Nicotine patch withdrawal symptoms

How to Quit Smoking Cold Turkey

Identifying your triggers is another important step that can prepare you for successful cessation.

Triggers are things that make you want to smoke. Triggers generally fall into one of four categories:

  • pattern
  • emotional
  • social
  • withdrawal

Pattern triggers

A pattern trigger is an activity you associate with smoking. Some common ones include:

  • drinking alcohol or coffee
  • watching TV
  • talking on the phone
  • after sex
  • work breaks
  • finishing a meal

If you’re used to having a cigarette during any of these activities, you need to break the association between the two.

Instead of smoking, you can:

  • Replace a cigarette with chewing gum or hard candy.
  • Keep your hand busy by squeezing a stress ball or writing in a journal.
  • Change your routine. Have coffee at a different time or brush your teeth right after you eat.

Emotional triggers

Intense emotions commonly trigger the desire to smoke. You may be accustomed to smoking when you’re feeling stressed as an escape for negative feelings.

For some people, smoking is an enhancement of a good mood when they’re feeling excited or happy. Feelings that may trigger a craving include:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • sadness
  • boredom
  • loneliness
  • excitement
  • happiness
  • anger

The key to overcoming emotional triggers is finding healthier ways to cope with your feelings.

Instead of smoking, you can:

  • Talk to someone about what’s bothering you, or share your excitement with a friend or loved one.
  • Talk to a professional, such as a therapist.
  • Get support and connect with experts and others who are quitting smoking from sites such as Smokefree.gov or Quitter’s Circle.
  • Get some exercise to relieve stress and anxiety and improve your mood.
  • Try relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, yoga, or listening to calming music.

Social triggers

Social triggers are social occasions that usually include other smokers, such as:

  • parties and social gatherings
  • bars and nightclubs
  • concerts
  • being around other people who smoke

The best way to deal with social triggers is to avoid them for a while. Avoid being around other people who smoke, too.

This can be very difficult if you have close friends and family who smoke. Let them know you have to quit. Ask them not to smoke around you while you’re trying to quit. Eventually, being around people who are smoking will get easier.

Withdrawal triggers

The longer you’ve smoked, the more used to getting nicotine on a regular basis your body will be. This will affect the frequency and severity of your withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal triggers include:

  • smelling cigarette smoke
  • craving the taste or feeling of cigarettes
  • handling cigarettes, lighters, and matches
  • feeling like you need something to do with your hands
  • other withdrawal symptoms

The best way to deal with withdrawal triggers is to distract yourself from the cravings.

Begin by throwing away your cigarettes and anything related to smoking, like ashtrays. As soon as you feel the urge to smoke, find something to do or someone to talk to.

If your withdrawal is triggering cravings that are overwhelming and you feel you need extra help, speak to your doctor about your options.

Thomas Rhett to perform at BB&T Pavilion

Quitting smoking is hard, but it is important for your health. All the experts says the best way to be successful is to have a plan ready for handling the withdrawal symptoms and craving triggers. You need to be totally committed to stopping.

Why are cigarettes so addictive? Nicotine is the biggest culprit. According to smokefree.gov, “Over time, your body and brain get used to having nicotine in them. About 80 percent to 90 percent of people who smoke regularly are addicted to nicotine.”

COMMON WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

During withdrawal you’ll probably crave a cigarette, but you may also feel sad, irritable, have trouble sleeping, and experience diarrhea and constipation. Other symptoms include feeling restless and having trouble concentrating on the task at hand, plus flu-like symptoms.

MORE HEALTH: Here are some natural remedies for dealing with insomnia

Nicotine withdrawal can also cause your heart to slow down and you may find yourself snacking more, especially when a craving hits, which can lead to weight gain. You may also experience flu-like symptoms for the first few days after your last cigarette.

It is important to remember that the most intense withdrawal symptoms will only last for the first few days or weeks after you give up smoking. (Sources include: smokefree.gov, the Mayo Clinic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Cleveland Clinic):

MANAGING YOUR SYMPTOMS

Before stopping smoking, talk to your doctor about strategies that can help you manage the symptoms of withdrawal better. Nicotine replacement therapy like nicotine gum or a patch which releases a small dose of nicotine, can help with the weaning process. You can also sign up for SmokefreeTXT, a mobile text messaging service that sends you words of encouragement and advice 24/7.

