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10 Ways to prevent nicotine addiction and how to perform It

Reading time: 20 mins
Ways to prevent nicotine addiction and how to perform It

Nicotine addiction is a common type of addiction that involves physical and psychological dependence on nicotine found in tobacco products. Even though this addiction is socially approved and several people start smoking due to peer pressure, it is dangerous. 

Symptoms of nicotine addiction include unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking, withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop, continuing smoking despite health problems, and avoiding social activities. 

People with nicotine addiction end up avoiding people who don’t smoke or places that are smoke-free. This type of addiction puts one’s health in danger by increasing the risk of various health problems or worsening existing health issues.

Fortunately, nicotine addiction is manageable and preventable. The most important strategies to prevent nicotine addiction are listed below.

1. Inquire with your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy.

Inquiring with your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy involves seeking information and guidance from a healthcare professional regarding the potential use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) as part of a strategy to quit smoking or using other tobacco products.

People who want to recover from nicotine addiction and need an effective strategy to prevent relapse must consult their healthcare provider regarding nicotine replacement therapy. It helps reduce cravings and thereby minimize the chance of taking another cigarette. 

The main goal of nicotine replacement therapy is to replace a great deal of nicotine from tobacco in order to decrease the motivation to smoke. These products reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and ease the transition from smoking or tobacco use to complete abstinence. 

The best thing about nicotine replacement therapy is that all commercially available products of this kind increase the chance of successful smoking cessation by 50% to 70%. According to a paper by Umesh Wadgave and L. Nagesh from the July 2016 issue of the International Journal of Health Sciences, NRT may act as a coping strategy by decreasing the pleasure associated with tobacco products.

In 2007, the journal Thorax published a study by Robert West and Xiaolei Zhou that evaluated the effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapy in the real world. The study examined information from the global cohort study ATTEMPT, which enrolled smokers who smoked five or more cigarettes every day. The participants, who ranged in age from 35 to 65, intended to give up smoking in the upcoming three months. The results indicated that among those who self-initiate quitting without behavioral help, nicotine replacement therapy was linked to higher rates of long-term abstinence.

Nicotine replacement products have been around for decades, helping people prevent nicotine addiction and lowering the risk of relapse. The first nicotine product approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was gum back in 1984. Nicotine patches arrived in the early 90s, but both products became available over the counter in 1996.

In order to use nicotine replacement therapy to prevent nicotine addiction, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider regarding the best option. While it’s easy to buy some products in stores or online, not all of them work for everyone.

The right product depends on the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, the severity of addiction, and how much a person smokes. The healthcare provider will recommend the most suitable nicotine replacement product and how long a person must use it. Most products are intended for use over a specific period of time.

The benefits of nicotine replacement therapy include ease of use and cravings reduction, and they allow a person to focus on the emotional or psychological aspects of quitting nicotine addiction. Plus, they are generally affordable and most suitable for people who find withdrawal symptoms intolerable. Nicotine replacement products are discreet too.

Determine your triggers and devise a strategy to avoid them.

2. Determine your triggers and devise a strategy to avoid them.

Determining your triggers and devising a strategy to avoid them means taking a proactive and personalized approach aimed at identifying specific situations, emotions, or environmental factors that prompt you to smoke. 

Successful prevention of nicotine addiction depends on avoiding triggers that induce or worsen tobacco use. Certain triggers generate the urge to smoke and sabotage your efforts to stop. That’s why the best way to quit smoking is to identify them. 

The most common triggers that induce tobacco use include stressful situations, celebrating, socializing, working, boredom, sadness, depression, having a coffee or tea, and finishing a meal.

Certain people know what triggers smoking or other forms of nicotine addiction; others do not. A practical thing to do is to keep a log or journal. In this journal, it’s necessary to write every time you smoke and include information about the situation, emotions, and whereabouts. Keep the journal for a week or two, then read all inputs. Situations and scenarios will stand out. They are the triggers. There’s possibly one or more of them.

Once a person identifies their trigger (or more of them), it’s time to devise a strategy to avoid them or reduce exposure to those triggers. For example, if a stressful situation is a trigger, the solution is to find a healthier way to handle stress and the situations that cause it. Learning to process stress differently minimizes the need for cigarettes or other tobacco products. 

