NRT – Nicotine Replacement Therapy

One of the biggest fears of giving up is dealing with the cravings caused by nicotine withdrawal.

What is NRT?

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) provides ‘clean’ therapeutic nicotine, without the harmful tar and carbon monoxide contained in cigarettes.  NRT is different from stop smoking medication such as Champix (Varenicline) which can only be prescribed by a GP. Medications can have side effects and you will need a full assessment before it can be prescribed.

How does it work?

NRT puts you in control of your attempt to stop smoking. It makes withdrawal symptoms easier to cope with, helps deal with urges to smoke and roughly doubles your chance of quitting successfully.

How long will I need it?

A full course of treatment usually lasts for 8-12 weeks, but because NRT is safer than smoking, it can be used for longer periods if it helps you to not smoke.

Because it works so well in controlling withdrawal symptoms, a common mistake is to stop using it too early – so, always complete the full course.

Isn’t it as addictive?

Nicotine is highly addictive, but NRT delivers smaller, cleaner doses making it easier for you to control nicotine withdrawal and eventually reduce your dependence.

Is NRT safe?

NRT products have been shown in trials to be safe to use for at least five years.  You should always check with your doctor first particularly if you have a heart or circulatory condition, or are on regular medication.

Similarly, if you are pregnant you should ask your doctor or midwife before using NRT.

What is Combination NRT?

Combination NRT means using a nicotine patch with one of the faster acting nicotine products. This has been found to be more effective than single dose NRT.

What types of NRT can I use?

There are different types and different brands – Bracknell Forest Stop Smoking Support does not endorse any in particular. Which NRT you choose is completely up to you as long as it helps you take control of your journey to becoming an ex-smoker.

What does it cost?

The costs depend on the type of NRT but costs are generally less than cigarettes.  If you are aged 17 or under you may be eligible for a prescription from your GP.