Up until about the mid-1950s, doctors were prominently featured in ads by tobacco companies, with ads reading “more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” Fortunately, our understanding of the dangers of cigarettes have come a long way, and anti-smoking PSAs far outnumber smoking ads. But knowing that smoking is bad for you and actually quitting smoking are two different things. Put simply, quitting is hard. And what works for some won’t work for everyone.
One popular way to improve the chances of quitting for good is nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). NRTs are any products, like gum, lozenges, or patches that supply controlled amounts of nicotine to help smokers wean off their nicotine dependence. Some NRTs, like inhalers and sprays, are only available with a prescription. But most gum, lozenges, and patches are available without a prescription — in fact, you can even buy them on Amazon.
NRTs vary by nicotine dosage, so you can choose the one that’s right for you based on how much you smoke. We’ve included a patch, a lozenge, and a gum option. If you’re serious about quitting, these products can help set you on the right track.
1. Nicorette Nicotine Gum
This Amazon listing lets you choose between 2 and 4mg doses. The gum comes in classic flavors like mint and fruit. Each package includes 160 pieces, and Nicorette recommends chewing 9 pieces a day for the first 6 weeks. One benefit of NRT gum is that it can help replace the oral fixation that some associate with smoking cigarettes.
Pros: Value pack includes 160 pieces, comes in various classic gum flavors like mint and fruit. Chewing gum can help replace the oral fixation with smoking.
Cons: Individually packaged gum can be hard to remove from the casing, which may be inconvenient if you’re taking multiple a day.
2. NicoDerm CQ Nicotine Patch
Nicotine patches are a popular option because they’re more convenient than gum or lozenges. This patch from NicoDerm is a once-daily solution that is designed to release a steady dose of nicotine throughout the day. Nicoderm’s products are designed as a 3-step program; step 1 offers the highest dose, but if you smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes a day, you’re supposed to start with step 2.
Pros: Works all day to release a steady dose of nicotine, so it’s a good convenient option for those who don’t want to have to bother taking gum or lozenges multiple times a day.
Cons: It can be difficult to get the patch to stick.
3. Habitrol Nicotine Lozenge
These lozenges are available in 1 or 2mg doses, and the value pack includes 216 lozenges. The lozenges have a pleasant mint flavor, and they’re designed to be taken any time you feel the urge to smoke (up to 15 lozenges a day for 2 mg or 25 lozenges for 1 mg).
Pros: Pleasant mint flavor, value pack of 216 lozenges, good way to control nicotine intake.
Cons: Only available in mint.