On the flip side, if boredom triggers smoking, the key is to stay busy and always find something interesting to do. Generally speaking, for every trigger, there is a solution on how to avoid it or reduce exposure to that situation. 

Even if a person tends to smoke after meals or when drinking coffee/tea, there is a way to overcome this trigger. The trick is to introduce something else instead of a cigarette, but make sure it’s healthy. For example, a healthy snack instead of a cigarette is a great way to make it happen.

The main advantage of this prevention strategy is that it focuses on the motivation for tobacco use. Triggers induce and worsen nicotine addiction. Taking care of the triggers makes it easier to quit smoking and prevent relapse.

3. Divert your attention.

To divert one’s attention signifies a deliberate and conscious effort to shift one’s focus away from thoughts or cravings related to nicotine use. This tactic is frequently used as a coping method when there is an increased need to smoke.

Cravings are a natural response to the absence of a specific substance, in this case, nicotine. When a person tries to overcome nicotine addiction, the body will respond by inducing strong cravings. 

That happens because they focus on the craving for smoking that they don’t even think about anything else. The more they focus, the more intense the craving is. For that reason, an important thing to do to prevent nicotine addiction is to direct attention to something else. 

Diverting attention to something else works because it tricks the brain. By thinking about something else, there is no focus on the craving for a cigarette. As a result, the intensity of cravings keeps reducing. 

Interrupting the thought pattern the moment the cravings appear allows a person to combat both physical and psychological cravings. Otherwise, the cravings for cigarettes are going to consume their thoughts and are bound to lead to relapse.

While this seems easier said than done, the truth is that diverting attention isn’t that difficult. There are things a person is able to do to shift focus from cravings to something else instantly. Useful examples include going for a short walk, guided imagery, taking deep breaths, drinking a glass of water, having a hobby, going to a smoke-free location, eating healthy snacks, and calling a friend. 

The best thing to do is to try these or other similar activities. Experiment with different options. See how they work for cravings and shift the focus off of them. Then, stick to the techniques that work best. 

For certain people, guided imagery (creating in mind a place that is calming) works best. For others, deep breathing and a short walk do the trick. There is no rule here. The main point is to choose healthy and practical strategies to divert focus. Never use another addictive substance to divert attention from nicotine. 

The main advantage of this strategy is that it restructures thought patterns and acts on the mind directly. It allows a person to start thinking about something else and thereby stop putting such a strong emphasis on the cravings they experience. Diverting attention is effective, free, and easy to implement.

Healthy snacks a better option to prevent nicotine

4. Give your mouth something to do to avoid a tobacco urge.

Giving your mouth something to do to avoid a tobacco urge underscores the idea of finding alternative activities that involve the mouth. This provides a substitute for the physical aspect of smoking or using other forms of tobacco. 

One of the best ways to quit smoking is to stay busy, which includes the mouth. Eating something is one way to divert attention and fight the urge to use tobacco. 

First, people realize their eating habits change when they stop smoking cigarettes. Increased hunger is a withdrawal symptom. Moreover, nicotine itself accelerates the metabolism. When people quit smoking, their metabolism slows down. This explains why people gain weight quickly when trying to recover from nicotine addiction.

Why is this important? It matters because giving your mouth something to do to avoid a tobacco urge still involves wise choices. Food helps reduce cravings without causing weight gain. It keeps you busy, directs attention away from cravings, and induces pleasure and satisfaction. This reduces the need for cigarettes or other tobacco products. 

Healthy snacks are a better option than junk food for people who want to prevent nicotine addiction. These foods are abundant in protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients the body needs to function properly. They help improve the health of people who used to smoke. 

Good options include fruits such as apple slices, strawberries, oranges, blueberries, pomegranates, grapes, and others. It’s useful to snack on vegetables like celery, carrot sticks, eggplant, cucumbers, and salads (without high-calorie salad dressing) as well. Nuts and seeds are another great option to keep the mouth busy. It’s useful to take milk and yogurt, tea, and sugar-free mints and gums. 

