The lozenges are designed to be used on a specific schedule and then as needed to help with cravings. New quitters often don't use enough lozenges to get their benefits. They either use too few per day and/or don’t use them long enough.
First, choose the right strength. It’s based on how much you smoke each day.
If you smoke your first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking up, start with the 4 mg. strength.
If your first cigarette of the day comes later, start with the 2 mg. strength.
Then follow this schedule:
Weeks 1 to 6: Use 1 lozenge every 1 to 2 hours. To increase your chances of quitting, use at least 9 lozenges a day during the first 6 weeks. Don’t use more than 5 lozenges every 6 hours or 20 lozenges a day.
Weeks 7 to 9: Use 1 lozenge every 2 to 4 hours. Don’t use more than 5 lozenges every 6 hours or 20 lozenges a day.
Weeks 10 to 12: Use 1 lozenge every 4 to 8 hours. Don’t use more than 5 lozenges every 6 hours or 20 lozenges a day.
The way you use the lozenges also matters. Nicotine lozenges aren’t like regular throat lozenges or hard candy. They only help you quit if you use them the right way.
- Put the lozenge in your mouth, sucking on it as you move it from side to side until it completely dissolves.
- Do NOT chew on the lozenge or bite down to break it. It’s normal for the lozenge to taste peppery and/or feel tingly.
- Each lozenge will last about 20 to 30 minutes, and nicotine will keep absorbing through the lining of your mouth for a short time after the lozenge has disappeared.
Don’t eat or drink anything for 15 minutes before using a lozenge, and don’t have any food or drinks while it’s in your mouth. Many foods and drinks can keep the nicotine from fully entering your bloodstream.
Medical review: Nathan Cobb, MD, September 21, 2017