Smoking increases your risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and many other health problems. If you're like many smokers, you understand the risks but have difficulty quitting the habit. Nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive. However, that doesn't mean that quitting is impossible. There are ways to decrease cravings and withdrawal symptoms to make quitting easier. At Walgreens, we can help you increase your chances of success with nicotine replacement therapy products, including an assortment of nicotine patch options.
What Is Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
Nicotine replacement therapy involves gradually decreasing your dependence on nicotine.
Does Nicotine Replacement Therapy Work?
Nicotine replacement therapy can be useful for many people who are trying to quit smoking. Nicotine replacement products help to supply the body with doses of nicotine in order to cut down on withdrawal symptoms and decrease cigarette cravings.
Is Nicotine Replacement Therapy Safe?
Not everyone can use nicotine replacement products safely. Experts recommend that you consult a doctor before using a nicotine patch.
How Does the Nicotine Patch Work?
The nicotine patch is a wearable form of nicotine replacement therapy. One side of the patch is sticky and is used to hold it onto the skin. Once the nicotine patch is in place, it transfers small amounts of nicotine into the body throughout the day. The nicotine becomes absorbed by the skin and is transferred to the blood stream. In most cases, a nicotine patch is designed to be worn for a full 24 hours and then replaced by a new patch.
Why Use a Nicotine Patch?
There are many reasons why people choose the nicotine patch over other forms of nicotine replacement therapy. Many former smokers like that the patch provides long-lasting benefits and that they only need to think about it once daily when it's time for a change. Patches can be worn discreetly beneath clothing. There are even clear options available that are more discreet.
Understanding the Three-Step System
Nicotine patches come in three different strengths. Each strength is designated with a step number.
- The strongest patch is the Step 1 which provides 21 milligrams of nicotine over the course of the day.
- The Step 2 patch contains 14 milligrams of nicotine.
- Step 3 has a 7-milligram dosage.
Medical experts recommend that those who smoke 10 or more cigarettes per day begin with a Step 1 patch and then switch to the lower dose patches every few weeks. Your doctor can help you develop the right schedule for progressing through the three-step system.