Understanding Nicotine Replacement Therapy for Smoking Cessation

Smoking continues to be a prevalent habit, with this article showing that around 11% of adults in the US are still active smokers. This puts them at risk of diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other serious conditions. While the number of smokers has considerably decreased in recent years, smoking cessation remains a challenge for many due to the difficulties associated with the process.

Understanding Nicotine Replacement Therapy for Smoking Cessation

One of the primary difficulties with smoking cessation is dealing with withdrawal symptoms. These include persistent cravings, extreme mood swings, irritability, fatigue, weight gain, headaches, and restlessness. As such, many seek interventions like nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) that aim to address the effects of withdrawal and ease the process of smoking cessation.

What are the types of NRTs?

Generally, all NRTs reduce withdrawal symptoms by giving the body small, controlled amounts of nicotine without any of the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes to help tide over cravings. There are currently a lot of different forms of NRTs on the market. They come in two types: oral and non-oral.

Oral NRTs are usually ingested through the mouth. They include nicotine gum, lozenges, and pouches and are all either chewed or placed between the inner cheek and gums. The non-oral options include nicotine patches, inhalers, and nasal sprays. These differ in that they have alternative methods of delivering nicotine, including through the skin and nasally.

How do NRTs help with cessation?

Considering the complex nature of smoking cessation, smokers turn to different interventions to aid the process. However, Smokefree.gov cites that most doctors and medical experts think that NRTs are one of the most useful family of products to help quit cigarette use. This is because NRTs safely replace the nicotine absorbed from cigarettes and help smokers gradually adjust to a smaller dose to lessen the discomfort brought by withdrawals. Some studies also show that strong adherence to using NRTs is linked with successful smoking cessation.

Some forms of NRTs can also help with cessation since they address some motivations for why people smoke. For example, those who smoke because of an oral fixation benefit a lot from using LUCY nicotine gum, such as discussed on this site. Chewing on nicotine gum helps keep their mouth busy while also having a steady nicotine content complemented by fruity flavors for a more pleasant experience.

Additionally, other oral NRTs also come in different nicotine strengths and flavors to provide a more satisfying experience, which can aid cessation efforts. To illustrate, Juice Head nicotine pouches seen here are available in refreshing flavors such as peach pineapple mint, blueberry lemon mint, and strawberry mint. You also have the choice of purchasing them with a 6 or 12 mg nicotine strength to match your preferences – heavier smokers can get a stronger hit in the first instance and then drop down as they move towards complete cessation. Additionally, Juice Head also uses synthetic nicotine for their products to ensure that their NRTs have no trace of tobacco to help further those undergoing cessation from cigarettes.

For smokers who use NRTs but still find it difficult to quit smoking fully, our blog highlights psychotherapy treatment to help identify common triggers and overcome the emotional habits built around smoking. This can help process your need to smoke when dealing with strong emotions like stress or anxiety and correct behaviors you’ve associated with the habit, such as smoking after a meal or while drinking certain beverages. Using NRTs alongside psychotherapy treatment is also beneficial, since it can address withdrawal symptoms and prevent any persistent cravings as you’re actively working to build better habits.

Special benefits of NRTs

Overall, NRTs are a great intervention for smoking cessation because they’re tobacco-free, do not emit smoke, and come in different forms that can be used depending on personal preferences. These products also effectively reduce the severity of smoking withdrawal symptoms and make the cessation process more bearable, leading to a higher likelihood of quitting smoking for good.

In line with this, NRTs are convenient to carry and easy to use, making them favored among smokers who are traveling and want alternatives. The smoke-less nature of NRTs are also a great benefit, as these can be used in places where smoking is otherwise banned and help smokers curb their cravings easily. All in all, NRTs are a great intervention to help smokers work towards quitting the habit of smoking.

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