Patches

Patches work by delivering a steady dose of nicotine into the blood through the skin, by using a stepdown programme, from high to medium to low strength. They should be placed on a dry and hairless area of skin e.g. arms, chest or thighs and the area in which the patch is placed should be changed when putting on a new one. Where possible, this same area should not be used for approximately 7 days.

The two different types of patches are 24 hours and 16 hours. With the 24 hour patch these should be put on in the morning and kept on overnight until the following morning, when it should then be replaced with a new one. A side effect of the 24 hour patch is that it can cause vivid dreams. The 16 hour patch should be put on in the morning and then removed before going to bed.

Inhalator

The inhalator is a mouthpiece with a replaceable nicotine cartridge. You insert the cartridge into the inhalator and then inhale through the mouthpiece. This causes the nicotine in the cartridge to vaporise and it is then absorbed through the mouth and throat into your bloodstream. You will need to use this regularly throughout the day as it takes about 30 minutes for the nicotine to reach the blood and it will take approximately 10 inhalations to get the equivalent of one puff of cigarette. The inhalator is good for those that miss the hand to mouth action however it is important to bear in mind that this will eventually have to be discontinued, to be free from smoking habits.

Mouth Spray

Quickmist Mouth Spray relives and/or prevents craving and nicotine withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine dependence. Its aim is to aid smokers attempting to quit, to assist those who are unable to smoke and as a safer alternative to smoking for both smokers and those around them. Both pregnant women and young people from the age of 12 upwards are able to use this.

Use 1-2 sprays when cigarettes would normally have been smoked or when cravings emerge. If after the first spray, cravings are not controlled within a few minutes, a second spray should be used. Most smokers will require 1-2 sprays every 30 minutes to 1 hour. You may use up a maximum of 4 sprays per hour. Do not exceed 2 sprays each time it is used and 64 sprays (4 sprays per hour over 16 hours) in 24 hours.

Oral strip

These are small, thin, mint flavoured translucent films that dissolve in the mouth in approximately 3 minutes, releasing nicotine rapidly. It comes in a single strength (2.5mg) and is used for light smokers that smoke their first cigarette within 30 minutes or more of waking. Users are encouraged to reduce the amount of strips within 12 weeks and therefore, in the first 6 weeks, users are recommended to use 1 strip every 1-2 hours, at weeks 7-9 users are recommended to use 1 strip every 2-4 hours and on week’s 10-12, users are recommended to use 1 strip every 4-8 hours. Do not exceed 15 oral strips per day.

Nasal spray

The nasal spray is the strongest form of Nicotine Replacement Therapy. It is recommended for those with a high dependency of nicotine or if you experience severe withdrawal symptoms as it is quickly delivered through the lining of the nose. This comes in the form of a spray bottle and one dose is one spray up each nostril.

When deciding on using this product, you should consider whether you will be able to regularly use the spray throughout the day, even up to every hour should you be a heavy smoker. When first using, it may make you sneeze, give you a runny nose or eyes and make you cough. The spray is not recommended if you do a considerable amount of driving.

Gum

The idea is to have a certain level of nicotine in your blood to lessen the withdrawal symptoms. So the key with gum is to make sure that you use enough (10 to 15 pieces per day at regular intervals) and not to leave it until you are craving a cigarette as this will be too late as it takes 30 minutes for the nicotine to get into your blood stream.

Park & Ride – the way to use the gum is to chew until the flavour is released then park the gum in either cheek so that the nicotine can be absorbed through the lining of the mouth. When the flavour wears off chew again then park again until the flavour is gone. A piece of gum will last approximately 30 minutes and it is important to remember that the gum is a medicine and not a sweet, therefore it can have a bitter/peppery taste. To help with this there are a range of flavours available – Liqourice. Mint and Fruit.

Gum is not available to people that wear dentures.

ALSO NOTE FOR GUM PRODUCTS: Tea & Coffee – 30 minutes after using, you cannot have any strong flavoured drinks including tea and coffee, as these will wash out the nicotine and therefore reduce the effect.

Lozenge

The Lozenge is a sugar-free tablet that tastes bitter and peppery so to help with this there is mint and fruit flavoured varieties.  Again you need to make sure you use enough (10 – 15 pieces per day at regular intervals) and not leave it until you feel the need to have a cigarette, as it takes 30 minutes for the nicotine to get into your blood stream.

Park & Ride – the way to use the lozenge is to suck until the flavour is released then park the lozenge in either cheek so that the nicotine can be absorbed through the lining of the mouth. When the flavour wears off, suck again then park again until the flavour is gone. Each lozenge can last approximately 30 minutes.

NOTE FOR LOZENGE  PRODUCTS: Tea & Coffee – 30 minutes after using, you cannot have any strong flavoured drinks including tea and coffee, as these will wash out the nicotine and therefore reduce the effect.

Microtab

The microtab comes in the form of a small white tablet containing nicotine which dissolves under your tongue. This enables the nicotine to be absorbed through the lining of your mouth which gradually builds up in your bloodstream. Each tablet can take 30 minutes to dissolve and they can taste slightly bitter or peppery. The tablets are held in a small foil wheel that fits into a plastic pouch to enable one to be popped out for use.

You would need to take the tablets at regular intervals and not just as you feel the need for a cigarette as it could make them less effective. It is important not to chew, swallow or suck the microtab as the nicotine will pass into your stomach without being absorbed and therefore reduce the amount of Nicotine you get.

NOTE MICROTAB PRODUCTS: Tea & Coffee – 30 minutes after using, you cannot have any strong flavoured drinks including tea and coffee, as these will wash out the nicotine and therefore reduce the effect.

Champix (Varenicline)

Champix is an alternative to NRT as it does not contain Nicotine. It is available through the Specialist Stop Smoking Service on prescription. Champix is not suitable for everyone so you will need to discuss your suitability with a Specialist Advisor. Champix works to reduce your cravings and withdrawals that you may feel when quitting. It should reduce the enjoyment you feel from smoking but you will still need to put some techniques in place to help break the habit. Champix is a 12 week course and comes in a tablet form. Before starting champix you will need to discuss setting a quit date with your advisor, this should be between day 8-14 of taking the medication.

NOTE FOR CHAMPIX: It is not suitable for persons under the age of 18, if you are allergic to any of the ingredients, are pregnant, or have certain mental health conditions. Please discuss further with your advisor.