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4 Must-Try OTC Products That Will Help You Quit Smoking

A woman breaking a cigarette in half

Smoking is a colossal health hazard — not just for you, but for the lives of the people around you too.

If you've recently decided to quit smoking for these reasons, using smoking cessation products along with counselling can help curb cravings for nicotine and manage the onset of withdrawal symptoms. 

In this article, we'll give you a list of over-the-counter products that can help you break the habit once and for all, how to use them, plus their pros and cons. Let's get started!

Over-the-Counter Smoking Cessation Products 

The majority of over-the-counter smoking cessation products are part of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). You start using them in high doses, which gradually lowers, with the ultimate goal of giving up smoking by the end of the process. 

Although they contain nicotine, they do not come with the toxic chemicals present in tobacco products, such as tar, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, lead, or arsenic, which have all been identified to cause detrimental health ramifications. Moreover, since they're considered OTC, these products to help you quit smoking are readily sold in retail shops and pharmacies without needing a physician's prescription. 

Here are some of our top product recommendations that may help you quit smoking now!

A woman putting a nicotine patch on her arm to help her quit smoking.

1. Nicotine Patch 

A nicotine patch is an FDA-approved product that has helped many people quit smoking. It’s a transdermal, self-adhesive patch that contains a minute amount of nicotine released gradually and steadily into the body through the skin. 

Transdermal nicotine patches can be placed on any hairless part of the body, such as the neck, inside part of the arm, or chest, for optimal absorption and to prevent painful removal of the sticker. They are very inconspicuous; some even come in clear, transparent material. These patches are usually worn and replaced only after 24 hours. It is crucial that you do not try to wear two nicotine patches at the same time without your doctor’s advice.

Pros: 

  • Accessible in different doses without a doctor’s prescription 
  • Easy-to-use and won’t interfere with your everyday activities
  • Can be hidden under clothing if you do not want to draw attention to the patch 
  • Effects last for 24 hours 
  • Can be used in conjunction with other smoking cessation products

Cons:

  • The transition to using nicotine patches can be challenging for heavy smokers because they only release low doses of nicotine
  • Individuals with sensitive skin may experience irritation in the form of itching, rashes, and redness in the area where the nicotine patch was applied. If this is a concern, don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist for further information.

2. Nicotine Gum 

Like the nicotine patch, its gum counterpart can help you quit smoking by giving you minute doses of nicotine without the other toxic ingredients that cause adverse health effects. Once you swallow the gum, the nicotine is absorbed orally. Nicotine gums are available in 2mg and 4mg doses.

When using this product to quit smoking, don't forget to bite a piece before chewing to release the nicotine from the gum. Wait until you taste a spicy, peppery flavour and feel a stinging sensation. Then, hold the gum between your gum line and cheek until the effect wears off. Repeat this process for 30 minutes to ensure optimal absorption. A person is typically allowed to consume up to 24 pieces of nicotine gum every day, replacing the piece every one or two hours. 

Pros: 

  • You can buy them at pharmacies and retail stores without a prescription.
  • Nicotine gum keeps the mouth busy, which many people find helpful in taking their minds off cigarettes
  • Because of their faster oral transmission compared to transdermal patches, they can control more intense nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • It's safe to use them in combination with other smoking cessation tools

Cons:

  • Because you need to be chewing non-stop throughout the day, some people suffer from  jaw soreness, mouth irritation, and heartburn
  • They can stick to dentures, braces, and other dental appliances

Hands getting one nicotine gum from a blister pack

3. Nicotine Lozenge 

Lozenges are another promising nicotine replacement product that you can try if you want to quit smoking. Like gum, the nicotine from these tablets enters the bloodstream orally through the lining of your mouth.

Pros:

  • No prescription is required
  • Effective for managing intense nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Can deliver nicotine quicker if you purchase the mini-lozenges
  • Safe to use with other smoking cessation products
  • Unlike nicotine gum, the lozenges won't damage or stick to dental appliances
  • Recommended for individuals who want the oral nicotine replacement route but get tired from chewing gum

Cons:

  • To effectively curb nicotine addiction, they should be used several times a day (as many as 20 lozenges)
  • May affect your appetite and desire to eat
  • Could cause mouth irritation, hiccups, and nausea in some people

4. Nicotine Mouth Spray 

Nicotine mouth spray releases small amounts of nicotine into the bloodstream; either through the lining of the mouth when sprayed on the inside of the cheeks or sublingually under the tongue. Both routes offer faster absorption and can impressively relieve intense nicotine cravings in a matter of 30 seconds. It’s a highly recommended product for anyone who wants to quit smoking either by cutting down nicotine consumption gradually or abruptly. 

Pros:

  • Makes you 2.5 times more likely to quit, according to studies
  • Fast relief due to optimal absorption routes
  • Most mist products contain 1mg of nicotine per spray and can last up to 150 uses, giving you the best value for money
  • Comes in a compact size that you can conveniently bring and fit anywhere

Cons:

  • People have reported distortion of taste, headaches, hiccups, throat irritation, dry mouth, or burning lips in rare instances

Ready to Quit Smoking? Let the Boardwalk Pharmacy Help You! 

The Boardwalk Pharmacy carries an extensive range of smoking cessation products. Whether it’s nicotine patches, gums, lozenges, or sprays you’re looking for, we’ve got all the tools necessary to help you quit smoking. You can conveniently place your online order here

To know which one is best suited for your lifestyle and preferences, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our expert team of pharmacists will be more than happy to assist you.

Contact us today!

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