Individuals who are thinking about quitting should look into Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Nicotine Replacement Therapy can help you with the uncomfortable physical symptoms of withdrawal while allowing you to concentrate on the habit itself. Individuals who use Nicotine Replacement Therapy in combination with support services are likely to be 70 percent more successful in a quit attempt.
There are several NRT options. Costs range from $50-$200 for a one-month prescription, or $15-$55 a month for over-the-counter NRT.
- Nicotine Patch: Sold over the counter as an 8-week quit program with decreasing amounts of nicotine as the program progresses. Patches are applied directly to the skin, and are changed daily.
- Nicotine Gum and Nicotine Lozenge: Both are available over the counter in 2 and 4 mg strengths. They help to substitute oral activity as well as decrease nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine is released into the body through the inner lining of the mouth.
- Nicotine Nasal Spray: Available by prescription only. The spray is similar to nasal decongestant spray, and delivers nicotine through the nasal membranes. Nicotine is delivered into the body more quickly than the gum and lozenges.
- Nicotine Inhaler: Available by prescription only. The inhaler is designed similarly to fast acting asthma inhalers/puffers. Nicotine is delivered through the lining of the mouth.
- Prescription Drugs: Varenicline and Bupropion are both prescription drugs approved by the FDA to treat nicotine addiction. Bupropion is an antidepressant marketed as Zyban®, and can be used safely with other nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine gum. Varenicline, also know as Chantix®, was FDA approved in 2006 to treat nicotine addiction. Ask a doctor for more information about these prescriptions.
All forms of NRT have side effects; most are fairly easy to tolerate. Nicotine Replacement Therapy is not designed to be used while still smoking (or using other tobacco products). It becomes a health concern if you are using NRT as well as using your normal amount of tobacco product. Withdrawal from NRT products is uncommon and most people find it easy to gradually stop using them after they have completely stopped using tobacco products.
Learn more about NRT at the American Heart Association Web site.
**Students can purchase gum and/or patches in the SHS Pharmacy at a reduced cost.
Students can get free one-on-one tobacco cessation help through Student Health Services by calling 541-737-WELL or making an appointment at SHS.