What is faster-acting NRT?
Faster-acting nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) provide a dose of nicotine through the mouth to help you quit smoking. These include lozenges, gum, inhalator and mouth spray.
These faster-acting forms of NRT help to reduce cravings and feelings of withdrawal by providing some of the nicotine you would normally get from a cigarette. Faster-acting NRT is often used with a nicotine patch. Using a patch together with a faster-acting form of NRT is known as ‘combination therapy’.
Faster-acting NRT is great for reducing cravings. To plan for your cravings, think about situations where you might get an urge for a cigarette. NRT can be helpful in these situations so keep it on hand. These situations might include:
- parties and other social events
- travelling between home and work or other places
- drinking alcohol
- having a cup of tea or coffee
- when you are stressed
- when you are with another person who smokes.
Nicotine mouth spray
Nicotine mouth spray is sprayed inside your mouth. It is not meant to be breathed in or swallowed because it needs to be absorbed through the lining of your mouth. The spray should be aimed into the side of the mouth (cheek) or under the tongue. Research has shown that the nicotine mouth spray is absorbed faster than the nicotine gum, inhalator or lozenges, so may reduce cravings faster. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for advice and more information.
Nicotine gum is used differently to regular chewing gum. Soon after you have put it in your mouth and started chewing, it will produce a tingling sensation or bitter taste. When this happens, put the gum under your tongue or between your cheek and gum. Keep it there until it stops tingling and then start chewing it again. This method is called ‘park and chew’. The nicotine is absorbed through the lining of the mouth. Continue repeating the ‘park and chew’ process for up to 30 minutes or until the flavour has gone and the urge to smoke has also gone. Then throw away the gum. It’s important to remember not to chew the gum too frequently or for longer than about 30 minutes, because you may swallow too much nicotine, which may make you feel nauseous. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for advice and more information.
Nicotine lozenges are used differently to other lozenges – they should not be chewed, sucked or swallowed. Instead, the lozenge should be put in the mouth between the tongue and the cheek and rolled around. This is known as either the ‘roll’ technique or the ‘cheek-to-cheek’ technique. It should take about 15 minutes for the lozenge to dissolve. The nicotine is absorbed through the lining of the mouth. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for advice and more information.
The nicotine inhalator is inhaled differently to a cigarette. The inhalator is designed for you to take short, shallow puffs; a bit like sipping on a straw. When you take puffs of the inhalator, nicotine is absorbed through the lining of the mouth and throat. The inhalator uses cartridges and comes in one strength. You need to take about eight to 10 times as many puffs on the inhalator as you would for a cigarette, so that’s about 60 to 80 puffs. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for advice and more information.
Please note, this information is not intended to replace consumer medicines information or health professional advice. If you would like to provide feedback, please email HealthDASSATobaccoControlUnit@sa.gov.au.