Dr. Ahmad Latif is a physician, web editor and author with a special interest in workplace health promotion.

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Many people use quit smoking medications to help reduce withdrawal feelings and cigarette cravings. These medications can double your chances of quitting for good.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is the most commonly used family of quit smoking medications. NRT reduces withdrawal feelings by giving you a small controlled amount of nicotine─but none of the other dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes. This small amount of nicotine helps satisfy your craving for nicotine and reduces the urge to smoke. 

Doctors and other medical experts think NRT is the one of the most helpful tools smokers can use to quit. Some smokers have mild to moderate side effects. However, research shows that NRT is safe and effective. NRT can be an important part of almost every smoker’s quit smoking strategy.

NRT comes in a variety of forms that are used in different ways. You can choose which forms you like best. Some NRT products work better than others for some people. Some people might prefer certain NRT products instead of others.

Types of NRT

NRT Types

How to Get Them

How to Use Them


Over the Counter

Place on the skin
Gives a small and steady amount of nicotine


Over the Counter

Chew to release nicotine
Chew until you get a tingling feeling, then place between cheek and gums


Over the Counter

Place in the mouth like hard candy
Releases nicotine as it slowly dissolves in the mouth



Cartridge attached to a mouthpiece
Inhaling through the mouthpiece gives a specific amount of nicotine

Nasal Spray


Pump bottle containing nicotine
Put into nose and spray

Combining NRT with Other Strategies



NRT can’t do all the work. It can help with withdrawal and cravings. But it won’t completely take away the urge to smoke. Even if you use NRT to help you stop smoking, quitting can still be hard. Combining NRT with other strategies can improve your chances of quitting and staying quit. To give yourself the best chance for success, explore other quit methods you can combine with medication. Also think about:

  • Developing a quit plan.
  • Get advice from health professionals to help you be smokefree.

 From: CDC.gov


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