How to Quit Smoking With Nicotine Patches
Smoking is one of the hardest habits to kick, not only because of it’s addictive qualities, but because of the fact that cigarettes are so readily available and commonly used the smoker is constantly faced with the object of his addiction. Thankfully there are many aids available to help smokers kick the nasty and life threatening habit. Nicotine patches are one of the most common and can be very helpful to users trying to kick the habit.
A nicotine patch is a delivery method for nicotine that helps relieve the urge to smoke and lessens some of the most common withdrawal symptoms. The patch, that resembles a large Band-Aid, is placed on the skin and the nicotine is absorbed through the skin. For greater efficiency always apply the patch to a clean hairless area between the waist and your neck.
Individuals who choose to use nicotine patches to as a smoke cessation aid will start with a higher dose patch and gradually step down to lower and lower levels. Patches are available that provide 24 hour nicotine doses, and there is no evidence to support tapering down being easier or more effective than the steady dose. Clinically speaking there is little to no benefit to using the patch for over the recommended 8 weeks.
Although the patch doesn’t help with the ritualistic part of smoking, it does help with the moodiness and irritability and general ill feeling associated with nicotine withdrawal. There are steps that can be used to help the use of nicotine patches go smoother and raise your chance of successfully quitting once and for all.
Starting at night is one way to make sure you make the transition to non-smoker as painless as possible. Because the patch takes a while to absorb, this gives you the entire night or your nicotine levels to stabilize and will lower your withdrawal symptoms. Because the nicotine level provided with a cigarette is much higher, having the entire night to level out will help you feel less anxious and antsy on your first day as a smoke free individual.
Try to avoid places you usually smoke, especially on your first day. If there are friends that you usually smoke socially with, explain that you are quitting and try to avoid the trigger areas. Because the addiction to cigarettes is as much psychological as it is physical, avoiding places where you normally light up can help increase your chances of success immensely.
If you are quitting because of heart disease make sure to contact your physician before using a nicotine patch. Because of the fact that nicotine raises the heart rate it is important to be cautious if you suffer from angina, high blood pressure or another cardiovascular condition. This is also true for individuals who have diabetes, thyroid issues or stomach ulcers.
Using the patch regularly can lead to the development of a rash on the location were the patch was. In some instances it is due simply to the skin reacting to the adhesive on the patch, although some do also react negatively to the nicotine itself on the skin. It is best practice to use the patch on a different area each day to avoid these negative side effects.
In some instances patients experienced insomnia, sleep disturbances and vivid dreams. Some also reported nausea at night while using the patch. The solution is to simply remove the patch in the evening as in many cases that helps users avoid sleep disturbances.