People who experience cravings need to have healthy snacks nearby. That’s why it’s a good idea to bring an apple, orange slices, carrot sticks, or celery to work or other places. As soon as cravings appear, take this snack. Nowadays, it’s easy to find healthy recipes online for truly delicious meals, desserts, and snacks that aren’t fattening.The biggest advantage of this strategy is its simplicity. A proper diet is necessary for good health and well-being. Healthy snacks are not only healthy, but they promote smoking cessation and help avoid weight gain (or maintain normal weight) too.

woman smoking cigarette

5. Don’t delude yourself into thinking you can end there.

Not deluding yourself into thinking you can end there serves as a cautionary reminder about the deceptive nature of addictive behaviors, particularly with nicotine use. This reminds individuals not to underestimate the challenges associated with quitting tobacco and to avoid convincing themselves that occasional use or a temporary cessation effort is sufficient.

Generally speaking, a person deludes themselves thinking one cigarette will satisfy their craving, and they have the ability to go on without smoking ever again. This doesn’t happen. 

Instead, cravings appear again, and then they decide just one more cigarette is going to resolve them. The same happens over and over again. While a person genuinely believes they’re doing the right thing, this action won’t yield desired results. For that reason, one needs to avoid doing this in order to successfully prevent nicotine addiction.

Having just one more cigarette believing it will end there, introduces an additional level of nicotine to the body. A person potentially feels good and calm as a result. However, as nicotine’s effects wear off and it starts leaving the body, cravings and other symptoms show up again. In other words, this practice only delays withdrawal symptoms in the short term. The same problem arises again and keeps happening until a person stops doing so.

Another helpful tip is to introduce healthy lifestyle measures that help decrease cravings. In addition to other methods from this post, therapy is helpful. A therapist helps a patient cope with triggers in a healthier manner. The most significant advantage of avoiding the “just one more cigarette” habit is that it prevents relapse. One more leads to another, and a person ends up returning to old smoking habits.

6. Engage in physical exercise to distract you from your smoke cravings.

Engaging in physical exercise to distract you from your smoke cravings means incorporating physical activity as a constructive method for managing and diverting attention away from the urge to smoke.

Physical exercise is an excellent method to prevent nicotine addiction or support recovery by minimizing cravings. The benefits of exercise on smoking cessation are scientifically proven. For example, a review by Santos et al., published in the February 2021 issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that aerobic exercise can promote smoking cessation. 

While the study was focused on short-term effects, it still demonstrates the importance of cardio training in the recovery or prevention of nicotine addiction. 

A 2017 study by Klinsophon et al., published in BMC Research Notes stated that acute exercise sessions have been shown to be beneficial in lowering cravings for cigarettes and symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal, two significant elements that contribute to smoking relapse. 

By decreasing its intensity, exercise prevents relapse and thereby helps individuals prevent or recover from addiction to nicotine. Different types of exercise work through different mechanisms, which have biological and psychological aspects.

During exercise, the body releases various feel-good neurotransmitters, including dopamine. Physical activity promotes neuroplasticity and increases oxygen supply to the brain, and it improves mental health. Since it produces satisfaction and pleasure, exercise helps reduce the need for nicotine, which people use to achieve the same thing. Plus, it takes care of mental health problems, which additionally contribute to nicotine addiction or aggravate it.

Using exercise as a strategy to prevent nicotine addiction is easy. Strive to exercise at least three days a week, making sure to have rest days too. Both cardio and strength training is important, but there is no need to do them on the same day. 

For instance, one day for cardio and the next workout for strength training will likely work for beginners. Options are endless. Things to include in an exercise session are jogging, speed walking, swimming, playing sports, HIIT, weightlifting, or squats.

The benefits of physical activity for prevention (and management) of nicotine addiction are energy boost, lower cravings, a distraction from smoking, confidence boost, weight management, better mood, and it doesn’t cost much. It’s up to every person to choose whether they want to join a gym, exercise at home, work out with a friend, or do something else. Exercising with a friend or someone else who’s trying to prevent nicotine addiction as well is particularly useful because two people are more likely to motivate one another.


7. Attempt relaxation techniques.

Attempting relaxation techniques means utilizing various methods to manage stress and promote a sense of calm as a means of discouraging or mitigating the desire for nicotine. This piece of advice highlights the correlation between stress and tobacco usage since numerous people smoke to dull the effects of stressful situations. 

