Nicotine Patch 101: How to Stop Smoking Using Nicotine Patch
Smoking cessation is not always simple for smokers due to various circumstances. In the early stages of quitting smoking, nicotine withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings, anxiety and irritability, sadness, and smoking desires, occur. As a result, the vast majority of smokers who attempt to quit relapse. Nicotine replacement therapy, such as transdermal nicotine patches, can help fix this problem and lessen nicotine withdrawal symptoms128.
What are Nicotine Patches?
Nicotine skin patches are used to assist people in quitting smoking. They give a supply of nicotine that helps alleviate the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking, such as difficulties concentrating, frustration, restlessness, and anxiety129. As such, the nicotine patch works by replacing part of the nicotine you’d get from smoking and can help you control your cravings.
How to Use Nicotine Patch130:
Most smokers should start with a full-strength patch (15-22 mg of nicotine) for a few weeks, then switch to a weaker patch (5-14 mg of nicotine) for another few weeks, depending on their body size and smoking habits.
Using a nicotine patch is easy. Just follow the two steps:
How to Use a Nicotine patch?
Step 1: Every day, apply a new patch.
Step 2: Apply the patch in the morning to a clean, dry region of skin that is free of hair. It should be worn below the neck and above the waist, on the upper arm or chest, for example.
The FDA has approved the patch for a period of three to five months, but using it for longer is preferable to smoking again.
How Do Nicotine Patches Help to Quit Smoking?
Early on, studies have highlighted the effectiveness of nicotine patches in smoking cessation. One study reported during the first two weeks of nicotine patch therapy, smoking status was highly linked with clinical outcomes and can serve as a powerful predictor of smoking cessation131.
According to one study, transdermal nicotine patch has the same effects on performance and mood as smoking cigarettes. This proves the effectiveness of the patch in smoking cessation. Essentially, using the nicotine patch enhanced attentional processing and increased memory in some people. It had the soothing effects of smoking and created emotions of happiness, which were amplified after smoking. These effects were acquired 6 hours after the patch was applied132.
Studies continue to highlight the effectiveness of the nicotine patch. The nicotine skin patch proved safe and effective, as evidenced by a higher incidence of abstinence than with a placebo, according to a study on the safety and efficacy of a transdermal nicotine patch in smoking cessation133.
What are the Side Effects of Nicotine Patches134?
Nicotine patches emit nicotine that is absorbed via your skin throughout the day. Its benefits far outweigh its few drawbacks. Some possible negative effects include:
- Itching, stinging, or burning of the skin; put the patch to a different site each day to limit this side effect.
- Headache; try a lower dosage of the nicotine patch to limit this side effect.
- Difficulty sleeping; remove the patch when sleeping to limit this side effect.
Also, find out on is it dangerous to smoke with a Nicotine Patch on, here.
Finally, the journey to quitting smoking is difficult, but there are certain ways that you can make it possible. Prime among them is the use of nicotine replacement therapy, such as skin patches. These skin patches have continuously proven to be safe and effective. A healthy life is a smoke-free one!
Also, read to know more on Nicotine Gum vs. Nicotine Patch and which one will be more effective for you to aid your smoke-free journey here.