Monday, August 3, 2015

Know more about NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy)

Smokers not only put their own health at risk but also endanger the health of those surrounding them (family, friends, colleagues, society) and also pollute the environment.

Most smokers know the dangers of smoking yet find it hard to quit. This is mainly due to the main ingredient in cigarettes-nicotine. Nicotine is both physically and psychologically addictive and makes it difficult for those wanting to quit. Many times going ‘cold turkey’ (giving up all at once) doesn’t work for some. Such people do well by slowly reducing the number of cigarettes smoked over a period of time and then stopping it. Others do well with NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy).
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) basically works by reducing craving and nicotine withdrawal by supplying the smokers’ body with small doses of nicotine. These contain anything from about one-third to one-half of the amount of nicotine found in most cigarettes.

NRT’s are available in different forms:

Patches: these are stuck on the skin (just like bandages) and the nicotine is released in small doses through the skin into the blood stream.
Nasal spray: delivers the nicotine through the nose which is quickly absorbed by the bloodstream.
Gum: releases the nicotine through the mouth.
Inhalers: contain a cartridge that contains nicotine. When it is pressed the cartridge releases a vapour of nicotine into the mouth (not the lungs).
Lozenges: like the gum makes the nicotine available in the mouth.
There is no proof that one form of NRT is better than the other, but it is important to follow the instructions and stick to the recommended doses to see the desired effect.

NRT is safe when used properly.

That being said, NRT is not recommended for:

  • Pregnant women,
  • Heart patients
  • People under 18 years old

For more information on NRT, talk to your physician or health care provider. Taking the first step towards quitting smoking is the most important thing you can do to help yourself and those around you!

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