The Mayo Clinic says nicotine’s addictive quality comes from the release of dopamine in the pleasure center in your brain – immediately making you feel better. Besides physical symptoms of withdrawal, there are also behavioral triggers that make quitting challenging. For instance, if you always smoke when you hang out with friends at the bar or light up whenever you get stressed. To combat these triggers, you need to have alternative ways to handle these situations.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “The good news is that most cravings last for only 15-20 minutes. Finding ways to get through that short period of time is a key way to deal with cravings. Anything that can distract you and keep you busy can be helpful.”

The bottom line is to not give up. Smoking is a known risk factor for lung and other cancers, heart problems, macular degeneration, diabetes and other health problems. Create a plan to manage your withdrawal and stick to it. Proper self-care is a must. Eat right, exercise and get plenty of rest. Check out these other tips from the Cleveland Clinic to help battle the cravings.

Five ways to quit smoking

Deciding that you are now ready to quit smoking is only half the battle. Knowing where to start on your path to becoming smoke-free can help you to take the leap. We have put together some effective ways for you to stop smoking today.

Share on PinterestQuitting smoking can be tough, but we have put together some steps that may help you along the way.

Tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke are responsible for more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the American Lung Association.

Most people are aware of the numerous health risks that arise from cigarette smoking and yet, “tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease” in the U.S.

Quitting smoking is not a single event that happens on one day; it is a journey. By quitting, you will improve your health and the quality and duration of your life, as well as the lives of those around you.

To quit smoking, you not only need to alter your behavior and cope with the withdrawal symptoms experienced from cutting out nicotine, but you also need to find other ways to manage your moods.

With the right game plan, you can break free from nicotine addiction and kick the habit for good. Here are five ways to tackle smoking cessation.

1. Prepare for quit day

Once you have decided to stop smoking, you are ready to set a quit date. Pick a day that is not too far in the future (so that you do not change your mind), but which gives you enough time to prepare.

Share on PinterestChoose your quit date and prepare to stop smoking altogether on that day.

There are several ways to stop smoking, but ultimately, you need to decide whether you are going to:

  • quit abruptly, or continue smoking right up until your quit date and then stop
  • quit gradually, or reduce your cigarette intake slowly until your quit date and then stop

Research that compared abrupt quitting with reducing smoking found that neither produced superior quit rates over the other, so choose the method that best suits you.

Here are some tips recommended by the American Cancer Society to help you to prepare for your quit date:

  • Tell friends, family, and co-workers about your quit date.
  • Throw away all cigarettes and ashtrays.
  • Decide whether you are going to go “cold turkey” or use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or other medicines.
  • If you plan to attend a stop-smoking group, sign up now.
  • Stock up on oral substitutes, such as hard candy, sugarless gum, carrot sticks, coffee stirrers, straws, and toothpicks.
  • Set up a support system, such as a family member that has successfully quit and is happy to help you.
  • Ask friends and family who smoke to not smoke around you.
  • If you have tried to quit before, think about what worked and what did not.

Daily activities – such as getting up in the morning, finishing a meal, and taking a coffee break – can often trigger your urge to smoke a cigarette. But breaking the association between the trigger and smoking is a good way to help you to fight the urge to smoke.

On your quit day:

  • Do not smoke at all.
  • Stay busy.
  • Begin use of your NRT if you have chosen to use one.
  • Attend a stop-smoking group or follow a self-help plan.
  • Drink more water and juice.
  • Drink less or no alcohol.
  • Avoid individuals who are smoking.
  • Avoid situations wherein you have a strong urge to smoke.

You will almost certainly feel the urge to smoke many times during your quit day, but it will pass. The following actions may help you to battle the urge to smoke:

  • Delay until the craving passes. The urge to smoke often comes and goes within 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Deep breathe. Breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of three and exhale through your mouth for a count of three. Visualize your lungs filling with fresh air.
  • Drink water sip by sip to beat the craving.
  • Do something else to distract yourself. Perhaps go for a walk.

Remembering the four Ds can often help you to move beyond your urge to light up.

