What Are the Different Types of Nicotine Replacement Products?
If you’re a smoker, here’s a sobering thought for you. Nearly three quarters of those who smoke want to quit. Of those, about half try to quit in a given year – and of those, only about 6 percent actually quit successfully. Those aren’t very good odds. If you want to give yourself the best possible chance of quitting smoking, you’re going to need help. That’s where nicotine replacement products come in. Cigarette smoke is extremely complex. It’s full of chemicals that interact with the body in unpredictable ways. The most addictive chemical by far, though, is the nicotine. When you start to find that your cigarette cravings are becoming impossible to deal with, using a nicotine replacement product can help you through those tough spots and give you the best possible chance of quitting successfully.
These are some of the pros and cons of the different types of nicotine replacement products.
E-Cigarettes and Vaping
Currently, vaping is easily one of the most popular options for nicotine replacement because it’s satisfying in ways that other nicotine replacement products aren’t. Vaping is the only form of nicotine replacement that’s available in hundreds of different flavors, and it’s also the only form of nicotine replacement that mimics the throat hit of smoking. Vape shops like V2 Cigs UK make it easy to select a vape kit that’s appropriate for your needs.
When you vape, you use an electronic device that heats a flavored, nicotine-infused solution called e-liquid until it turns to vapor. You draw on the mouthpiece of the device as if you were puffing on a cigarette, inhaling the vapor in the process. When you vape, you taste the flavor of the e-liquid, and you absorb the nicotine through your lungs.
Vaping is easily the best form of nicotine replacement in terms of enjoyment and satisfaction. The fact that you can choose from so many different flavors – ranging from tobacco-like flavors to sweet treats – is a large part of what makes vaping so enjoyable. In addition, no other form of nicotine replacement gives you the extremely fine control over your nicotine intake that vaping does.
The only real downside of vaping is that the long-term health effects of vaping aren’t as well-known as those of other nicotine replacement products. The fact that you’re inhaling things like vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol and flavors means that vaping introduces potential health factors that aren’t present in other nicotine replacement products. Nevertheless, some health professionals estimate that vaping can reduce the risk of smoking by 95 percent or more.
Oral Nicotine Products
Oral nicotine products are perhaps the best known of all smoking cessation products. Nicotine gum has been around for decades, for instance – and although oral nicotine products don’t have the greatest track record for success, it’s proven that you have a better chance to quit successfully with an oral nicotine product than you do by quitting cold turkey.
These are the three most common types of oral nicotine replacement products.
- Nicotine Gums: Although nicotine gum is available in only a few flavors – mint, citrus and cinnamon are most common – some people prefer the taste of nicotine gum compared to nicotine lozenges because it has a sugar-free candy coating on the outside. To use nicotine gum, you chew it until you start to feel a tingle, which indicates that the nicotine has been released. Then, you park the gum between your gum and cheek until the tingle fades. You can continue chewing and parking the gum until you no longer feel a tingle.
- Nicotine Lozenges: If you don’t like the feeling of parking nicotine gum in your cheek, you may prefer the experience of using a nicotine lozenge, which you simply allow to dissolve slowly in your mouth. Compared to nicotine gum, nicotine lozenges also have two additional benefits. First, you don’t have a used piece of gum to throw away when you’re done using the lozenge – and second, companies are now making “mini lozenges” that dissolve more quickly, increasing the rate of nicotine absorption. Nicotine lozenges, however, lack the sweet candy coating of nicotine gum.
- Nicotine Pouches: A nicotine pouch is filled with powdered nicotine salt, flavors and filler material such as plant-based cellulose. To use one, you simply place it between your gum and cheek, moving the pouch around your mouth periodically to avoid gum irritation. Unlike other oral nicotine replacement products, nicotine pouches are typically available in many different flavors. That’s because nicotine pouches often use synthetic or tobacco-free nicotine and are therefore not currently covered under the tobacco regulations in many nations. In areas where nicotine pouches aren’t yet regulated, manufacturers are free to use flavor as a selling point and do not specifically market nicotine pouches as smoking cessation products. Because nicotine pouches contain the salt form of nicotine, some people find that they are less likely than other oral nicotine products to cause throat irritation and hiccups.
Although the old-style oral nicotine products like gums and patches lack some of the benefits of nicotine pouches, they also have a few compelling benefits. Studies have conclusively proven that they can help you quit smoking. Although the success rate of nicotine gums and lozenges isn’t great, it’s better than quitting cold turkey. Oral nicotine products have also been studied conclusively and found to be fairly safe. Lastly, nicotine gums and lozenges are very easy to find; they’re available over the counter at a wide variety of retailers.
Oral nicotine products also have two drawbacks. The first drawback is that the oral absorption of nicotine is slow compared to inhaling. The second drawback is that, aside from nicotine pouches, the flavor selection of oral nicotine products is very limited.
A nicotine patch is a nicotine-infused transdermal patch that makes it possible for you to absorb a steady supply of nicotine through your skin. The nicotine is released into the body slowly, allowing you to use just one patch per day. A typical nicotine patch regimen requires you to remove the old patch and replace it with a new patch at the same time every day, using progressively lower-strength patches as you go.
The biggest benefit of nicotine patches is that you don’t have to use them constantly throughout the day; you simply place a patch on your skin and forget about it for the next 24 hours. You don’t have to remove the patch when showering, and you don’t have to remove it when sleeping unless you find that the nicotine affects your sleep quality. An additional benefit is that no one has to know you’re wearing a nicotine patch. Unlike other forms of nicotine replacement, it’s easy to keep nicotine patches completely private.