The Cons of NRTs

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

Former smokers and smokers alike would attest that quitting smoking is not a walk in the park. It has an easy way in but never an easy way out. But with the help of smoking cessation aids like nicotine replacement therapy, smokers have better chance of quitting. But are NRTs safe?


elektronische ZigartetteNRTs or Nicotine replacement therapy use the same addictive compound found in cigarettes –nicotine, to help smokers quit. This enables former smokers to wean of nicotine in a gradual manner. However, the risk of misuse gives its users a disadvantage. There is a possibility that the nicotine can turn this smoking cessation aid into a habit-forming tool. This is the very reason why it is important to use these products exactly as recommended by their manufacturers.

NRTs comes in different types and forms. Some of the most common and readily available in the market are nicotine patches, gums, lozenges, inhalers and nasal sprays.

In the early years since its introduction, NRTs are only available by prescription. Today, except nasal spray and nicotine inhaler, NRTs can be bought over the counter. Making it easier for former smokers to have access to these smoking cessation aids.

If you plan to use NRT to help you quit, you may want to consider nicotine patch as your first choice as it easier to use, reducing your risk of misuse. Normally, nicotine patch is applied once a day, unlike other forms of NRTs that are used as needed. Which can be very challenging for someone who is trying to quit smoking or recovering from nicotine dependence.


Should you entirely avoid the use of NRTs? No. The use of NRTs is safe as long as you carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions – that is cutting and stopping the use in the time suggested.

Nicotine replacement therapies or NRTs have helped thousands if not millions of smoker quit the habit of smoking successfully. However, it should be noted that the use of NRT alone may not be enough to help you quit. A good support group for instance, can help you build a strong mindset, provide you with advices and tips how to go about the first few weeks of your quit. Likewise, strong will, patience, and determination to quit are all important if you want to for good.

Quitting smoking is no easy task and no two experiences are the same. Each journey is unique. One may work for the other but may not work for you. Finding the right smoking cessation aid for you is essential. Don’t hesitate to seek your doctor’s advice and discuss the available options for you.


Today, quitting smoking is much easier, as more and more smoking cessation aids are introduced in the market. This includes natural remedies and prescription drugs (Chantix), that don’t use nicotine to help smokers quit. So there is really no reason for you not quit smoking now.


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