It is not always possible to avoid stress, which is why individuals don’t usually know how or when to quit smoking. 

Finding a different way to relax and calm down helps prevent nicotine addiction or its relapse. That’s where relaxation techniques step in. They work because they calm the mind and ease stress, thereby eliminating the need to smoke in order to feel better. Relaxation techniques minimize cravings and help a person become more in control of what they feel or do. This results in the effective prevention of nicotine addiction.

Meditation is one of the relaxation techniques that help prevent nicotine addiction. Results from a 2015 study by Tang et al., published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences revealed that brief mindfulness meditation enhances self-control capacity and reduces smoking even in the absence of a deliberate intention to do so.

Besides meditation, yoga is another useful relaxing technique to stop smoking and prevent addiction. A 2019 study by Bocket al., from the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research indicated that yoga seemed to improve the chances of successfully quitting smoking, especially for light smokers. Like meditation, yoga improves focus and self-control through stress relief.

Other relaxation techniques that help prevent nicotine addiction include visualization, muscle relaxation, listening to relaxing music, massage, and acupuncture.

Since there are plenty of relaxation techniques that support the prevention of nicotine addiction, it’s useful to explore most of them and give them a chance. Find the relaxing technique that works best to produce calmness and manage stress. The greatest advantage of relaxation techniques is that they tackle stress, anxiety, and other mood-related problems that trigger smoking. Their stress-relieving benefits are accompanied by improved self-control and motivation to stop. Plus, there are plenty of things to do so a person finds what works for them the most.

8. Request reinforcements.

Requesting reinforcements in the form of support from family, friends, or colleagues gives a major boost to the prevention of nicotine addiction or its relapse. Quitting smoking doesn’t have to be something a person does on their own.

Scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of support for smoking cessation. For instance, in 2018, the Journal of Smoking Cessation published a study by Soulakova et al., that found that social support was found to be positively connected with smokers’ intentions to stop. 

Support from other people help smokers understand the necessity of quitting smoking and encourage them to accept full accountability for their behaviors and actions. Social support likewise offers more beneficial alternatives to harmful behaviors and assists nicotine addicts throughout setbacks and relapses. 

The above mentioned study additionally found that women were more likely to seek support than men, even though it works for everyone regardless of their age or gender. 

Social support significantly helps a person in their efforts to prevent nicotine addiction. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when it’s needed. It’s all about having an open and honest conversation about the subject and asking support on your way to successful recovery and its maintenance. Friends and family are, in most cases, more than happy to help someone recover from nicotine addiction. 

Support isn’t just about asking others to encourage and motivate someone. It’s about asking others not to smoke around you as well. Benefits of requesting reinforcements revolve around higher motivation, improved confidence, better understanding of the danger of nicotine addiction and the importance of recovery. Thanks to proper support, patients get to focus on their recovery and ensure they make wise choices along the way.

requesting reinforcements

9. Participate in an online smoking cessation program.

Participating in an online smoking cessation program entails registering for a web-based program created especially to assist people in their efforts to stop smoking. To help people kick the habit for good, these online programs usually take a methodical and all-encompassing approach, arming them with data, tools, and resources. 

One of the most practical methods to prevent nicotine addiction is participating in online smoking cessation programs. Nowadays, there are various programs, apps, and websites that help persons with nicotine addiction live their life without tobacco.

Online smoking cessation programs allow persons with nicotine addiction to share their experiences, discuss their addiction and recovery process, and receive or provide support. It’s a safe environment where people are able to talk about nicotine addiction without being judged.

In fact, a study by Kant et al., published in the November 2021 issue of Cureus concluded that internet and web-based interventions are significantly more effective than face-to-face interaction or no intervention in assisting individuals to cease smoking at one month, three months, six months, and one year of follow-up.

It is useful to try different platforms and sources to find the one that works best. Plus, it’s smart to subscribe to blogs published by people who have recovered from nicotine addiction, or those trying to. Online support groups are useful for this purpose. They provide the same benefits as “regular” support groups, just in an online setting. Never dismiss anyone’s story. Everything on the platforms or programs must be taken as an opportunity to learn.

