For smokers all across the world, today’s a day that will either nag at their guilty conscious for not sticking to their resolve to quit smoking, or will just be a regular day at the chai bandi or with college folks, puffing away like a chimney. As one more year marks the World No Tobacco Day, we are yet again reminded of that venomous smoke agent, and other equally seductive tobacco products that have been silently, and sometimes in the form of a wracking cough, courted a sad death.
But if you are among those few who do have the resolve and are planning to kick the butt for good, you know you need some help.
Those looking to let go of the addiction usually revert citing severe withdrawal symptoms including headaches, cramps and restlessness as they miss their daily dose of smokes. Help is usually available over the counter in the form of nicotine gums, nasal sprays and skin-patches which make up the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). NRT are medically approved devices for providing substituting the nicotine from a cigarette through direct means, cutting out the harm caused by smoking a cigarette.
However, the substitutes do not come without their own set of side-effects which include headaches, dizziness, skin irritation from the nicotine patches, stomach upsets and a general queasiness. But if you are intent on giving the puff a miss, some of the products available under NRT are here to help.
m Nicotine skin patches : These skin patches ensure a steady supply of nicotine through the skin and the adhesive patch can be worn on any part of the body and usually lasts between 16 to 24 hours. The patches come in different strengths depending on your frequency of smoking. Do remember to check for allergies from the adhesive and other drugs and consult your general practitioner.
Novartis manufactures Nicotinell Tts, Transdermal patches at the cost of Rs 2895 for 17.5 mg (30 patches)
m Nicotine gums and lozenges: The lozenges and gums are available in two strengths of 2 milligrams and 4 milligrams strength and a choice of flavours. If you are a chain smoker, you probably need the one with a higher nicotine content. It works well for those who rely on the hit provided by the cigarette as lozenges and gums work to provide an instant dose. Make sure you do not over-do the therapy by consuming more than 15 lozenges or gums a day.
Johnson and Johnson manufactures Nicorette which is available in a pack of 40 gums of 2 mg strength at Rs 190. It is also available as a lozenge.
mNicotine nasal spray: For the quick rush of nicotine, one can look at substituting the smokes with a nicotine nasal or mouth spray. Though it does give a hit, possible side-effects include nasal irritation.
Marketed under various brand names including Nicotrol nasal spray 10 mg in the US. Not available in India.
mElectronic cigarettes (E-cigarettes), not exactly NRT: The electronic cigarettes which dispense nicotine steam through liquid filters usually satisfy the urge to hold a cigarette among those looking to quit. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) does not consider it a legitimate NRT for those looking to quit smoking. E-cigarettes are priced between Rs 500 and Rs 600 for a cigarette which can be charged through a USB port and a combo of 10 filters.