicotine if you are taking it in a safe medication form, three of which, the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, and nicotine lozenge are available without a prescription.  Put the fear and misconceptions aside and avail yourself of the assistance which will improve your chances of becoming smoke-free.


Make sure to watch the videos on the EX site (http://www.becomeanex.org/nicotine-addiction.php) that teach you about the different medications that are available to help you quit smoking.