NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
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(7 min read)
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When it comes to quitting cigarettes, just 4% to 7% of quitters are able to quit smoking using only their willpower. This is because quitting is tough and it’s OK to get help and support. Pair your efforts with a Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) product and your chances could increase, compared to willpower alone.
These days, NRT has expanded to include a range of products from chewing gum, lozenges and tablets to nasal, oral sprays and inhalators to vape products, all of which are proven to tackle cravings to help bolster your willpower to quit.
Not sure if NRT is for you? We explore (and debunk) the most common myths.
MYTH #1 "NRT DOES NOT WORK"
Since the first nicotine gum was first introduced, NRT has never stopped innovating. Today, there are many different formats of NRT to suit your lifestyle. The science proves the efficiency of the products too. NRT is said to increase the chances of quitting cigarettes compared to willpower alone. In fact, vaping has been shown to increase your chances of quitting cigarettes for good by an astonishing 2.5 times when compared to using willpower alone.
The Truth: NRT works with or without additional counselling and does not need to be prescribed by a doctor.
Myth #2: “NRT products can only be used alone”
The Truth: NRT products can be used together. According to the NHS, ‘a popular strategy is to use nicotine patches or vape products to provide a background level of nicotine, in combination with a faster-acting product such as gum, lozenges or nasal spray to help with sudden cravings.’
So, it’s perfectly okay to use your NRT, during the day and supplement it with another product as appropriate. The NHS calls this ‘combination therapy’ and says it can often increase your chances of success. In short, whatever your lifestyle, there are different NRT products that can work with it.
Myth #3: “NRT products are as addictive as smoking”
The Truth: According to the NHS, most people do not become dependent on NRT.
It’s vital, then, that you use your nicotine replacement for as long as you need to stop you giving into the temptation of cigarettes again. The NHS also points out that most ex-smokers are able to wean themselves off NRT after a 12-week course and even long-term use of it is considerably less harmful than smoking.
Myth #4: “NRT is too expensive”
The Truth: Of all the myths surrounding NRT, this is the one preventing more people from giving it a go. But it simply not true. As every smoker knows, smoking can be a shockingly expensive habit. And the average 20 a day smoker can save over £3000 a year quitting.
Myth #5: “NRT won’t help withdrawal symptoms”
The Truth: Banishing those cigarette cravings isn’t easy.
As the International Journal of Health Sciences review explains, nicotine causes the release of the feel good chemical dopamine in the brain. Reduce your nicotine levels and your brain will be crying out for another hit to get that effect. But don’t give in. NRT works by providing a lower dose of nicotine and takes longer for the nicotine to reach the brain compared to a cigarette. This in turn means your body is less dependent on cigarettes. This in turn means withdrawal symptoms can be less severe. In other words, you’re more likely to stick to your goals in the long term by investing in NRT, versus using your willpower alone.
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Written By David Trosh | @ashadyreview | ES Blogger