Nicotine Patches – Will They Really Help?

stop smokingYou’ve decided to give up smoking. The decision scares you in a way, because it’s been a habit of yours for years or maybe even decades. There’s no doubt about the fact that quitting smoking is hard to do, and many people are unable to quit smoking. If you are able to quit smoking, that is definitely the best way to go. However, if you need help, will the nicotine patch really help?

How the Nicotine Patch Works

The nicotine patch is made to be applied to a hairless area of your body. It works by releasing small doses of nicotine through your skin, and into your blood stream, effectively killing your cravings. They generally come in 21, 14 and 7 milligram doses, and the heavier you smoke, the bigger the dose you’ll need.

A 21 milligram patch will release enough nicotine to deal with the cravings of a pack-a-day smoker. As your want of a cigarette diminishes, you can purchases the nicotine patches in smaller doses, thus cutting back on your need for nicotine.

Upsides of Nicotine Patches

nicotine patch
The upside to the nicotine patch is that you can effectively quell your cravings for nicotine, without having to inhale the other toxic substances that go with cigarettes. Also, some research suggests that your chances of quitting while using the nicotine patch are doubled.

But quitting smoking isn’t just about the physical aspects. Smoking is a habit, and some people need the nicotine patch as a mental crutch, as well as a physical one. Every time you crave a cigarette, you can remind yourself that you’re wearing the nicotine patch, and you’re already getting a dose of nicotine.

Downsides of Nicotine Patches

While the nicotine patch is certainly useful, it does have some drawbacks. For example, if you suffer from chest pains, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney or liver disease, or have suffered from a heart attack in the past, you shouldn’t use the nicotine patch.

Also, some people have reported some unpleasant side effects while using the patch. These side effects include:

– Dizziness

– Nausea

– Vomiting

– Stomach upsets

– Insomnia

These side effects are generally caused by a nicotine overdose, and they will eventually fade. But if you consider the nicotine patch to be a cure-all, you’re wrong.

Consult Your Doctor Before Using Nicotine Patch

Before you start using the nicotine patch, you should consult your doctor. The nicotine patch shouldn’t be used if you’re on certain medications, and your doctor is best able to determine whether or not your physical condition will allow you to use the nicotine patches.

How to Use Nicotine Patches

When you apply the nicotine patch, make sure that you choose a dry, hairless area of your body, preferably on your trunk. You will probably experience a tingling sensation, and once you remove the nicotine patch, you may notice that the skin is slightly reddened and itchy. It’s nothing to worry about, but it can be irritating. If you experience a rash, you should discontinue use and consult your doctor.

Nicotine patches can help you quit smoking. They do have their drawbacks, but they are certainly better for your overall health than puffing on a cigarette. In the war against cigarettes, the addicted normally need every weapon they can get their hands on, and the nicotine patch is a potent weapon indeed.

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