Participating in an online smoking cessation program has several advantages such as increased convenience, support when it’s needed the most, and versatility of programs and platforms.

10. Remind yourself of the advantages.

Reminding yourself of the advantages of letting go of your old smoking habits means reinforcing the positive aspects and benefits of maintaining a tobacco-free lifestyle. This approach involves actively recalling and focusing on the advantages and improvements that come with abstaining from nicotine use. 

The advantages of preventing nicotine addiction are numerous, which is something worth reminding yourself of when trying to quit. The more a person reminds oneself of the advantages of smoking cessation, the more motivated they become.

The advantages of preventing tobacco addiction include lower cancer risk, more youthful skin, reduced risk of various health problems, no bad breath, no yellowish nails, saving money, spending more time with friends and family, fitting in easily, and getting along with colleagues at work. Write down a list of all the benefits of smoking cessation. Add reasons you decided to quit, too. Keep the list near at all times. Write it on a piece of paper and carry it in a pocket, purse, briefcase, or somewhere else. Another way is to keep a note of it on your phone. Take a look at the list of benefits of smoking cessation whenever cravings arise.

what is nicotine addiction

What is Nicotine addiction?

Nicotine addiction is an addiction to tobacco products caused by nicotine, a highly addictive substance. Addiction to nicotine is physical, mental, and behavioral. That means a person becomes physically dependent on nicotine and craves the chemical, but they consciously desire the effects of this substance at the same time. Plus, people become addicted to the actions associated with using tobacco products.

The most common form of nicotine addiction is smoking cigarettes. Like alcohol use, smoking is relatively approved by society and even encouraged. According to a 2022 research report titled, “What is the scope of tobacco, nicotine, and e-cigarette use in the United States?” from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2021, 22.0% of adults over the age of 12 reported using tobacco products or vaping nicotine within the previous 30 days, which equates to roughly 61.6 million individuals. 

In the same age range, 4.7%, or roughly 13.2 million people, reported vaping nicotine in the previous 30 days, whereas 15.6%, or roughly 43.6 million people, reported smoking cigarettes.

The same report showed that 8.5% or 23.6 million people from the same age group had nicotine dependence within the last month.

According to an article titled, “Tobacco Use Among Children and Teens” last updated in May 2023 by the American Lung Association, nearly 2,500 children under the age of 18 attempt their first cigarette every day, and over 400 of them will develop into regular, day-to-day smokers. Their habit will ultimately claim the lives of half of them.

Nicotine reaches the brain within seconds and promotes the release of neurotransmitters that control mood and behavior. One of these neurotransmitters is dopamine. The more a person smokes, the more nicotine they need to experience the same effects. 

For most people, nicotine quickly becomes a part of their daily routines. This, in addition to increased dopamine, leads to dependence and addiction.Nicotine addiction affects people of all ages, but certain individuals are at a higher risk than others. These include those with early exposure to nicotine, have a genetic predisposition to the condition, people with a family history of nicotine abuse or substance use, and those experiencing peer pressure, depression, and other mental illnesses.

What are the symptoms of nicotine dependence?

Not being able to quit smoking

Symptoms of nicotine dependence include unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking, withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop, continuing smoking despite health problems, and avoiding social activities. People with nicotine addiction tend to invest a lot of time into smoking (or tobacco use) and even create rituals to enhance their experience. 

For example, the biggest joy for many of them is having a nice cup of coffee with a cigarette, or they have something else in mind to make their smoking more satisfying. Their tobacco use, mainly smoking, is a subject of many arguments and disagreements. A person with nicotine addiction will avoid hanging out with friends or family members who question their tobacco use or refuse to be exposed to secondhand smoke. While nicotine addiction symptoms are numerous, they are generally grouped into four categories listed below.

1. You cannot quit smoking

Not being able to quit smoking is a symptom that emphasizes how hard it is for people to kick their smoking habit despite their best attempts to do so.

Nicotine addiction is a serious disorder, which is why a person is not able to quit smoking that easily. Other people even try and fail. They try again and fail one more time. The cycle continues. That explains why numerous people firmly believe it’s impossible to quit smoking. Unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking happen due to the body’s dependence on nicotine. In other words, the body (mainly the brain) needs nicotine to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and the reward system. Yet another reason a person isn’t able to quit smoking that easily is due to withdrawal symptoms.

