The inhaler consists of a mouthpiece and plastic cartridge. You insert a new cartridge into the mouthpiece each time you use it, then inhale and puff the vapor, which is absorbed into your mouth and throat.
Starting the nicotine inhaler is a little different for each person, so you and your doctor will decide on your dose when you begin. Generally, most people use 6 to 16 cartridges per day during the first three months, but your doctor may adjust the number of inhaler cartridges over time. As your body adjusts to not smoking, he or she will either tell you to stop using your inhaler or slowly reduce the number of cartridges during the weeks and months that follow.
Many smokers find that using the inhaler for 20 minutes (about how long one cartridge lasts) helps them control their cravings, but you can talk to your doctor about this, too. When you’re done with an inhaler cartridge, throw it away in a place that’s out of reach of kids and pets.
The most common side effect is irritation of the lining of the mouth. Less frequent side effects include coughing, runny nose, or upset stomach. These side effects are generally mild and become more manageable after the first week.
Medical review: Nathan Cobb, MD, September 25, 2017
Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. May 2008.