Nicotine Replacement Therapy, or NRT products, come in varying dosages, but choosing the right one to start with depends on your own typical intake and tolerance. All the different options can make NRT seem more complicated than it really is. The product you choose mainly should depend on how many cigarettes you smoke a day. For a more thorough explanation, read our guidelines below and learn about the factors you should consider before purchasing your nicotine therapy product.
What to consider before choosing your NRT products
Before you choose your form of NRT and start your journey to recovery, make sure you have a clear understanding of how Nicotine Replacement Therapy can help you and what additional support is available to you. This way, you can start with a strong resolve and put in place a good coping strategy to deal with future withdrawal symptoms.
The main thing you need to know beforehand is how many cigarettes you smoke daily, and if you usually smoke within one hour of waking up. This may seem strange, but the time of your earliest cigarette is good to know because early morning smokers might need to start on a slightly higher dosage to help combat early morning cravings.
If you smoke over 20 cigarettes a day
If you smoke over 20 cigarettes a day, you’ll likely need to begin with NRT products that have a higher dosage of nicotine. If you’d prefer to try nicotine gum, then we recommend you start on the 4mg gum provided by Nicotrol or Nicorette, to help relieve the withdrawal symptoms and cravings commonly felt when quitting smoking.
If you’d prefer a flavored lozenge to gum, we recommend you start with the 2mg nicotine lozenges.
If you smoke under 20 cigarettes a day
If you smoke fewer than 20 cigarettes daily, you can start your quitting journey on a nicotine gum with a 2mg dosage or use a 1mg lozenge. If the dosage doesn’t feel strong enough to subdue your cravings and withdrawal, it is perfectly fine to increase the dosage to the 4mg until you feel ready to decrease again.
If you smoke over 10 cigarettes a day
Another great NRT option is nicotine patches because they are discrete and come in an easy 3-Stage quitting process. These are perfect if you find yourself smoking over 10 cigarettes a day and are interested in trying something more subtle than lozenges and gum.
Our Habitrol patches come in three different strengths, so you can slowly ease yourself off nicotine while alleviating withdrawal symptoms and kicking cravings to the curb.
If you smoke over 10 cigarettes a day, you should start with the Habitrol Nicotine Patch Step 1, which has a strength of 21mg. From here, follow the reduction guidelines on the pack as you slowly step down the dosage.
If you smoke under 10 cigarettes a day
If your daily smoking habit consists of less than 10 cigarettes, then you can hit the ground running with the Habitrol Nicotine Patch Step 2. This product starts at 14mg and alleviates milder smoking withdrawal and cravings. As your body gets used to the nicotine strength and your cravings become less intense, you won’t need as strong a dosage to combat your urges. After Step 2 is complete, you come to the final 7mg patches in Step 3. Follow the instructions, give your body time to adjust, and you’ll be smoke-free before you know it.
If your NRT product doesn’t feel strong enough…
Keep in mind that it is perfectly fine to use patches, lozenges, and gum together if you need the extra help alleviating withdrawal symptoms. Also, remember that these are only guidelines. You don’t need to follow them precisely. If the nicotine replacement product you tried or are presently trying does not feel strong enough, switch to a higher dosage that does the trick!
If you want to quit but have tried and failed in the past, please don’t give up. Quitting is difficult, but worth the effort, and NRT products can help get you through to the other side.
The right support system makes quitting easier
If you are curious for more information on the products themselves, check out our infographic discussing the differences between products and which NRT is right for you.
If you’re keen for some extra motivation, read through our other quit smoking blogs for support, understanding, and great tips to help you along the journey.