Medications, like the nicotine patch, have helped some but failed so many others. Why? The answers that follow are based on the latest research from respected leaders in tobacco treatment.
1. The patch should be part of a larger plan.
The idea that slapping on a nicotine patch will magically cure you of an ingrained addiction like smoking is unrealistic. You need a new set of skills and a method to create new, healthy habits. From the Nicoderm website:
“Use as directed. Behavioral support program increases chances of success.
Many people require several quit attempts to stop smoking. This product is part of an 8-10 week program.” You must learn to manage your triggers, your relationships, your stress and so on.
Our group program offers modules to address these concerns, and more.
2. The strength of the nicotine patch is too low.
If you smoke over one pack of cigarettes daily, you might need a higher dose of the patch or a combination of medications. The Mayo Clinic and American College of Chest Physicians recommend, for certain patients, combining the patch with the gum or lozenge, or using multiple nicotine patches. Others take the patch with Zyban (bupropion), and some reports suggest taking the patch with Chantix. Whatever you do, don’t “under-medicate.” Smoking kills 50% of people who smoke regularly. Medication is far safer.
3. Smoke and use the patch at the same time.
From the Royal Australian College of General Practioners:
“There is evidence to support use of nicotine replacement prior to smoking cessation. (emphasis added) A meta-analysis found that the nicotine patch used prior to quit day increased success rates compared to standard therapy.”
Nicotine, the addictive substance found in cigarettes, does not cause cancer. It’s the toxins found in cigarette smoke. Take advantage of medications to double your chances of quitting. In our group program, we help you design a medication plan that’s right for you.
Note: All medication decisions should be made between you and your personal physician. The recommendations here are for information purposes only.