Comparing Nicotine Replacement Methods

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Comparing Nicotine Replacement Methods

Topic Overview

All forms of nicotine replacement therapy work equally well, and they all have side effects. Review the ease of use, benefits, and side effects of each product. This well help you decide which product best fits your needs. Keep in mind that most side effects go away after the first week or so.

  • The patch is easier to use than other nicotine replacement products because:
    • You put it on once a day and forget it.
    • There is no need to learn anything (like the "chew and park" method of chewing nicotine gum).
    • You do not have to avoid certain beverages.
    • The patch is hidden on your body, so no one will know it's there.
  • Some people don't like to chew gum, suck on a lozenge, or use an inhaler in public.
  • Many people fail to quit when they use nicotine gum, inhalers, or lozenges, because they find it difficult to use the medicine frequently enough.
  • As long as you do not go over your recommended daily dose, you can use nicotine gum or the inhaler when you need it. You can use these products when you feel stress or have a craving. You cannot use the patch this way.
  • You are in control of the amount of gum or lozenge you use and the number of puffs you take on an inhaler.
  • For many people, part of the pleasure of smoking is having something in their mouths. Nicotine gum, lozenges, or the inhaler can take the place of a cigarette in your mouth.
  • People who smoke heavily and choose the patch, lozenge, or gum are more successful using the strongest forms of the product (gum or lozenge with 4 mg of nicotine or patches with 21 mg or more nicotine per patch).


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
Specialist Medical Reviewer Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Last Revised August 31, 2009

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