All smokers know that quitting smoking is one of the most complex challenges they can face; really, it is no small feat. To reduce the odds or increase the chance of surviving the ordeal, a nicotine patch can be used as a tool to overcome the challenge. A steady amount of nicotine is 'injected into the bloodstream to minimize the withdrawal symptoms and make the weaning tolerable. The idea of using the patch to quit smoking allows the smoker to adjust to the social situations that used to stimulate him/her to have a cigarette.
If You Are Ready To Quit Smoking, How Are You Going To Start Wearing The Nicotine Patch?
- The right brand of nicotine patch.
Know that there are several options in terms of brands of patches. Most of the famous brands come in a three-step form. Smokers who are used to more than ten cigarettes a day are recommended to begin with Step 1. Those who smoke less than ten cigarettes a day can start with Step 2.
- Decide on a quit date and mark it on your calendar.
This is the day when you will start wearing your first patch. It is good to monitor your progress; you may want to keep a journal of your struggle and successes.
- Pick a clean spot on your body to apply the patch.
It does not matter, but it is good to pick a spot that you can keep for a good number of hours during the day – arm, back, leg, or other areas. It is also better to apply the patch on a body part with less hair to avoid pain when removing the patch.
- Wear it during your waking hours.
Research and reports have it that using a patch in sleep can cause vivid dreams. A significant number of studies even claim nightmares. Those who like vivid dreams may use the patch when asleep. Realistically, however, no one smokes while asleep. Therefore, it is unnecessary to use a patch during sleep hours.
- Six weaning weeks and beyond.
Generally, smokers wearing a step 1 patch use it for up to six weeks, and the same goes for those starting with step 2.
After six weeks, those who started with step 1 can wear the step 2 nicotine patch for two weeks before moving to step 3. Meanwhile, those who started with step 2 can proceed with step 3 for two weeks.
What Must You Remember When Using The Nicotine Patch To Quit Smoking?
The nicotine patch can only help you to quit smoking. Half of the battle depends on your determination to succeed. Take note that a nicotine patch is a strong smoking deterrent.
It works by releasing low levels of nicotine into your bloodstream to reduce physical suffering during the withdrawal stage.
Get medical advice before using the nicotine patch. This is important because there are occasions when a nicotine patch is not advisable due to certain medical conditions or state of health. Some general conditions known to affect the patch's use are allergies, heart conditions, irregular heartbeat, angina, pregnancy, or you are continuing to use nicotine-containing products or other medicines that may interact with the nicotine patch.
Remember the DON'Ts. Some basic DON'Ts that you need to remember are:
- Never apply the patch on skin that is oily, injured, or hairy.
- Don't apply or remove the nicotine patch with unclean hands; discard the patch by folding the sticky sides together and keep them out of reach of children and pets.
- Please do not cut the patch to make several pieces out of it; use only one patch at a time.
- Never miss your schedule and if you do, apply one as soon as you remember unless it is time for the next dose.
- Do not just stop using the patch unless the doctor has advised you to do so because it can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Smokers need every help that they can get. Thanks to nicotine patches to quit smoking, the goal gets more attainable.
Nicotine Patch Brands
Buying patches is very straightforward; you can pick them up from the drug store very quickly. That’s probably not the cheapest option, though, and you might be investing a lot over the coming months in your journey to a smoke-free life. I say invest because you’re investing in your future health. It’s much better to look at the money you’re spending as an investment rather than a cost, as that will make it far less likely that you begrudged buying the patches.
What you will need to do, though, is choose a brand to use. It may be that you try a few and see which works best for you, but they all do the same primary job, provide you with a source of nicotine that’s not a cigarette.
Let’s have a look at some of the more popular brands.
Glaxo Smith Kline
The Glaxo Smith Kline nicotine patch range is called NicoDerm and is a sister range to their Nicorette gums. Both are designed to help smokers quit and intended as a substitute for smoking, not to be used when cutting down.