Nicotine Replacement Therapy or NRT involves the use of Nicotine Replacement Products to help reduce cravings for cigarettes when trying to stop smoking. The use of nicotine replacement products is popular for several reasons.
Whilst in the initial stages of stopping smoking the withdrawals from cigarettes is at it’s most intense. The body and mind is withdrawing from nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarettes but also from the psychological addiction of smoking.
Common withdrawal symptoms from nicotine can include:
- Behavioural changes and mood changes such as depression, irritability, lack of concentration and anxiousness.
- Trouble sleeping or insomnia
- Headaches and other flu like symptoms such as cold sweats and the shakes
- Increased appetite
The use of nicotine replacement products helps to reduce and control these symptoms whilst cutting out the other harmful chemicals inhaled whilst smoking and whilst also cutting out the habit or behavioural addiction to smoking.
Nicotine replacement products are meant to be used consistently from the very start of quitting smoking and then gradually reduced. NRT products are meant to be used for a finite period of time and are a temporary measure only.
NRT products are not suitable for all smokers to use -people with heart disease orwho may be pregnant are advised to not use these products. If you are in doubt about whether you should use these products it is recommended that you consult a physician prior to using them.
All nicotine replacement products are reported to have some side effects which vary from product to product and person to person. Side effects include:
- throat and mouth irritation
- sleeplessness or disturbed sleep
- sore teeth and gums
- indigestion and nausea
- racing heart
For more information on specific nicotine replacement products their uses and side effects please see our additional pages in our ways to stop smoking section. Consult your medical professional for advice if you are unsure about using any nicotine replacement products.