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Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine replacement therapy (commonly abbreviated to NRT) is the remedial administration of nicotine to the body by means other than tobacco, usually as part of smoking cessation. Common forms of nicotine replacement therapy are nicotine patches (which transdermally administers nicotine) and nicotine gum (which orally administers nicotine). The primary benefit of nicotine replacement therapy is that it prevents cravings in a smoker whilst allowing him to abstain from tobacco—and thus avoid the harmful effects of smoking. NRT enables the easier overcoming of nicotine addiction because it reduces the craving to smoke.

Nicotine patches are a transdermal patch for the administration of nicotine. Nicotine gum, nicotine sprays, nicotine sublingual tablets, and nicotine lozenges administer nicotine orally. Nicotine inhalers are metered-dose inhalers that administer nicotine through the lungs and mucous membranes, especially to the back of throat.

Nicotine patch

A nicotine patch is a transdermal patch that releases nicotine into the body through the skin. It is used as an aid in nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), a process for smoking cessation. A transdermal patch is a medicated adhesive patch that is placed on the skin to deliver a specific dose of medication through the skin and into the bloodstream. In this case, the patch releases various amounts of nicotine.

Nicotine Lozenge

A nicotine lozenge is a tablet (usually flavored) that contains a dose of nicotine which dissolves slowly in the mouth to release the nicotine. The nicotine is absorbed through the lining of the mouth and enters the blood vessels. It is used as an aid in nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), a process for smoking cessation. People using the lozenge should not smoke because of the increased risk of nicotine poisoning. The effects of the lozenge may be diminished from drinking anything fifteen minutes prior to taking the lozenge.

Nicotine Gum

Nicotine gum is a type of chewing gum that delivers nicotine to the body. It is used as an aid in nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), a process for smoking cessation and quitting smokeless tobacco. The nicotine is delivered to the bloodstream via absorption by the tissues of the mouth.

It is currently available over-the-counter in Europe, the US and elsewhere. The pieces are usually available in individual foil packages and come in various flavors. Nicotine content is usually either 2 or 4 mg of nicotine, roughly the nicotine content of 1 or 2 cigarettes, with the appropriate content and dosage depending on the smoking habits of the user.

Gum should not be used less than 15 minutes after eating or drinking as doing so will reduce absorption. Users are directed to chew the gum until it softens and produces a tingling sensation or “peppery” taste. The gum is then “parked,” or tucked, in between the cheek and gums. When the tingling ends the gum is chewed again until it returns, and is then re-parked in a new location.

These steps are repeated until the gum is depleted of nicotine (about 30 minutes) or the craving dissipates. Dosage suggested by the Dental-professional.com website is: weeks 1-6: 1 piece every 1 to 2 hours; weeks 7-9: 1 piece every 2 to 4 hours; weeks 10-12: 1 piece every 4–8 hours; no more than 24 pieces per day. Do not use for longer than 12 weeks. Pregnant women should neither smoke nor use NRT. Light smokers should use the 2 mg and heavy smokers the 4 mg; size of gum is the same for both doses.

When used properly, about 3 mg is absorbed into the bloodstream from the 4 mg gum, and 1 mg from the 2 mg gum.

Electronic Cigarette

Electronic cigarettes are an emerging method for nicotine administration that consists of inhalation of a nicotine containing atomized solution. Electronic cigarettes offer users the option to wean themselves off nicotine by modifying the amount of nicotine they would normally get from smoking regularly to no nicotine at all. Negative health affects and efficacy are still under investigation and the Food and Drug Administration reflects this attitude