Some Common Myths About Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

Myth #1: Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) Won’t Help Me Quit Smoking

Relapses are not the end of the world, despite the fact that they can be discouraging! Remember that you can succeed in your goal of quitting if you are persistent. Think of quitting as a marathon, not a sprint; each attempt will bring you closer to your ultimate objective of remaining smoke-free. If you have patience and devotion, you will win this marathon.

Myth #2: Isn’t quitting really about willpower?

Truth: Quitting smoking requires a lot of willpower and determination. Willpower, however, can be undermined by a physical addiction to nicotine since it alters the chemistry of your brain, increasing your need for it. This complicated physical addiction can cause you to give cigarettes an unhealthy priority by distorting your drive. It’s not a sign of weakness to use nicotine replacement medication for a brief period of time to restore brain chemistry, which can improve your chances of quitting. Many individuals believe that quitting cold turkey is preferable to using NRT, but it’s vital to remember that there is no one optimal method for stopping smoking that works for everyone. 

Myth #3: The nicotine in NRT is the same as the nicotine in cigarettes, so if I use NRT I will just be replacing one addiction with another

Truth: Quitting smoking requires a lot of willpower and determination. Willpower, however, can be undermined by a physical addiction to nicotine since it alters the chemistry of your brain, increasing your need for it. This complicated physical addiction can cause you to give cigarettes an unhealthy priority by distorting your drive. It’s not a sign of weakness to use nicotine replacement medication for a brief period of time to restore brain chemistry, which can improve your chances of quitting. Many individuals believe that quitting cold turkey is preferable to using NRT, but it’s vital to remember that there is no one optimal method for stopping smoking that works for everyone. 

Myth #4: If I use NRT, I won’t have any cravings or withdrawal symptoms

The truth is that NRT lessens the withdrawal symptoms that come with quitting, though it might not totally cure them. Cravings, rage, frustration, irritability, hunger, anxiety, trouble concentrating, restlessness, and insomnia are the symptoms that NRT most effectively treats. The best strategy is to combine NRT with behavioural counselling, which can help you deal with the emotional and psychological aspects of quitting.

Myth #5: I’ve heard that nicotine gum tastes quite bad, so I may not be able to stick to NRT

Truth: If you use nicotine gum wrongly and treat it like ordinary gum, the taste might be difficult to tolerate. To begin with, chewing nicotine gum is different from chewing ordinary gum. Instead, you employ a technique called “chew and park” with nicotine gum: First, chew Nicotex gum carefully until you can taste the nicotine or get a tingling, peppery feeling in your tongue. Then after, put the gum between your cheek and gum and cease chewing. When the feeling starts to lessen after approximately a minute, resume chewing and keep doing this until the sensation stops completely. Numerous people who have successfully quit smoking using NRT. 

Myth #6: NRT is too expensive

Truth: Over time, using NRT costs less than buying smokes (Savings Calculator). While a single cigarette typically costs between Rs. 10-15, a Nicotex gum costs about Rs. 8.6. Furthermore, whereas NRT is normally taken for a brief period of time, cigarettes are typically consumed over a number of years. While smoking is a lifelong addiction, Nicotex therapy is only supposed to be used for three months.

Myth #7: NRT cannot be used by everyone

Truth: With a doctor’s approval, the majority of people can use NRT. People with diabetes or high blood pressure can typically take NRT. Consult your doctor if you have any of these conditions, are pregnant, or are planning a baby to find out if NRT is the best option for your stop plan.

Myth #8: I cannot use other NRT products if I use one.

It’s true that NRT products can be used solo or in combo. You could combine short-acting NRT like gum with long-acting NRT like the nicotine patch, for instance. Some people find that combining both long-acting and short-acting NRT is an effective way to manage withdrawal symptoms and fight impulsive cravings. The best course of action for you should be discussed with your doctor.

Myth #9: NRT causes cancer

Truth: According to studies, NRT is a risk-free substitute for cigarettes for smokers who want to stop, and it does not increase the risk of cancer or heart attacks, even in those with existing heart conditions or prior heart attacks. Cigarette nicotine is not a harmful substance. Cigarette smoke contains 7,000 other dangerous compounds, and these chemicals—not nicotine—are what cause heart attacks, cancer, and lung disease. In fact, the dangers connected with NRT are greatly outweighed by the risks associated with cigarette smoking.

Myth #10: Long term use of NRT is not safe

The truth is that NRT safety profiles have been developed during 30 years of clinical use around the globe. According to studies, long-term NRT use poses no known health risks and does not lead to reliance on NRT products. NRT products should be used for 8–12 weeks, according to the majority of their labels. Some smokers can quit for good in this amount of time, while others don’t even need to use NRT for that long. Others might require NRT for several months or even years in order to quit smoking. It’s critical to keep in mind that using NRT, even for very long periods of time, is considerably healthier for you than smoking for the same period of time.