How Patches, Gum and Lozenges Work
By using patches, the lozenges and gum throughout the eight weeks will increase your chances of quitting by double. When using them it will really help cut down the cigarette cravings but not causing more damage to your health. The way it works is by replacing the nicotine you would normally get from tobacco or cigarettes without the poisonous chemicals and with much smaller amounts.
Some medical conditions require specialist advice on using nicotine patches, gum and lozenges. If any of the following applies to you, please call Quitline:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
- You are a diabetic on insulin
- You are taking medication for a mental health condition
- You weigh less than 45 kilos (7 stone)
- You have had a heart attack, stroke or severe angina in the last two weeks.
How To Order
You can order subsidised nicotine patches, gum and lozenges online when you register. We’ll send you a Quitcard to take to redeem at your local pharmacy.
It is possible to order nicotine patches, gum and lozenges online when you register at a subsidised (lower cost) through the Quitline website. They will send you a Quitcard which you take to your local chemist and ask any staff to help you get the products.
The cost for the products are actually around $200 for an 8 week supply, but if you register through Quitline it is subsidised for a total cost of around $5 for the entire 8 week supply per product.
Eg x1 lozenges 8 week supply is approximately $5.
Side effects for patches, gum and lozenges
Patches can sometimes cause the skin to become itchy or for it to appear reddish. By changing the area on your body where you place the patch on a daily basis it lessens the chances of this happening. Remember to put the patch onto skin which is clean, dry and before adding lotion and perfume onto it. If you are having issues with keeping the patch on try medical tape or call Quitline on 0800 778 778 for an over patch.
Lozenges and gum may irritate your throat and mouth and create more saliva (spit) than normal. If you are suck or chew the lozenges or gum too many times, it could be that you are swallowing too much nicotine and it gives you hiccups, indigestion or wind.
If you experience any side effects, call Quitline on 0800 778 778 or see your pharmacist.
Weaning off/Cutting down on nicotine
If you have managed to stop smoking completely during the first eight weeks, well done! You are smokefree and you may want to try and stop using lozenges/gum/patches as well. Quitline doesn’t recommend weaning off it (cutting down) even though it may state it on the box. Research states it is better to just stop using the lozenges/gum/patches all together or order some of the same dosage and not cut down.
There are three parts of an addiction and the patches/gum/lozenges help you control the nicotine part of an addiction. If you want to stop depending on nicotine it’s best to stop taking lozenges/gum/patches altogether and be prepared for any withdrawal symptoms you may have. To find out more about the three parts of an addiction, click here. If you have any questions, or if you really think you would like to wean off by using a lower dose please call us on 0800 778 778.
One way to deal with the emotion and habit linked with smoking is to fill out the Tear-out Diary in The Quit Book - this is a free resource sent to everyone who signs up with Quitline.