Medications and nicotine replacement products offer relief from symptoms of withdrawal and can double the chances of successfully quitting. The fewest withdrawal symptoms and greatest success come with using approved tobacco treatment medications to gradually reduce the use of nicotine, rather than quitting all at once, or going “cold turkey.” Talk to your health care provider or call the Maine Tobacco HelpLine to talk about what options are available and what will work best for you. You may even qualify for free medications through the Maine Tobacco HelpLine medication program.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
NRT is the primary medication therapy currently used to treat nicotine addiction. These products supply enough nicotine to help relieve withdrawal symptoms and therefore help prevent relapse.
Nicotine Gum: A chewing gum that delivers a dose of nicotine orally. Usually lasts about 30 minutes.
Nicotine Patch: A nicotine patch is applied directly to the skin and delivers stable levels of nicotine all day.
Nicotine Lozenge: Similar to nicotine gum, the lozenge delivers nicotine orally.
Nicotine Inhaler: A device that requires the user to puff for 20 minutes, absorbing the nicotine in the mouth and throat.
Nicotine Nasal Spray: Sprayed through the nostrils every 1-2 hours, delivering rapid peak levels of nicotine.
These medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to help tobacco users quit.
Zyban (also called Bupropion or Wellbutrin): This drug helps control nicotine cravings in people trying to quit.
Chantix (also called Varenicline): Another prescription medication that can be used to help smokers quit.
If you have questions about these tobacco treatments, contact your health care provider or call the Maine Tobacco HelpLine.