Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

Who can use Nicotine Replacement Therapy?

NRT is recommended for all smokers except pregnant women and people with heart or circulatory diseases by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Clinical Practice Guideline on Smoking Cessation.1

Why is NRT helpful?

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) provides nicotine - in the form of gums, patches, pills, sprays, inhalers or lozenges - without the other harmful components of tobacco. These nicotine substitutes are designed to treat the very difficult cravings and withdrawal symptoms that 70% to 90% of smokers say is their only reason for not giving up cigarettes.1

NRT solely deals with the physical aspects of addiction and is not intended to be the only method used to help individuals quit smoking. It should be combined with other smoking cessation methods that address the psychological component of smoking. Studies have shown that pairing NRT with a program that helps to change behavior can double the chances of successfully quitting.1

Can you use NRT if you're still smoking?

Nicotine replacement therapy should not be used if individuals plan to continue to smoke or use another tobacco product. The combined dose of nicotine could be dangerous to one's health.1

Types of Nicotine Substitutes


  1. American Cancer Society. Guide To Quitting Smoking, Retrieved August 2006.

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