5 Reasons Why Using Nicotine Patch Is Not the Best Method to Quit Smoking

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

There are different methods of the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and one of them is the use of nicotine patch. Some may say that it is an effective tool in reducing the chances of smoking, but it may not be the best method to make you stop smoking today.


Skin Reactions

Nicotine patches may give you allergic reactions on your skin especially if it is your first time to use it. You may have tingling sensations, burning and itching upon application of the patch. If you keep the patch on your skin for extended periods about 16-24 hours, it may leave your skin swollen or red. This may subside eventually, but may reoccur once the patch is applied again. In worse cases, the rashes or swelling may not go away even after the patch was removed. Depending on the intervals of when the patches should be applied, you may have to wait for the skin’s reaction to subside before applying another. It would be good to contact your doctor about this to make sure that there are no serious effects on your skin.

Sleep Problems

At the beginning of your NRT therapy, the dosage of your patch will more or less match that of your previous nicotine consumption. This is possible by having a 24-hour patch applied on your skin even while asleep. This may cause sleeping disturbances or trouble getting any sleep at all. If this is the case, ask your doctor if it is possible to remove the patch by bedtime to aid in getting a good night’s sleep. Also identify if this sleep problem is a withdrawal symptom.

Age Requirement


Due to nicotine patches tested on only on adults, nicotine patches cannot be used by those 18 years old and below. There are other NRT methods that will help minors in quitting the habit. Although some physicians may still prescribe patches as a method with reduced number of hours, you may also ask for other alternatives.

Interference to existing health conditions

If you have any health conditions that may be affected by the nicotine patch such as heart disease, stomach ulcers, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, and/or high blood pressure, let your doctor know about your condition. This will help determine the dosage of the patch that will be given to you. It will also help in determining the number of hours that the patch should be in contact to your skin. If you fail to provide this information to your physician, nicotine patches may pose health risks to your body. Diabetics, for example, require more insulin in the body if nicotine is present in your blood stream. The presence of nicotine in your body without the proper dosage of insulin will only counter its effect. In the event however, that you stopped using nicotine patches without changing the insulin dosage, it may result to an insulin overdose.

Effects on Pregnancy

Compared to other NRT methods, nicotine patches may be one of the better choices to help pregnant women stop smoking today. However, on one recent study, it was found that NRT may lead to colic infants. The percentage of mothers with infantile colic is even greater by 2% than smoking mothers. This may be due to the nicotine’s interference with brain and intestinal development in the baby’s formative months.


These are only a few of the reasons why using nicotine patch is not the best method to quit smoking. However, if these side-effects are not applicable to you, you may want to contact your physician and request for more information about nicotine patches to help you quit smoking now.



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