2. You experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop.

The hallmark symptom of nicotine addiction is a withdrawal syndrome that happens when a person tries to stop. Withdrawal syndrome refers to symptoms i.e., physical and psychological effects of abrupt smoking cessation. 

Since a person is both physically and psychologically addicted to nicotine, quitting smoking leads to withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms happen because the body and brain got used to nicotine, and they don’t have it anymore. 

Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal last anywhere from several days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the addiction. The first week, especially days three to five, are the worst in terms of intensity of withdrawal symptoms. At that point, nicotine is cleared out of the body, and a person starts experiencing strong cravings, headaches, and insomnia. 

Everyone’s different, which is why withdrawal symptoms vary from one person to another. In most people, these symptoms include increased appetite, strong cravings, dizziness, headache, cough, constipation, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, frustration, depression, and mental fog.

People relapse because they’re not able to overcome withdrawal. Most relapses occur during the first two weeks.

Like symptoms, the exact timeline of withdrawal is different for each person. Generally speaking, the effects of nicotine wear off 30 minutes to four hours after the last cigarette, and a person starts craving for another. 

About 10 hours after the last cigarette, a person becomes restless, sad, and hopeless. Irritability and increased appetite kick in 24 hours after the last cigarette. Two days after the last exposure to nicotine, headaches appear. Three days later, cravings are reduced, but anxiety increases. A week after the last cigarette, the intensity of symptoms reduces, but a person is still likely to experience anxiety and other psychological symptoms. Beyond that point, nicotine isn’t in the body anymore, which is why treatment or recovery from nicotine addiction becomes a challenge to keep a strong “mental game.”

man smoking with health problems

3. You continue to smoke despite your health problems.

Continuing to smoke despite health problems reflects a persistent and compulsive pattern where individuals continue to engage in tobacco use despite being aware of the detrimental effects on their health.

The compulsive need or desire to smoke is so strong in nicotine addiction that a person keeps smoking even when it harms their health. Smoking is dangerous because it increases the risk, worsen, or contribute to various health problems. 

Nicotine addiction, mainly smoking, is the leading cause of lung cancer and other diseases of the lungs, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Additionally, smoking worsens asthma and other respiratory issues.

People with nicotine addiction are at a higher risk of cancer of the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix, and certain types of leukemia. 

Besides cancer and lung disease, being addicted to nicotine contributes to cardiovascular diseases and events such as strokes and heart attacks. It additionally worsens heart or blood vessel disease in persons who already have it.

Other health problems that are likely to occur due to nicotine addiction (or worsen because of it) include diabetes, eye problems, tooth and gum disease, pregnancy complications, impotence, infertility, cold, and flu.

Addiction is persistent, which is why people who develop health problems and continue to smoke are often perceived as stubborn by their loved ones.

4. You discontinue social activities.

Discontinuing social activities shows how addiction affects a person’s social life and involvement. This symptom manifests when someone starts withdrawing from social interactions or activities they once enjoyed due to the constraints imposed by their nicotine dependence.

People with nicotine addiction often stop socializing with people or at places that frown upon smoking or tobacco use. In an attempt to decrease the prevalence of smoking and the health problems it causes to smokers, and those exposed to them, several restaurants, bars, and other places are smoke-free. 

A person addicted to nicotine is  going to avoid those places. They will additionally avoid friends, colleagues, or family members who aren’t comfortable being around someone who smokes. 

Avoidance of places and people that don’t encourage smoking leads to social withdrawal and isolation. For example, a person with nicotine addiction is going to stop visiting their relatives if they introduce the no smoking rule in their house. 

To others, it seems this person prefers cigarettes over them. The reality is that their addiction is so strong that they have to smoke when cravings appear.

replacements for nicotine

Where can Nicotine substances be found?

Nicotine replacements are products that deliver nicotine but without other dangerous chemicals present in tobacco. The use of these products is called nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), an alternative to smoking. Sometimes doctors recommend NRT to patients with nicotine addiction in order to alleviate physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings. 

