What Is a Nicotine Patch?

Learn about nicotine patches and how to use them to help quit smoking from addictions counselor Adam Steiner in this Howcast video.

Transcript

The oldest and most popular nicotine replacement therapy is the nicotine patch.

The nicotine patch comes in three different types of milligrams. 21 milligrams, 14 milligrams, and seven milligrams. I, after smoking for 32 years, and was a pack a day smoker, used the 21 milligrams patch for four weeks, then the 14 milligrams patch for four weeks, and then the seven milligrams patch for two weeks, and then I was completely nicotine free.

I also slept with the patch on, because I was somebody who woke up in the middle of the night and smoked. So if that's you, you might need to sleep with the patch on too. And that's okay, it just causes vivid dreams. I didn't care because I had vivid dreams anyway all the time. It's just who I am. But if the dreams really get in the way of your sleep, then maybe it's not a good idea.

Always ask your doctor which nicotine replacement therapy is good for you, and your pharmacists as well. And make sure if you do decide to use the patch, that you don't put the patch in the same place two days in a row. A common myth is that people think that the nicotine causes all kinds of reactions to them on their skin. It's actually the adhesive, so you might have an allergic reaction to the adhesive of the patch. And if that's the case, if you can't take, you know, itching is sometimes a problem, a rash can develop, a small rash, if it's too much consult your doctor or your pharmacist and see what else you can use.

And finally, if you are on the patch, and you get those really nasty cravings anyway, and you feel like ripping the patch off and smoking, you can put a piece of nicotine gum in your mouth, or pop a little lozenge into your mouth and suck on that for awhile, and that will help alleviate that extreme craving.

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