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Tobacco 101: A Guide to Working with Nicotine Addicted Patients

Course Number: 534

Nicotine Replacement Therapies

Nicotine therapy is a gradual quit approach that uses patches as well as other products to deliver different dosages of nicotine over a given period of time. These products are sold over-the-counter, but patients should seek the guidance of a healthcare professional who is knowledgeable of these products and knows the patients’ medical and mental health history to maximize their effectiveness.

Nicotine replacement therapies are represented by an array of products which each may prove to be effective based on the individual.50

Nicotine Patch

This product delivers a varying dosage transdermally (7mg, 14mg, 21mg). based on the extent of a patient’s nicotine addiction. The patch can deliver nicotine for a 16- or 24-hour period and is intended to wean the patient off of nicotine over an 8- or 10-week period.

Nicotine Replacement Therapies - Figure 1

Nicotine Gum and Lozenges

Nicotine gum and lozenges deliver nicotine more quickly to the brain than the patch and allow the patient to have more control of their nicotine intake if they experience strong or frequent cravings. Ideally these products will be used for approximately 12 weeks. Nicotine gum and lozenges come in 2 and 4mg dosages.

Nicotine Replacement Therapies - Figure 2
Nicotine Inhalers

Nicotine inhalers deliver 4 mg of nicotine which is delivered from a porous plug containing 10mg of nicotine. Initial treatment usually can last from 6-12 weeks.