2. Use NRTs

Going cold turkey, or quitting smoking without the help of NRT, medication, or therapy, is a popular way to give up smoking. However, only around 6 percent of these quit attempts are successful. It is easy to underestimate how powerful nicotine dependence really is.

Share on PinterestNRTs can help you to fight the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking.

NRT can reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms you experience that may hinder your attempt to give up smoking. NRTs are designed to wean your body off cigarettes and supply you with a controlled dose of nicotine while sparing you from exposure to other chemicals found in tobacco.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved five types of NRT:

  • skin patches
  • chewing gum
  • lozenges
  • nasal spray (prescription only)
  • inhaler (prescription only)

If you have decided to go down the NRT route, discuss your dose with a healthcare professional before you quit smoking. Remember that while you will be more likely to quit smoking using NRT, the goal is to end your addiction to nicotine altogether, and not just to quit tobacco.

Contact your healthcare professional if you experience dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, fast or irregular heartbeat, mouth problems, or skin swelling while using these products.

3. Consider non-nicotine medications

The FDA have approved two non-nicotine-containing drugs to help smokers quit. These are bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix).

Share on PinterestBupropion and varenicline are non-nicotine medications that may help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you feel that you would like to try one of these to help you to stop smoking, as you will need a prescription.

Bupropion acts on chemicals in the brain that play a role in nicotine craving and reduces cravings and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Bupropion is taken in tablet form for 12 weeks, but if you have successfully quit smoking in that time, you can use it for a further 3 to 6 months to reduce the risk of smoking relapse.

Varenicline interferes with the nicotine receptors in the brain, which results in reducing the pleasure that you get from tobacco use, and decreases nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Varenicline is used for 12 weeks, but again, if you have successfully kicked the habit, then you can use the drug for another 12 weeks to reduce smoking relapse risk.

Risks involved with using these drugs include behavioral changes, depressed mood, aggression, hostility, and suicidal thoughts or actions.

4. Seek behavioral support

The emotional and physical dependence you have on smoking makes it challenging to stay away from nicotine after your quit day. To quit, you need to tackle this dependence. Trying counseling services, self-help materials, and support services can help you to get through this time. As your physical symptoms get better over time, so will your emotional ones.

Share on PinterestIndividual counseling or support groups can improve your chances of long-term smoking cessation.

Combining medication – such as NRT, bupropion, and varenicline – with behavioral support has been demonstrated to increase the chances of long-term smoking cessation by up to 25 percent.

Behavioral support can range from written information and advice to group therapy or individual counseling in person, by phone, or online. Self-help materials likely increase quit rates compared with no support at all, but overall, individual counseling is the most effective behavioral support method.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) provide help to anyone who wants to stop smoking through their support services:

Support groups, such as Nicotine Anonymous (NicA), can prove useful too. NicA applies the 12-step process of Alcoholics Anonymous to tobacco addiction. You can find your nearest NicA group using their website or by calling 1-877-TRY-NICA (1-877-879-6422).

5. Try alternative therapies

Some people find alternative therapies useful to help them to quit smoking, but there is currently no strong evidence that any of these will improve your chances of becoming smoke-free, and, in some cases, these methods may actually cause the person to smoke more.

Some alternative methods to help you to stop smoking might include:

Share on PinterestE-cigarettes have had some promising research results in helping with smoking cessation.

  • filters
  • smoking deterrents
  • electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)
  • tobacco strips and sticks
  • nicotine drinks, lollipops, straws, and lip balms
  • hypnosis
  • acupuncture
  • magnet therapy
  • cold laser therapy
  • herbs and supplements
  • yoga, mindfulness, and meditation

E-cigarettes

E-cigarettes are not supposed to be sold as a quit smoking aid, but many people who smoke view them as a method to give up the habit.

E-cigarettes are a hot research topic at the moment. Studies have found that e-cigarettes are less addictive than cigarettes, that the rise in e-cigarette use has been linked with a significant increase in smoking cessation, and that established smokers who use e-cigarettes daily are more likely to quit smoking than people who have not tried e-cigarettes.

