Do nicotine patches really work? Learn all about this strategy

by Sep 25, 2022Stop smoking0 comments

Have you ever heard of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)? Part of it is solutions like nicotine patches. They can increase your chances of successfully quitting smoking by about 50% to 60%

But do nicotine patches work? This article gathers all information about this treatment for quitting smoking. So, stay tuned!

Do nicotine patches really work? Learn all about this strategy
Do nicotine patches really work? Learn all about this strategy

Understanding Nicotine Replacement Therapy 

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is used to reduce the nicotine withdrawal symptoms many people experience when they stop smoking. 

With this therapy, low, controlled amounts of nicotine are used. This is different because nicotine patches don’t use other substances present in tobacco, like carbon monoxide and tar. 

These harmful substances make us more prone to develop conditions like cancer and heart diseases. So, products like nicotine patches are used as smoking cessation aids. They can also limit weight gain by reducing energy intake.

According to research, the chances of someone being able to quit smoking using these methods are substantial. And the therapy can be performed in several forms, such as chewing gum and nicotine patches

Why try nicotine patches to quit smoking?

As nicotine patches help control the urge to smoke again, taking some of the pressure many people feel once they quit, they are a great tool to quit smoking.

Nicotine patches are discreet and can be used without being noticed. In addition, they are also practical as you must apply them once a day, without worrying about taking any further action. 

Furthermore, knowing that your body is getting nicotine can bring physical and psychological relief.

Are nicotine patches effective?

Nicotine patches are among the types of medication that most help those who want to stop smoking gradually. They alleviate the symptoms that would be experienced when quitting cold turkey. 

Among the other drugs used for the same purpose, which have approximately the same level of effectiveness, we can mention: 

  • Bupropion (Zyban);
  • Varenicline (Chantix);
  • Nicotine chewing gum;
  • Nicotine inhaler;
  • Nicotine lozenge; and,
  • Nicotine nasal spray.

The short-acting NRT nicotine patch can produce the best results. However, research suggests that the combination of counseling and medication is more effective than either alone.

How to choose a nicotine patch 

There are some different types of patches, which can vary in strength and time of use. For example, daytime patches are 16 hours while daytime and nighttime patches are 24 hours.

To pick the right one for you, you need to consider what time you start smoking and how many cigarettes you smoke daily.

When choosing the 16-hour-a-day patch, you must remove it before bedtime. On the other hand, you can keep the 24-hour day and night patch until the morning and replace it then. 

When discussing adhesive use, you must do it for at least eight weeks. 

Furthermore, you should consult a doctor or pharmacist to find out the best strategy and the type of patch for you.

Applying a nicotine patch

When applying a nicotine patch, the skin must be clean and dry. The nicotine patch looks like a bandage and should be applied to a relatively hairless part of the body. For example, many people choose the chest, waist, or neck to receive the application. 

You need to change the patch daily, and another recommendation is always to choose a different place to avoid damage to the skin. 

The nicotine in the patch takes a few hours to penetrate the bloodstream. They are usually part of an eight-week program that uses a more potent dose for the first four weeks until it is tapered to a weaker dose in weeks 5 through 8. 

In addition, it usually starts with 15 to 21 milligrams (mg) daily doses, then tapering to 5 to 14 mg daily.

Either way, each case is different. Therefore, you must seek medical guidance to find out which therapy is more suited to your situation.

Nicotine patches really help people who are quitting smoking. Now that you’ve learned more about this strategy, you can consider adding to your journey to stop smoking.

And if you need more guidance, we have lots of content to help you. So, navigate our blog to find out more information on quitting smoking!