Quitting tobacco is a decision that no one can make for you. But that doesn’t mean you have to quit alone. Any major challenge or accomplishment is always easier when you have support, and that goes for kicking your tobacco habit, too.
Even if you’ve never tried nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), you’ve probably been curious about it and whether it might help you quit. Could NRTs really help you cut ties with tobacco? We’ve got the scoop to help you decide.
What are NRTs?
Nicotine is the highly addictive chemical in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Nicotine replacement therapies – like gum, lozenges or patches – have a small, measured dose of nicotine to help you manage tobacco cravings and wean yourself off of it gradually. You get to slowly lower your nicotine levels and avoid the extreme cravings and side effects that going “cold turkey” can sometimes cause. And unlike cigarettes, NRTs do not have harmful, cancer-causing chemicals – like arsenic, benzene and cadmium, to name just a few. Plus, your clothes, hair and breath will smell a lot fresher!
Are NRTs right for me?
NRTs can double your chance of kicking the habit for good. And they are not shown to cause dependency. You can get many over-the-counter patches, gum and lozenges at your pharmacy. But you may need a prescription for certain NRTs like nasal spray or an inhaler.
How long do I need to wait after my last cigarette before I can try an NRT?
Typically, you don’t need to wait a specific amount of time before using an NRT. You can start as soon as your last cigarette is out.
What else do I need to quit?
Keep in mind that quitting tobacco isn’t just about physical cravings. While NRTs can be highly effective, you’ll likely need a combination of tools. Before you quit, make a plan to help you break the habit of lighting up. For example, your plan could include calling a supportive friend, taking a walk or having gum and mints handy when it’s time for your usual smoke break.
Overcome the urge
Log in to Healthy Lifestyles and explore the many resources you have today. Or check out our Quitting Tobacco Pinterest page for more ideas and inspiration.