The gains from using e-cigarettes may not be risk-free. Studies have suggested that e-cigarettes are potentially as harmful as tobacco cigarettes in causing DNA damage and are linked to an increase in arterial stiffness, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Quitting smoking requires planning and commitment – not luck. Decide on a personal plan to stop tobacco use and make a commitment to stick to it.

Weigh up all your options and decide whether you are going to join a quit-smoking class, call a quitline, go to a support meeting, seek online support or self-help guidance, or use NRTs or medications. A combination of two or more of these methods will improve your chances of becoming smoke-free.

In addition to trying out these steps, you could check out our selection of the best apps for quitting smoking.

Busting NRT Myths

Many smokers find NRT helpful for quitting. Every person is different. It might be worth trying NRT to see if it’s right for you. Even if you tried NRT before, it might be worth trying again. NRT will help you the most if you follow directions carefully. Use enough and use it for the recommended time. Other medications and strategies also are available to help you quit smoking.

Myth: If I use NRT, I won’t have withdrawal symptoms or cravings from quitting smoking.

Truth: You may still have withdrawal symptoms or cravings while using NRT. Try to be patient. Most people find withdrawal symptoms especially difficult the first week or two after quitting. Most smokers find withdrawal symptoms less intense when using NRT. If withdrawal symptoms continue a few days after you start using NRT, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about different NRT products that can help.

Follow NRT product directions carefully. Some NRT products (gum, lozenge, inhaler) work better if they are not used at the same time as high-acid drinks, such as sodas and fruit juices. It is safe to continue using NRT even if you slip and smoke one or two cigarettes. Staying on NRT increases your chances of getting back on track for quitting.

Myth: If I use one NRT product, I can’t use others.

Truth: NRT products can be used safely together. For example, you might use long-acting NRT such as the patch with short-acting NRT such as a lozenge. Some people find both a long-acting patch and short-acting gum to be useful when cravings are high to handle withdrawal symptoms and fight off cravings.

Myth: NRT is too expensive.

Truth: Many states in the United States offer free NRT through their state quitlines. The North American Quitline Consortium has a quitline map to help you find free quit smoking support and other resources near you.

People eligible for Medicare or Medicaid also may be eligible for free NRT. In recent years, insurance coverage for NRT has expanded under many private insurance plans. Check your insurance plan to learn if you are eligible for coverage.

Even if NRT is not covered through your insurance or state quitline, the cost of NRT for several weeks will still be less than the cost of buying cigarettes.

Myth: Some people should not use NRT.

Truth: NRT has been available for more than 30 years. A great deal of research has been done on NRT. The research shows that NRT is safe and effective for almost all adults for quitting smoking. For most people, there is no need to talk to a doctor or health care provider before using NRT.

Pregnant women, teens, and people with serious health issues should talk to their doctor before using NRT. Serious health issues can include lung disease and heart problems. People with these problems still might be able to use NRT, but should talk to their doctor first.

Nicotine Withdrawal: How to Cope

The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal usually peak 2 to 3 days after you quit smoking.

Nicotine is a flavorless chemical compound that tobacco and other plants make as an insect repellent.

It’s also highly addictive — as addictive as heroin or cocaine.

That’s the main reason it can be so difficult for people to stop smoking tobacco products.

Nicotine provides the “high” smokers get from cigarettes, and it keeps them hooked with its addictive properties.

But nicotine isn’t the ingredient in tobacco products that causes cancer (that dubious distinction belongs to the tar in tobacco).

How Nicotine Works

Each time you inhale cigarette smoke, nicotine goes deep into your lungs, where it’s rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream.

Then nicotine makes its way, along with carbon monoxide and other toxins, to every part of your body. It affects your heart and blood vessels, hormones, brain, metabolism, and more.

Inhaled nicotine reaches your brain even faster than drugs that are administered through a vein intravenously.

Nicotine Effects

Nicotine affects your body in many ways. It:

  • Stimulates your central nervous system, making you more alert
  • Elevates your mood and may lead to a sense of well-being
  • Decreases your appetite
  • Increases your heart rate by around 10 to 20 beats per minute
  • Increases your blood pressure by 5 to 10 mmHg
  • May cause sweating, nausea, and diarrhea
  • Increases activity of the intestines
  • Makes you creates more saliva and phlegm

The pleasant feelings, along with the physical and psychological dependency, are what makes smoking so addictive.

