Which NRT or other therapies do I have a choice of using?

There are many different products on the market available to help smokers to quit. Many of which you can purchase yourself from your local pharmacy, supermarket or even over the internet.

However, to enable any of your local Stop Smoking Services to prescribe them to you they have to be approved and regulated by the Medical & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

Please find below a list of products available and details of the recommended dosage;

If you have any questions regarding any of these products please ask :-)

Nicotine Replacement Therapy;

PATCHES

Treatment period:

Preferable 8 - 16 weeks (at least 4)

Dosage:

25mg, 21mg or 15mg for heavy smokers (20+ cigarettes daily)

14mg or 10mg for lighter smokers (Upto 20 cigarettes)

24 hour or 16 hour patch

Positives:

Very easy to use. Just stick it on at the same time each day (if 24 hours) or take it off just before you go to bed (if 16 hours)

24 hour patches can help with early morning cravings

Clear patch available

Negatives:

24 hour patch may cause sleep disturbance.

May cause skin reaction - worth perservering with though as normally dies down.

GUM

Treatment period:

At least 4 weeks and then whenever you feel the need

Dosage:

4mg for heavy smokers (20+ cigarettes daily)

2mg for light smokers (Upto 20 cigarettes)

10 - 15 pieces a day

Positives:

Easy to regulate dose

Can stop you over eating

Negatives:

Tricky with dentures

Need to use correctly. 'Chew and park' method Chew as and when you need it, not to be chewed as you would a normal chewing gum

NASAL SPRAY

Treatment period:

Up to 8 weeks then reduce gradually over 4 weeks

Dosage:

Once or twice an hour as required (1 spray up each nostril or 2 sprays up each nostril)

Do not use more than 64 sprays in 24 hours

Positives:

Gives fast relief to heavy smokers

Easy to adjust dosage

Negatives:

May cause nasal irritation at first

Dependence more likely

Caution when operation machinery

INHALATOR

Treatment period:

Up to 8 weeks then reduce gradually over 4 weeks

Dosage:

15mg 3-6 cartridges daily (comes in boxes of 4, 20 and 36)

Positives:

Helps keep hands busy

Easy to regulate dosage

Could help prevent over eating

Negatives:

Not so good for heavy smokers

May attract attention in public

MICROTAB

Treatment period:

At least 12 weeks then reduce gradually

Dosage:

16-24 daily for heavy smokers (20+ cigarettes daily)

8-12 daily for lighter smokers (up to 20 cigarettes daily)

Positives:

Can be used discreetly

Easy to adjust dosage

Very few side affects

Negatives:

Need to be used correctly - wasted if swallowed

LOZENGE:

Treatment period:

At least 12 weeks then reduce gradually

Dosage:

4mg for heavy smokers (20+ cigarettes daily)

1 or 2mg for lighter smokers (up to 20 cigarettes daily)

Average 8-12 lozenges daily

Maximum of 15-25 daily

Positives:

Discreet and easy to use

Sugar free

Can help reduce weight gain

Negatives:

May cause initial throat irritation

May cause indigestion

MINI LOZENGES

Treatment period:

At least 12 weeks then reduce gradually

Dosage:

4mg for heavy smokers (20+ cigarettes daily)

1.5mg for light smokers (up to 20 cigarettes daily)

Positives:

Discreet and easy to use

Sugar free

Can help reduce weight gain

Negatives:

May cause initial throat irritation

May cause indigestion

May cause hiccups

MOUTH SPRAY

Treatment period:

At least 12 weeks then reduce gradually

Dosage:

1mg - 1-2 sprays each hour

Positives:

Fast acting

Negatives:

May cause indigestion

May cause hiccups

Non-nicotine based products:

CHAMPIX

Treatment period:

12 weeks

Dosage:

Days 1-3

Take one 0.5mg white tablet ONCE daily

Days 4-7

Take one 0.5mg white tablet TWICE daily

Day 8 to end of 12 weeks treatment

Take one 1mg light blue tablet TWICE daily

Positives:

Non-nicotine drug

Discreet

Negatives:

Nausea

May cause headaches

Abnormal dreams

ZYBAN

Treatment period:

12 weeks

Dosage:

Days 1-6

Take one 150mg tablet ONCE daily

Days 7 to end of treatment

Take one 150mg tablet TWICE daily

Positives:

Non-nicotine drug

Discreet

Negatives:

Insomnia

Nausea

Headaches

Anxiety

2 Replies

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  • Not allowed to be classed as NRT but almost all NHS unofficially support, electronic cigarettes.

    Not available on NHS and usually have to be bought as kits costing £30+, but that investment can be an extra help.

    They are either a rechargable battery plus disposable atomiser/nicotine cartidge or battery, atomiser, empty cartidges and liquid to fill cartridges. The type with disposable cartidges easiest to use and best as a quit aid.

    Single disposable ones can be bought in some shops but these are often Chinese imports with unknown contents, so not advised.

    Dosage:

    Heavy smokers start with regular or high strength.

    After 6 to 8 weeks move to lower strength.

    Reduce strength every few weeks ending with no-nicotine cartridges before complete cessation

    Similar to inhalators but suitable for heavy smokers

    Positives:

    Similar in appearance to a cigarette.

    Produces vapour.

    Can get cartridges varying in stength from 2.4 mg nicotine to zero nicotine, just flavoured vapour.

    No smell, smoke, or the many poisons in tobacco. Can help smokers who have tried many times with conventional treatment.

    Can be used in public places although you can get some strange looks.

    Costs 80 to 90% less than cigarettes.

    Negatives:

    No thorough testing

    Need to take care to buy only from reputable UK companies that list ingredients and do not buy from China

    Does not stop the psychological desire to hold and draw on a cigarette even if cartridges with no nicotine are used.

    Still need willpower

    Difficult to find retailers without internet access.

    Retailers must by law say that they are not a smoking cessation aid.

    I have tried every NRT form available, can't take Zyban or Champix and have never managed to be smoke-free for longer than 3 days. Each attempt was less successful than the last. I've now been using 2-cigarettes for a week and it actually works for me although I still have a pschological craving for real cigarettes, but that's easier to resist than ever before. I'm getting support from the NHS and local health centre who see this as a form of NRT although they point out that it's not officially approved as such due to lack of research and regulation.

  • Hi MaggieMaybe, thanks ever so much for this information, really useful. We have a few of our members who have quit using the e-cigarette and found it to help them. <br style=""> <br style=""> I agree with you on the psychological front in that no matter what you use, NRT or non-nicotine products, or even cold turkey, the best successes are the ones that are planned and thought through beforehand. Although we may think 'it's all in my mind', the mind is such a powerful thing and we can use this in either a positive or negative way. <br style=""> <br style=""> We all talk to ourselves, however - it's what we say when we talk to ourselves that counts! <br style=""> <br style=""> Thanks again MaggieMaybe :-)

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