Nicotine replacement – Make Smoking History

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How does nicotine replacement help?

The main reason that people smoke is because they are addicted to nicotine.

NRT gives you a low level of nicotine, without the tar, carbon monoxide and other poisonous chemicals in tobacco smoke.

It can help reduce unpleasant withdrawal symptoms which you may experience in the first few days after you stop smoking.

Use a combination for better results

Evidence shows that using a combination of NRT products is more effective than using just one.

Often the best way to use NRT is to combine a longer-lasting product, like a patch, with a faster acting product such as gum, inhalator or nasal spray, for immediate craving relief.

Treatment with NRT usually lasts 8-12 weeks, before you gradually reduce the dose and eventually stop.

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The different types of NRT products

NRT comes in many different forms and strengths. You should start with the nicotine strength that’s right for you and gradually reduce the dose.


Patches are placed on the skin and release nicotine slowly. Some are worn all the time and some should be taken off at night.


Place a lozenge in your mouth and nicotine is released as it slowly dissolves.


Chew nicotine gum until you get a tingling feeling, then place between cheek and gums.


A nicotine inhaler, sometimes called an inhalator, has a mouthpiece and cartridges containing nicotine.

Mouth/nasal spray

For quick acting nicotine relief, spray the product in your mouth or nose, depending on instructions.

Who can use NRT?

Most people are able to use NRT, including:

  • adults and children over 12 years of age – although children under 18 should not use the lozenges without getting medical advice first
  • pregnant or breastfeeding women – your doctor or midwife may suggest NRT if they think it would help you quit, and can advise you how to use it safely

NRT can be bought over the counter or from your pharmacist. In some cases, it’s available free or on prescription from your stop smoking service or GP.

Always read the packet or leaflet before using NRT to check whether it’s suitable for you. And speak to your GP if you have underlying health problems or are taking other medications.

More ways to quit



E-cigarettes, or vapes, are now the most popular stop smoking aids. Many smokers have quit by switching from cigarettes to vaping.
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Stop smoking medication can help people who are highly addicted to tobacco to overcome their addiction.
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Stop smoking services

With help you’re much more likely to quit for good than if you use willpower alone.
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