What is Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
Vaping is rising in popularity as one of the most successful replacements for smoking conventional cigarettes. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is a medication that provides you with a low level of nicotine, without the tar, carbon monoxide and other poisonous chemicals present in tobacco smoke.
The main reason that people smoke is because they are addicted to nicotine, there are lots of ways and different techniques you can try to quit the cigs and #KickItInTheButt.
Types of Nicotine Replacement Therapy:
NRT can help reduce unpleasant withdrawal effects such as bad moods and cravings, which might occur when you quit smoking.
NRT can be bought from some shops and most pharmacies. It is also available on prescription from a doctor or an NHS stop smoking service. You can find stop smoking services on the NHS website here.
NRT is available as:
- Skin patches
- Chewing gum
- Inhalators (they look like plastic cigarettes)
- Tablets, oral strips and lozenges
- Nasal and mouth spray
What works for one person might not work for everyone so it might take you some time to find a solution that works for you.
There is no evidence that any type of NRT is more effective than another. But there is good evidence that shows using a combination of NRT is more effective than using a single product.
Treatment with NRT usually lasts 8-12 weeks. Over this time period, you will gradually reduce the dose until you don’t rely on nicotine anymore.
Who Can Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
Most people will be accepted onto an NRT course, including:
- Adults and children over 12 years of age – although children under 18 should not use the lozenges without getting medical advice first.
- Pregnant women – your doctor may suggest NRT if they think it would help you quit.
- Breastfeeding women – your doctor can help you find a safe solution.
It is always a good idea to research each NRT to make sure it is suitable for you.
It is a good idea to get medical advice first, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.
Possible Side Effects of Nicotine Replacement Therapy
There can be possible side effects with any NRT. The side effects are usually mild but if they become particularly troublesome, it is always a good idea to contact your GP for advice.
One of the most effective things to do to avoid side effects or withdrawal symptoms is keeping yourself distracted. Lots of people suggest doing something with your hands to prevent you from reaching for a cigarette. Others also suggest chewing something or resting something in between your lips to replicate the sensation of a cigarette.
Can I Use E-Cigarettes as an Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
An e-cigarette is an electronic device that delivers nicotine in a vapour. This reduces a lot of the harmful effects of smoking as the vapour contains no tar or carbon monoxide.
The NHS and Public Health England both support that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking. Research has found that e-cigarettes can help you give up smoking and there are plenty of NHS stop smoking services that will support your decision to use an e-cigarette as a smoking cessation device.
E-cigarettes currently are not available on prescription with the NHS.