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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.

Medical Conditions

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.

Cost

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. 

 

How to use gum

  • Once you start using gum, do not smoke .
  • The gum shouldn’t be chewed like normal gum or you might get hiccups or a sore stomach and the gum won’t work properly to help your cravings.
  • Instead, bite down 1-2 times to release the hot, peppery taste and then ‘park (stick it)’ it between your gums and cheek to release the nicotine. Some people don’t like the taste at first, but you will get used to it.
  • Repeat this 5-6 times over a 30 minute period.
  • Do not drink when using the gum, or for up to 15 minutes afterwards because you can also get a sore stomach and hiccups this way. The gum also won’t work properly help your cravings.
  • Most people use 8-12 pieces in a 24 hour period. If you need more you can use up to 25 pieces of 2mg gum and 15 pieces of 4mg gum within a 24 hour period.
  • Throw the gum away after 30 minutes, safely out of the reach of children and pets.

How to use lozenges

  • Once you start using lozenges, do not smoke.
  • The lozenge shouldn’t be sucked like a normal lozenge or the nicotine won’t work properly and you will get hiccups or a sore stomach.
  •  Instead, suck enough to release the hot, peppery flavour and then ‘park’ it between your gums and cheek to release the nicotine. Some people don’t like the taste at first, but you do get used to it.
  • Repeat this 5-6 times over a 30 minute period.
  • Do not drink when using the lozenge, or for up to 15 minutes afterwards because you can also get a sore stomach and hiccups this way. The lozenge also won’t work properly help your cravings.
  • Most people use 8-12 pieces in a 24 hour period.
  • Throw the lozenge away after 30 minutes, safely out of the reach of children and pets.

How to use patches

  • Once you start using patches, do not smoke.
  • Use a new patch, and a new area of skin, each day and leave the patch on for 24 hours. Don't remove or reapply the patch.
  • Press firmly in place with your palm and hold for 20 seconds. If patches fail to stick properly, talk to Quitline 0800 778 778. 
  • Don't cut patches.
  • Place on smooth, clean, dry skin (where no perfumes or lotions have been applied)
  • Wash your hands after handling the patch.
  • If you have vivid dreams when sleeping, remove the patch before you go to bed but apply a new one first thing in the morning.
  • Throw the patch away safely out of the reach of children and pets.

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.

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