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Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

What is Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)?

Nicotine is one of the main causes of smoking dependence. Yet unlike the tar, harmful chemicals and carbon monoxide found in tobacco smoke, nicotine has not been found to cause cancer.

By releasing a smaller, measured dose of nicotine, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Think of it this way – if nicotine withdrawal symptoms are like bumps in the road, NRT evens out the surface to make for a smoother journey.

How does Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) work?

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) works by releasing a lower, more slowly absorbed dose of nicotine compared to smoking. This helps to minimise or avoid withdrawal symptoms, reducing craving intensity and frequency.

As nicotine withdrawals and cravings at the beginning of a quit smoking attempt are strongly associated with relapse, NRT can significantly reduce the risk of returning to smoking in this crucial early stage.

You may find your nicotine withdrawal symptoms and cravings are not as strong when using NRT, therefore reducing the risk of smoking.

Is Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) effective?

Clinical trials show that NRT can increase the chance of quitting smoking by 50-70% compared to quitting without help – making it a good option to include in your quit smoking plan.

What’s more, there is no evidence that you are likely to become dependent on NRT. Very few people use nicotine replacement products for longer than needed and when used correctly they are regarded as a very safe option for smokers.

Find out more about Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

For more information on finding the right NRT product for you:

It’s important to discuss your NRT needs with your doctor or pharmacist.

Good to Know

NRT products are available over the counter in pharmacies, supermarkets and other stores. Nicotine patches can also be prescribed by your GP.
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