Although nicotine is an addictive drug, most people do not develop addiction to NRT. The nicotine in NRT is absorbed more slowly than the nicotine hit from a cigarette and has low addiction potential. If you have trouble stopping the NRT after the recommended course of treatment and are concerned that you might be addicted to it, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may suggest trying to gradually wean from the nicotine gum over a longer period of time. One thing that is important to remember, NRT is safer than smoking because it does not contain all of the dangerous chemicals that are found in cigarettes. Relapses often occur because withdrawal symptoms are too strong to handle and the ex-smoker hasn't yet had time to develop healthy non-smoking responses to them. Slowing down nicotine withdrawal, by providing ever-decreasing levels of nicotine, is NRT's goal. Ideally, this gives the ex-smoker time to build healthy defenses against smoking urges and triggers.
Articles in this section
- What are NRTs and what do they do?
- How much will NRT improve my chance of quitting?
- How do I decide which NRT to use?
- Can I use NRT if I have heart disease or high blood pressure?
- Should I choose a quit-med if I relapsed last time I used it?
- Why would I want to use the patch, gum, or lozenge if I’m trying to quit nicotine?
- Will NRTs get rid of my cravings to smoke?
- If I slip and have a cigarette, should I quit my NRT?
- Does NRT work for smokeless tobacco users?
- If I’m taking other medications, can I use NRT?