Nicotine Fading is a technique some smokers have used to help them quit smoking. The smoker swaps their usual brand of cigarettes for those with a lower amount of nicotine over a period of three weeks. Nicotine fading is one form of nicotine weaning similar in theory to using nicotine patches and other nicotine replacement products.
It is usual for the smoker to change strength of cigarettes once a week for 3 weeks before finally quitting. The first week cigarettes with 30% less nicotine than usual are smoked, then 60 % less nicotine than usual then 90 % less.
The theory is that withdrawal will be easier if nicotine levels are reduced slowly and progressively over a period of time thus preparing the smoker for quitting altogether.
There have, however, been some recorded problems with this method of stopping smoking. It has been found that some smokers will make up for the reduced nicotine level in each cigarette by either taking more or deeper puffs from each cigarette or simply by smoking more cigarettes.
If the smoker is made aware of the dangers of the negative compensatory changes that can occur using this method they can often control them. This will often give the smoker extra confidence and a feeling of control which will help when they finally quit smoking cigarettes after the period of weaning is over.