In addition, the more you smoke, the greater your tolerance to nicotine, which means you will need to smoke more to get the same “high.”

Nicotine Withdrawal

Seventy to 90 percent of tobacco users say nicotine withdrawal symptoms are the only reason they haven’t given up smoking.

You’ll start to experience the effects of nicotine withdrawal two to three hours after your last cigarette.

Those who smoke the longest and/or the most will notice withdrawal effects sooner and more intensely than lighter smokers. If you’re quitting, withdrawal symptoms peak about two to three days after your last tobacco use. The most common symptoms are:

  • Intense craving for nicotine
  • Anxiety, restlessness, or boredom
  • Depression
  • Trouble sleeping, including bad dreams and nightmares
  • Drowsiness
  • Feeling tense, restless, or frustrated
  • Headaches
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Problems concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Slower heart rate
  • Constipation or gas
  • Cough, dry mouth, sore throat, and nasal drip

Though the list of withdrawal symptoms may sound daunting, and they’re certainly difficult to experience, the long-term health effects of quitting far outweigh any discomfort you may feel in the short term.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

If you try to quit and don’t succeed, don’t be discouraged: Research shows that the more times you try to quit, the more likely you are to succeed, and that the average person tries about six times before succeeding.

If you find the withdrawal symptoms from nicotine are overwhelming, speak to your health care professional about nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

NRT takes away the physical withdrawal symptoms from smoking so you can focus on handling the emotional part of quitting.

Many studies have shown using NRT can nearly double your chances of quitting successfully.

Speak to your doctor about which one is right for you and best suits your lifestyle. You may combine different forms of NRT but you should refrain from smoking while using them.

There are five different forms of NRT approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

  • Patches
  • Gum
  • Lozenges
  • Nasal spray
  • Inhalers

Nicotine Patches

Nicotine patches supply a measured dose of nicotine through your skin. They are available in different strengths; the best one for you will depend on how heavy a smoker you are and your body size.

Patches are available without a prescription. To wean yourself off nicotine, you’ll switch to lower-dose patches over the course of about eight weeks.

The FDA has approved using the patch for a total of three to five months.

Possible side effects of using the nicotine patch include:

  • Skin irritation (redness and itching)
  • Dizziness
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Sleep problems or unusual dreams
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches and stiffness

Nicotine Gum

Many people choose nicotine gum because it is fast-acting — the nicotine is taken in through the mucous membranes of the mouth.

You can chew on a piece of nicotine gum whenever a craving hits. It’s available in two strengths and can be purchased without a prescription (over-the-counter, or OTC).

You’ll want to cut back on the amount of gum you chew over the course of six to 12 weeks until you feel ready to quit. The maximum recommended length of use is six months.

If you have sensitive skin and are easily irritated by patches, you might prefer nicotine gum.

Possible side effects of nicotine gum include:

  • Bad taste
  • Throat irritation
  • Mouth sores
  • Hiccups
  • Nausea
  • Jaw discomfort
  • Racing heartbeat

The gum can also stick to dentures and dental work.

Nicotine Lozenges

Nicotine lozenges are available in two different strengths and are sold OTC.

As with other NRT products, you’ll want to wean yourself off them over the course of several weeks. Lozenges should be used for 12 weeks at the most.

Side effects of nicotine lozenge may include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Hiccups
  • Coughing
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Gas

Nasal Sprays

Nasal spray delivers nicotine to the bloodstream quickly, easing withdrawal symptoms faster than other methods.

Nicotine nasal spray is available by prescription only. The FDA recommends that the spray be used for six months maximum.

The most common side effects include:

  • Nasal irritation
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Throat irritation
  • Coughing

Nicotine Inhalers

A nicotine inhaler looks similar to a large cigarette with a mouthpiece, but it’s actually a thin plastic tube that contains a nicotine cartridge inside.

When you take a puff, the cartridge puts out a pure nicotine vapor that delivers most of the nicotine vapor to the mouth, where it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. Because it looks and acts like a cigarette, it can ease some of the habitual withdrawal symptoms as well.

Nicotine inhalers are recommended for no more than six months of use.

