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.