Smoking is addictive and smokers describe it as a way to get the ‘kick’ and new zeal in life, but just the opposite of it happens, smoking is a slow killer which takes away your skills, your relations, your dear ones and finally may even rob you of your life.Smoking is addictive as it causes a fast surge in brain levels of norepinephrine and dopamine hormones which give a feeling of elation. The tar in smoke and carbon monoxide emitted from a burning cigarette causes more harm than the nicotine present in a cigarette.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) aims at providing a much lesser dose of nicotine reduced to up to 1/3 rd. or ½ of the actual nicotine content in cigarette and at a slower pace prevents the adverse effects of tar, CO and other harmful chemicals in the cigarette. Nicotine replacement therapy helps gradually quit smoking without experiencing withdrawal symptoms like anger, grouching, constipation, lack of concentration and irritability.

Nicotine replacement therapy is available as chewing gums, skin patches, inhalers, sprays, tablets, and lozenges. You may choose among them to pick the one that best suits you. You must not combine 2 or more forms of NRT. It is advised to get psychological and behavioral therapies in combination with NRT to get optimum benefits along with love and affection of family and friends.

Nicotine chewing gum


Nicotine chewing gum must be eaten only when you feel the uncontrollable urge to smoke. This gum must be chewed slowly with intermittent breaks to avoid an overdose of nicotine release in the blood stream. Light smokers may begin with 2mg nicotine gum while heavy smokers, used to smoking over 20-25 cigarettes in a day may need 4mg nicotine gum. Gradually reduce the number of gums taken each day and then final stop using them.

Nicotine skin patch


Nicotine skin patch has to be applied only once in a day and must be taken out before going to bed at night. This patch slowly releases nicotine into the blood stream and check smoking urge. Skin patches are available in 25, 15 and 10 mg nicotine strengths. The strength of nicotine used must be reduced gradually and therapy continued for 12 weeks for heavy smokers. 16 hours usage skin patches are preferred over 24-hour patches to prevent sleep disturbance that may be caused by them.

Nicotine tablets


Nicotine tablets in the strength of 2mg may be taken when there is an excess urge to smoke. The normal requirement is up to 24 tablets in a day but for chain smokers, it may take up to 40 tablets to keep from smoking. The maximum limit for nicotine tablets each day is 40. The number of tablets taken each day must be brought down gradually and then completely stopped when you no more feel the urge to smoke.

NRT must not be used for more than 12 weeks without medical consultation. Those who are allergic to inactive components of NRT products must not use this therapy. If you had the recent heart attack; stay away from this therapy. Nursing mothers and pregnant women must seek medical advice before using NRT. Remember, consult your doctor before you adopt this replacement therapy.

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