The most common side effects, which mostly occur when first using the inhaler, include:

  • Coughing
  • Mouth and/or throat irritation
  • Upset stomach

Whatever NRT product you choose, always speak with your healthcare provider about any side effects you may be experiencing.

You should also let him or her know if you are having a hard time quitting smoking with your NRT product. Your doctor may be able to suggest alternatives.

All about the nicotine patch.

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Understanding Withdrawal

Over time‚ your body and brain get used to having nicotine in them. About 80−90% of people who smoke regularly are addicted to nicotine. When you stop smoking‚ your body has to get used to not having nicotine. That’s withdrawal. Withdrawal can be uncomfortable.

Craving cigarettes, feeling sad or irritable, or trouble sleeping are some common symptoms. Some people say it feels like a mild case of the flu. For most people, the worst symptoms last a few days to a few weeks. Managing withdrawal symptoms will help you feel better and be prepared for those tougher moments.

You Can Prepare for Withdrawal

Withdrawal feelings usually are the strongest in the first week after quitting. Many people don’t like how withdrawal feels. So some people start smoking again to feel better. The first week after quitting is when you are most at risk for a slip. It helps your quit attempt to be prepared and know what to expect so you can stay smokefree.

One way to be prepared is to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). NRT can be helpful for dealing with withdrawal and managing cravings. Almost all smokers can use NRT safely.

In addition to using NRT, prepare for withdrawal with SmokefreeTXT, a mobile text messaging service that offers 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips helps smokers quit smoking and stay quit. It is a 6−8 week program, depending on when you set your quit date. You can get messages up to a week before your quit date to help you learn what to expect what you quit and prepare for withdrawal.

Sign up for SmokefreeTXT online or text QUIT to 47848 to get started.

Check out these other ways to be prepared for withdrawal:

  • . Our free apps help you track cravings and understand your smoking patterns.
  • Visit Smokefree on social media. Grow your support network and stay connected.
  • Talk to an expert at a quitline. Call the National Cancer Institute Quitline at 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848) Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. or find your state’s quitline by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
  • Chat with a quit smoking counselor. LiveHelp is Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. Also available in Spanish.

“I have already tried to quit smoking by using patches, without success: withdrawal was just too hard to bear. Is it possible to use both a patch and another nicotine substitute (gum, inhaler) at the same time?”

Yes, it is entirely possible and more efficient to combine the patch with another nicotine substitute (gum, lozenges or inhaler). The last is taken only when the need arises, in very difficult situations. It is also recommended for heavy smokers (> 30-40 cigs / day) and for those for whom only one substitute is not enough.

“I tried to quit with a 21mg patch and nicotine chewing gum but I couldn’t manage it: the craving was still there. I smoke more than 35 cigarettes a day without filters. Can I use two 21mg patches at the same time?”

The problem with patches is that it takes several hours for them to have an effect. In your situation, a combination of 21mg patches and 4mg chewing gum (or nasal spray) taken regularly at first, say every 30 – 60 minutes, is preferable. Generally, if withdrawal symptoms are not sufficiently calmed by the treatment, increase the total dose of nicotine, with a fast acting product to have an immediate effect.

“Could you tell me if I can use the patch with bupropion? After several attempts, I’m trying again and I would like to know if I would have a better chance if I combined the two.”

It is quite possible to combine bupropion (Zyban) with a nicotine patch or other nicotine substitute. There are studies on the association of bupropion (Zyban) with a nicotine patch: one study showed that combining the two treatments was slightly more effective than bupropion alone, while another has measured no difference in efficacy. This is often recommended by doctors, if a relapse occurs with other methods.

“I stopped smoking with the help of patches. I later switched from patches to 2 mg nicotine gum (6 per day on average). It is now 8 months since I started using nicotine substitutes! Is it dangerous for my health?”

No, nicotine is not harmful to your health because it is not the cause of the numerous diseases associated with tobacco. Moreover the doses you take are below the levels of nicotine absorbed when smoking. On the other hand nicotine is responsible for your dependence and you are probably dependent on gum. It is undoubtedly preferable to starting smoking again. Nevertheless try to do without, decreasing very gradually by 1 stick a week. Analyze when you take them and try to find other things to do rather than chew gum in these situations. You will find many suggestions in the brochures of this site…

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