The most common products for nicotine replacement are patches, gums, inhalers, lozenges, and nasal sprays. Inhalers and nasal sprays require a doctor’s prescription, but other products are available in the over-the-counter form in drugstores and online.

Nicotine patches attach to a person’s skin and deliver a small and constant amount of nicotine through the skin into the bloodstream. It helps decrease nicotine addiction by gradually decreasing the amount of nicotine delivered to the body. 

Nicotine patches come in three strengths, such as 7mg, 14mg, and 21mg. The effectiveness of this type of NRT depends on choosing the right dosage. The right dosage depends on the severity of nicotine addiction. 

In an article titled, “How to Use Nicotine Patches” last reviewed in November 2022 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a 21mg nicotine patch for persons who smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day. It’s necessary to wear the patch for 24 hours, even when bathing or showering.

Nicotine gum is a smoking cessation aid that contains a small amount of nicotine and helps people quit smoking. People who smoke their first cigarette more than 30 minutes after waking up must use a 2mg gum, whereas persons who smoke within half an hour after waking up must opt for a 4mg gum. 

It is recommended to chew the gum regularly every one to two hours for six weeks. Then, it’s necessary to chew nicotine gum every two to four hours for three weeks and one piece of gum every four to eight hours for three weeks. 

People who use nicotine gums need to chew them slowly until they feel the taste of nicotine or tingling in the mouth. Once taste or tingling appears, it’s necessary to stop chewing and place the gum between the cheek and gum, wait for a minute for the tingling to go away, and start chewing again. 

Then, it’s needed to repeat the procedure for 30 minutes. Ideally, one needs to avoid eating or drinking anything 15 minutes before and while chewing nicotine gum. On the other hand, nicotine lozenges slowly dissolve in a person’s mouth and release nicotine. It takes 20 to 30 minutes for lozenges to dissolve.

Lozenges come in two strengths; 2mg for people who smoke the first cigarette more than 30 minutes after waking up and 4mg for those who start smoking within 30 minutes after waking up. 

It’s recommended to take one lozenge every one to two hours during the first six weeks. From the 7th to the 9th week, it’s necessary to take one lozenge every two to four hours. Taking one lozenge every four to eight hours is recommended on the 10th through 12th week. It is important to stop taking lozenges after 12 weeks.

The nasal spray comes as a liquid a person needs to spray into their nose. Nicotine from the spray is absorbed through the blood vessels in the nasal passage. Since it is habit-forming, nicotine nasal spray is a short-term solution only. 

Nicotine inhalers are small plastic tubes shaped like chunky cigarettes. It’s necessary to puff frequently during the day with shallow puffs. These inhalers aren’t like asthma inhalers because nicotine doesn’t reach the lungs. Instead, it is absorbed in the back of the throat. A person with nicotine addiction needs to use a nicotine inhaler for four 5-minute sessions or one 20-minute session.

A nicotine replacement is usually recommended for people with severe dependence. These include men and women who smoke more than one pack of cigarettes a day and those who smoke even when ill, wake up at night to smoke, start smoking within five minutes after waking up, and smoke to relieve withdrawal symptoms.

These products work by giving a person a small, controlled amount of nicotine that satisfies their cravings and decreases the urge to smoke. However, these products aren’t without adverse reactions. Common side effects include irritation of the skin and nose, headache, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, and upset stomach.

e-cigarettes without nicotine
Are there E-cigarettes without Nicotine?

Yes, there are e-cigarettes without nicotine. They are almost the same as regular “vapes”. The only difference is that these e-cigarettes contain non-nicotine vape juice. However, that doesn’t mean these vapes are harmless. Even without nicotine, e-cigarettes still cause problems such as irritation, inflammation, and toxicity.

Irritation happens because vape juice irritates the airways and mouth. Nicotine-free e-cigarettes additionally trigger an immune response that is most prominent in the throat and lungs. Heavy e-cigarette use thereby causes inflammation throughout the body. 

Additionally, vaping liquid in these devices is toxic to cells and harms blood vessels. Problems with blood vessels jeopardize heart health and pave the way to vascular conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.Even though numerous people regard e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to “regular” cigarettes, that is not entirely true. Whether a person uses nicotine or non-nicotine vapes, they still face various risks that put their health in danger.