Smoking Cessation: Do Nicotine Patches Work?


Cigarettes are one of the most difficult addictions to break. Every year, over half of American adults attempt to quit smoking. Yet less than one in 10 succeed in the long term.

If you’re ready to give up your habit, smoking cessation devices can help. One of the most readily available tools is nicotine patches, but do they really work? Let’s take a quick look at how the nicotine patch works and the science behind its efficacy.

How Do Nicotine Patches Work?

Nicotine patches are small, self-adhesives similar to bandaids. They release nicotine through the skin and into the bloodstream. This consistent release helps curb cravings and makes withdrawal symptoms easier to manage.

When you quit cold turkey, you might experience a range of symptoms, like:

  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Anger and frustration
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Appetite changes
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Constipation

These withdrawal symptoms are enough to make anyone run back to their cigarettes. Painful withdrawal symptoms are one of the top reasons why smokers fail to become non-smokers. But with nicotine patches, the intensity of these symptoms is greatly reduced or even eliminated.

By relieving these symptoms, nicotine patches increase your chances of quitting for good. Many studies have confirmed that smoking cessation tools up your odds of quitting. These studies often promote using several nicotine replacements at once for better chances.

In one study, 23 percent of participants using the patch had quit smoking within six months. A year later, 21 percent of those participants were still smoke-free! Anyone who has ever attempted to quit cold turkey knows how difficult it is to make it to the one-year mark.

How Do I Use the Patch?

The patch is one of the most straightforward smoking cessation tools to use. Simply peel it off the backing and apply it to clean, hair-free skin. Most people choose to wear it on their shoulder, arm, or back.

The CDC recommends choosing a new spot every time you replace the patch to avoid skin irritation. The patch should be replaced every 24 hours, but people who experience sleep problems can take it off at night.

Finding the correct nicotine dosage is crucial. According to the CDC, most smokers should start with 21 mg of nicotine. After 8 to 12 weeks, they can lower the dosage and switch to a 14 mg patch. Eventually, you’ll become patch-free and smoke-free, without painful withdrawal symptoms or cravings!

What Happens After I Quit Smoking?

Believe it or not, one hour after you quit cigarettes, you’ll begin to experience the benefits of being smoke-free! Knowing what happens to your body once you quit smoking can be a big motivation. That motivation paired with the nicotine patch makes for a solid quitting plan.

Some health benefits you’ll feel after kicking the habit are:

  • Healthier lungs
  • Reduced lung infections
  • Decreased risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Stabilized blood pressure
  • Increased sense of smell and taste
  • Better athletic endurance
  • Improved blood circulation

And quitting also has outward effects like stronger nails, whiter teeth, and healthier hair. You won’t believe your skin after smoking cessation! Brighter, younger-looking skin awaits you.

Quit Cigarettes for Good With Nicotine Patches!

Beating an addiction is never easy, but it’s possible with the right tools and a strong plan! Nicotine patches take the stress away from the quitting process. They help kick cravings to the curb, allowing you to focus on healing.

For more health content, check out some of the articles below or head to the Lifestyle section! And remember, you can quit cigarettes for good with nicotine patches.

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